You’re Invited: Spring Art Show Friday

The Youth Interactive Creative Studio team has had a whirlwind week preparing for their spring art show, which is coming up this Friday. On Saturday, the team made sure the gallery is in top shape for the show, and even found the energy to man a booth at Everybody Dance Now’s all-day hip hop dance battle event and have a presence at Santa Barbara Middle School’s Songfest! 

After the rains on Saturday, the gallery is ready for Bloom on Friday. The artists have made their works and curated the show. The gallery is sparkling and our shop’s shelves are full of new products. Stop by 209 Anacapa Street on Friday night for our opening from 5:00-7:00 PM. It should be a beautiful night, and we are so excited to spend the Funk Zone Art Walk with you!

Galleries In Bloom

Two weeks from today, the Youth Interactive Creative Studio is proud to have its spring art show, Bloom. We would love for each of you to join us at 209 Anacapa Street on Friday, May 1 during the Funk Zone art walk. Our artists have been hard at work creating pieces and remaking our gallery space for their show. Peter Worsley, an artist in Santa Barbara who shares our passion for the community, graciously donated a new hanging system for our gallery space. The team was busy last weekend installing the system, and looks forward to hanging their new works tomorrow! We are also grateful that Village Properties has approved funds for art supplies in support of the upcoming show.

In the coming weeks, we will have more to share regarding our spring art show. In the meantime, stop by our neighbors at the Gone Gallery to see fantastic examples of work by our youth artists. At the end of March, our team painted a mural at Gone Gallery. Inside the gallery, Made You Look’s street art provides plenty of inspiration for our up-and-coming artists. We would like to thank Skye Gwilliam, owner and artist; Marcello Ricci, Program Director at the Arts Fund and curator of the show; and all of the artists involved with the gallery for giving us such a wonderful opportunity. If you haven’t seen our mural or Made You Look yet, be sure to stop by Gone Gallery at 219 Gray Street this weekend!

RBY Milestones


Resurrected By Youth (RBY) reached several development milestones in the past week, which we are excited to share. Last week the group finished the first batch of their candle holders, and sold out of the first run by Tuesday!

This week, the students of RBY finished a new batch of their flagship candle holders. They also completed first runs of deluxe dog beds and a premium candle holder they have dubbed The Titanic. Now that the team has a proven range of products, it is focused on increasing production. AVA’s donation of wine barrels has given RBY a steady supply of raw materials. Thanks to generous support from the J.S. Bower Foundation, RBY has been able to secure all of the tools they need to make high quality products, from drill bits, to power sanders and varnish.


With their new products in hand, RBY traveled across the Funk Zone to pitch local wine-tasting rooms to carry their items. Santa Barbara Winery has agreed to carry RBY products on consignment, and offered the group a 70 percent commission on every sale. Making these pitches - and learning when to pounce on a favorable deal - provided valuable lessons in sales and marketing. The team also learned from their potential retailers, who made suggestions on price points and potential new products (perhaps RBY menorahs will be coming to the Funk Zone in time for Passover). We are so proud of the growth of the young entrepreneurs in Resurrected By Youth, and look forward to telling you about the continued growth of their business throughout the semester!


Volunteer Spotlight: Stephen Duneier

Over the past month, Stephen Duneier, also known as the Yarnbomber, has been generously volunteering his time to support several of Youth Interactive’s youth programs, and we would like to use this space to thank him for his hard work and dedication in support of our mission. It has been wonderful having Stephen share his experiences and expertise as a self-taught artist with our young artists and entrepreneurs who are so eager to learn from him.

While it was inspiring to all of us at Youth Interactive to hear his life story and philosophy, Stephen has gone the extra mile to support two of our youth programs in specific efforts. Social media and word-of-mouth buzz have been integral to the magic of his artworks in the field, so the YI Creative Studio social media and communications team have engaged him to mentor their work. As our t-shirt design and screen-printing team, formerly known as Havok, seeks to re-brand themselves, they have also sought advice from Stephen. His work here has been invaluable, and we hope to have him in the center for many more Saturdays to come!

We are not the only group excited about Stephen’s work lately. Earlier this month, Stephen and his work were featured in Newsweek; read “The Guerrilla Art of the Yarn Bomb Goes Natural” to learn more about his work. Also, be sure to visit his site,, to see some striking images of his pieces and the labor that went into each project. We hope these reads make you want to see him at work at Youth Interactive - or to hike into the hills around Santa Barbara in search of his next project!

(Photo credit Stephen Duneier,

Ridiculous Dreams, Beautiful Walls

Last weekend, the YI Creative Studio had a great afternoon meeting with Stephen Duneier, better known as the Yarnbomber, talking about his dreams, art, and accomplishing the ridiculous.

