Established in 2019, the AZ Youth Arts Council advises the Arts Commission on grant programs and initiatives that directly affect young people. As they do so over the next 9 months, they will review issues related to arts and culture programs and services for young people and learn about policy related to equal access to the arts for all young people in Arizona.

Zia Anderson
Bisbee, AZ

Hi! I’m 16 and currently a Junior in High School. I love art and getting better at my creative talents is a constant goal. Right now, I’m trying to capture more perspective and movement in my drawings. I’m the secretary of Knowledgebowl at my school and I also play soccer. I have a little sister and both parents who I switch back and forth between every half week. My sister is an artist as well, I’ve been trying to get her to draw with me for quite some time. My favorite color is green and I love Pirates of the Caribbean. Thank you!


Malcom Barrios
Tucson, AZ

My name is Malcolm Barrios, and I am a sophomore at University High School in Tucson. I am sixteen years old and have lived in Arizona my whole life. My interest in the arts started at age four when I began studying the violin at Laura Tagawa’s Violin Studio. Performing is one of the best parts about playing violin, as I have enjoyed performed several times in Tucson and also enjoy performing with my school’s top orchestra. As a child, I competed in several Arizona “old time” fiddle contests and even placed sixth in the state in 2016. I have played at hospitals and retirement homes as well. Basketball is my favorite hobby. I was on my school’s junior varsity team last year and have played with various club teams. Volunteering is another important activity to me. I volunteered at the YMCA before the pandemic and still volunteer at the Pima County Public Library. I look forward to being able to further impact communities as a member of this arts council.


Zoë Benavidez
Tucson, AZ

I am a sophomore at Tucson High Magnet School this year in Tucson, AZ. I love connecting with my community through artistic opportunities and lean into challenges, whether it be solo or with a team. I love to find new ways to access art in our daily lives, like taking photos, short video clips, dances, or writing, especially in quarantine. You can typically find me with my head down in my laptop crafting a script idea or filming fun things with my friends. I have been extremely fortunate to grow up in artist-friendly environments, which has allowed my passion for the arts to flourish. After high school, I plan to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be on the Arizona Youth Arts Council along with students who share the same passion and drive to improve our communities throughout Arizona with the contribution of artistic programs.


Chesed Chap
Patagonia, AZ

Hi, I’m Chesed Chap! I’m 17 years old and have lived in Arizona all my life. I live in Patagonia, a rural town about 20 minutes north of the U.S.-Mexico border. I love all the arts, especially performance-based art. I’m a true thespian- if I’m not acting or directing local shows, I’m writing my next play! I love music and play the steel drums and guitar. I’m a big fan of the outdoors as well; I play on my school’s soccer and tennis teams. I am very fortunate to have grown up in a small town heavily influenced by the arts, which has made me passionate about ensuring everyone has access to arts programs! I’m very excited to be working with you all to keep the arts thriving in the state I am lucky to call home!


Brianna Fornoff
Wickenburg, AZ

Hello there :) I am Brianna Fornoff and I am 15 years old, I go to Wickenburg High School currently and I have lived in Wickenburg forever. I am involved in FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), Theater Ninjas(which is working as the tech crew, behind the scenes), and Pride Club. I have been involved in choir and theater since I could remember and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I love getting involved in local activities and meeting new people so I think this is the perfect opportunity. Thank you!


Marilyn Garcia
Yuma, AZ

My name is Marilyn Garcia and I am currently a Senior at Kofa High School in Yuma AZ. Art has always been a big part of my life as I’ve always enjoyed the freedom of creativity and self-expression. Through art, I’ve been able to explore different ideas and concepts that intrigue me and used my art to bring awareness to issues that affect my community. My work has been shown in local galleries as well as the Arizona Legislature Capitol, and won competitions like the Binational Clean Air Calendar, and the Congressional Art Competition. Currently, I am a Student Representative for the Latinx Advisory Council for the Department of Education in Arizona where I also have the opportunity to represent my community. I am excited to be part of the AZ Youth Arts Council and be able to learn and collaborate along with my peers in order to provide a wide range of opportunities for fellow young artists across all communities in Arizona.


