We are pleased to announce that Nicole Amri and Jon Hinojosa of San Antonio’s award-winning youth program SAY Sí, will provide the keynote addresses at JAEC 2018.

A nationally recognized leader in the field of Creative Youth Development, SAY Sí endeavors to “ignite the creative power of young people as forces of positive change.”

Attendees will also hear from Thameenah “Ty” Muhammad, a Phoenix-based performer, teaching artist, and member of the JAEC 2018 Youth Advisory Board.

Nicole Amri is the program director of SAY Sí, a national-award-winning creative youth development program. Amri currently serves on local and national committees such as city-wide collective impact initiatives: SA2020 and Excel Beyond the Bell SA and national groups: the ARE (Artists for Racial Equity) Network and National Advisory Committee to the Creative Youth Development National Partnership. Her artwork predominantly explores human rights issues with a focus on interpersonal relationships and societal conditions. Amri received a BFA in Painting and a BA in Communication: Public Relations from University of Texas at San Antonio. She is also a 2006 SAY Sí alumna.


Jon Hinojosa is an artist masquerading as an arts administrator who serves as the Artistic | Executive Director of SAY Sí, a national award winning, creative youth development program for urban students. The tuition-free program encompasses 6 distinct multidisciplinary arts programs, including visual, performing, film, and game design. SAY Sí is situated in a 26,000 square foot facility in San Antonio’s Cultural Arts District.

Jon has presented and facilitated learning at numerous conferences and symposia on the value, tangible evidence, and the transformative power the arts have on urban youth. Jon also serves as a trustee for the National Guild for Community Arts Education, helping lead their Creative Youth Development initiative.

He hopes his legacy will be inspiring and educating the next generation of our nation’s creative leaders.


Thameenah “Ty” Muhammad is part of the staff of Rising Youth Theatre as an Apprentice Artist, a crier during movies, a teaching artist at Create Academy and Glenview College Prep H.S. (the school I graduated from!), a lover of mint ice cream, a sophomore at Phoenix College, a believer in aliens, an activist with the #Demand2Learn Campaign, wishing she could be eating sushi all the time, and is interning at the Arizona Commission on the Arts! I have a fire in my heart to help the world the best I can, whether that’s during a protest or by smiling at everyone I meet.

About SAY Sí

Based in San Antonio, Texas, SAY Sí works to ensure that “All young people have equitable access to opportunities to develop their worldview and creative potential, empowering them to live rich, full lives and develop the critical learning and life skills they need to become active contributors to their communities.” Since opening their doors in 1994, SAY Sí has steadily grown to include nearly 200 students from over 70 schools in its programs, with studio sessions held 6 days a week. Additionally, thousands of youth throughout Bexar County participate in SAY Sí’s outreach program, Artists Building Communities (ABC).

For more information visit http://saysi.org/


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Congratulations to Edgardo Aguilar of Desert View High School in Tucson, Arizona's 2019 Poetry Out Loud State Champion. Edgardo competed against nine other regional finalists on Saturday, March 16, at the 14th annual Arizona Poetry Out Loud state finals. He will now advance to the national competition in Washington, DC, where he'll compete against finalists from all 56 states and territories! Congratulations to Edgardo and all our state finalists, and thanks to our partners: Phonetic Spit, University of Arizona Poetry Center, and Will Codeiro; our emcee Tomás J. Stanton; our judges: Dr. Laura Tohe, Dr. Rosemarie Dombrowski, Cynthia Wheeler, and Joy Young; our hosts at Burton Barr Central Library; and all the teachers, coaches, and parents who helped and supported this young people along the way! ... See MoreSee Less

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We're in the final stretch! Applications for FY2020 Community Investment Grants and Festival Grants must be submitted by 11:59 pm today!
Our staff is standing by to offer last minute assistance until 5:00 pm.

📷by Slaven Gujic, courtesy of Mesa Arts Center.
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