YAYA to get new home June 1, 2015

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JEANIE RIESS
  • JEANIE RIESS

Over the past 26 years, YAYA (Young Aspirations/Young Artists) has gone from a single-school arts education program in New Orleans to a fully fledged youth development organization empowering people through the creative arts. With its ever-expanding programing, from designing arts education curricula for 28 different schools to providing career and college preparation to students around the city, YAYA needs a permanent, consolidated home. 

Today, Sept. 3, representatives of YAYA and its partnering organizations hoisted colorful shovels and broke ground on a $1.3 million arts center at 3316 Lasalle St. in Central City. The target move-in date for the center, which will be installed right next door to the Market on LaSalle, is June 1, 2015. YAYA is working with Harmony Neighborhood Development, Bild Design and Landis Construction Company to complete the project. 

The center will be complete with a glass studio, an eco-arts garden, community space, a media lab and a gallery. All YAYA operations will be under one roof, which operations coordinator Lesley McBride says will make programing easier and more compact. 

Some broke ground, others dug. - JEANIE RIESS
  • JEANIE RIESS
  • Some broke ground, others dug.

Just Say YAYA, a gala to benefit the program's new building, is scheduled for Nov. 15. A patron party will feature a live and silent auction that will include glass crafted all over the country, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the new center.

"The new YAYA arts center will strengthen the neighborhood by providing a place for creative expression for the children, young adults and their families, develop new community partners and provide a creative space for professional artists," said Timeka Junius, executive director of YAYA. "I believe the rich history of YAYA will forever remain in our hearts." 

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