Jesus Guzman
Rio Rico, AZ

Hello, my name is Jesus Guzman. I love the band Queen, The Beatles, and more. I enjoy more of that older music. I feel like I am between a Beginner and Intermediate guitar player, maybe just beginner. I can also play a little bit of piano. I enjoy playing soccer, basketball, tennis, football, video games, and playing catch with a baseball. My favorite color is any shade of blue. I LOVE MUSIC! I enjoy it so much! I am a very curious person. I love chicken wings. I prefer Apple over Android. I’m Hispanic.


Samantha Irish
Globe, AZ

I have always lived in Arizona, and I have always had a passion for art and sports- specifically swimming and track & field. I’m hoping this year to try soccer since I’ve never played that before (and my best friend has always wanted me to play with her), and I’m actually excited for it. I LOVE movies/tv/musicals/live theatre, as well as drawing on my iPad. I’m still unsure as to what field I want to go into (possibly interior design/architecture), but I will be attending Arizona State University next school year!


Tiana Lee
San Tan Valley, AZ

I write music I love how music helps us express ourselves and it’s the language that we can all speak and relate to. I was adopted at the age of five. I have 3 siblings which I’m pretty close to. I love animals and my family. School is very important to me because I really look forward to my future and what I can do and share with others. The arts have been a very big part in my life and I know in lost of others. I wont to be a singer/song writer because I would love to help others give them something to relate to and to look up to.


Sedona Ortega
Prescott, AZ

Hi! I’m Sedona Ortega. I am a junior at Tri-City Prep High School in Prescott, Arizona. I am passionate about being involved in my community. I am an active volunteer for local organizations that tackle issues affecting the environment, education, racial justice, the arts and teens. The arts have always been a very important part of my life. I’ve been a part of community theatre, worked with film and photography, played piano, drums, and ukulele, and danced since I could stand. I was very grateful to have had the opportunity to serve in the 2019 AZ Youth Arts Council. I am an optimistic, dedicated artist, and I look forward to supporting the arts in Arizona and continuing to serve on the Youth Arts Council.


Zoya Page
Flagstaff, AZ

Hi! My name is Zoya and I am currently a freshman at Northern Arizona University. I am beginning a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science and Sustainability. I grew up in Phoenix so the valley has a very special place in my heart. I am equally left as right brained, as a woman in STEM I am also a practicing visual artist. My go to preferred medium is acrylic paint as well as prismacolor colored pencil portraits and black ink. Being a woman in science and a practicing artist is a beautiful balance I feel. I love analyzing data and solving math problems for my pleasure or school and after spending an equal amount of time painting. When I paint my brain completely tunes out and my hand does its own thing I feel no control over the process. I served on the council last year for Maricopa County and this year I look forward for representing Coconino as this is my new home!


Lily Rochin
Glendale, AZ

I am a 16 year old multimedia artist attending Metropolitan Arts Institute, striving my hardest to be able to achieve my ambitions in life. All my life I’ve been an artist, constantly experimenting with many different forms of creative outlets such as painting, drawing, writing, playing the clarinet, dancing and costume designing. Being able to experience the creation of art feels like a huge privilege to me that I think everyone should get the opportunity to do. I want to work towards a better world where the freedom of expression and creativity is treated with kindness and love. I hope that as an artist with such big plans that sometimes seem impossible, that I can find a way to help my fellow artists find their way as well. Please look forward to my work as I will try my hardest as a member of the council!


Bella Swope
Phoenix, AZ

I am a currently a seventeen-year-old high schooler at Arizona Conservatory for Arts and Academics where I study ballet. I have been involved in the performing arts since the age of eight. I started out doing theater and have quickly discovered my passion for dance and choreography. My current goal is to pursue a career in teaching dance and choreographing around the valley. I am excited for this opportunity and cannot wait to see what the future holds with this organization.