“I’ve had a lifetime of ridiculous dreams, and done everything I could to make them happen,” he told the YI Creative Studio team. This semester, he has generously donated his time to work with our artists and interns to build their presence online and in our community within Santa Barbara.

Check out Stephen’s work online at - or hike into the mountains around Santa Barbara to see them in person!


The gallery team enjoyed a respite outside checking out Zio Ziegler’s mural on Reds down the street. Zio’s mural is stunning, and our artists were excited to watch and learn from him as he worked. The work behind the scenes was typical of the collaborative efforts to make the Funk Zone a hotbed of creativity: Marcello Ricci and the Santa Barbara Arts Fund as well as a grant from the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission made the invite to Zio possible and secured funding for the mural, and the art could not have been realized without the wall donated by Reds, which has been home to so many great works of art.


The collaborative art continues this weekend with a group show at Gone Gallery. Their new show, Made You Look, opens tomorrow night, Friday, March 6 from 5:00-8:00 pm. Several of the artists in the show have volunteered their time and expertise as mentors at Youth Interactive, including Skye Gwilliam, David Diamant, and Danny Meza. In all, the show features over one dozen artists, and they are all helping make the Funk Zone the most creative space in Santa Barbara.

Connecting with the Community: Partners in Education & Living Local


Last week, Youth Interactive attended the San Marcos High School Community Service Fair, which was organized and run by Partners in Education. We brought samples of work produced by our youth groups, asked students about what they wanted to see from the first youth-led gallery and shop in the Funk Zone, and asked how they wanted to help make those goals come true.

Through events like this, Partners in Education helps creative and entrepreneurial students from across Santa Barbara County get involved in our programming. Our youth-led businesses truly would not be the same without them. Partners also helps us connect with the talented volunteers that keep our center running smoothly. The first step to get involved with us - or with any other organization working with students in our community - is to sign up with Partners in Education today!

The event also gave us the chance to catch up with Gail Kvistad, host of Living Local Santa Barbara, a show that highlights local organizations that are integral to the fabric of Santa Barbara and doing good in our community. Gail visited Youth Interactive in the fall and interviewed our youth to learn more about the wonderful work they do. You can watch the Living Local segment on Youth Interactive at Living Local Santa Barbara’s Facebook page. We are so grateful that Gail and Living Local gave us and our youth the opportunity to tell our story, and we look forward to many more chances to connect with our community - whether on television or in high school courtyards!

Breaking Down Barrels, Building a Business

We are one month into the spring semester, and the new semester has brought several exciting developments in the Resurrected By Youth (RBY) program. We are excited to partner with La Cuesta high school - students from La Cuesta have been amazing contributors to each of our programs, and RBY is no exception. Thank you to La Cuesta for providing a great workshop space and a team of driven students!

The RBY team began their semester by breaking down wine barrels to create their raw materials. The students are learning the craft of carpentry from York Shingle, a master carpenter and passionate teacher.

The team will be building cheese boards, dog beds, and other products from the reclaimed wood. As they look to build partnerships with local shops to carry their goods, the team has been getting expert business mentorship from Dale Dewey and Rob Dafoe, a visual artist, winemaker, and entrepreneur.

We are excited to see where the team goes this semester, and we hope you join us in following their entrepreneurial journey!


Thank you for helping make our Valentine’s Day a special one! Youth Interactive’s Creative Studio held its second opening on Saturday, with three hours of live music, food, and art. We were overwhelmed by your turnout and support for the Funk Zone’s first youth-led gallery.

This Saturday, the team will resume planning their next big projects, including another Funk Zone mural. Stay tuned for more details!

And if you couldn’t make it to last weekend’s show, stop by and check out our new art, Funk Zone apparel, handmade bags, pillows, and more! Our shop is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from noon through 5:00.

Celebrating a one month anniversary

Believe it or not, the YI Creative Studio shop has been open for one month already! It’s been a busy month since our Grand Opening on October 18th.

YI Creative Studio offers a unique opportunity for the creative youth of Santa Barbara to combine creativity with entrepreneurial skills. The program is a great place for local students looking for art business related internships. Over time all our young artists learn the key concepts involved in goal-setting, marketing and self-promotion, curating, pricing art, money management, and legal issues.

Special thanks to the visiting artists who have volunteered at YI Creative Studio in the last couple weeks. This last Saturday, Nov. 8th, was a busy day as it was also the last official Funk Zone self guided art tour of the year. YI Creative Studio will continue to be open evert Saturday until Dec. 20th, 1-6pm.




Youth Interactive’s signature program, THE YI CREATIVE STUDIO, is specifically designed to ignite imagination and enhance the business skills of young artists (ages 14-24) and creative entrepreneurs.

If you, or someone you know, would like to be involved with YI Creative Studio stop by on a Saturday to check it out anytime between 1-6pm and bring your sketchbook. (We have supplies here too.) For info contact Nathalie Gensac For more details visit