Geneva Car Barn director to host youth art showcase

Kenji Liu, program director for the Geneva Car Barn will be hosting a showcase of works by 12 youth artists created during this fall’s Powerhouse Arts Apprenticeship Program at Lick-Wilmerding High School at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

What is the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse?

The Car Barn is a historical building across from the Balboa Park BART station that was built in 1901; as an organization we are in the process of revamping the building and turning it into an arts and cultural center for District 11. Part of what we do is creating and implementing programming for youth so they are paid while learning to make art in an apprenticeship.

How does the apprenticeship program work?

They run between 10 and 12 weeks; the classes meet twice a week after school for three to six hours. The current program involves two cohorts of students. We partnered with Youth Speaks for a theater arts class and with the Bay Area Video Coalition for an audio production class. In the spring we’re planning on having a literary arts cohort and digital photography cohort.

What inspired the apprenticeship program?

There were studies done a few years ago that indicate District 11 has the highest percentage of youth out of all the districts, but the lowest amount of youth services. We found the community is generally interested in youth services and job training as well as the arts.

Why are youth programs like this important?

Youth get basic arts exposure, professional skill building, and experience working in professional settings, but they also get to be part of a large development plan for Balboa Park. We’re trying to make arts central to the revitalization of this area.

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