Ella Wang
Chandler, AZ

I am a 16-year-old junior from Chandler, AZ passionate about expressing ideas and generating change through art. I started my artistic journey 10 years ago and now specialize in acrylic painting, but I love to explore other mediums including colored pencil, charcoal, and oil pastel. My works have been recognized at the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and Congressional Art Awards. As someone privileged enough to have grown up with the support of art teachers and classes both in and out of school, I’m dedicated to sharing these invaluable, enriching experiences with others. I facilitate the Teen/Family Art Hour at Cancer Support Community Arizona and started an art business which provides free classes to kids in Arizona. I’m always looking for ways to strengthen my community and better the lives of its people, and I believe that access and exposure to the arts is crucial to achieving this goal. I hope to engage the next generation of youth in artistic expression and tap into the revolutionary potential of the arts to bring greater acceptance, healing, awareness, and change to Arizona.


Margot Wilder
Flagstaff, AZ

Hi, my name is Margot! I am fifteen years old and I am currently a sophomore at Northland Preparatory Academy in Flagstaff, AZ. I have been dancing ballet since I was three years old and I am a student at the Royal Academy of Dance. I regularly perform in community-wide events, like the Flagstaff Festival of Science and the Flagtsaff Symphony Orchestra’s production of The Nutcracker. I am enrolled in both French and Spanish college courses and involved in my school’s Model UN Club. I am very passionate about our country’s politics and I am interested in pursuing a career in law or international relations in the future. Outside of school and ballet, I love to backpack with my family, ski, and rock climb. I am also an avid reader, piano player, and world traveler. As a member of the AZ Youth Arts Council, I will commission multiple new student-oriented projects, highlighting Navajo and Hopi culture, social justice, and many of the environmental issues Arizona is struggling from in the face of climate change. While I do want to support art that will make a statement in our community, I also just want to help young artists find places in which they can share and celebrate their creativity.


Jesús Galaviz Arreguín
AZ YAC Youth Coordinator
Flagstaff, AZ

I am an education student with an emphasis in choral music. I am originally from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, and consider inner-city Phoenix, Arizona my second home. I am always thinking about how systemic oppression is present and how we can use art to dismantle it. Being an arts advocate means, among many things, analyzing where art is present and who has access to it. As a RE:FRAME Youth Arts Center board member, I hope to encourage young people of diverse backgrounds to engage in collaborative art-making and activism, so that we can be more aware of our history, use art as a method of healing, and express love to ourselves and others.

Zoya Page
Maricopa County
She/Her

I believe that my greatest strength is always my endless curiosity. A four year old always asks “Why?” to everything around them, and I still as a young woman share this beautiful curiosity. I am always willing to know the answer to everything, no matter what kind of answer I get. If I do not believe or fully understand the response I am given, I will go out of my way and stop at nothing to understand why something is the way it is. I am not only curious but I cannot stand to watch something I do not believe is right happen in front of me. This combination I have means that every day I learn and I am constantly faced with moral dilemmas when uncomfortable truths are revealed. Because of this I am very proactive: if I learn about a problem, I will immediately change my ways and try my hardest to help people not make the same mistakes because I only ever want good for everyone no matter what, I value the truth more than anything. It is true that ignorance is bliss and sometimes I have felt tempted to just close my eyes and not pay attention to a situation because it is difficult. But, I cannot let that happen although it is easy. Because of these qualities I would love to pursue school the longest I can so that I can always ask people “Why?” and get some answers. I feel as though my heart belongs to the protection of our Earth’s lands because I can not stand by as lands are stripped of the rights that they should possess. I will be attending NAU in the fall, majoring in environmental science and sustainability!


Ruchi Ukhade
Maricopa County
She/Her

Hi! My name is Ruchi Ukhade. I am currently a Senior at Sandra Day O’Connor High School in Phoenix, AZ. I like to experiment and learn new and innovative ways to express my art and ideas. I like using multiple materials for my art. Since my early days, I have tried my hands at jewelry making and creating craft and functioning products from recycled material. I have also used watercolor, pen, charcoal, chalk pastel, acrylic color, etc. to create drawings, paintings and murals, but I enjoy watercolor and ink the most. Currently, I am serving as President of Teen Artist Guild, a program sponsored by the Phoenix Center for the Arts to provide a forum for teens to explore visual art opportunities. I also received the “Phoenix Mayor’s Arts Award” in the “Young Artist” category in October 2019.


