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  • Writer's pictureLangley Arts Fund

April 20th Reception to Kick Off New Youth Art Program and Gallery

Public Reception on Saturday April 20

A reception and youth art show, titled “Together We Create: Celebrating Youth + Art,” will be held Saturday, April 20 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at the South Whidbey Community Center (SWCC), 732 Camano Avenue in Langley.

The April art show features paintings created outdoors at SWCC by local youth during the pandemic, along with their statements of what it was like creating these works during the pandemic.

Five respected Langley non-profits are holding a youth art show to kick off an expansive new effort to increase opportunities for South Whidbey youth to engage in the creative visual arts beyond school.

Called “Uprise Gallery: Youth Art Education Space,” the new program and gallery will provide South Whidbey youth with new opportunities to learn, create and display their visual arts creations.

The art show will help introduce to the community the proposed new youth art program and gallery, and will be an opportunity for community input into the proposed program. Attendees will have an opportunity to fill out surveys to share thoughts and ideas. Refreshments will be served.   

“Research shows that kids who engage in art are happier, mentally healthier, more innovative and stronger academically,” said Gail LaVassar, executive director of Readiness to Learn and SWCC.

Community organizations working together

Uprise Gallery is the brainchild of the Langley Arts Fund (LAF), Readiness to Learn (RTL)/South Whidbey Community Center (SWCC), the Langley Creates Creative District (LC), Campus Stewards and Woodhaven High School, and is being created under the auspices of these partnering organizations. Uprise will be located at the South Whidbey Community Center and operated by RTL.

The new effort already has received a small grant from the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) to plan the program and curriculum.

Hallmarks of the Uprise Gallery project

A gallery and comprehensive visual arts program to serve as a “laboratory” for youth to experience all aspects of the visual arts and the business of art. The program’s approach is innovative and unprecedented.

--Open to all youth, whether in public or private schools, or home-schooled.

--With Readiness to Learn as manager, the Uprise Gallery program will benefit from a non-profit with a broad portfolio of youth programs that also provides social, economic and emotional support to their parents and families.

--With South Whidbey’s considerable artistic talent, the program is involving local artists in Uprise Gallery planning and programming.

Uprise Gallery will consist of learning opportunities in the visual arts (drawing, painting, print-making, graphic design, photography) and quality gallery space.

--Funds will be raised for the Grand Hall and a classroom at the South Whidbey Community Center to be renovated to serve the Uprise Gallery youth art program.


Collaborating community organizations

Langley Arts Fund ( The Langley Arts Fund identifies projects, artists, partnerships, funding, and learning opportunities to nurture and support our community’s creative endeavors.

Readiness To Learn ( At Readiness To Learn we support South Whidbey students and families and create opportunities for everyone to thrive. 

South Whidbey Community Center (  SWCC fosters a connected community that honors diversity, respects history, and offers learning activities responsive to local interests, needs and talents.

Langley Creates (  A state-certified creative district that fosters homegrown economic opportunities by supporting and growing our area’s “creative economy.”

Campus Stewards (website coming soon) The new 501(c)(3) that supports building renovations at the SWCC.

Woodhaven High School ( Woodhaven High School is focused on community connection, mentorship, and hands-on learning.


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