YBCA Youth Prototype: Tag Tunnel
Designed and built by youth to create a safe place for all people to interact and engage with Market Street, Tag Tunnel is comprised of a gallery for youth street art as well as a forum for sharing ideas. A chalkboard exterior with prompts written by youth invites everyone to write on the walls, joining in a public exchange of private thoughts. As responses cover the exterior, the project will transform from an anonymous black shell into a colorful vision of the thoughts and ideas of people in the city. In the tunnel created between the sheltering walls, a small gallery will provide a glimpse of art made specifically for the Tag Tunnel by some of San Francisco’s most prolific youth street artists. A step-bench wraps the walls, providing a place to sit and watch the city pass by as well as a connection between between the two sides of the Tag Tunnel walls. Tag Tunnel will be secure place to voice opinions and let youth write freely.
About YBCA’s Young Artists At Work Program
At the heart of YBCA’s Community Engagement Department is the nearly 15-year-old Young Artists At Work (YAAW) program, an arts-as-activism artist in residency program for high-school-aged youth in the Bay Area.
To enrich youth leadership in the arts, YBCA is piloting the In Community YAAW Alumni Fellowship (ICYAF) program this year. Designed to steward the next generation of transitional aged youth (ages 18-21) into the arts, the goal of the fellowship is to engage youth who have graduated from the YAAW program, with the arts based programming in local communities.
A component of the fellowship program year is to facilitate youth participation in the Market Street Prototyping Festival. In the spirit of engaging community members of all ages, the program has partnered with Larkin Street Youth, Chinese Progressive Association and Youth Arts Exchange to champion youth participation in the Market Street Prototyping Festival. Spearheading this partnership are the In Community YAAW Alumni fellows. Each of these four organizations have nominated four youth representatives to work in four design teams to create a prototype that represents the youth voice of San Francisco.
During the next few months the youth teams will work together to create four designs which will be presented during the December 6th 4th Annual San Francisco Youth Arts Summit. At the Youth Arts Summit, over 300 youth from the Bay Area will vote on the design that they would like to see on Market Street. Then, over the course of the spring, all 12 youth representatives will work together as one team with the support of adult design captains and Tech Shop to fabricate the winning design. The artwork will be unveiled on Market Street during the Prototyping Festival April 9th–11th, 2015, with the youth project standing alongside work from some of the nation’s leading design firms. We are excited to see what the future of Market Street will look like through the eyes of these 12 young designers.