Caroline Wu
Pinal County
She/Her

Caroline Wu has been musically involved her whole life, beginning on the piano when she was 4 years old and the oboe at the age of 10. The 17-year-old has participated at world-renowned international camps and festivals, including Interlochen Arts Camp, Hidden Valley Music Seminars, Idyllwild Arts Camp, and Domaine Forget. She has been principal oboe of the Youth Symphony of the Southwest, Arizona Music Educators Association All-State Band, 2018 National Association for Music Education’s All-National Honor Symphony Orchestra, and 2019 MusicforAll Honor Orchestra of America. Among numerous awards and recognitions, Caroline is also currently principal oboe of Phoenix Youth Symphony.Caroline now studies oboe with ASU professor Martin Schuring and piano with Walter Cosand. In addition to extracurriculars, she is a member of her school’s Future Business Leaders of America and Clean-Up Committee, president of their National Honor Society, and drum major of her school marching band.


Sedona Ortega
Yavapai County
She/Her

My name is Sedona Ortega. I am a 15 year old student at Tri-City College Prep High School in Prescott. I am part of the student council at my school and I love getting involved in issues that affect my entire community. I am an active volunteer for local organizations that tackle issues affecting the environment, education, the arts and teens. Additionally, the performing arts have always been a very important part of my life. I’ve been a part of many community theatre productions, worked with film and photography, played piano for 10 years, and danced since I could stand. I have recently started playing the drums and ukulele as well. From 2016-2018 I was a member of AEvium dance company and performed in both Portland, Oregon as well as my home base in Prescott. I was the youngest person to take part in a Fellowship Arts Residency at The Playa, in Summerlake, Oregon. Most recently, I performed in a site-specific, farm-to-table performance called rhizeHOME. I am an optimistic, dedicated artist, and I look forward to Supporting the arts in Arizona by serving on the youth advisory council.


Jessica Rubio
Cochise County

She/Her

My name is Jessica A. Rubio, 16 years old currently a junior in Douglas High School, living with my mom and three siblings. I am a dancer and have participated in numerous shows, competitions and events. I work with youths and young adults, helping them with their techniques and team work. I love getting to meet new people always, I feel great when I have the chance to help people and the community as well. I am a very active girl and very involved in the community, overall, always looking to have fun and make new memories!


Jesús Galaviz Arreguín
Maricopa County

He/Him

I am an education student with an emphasis in choral music. I am originally from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, and consider inner-city Phoenix, Arizona my second home. I am always thinking about how systemic oppression is present and how we can use art to dismantle it. Being an arts advocate means, among many things, analyzing where art is present and who has access to it. As a RE:FRAME Youth Arts Center board member, I hope to encourage young people of diverse backgrounds to engage in collaborative art-making and activism, so that we can be more aware of our history, use art as a method of healing, and express love to ourselves and others.


Clara Kinlinchee
Apache County

She/Her

I am a strong and optimistic person. I’ve always had a realistic outlook on the world. My friends say I’m smart, Deeply caring, and Inspiring. I’ll always strive for my goals and what I want in life, extremely talkative and very friendly. I’m very open minded and Charismatic. I enjoy being creative and making art that depicts my life. My favorite things would have to be food, drawing, listening to music, and watching anime. I’m proud to be part of the Navajo Nation and to be 100% Native American.


Stephanie Garcia
Pima County

She/Her

I’m currently a junior in high school. I’m involved with band and technical theater and currently hold an internship at a youth center helping middle schoolers develop schools in theater and the tech that comes with it. I used to dance folklorico for five years and it was something I was and am passionate about. I like to consider myself a hard working, dedicated, and goal oriented person. If I have an idea, I like to go through it as far as I can. When I fail, I always try to get back on the horse and continue trying until I can accomplish it. My family is very supportive in what I do and always encourages me to do better every day. I love the process of planning things. Connecting the dots that lead to something big at the end. I’m also very social so working with others works great for me.


Amber Wisely
Mohave County

She/Her

I have lived in Kingman all my life, I started performing in front of live audiences in the 9th grade and ever since then I haven’t stopped, I’m currently in 11th grade. I’ve been in 7 productions and have done state competitions as well. I do theatre at my school and in my community. I love performing and learning about theatre and can’t wait to learn even more as I continue. I love to sing, dance, and act. I always have something I’m doing that involves the arts and love to be a part of as many things as possible.