funkzone

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

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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.

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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!

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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, Yarnbomber.com, 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, Yarnbomber.com)