Youth Arts Program

Image with broad multicolored paintbrush strokes and splashes with picture of two LGBTQ arts mentors. One wears a brown hat, black jacket and burgundy turtle neck. The other has brown and black hair with gold and red sparkly makeup.

Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center’s Youth Arts Program is a paid guided mentorship program culminating in a showcase of new performance art for LGBTQ BIPOC youth ages 13-18. Youth will pursue artistic passions and goals in performance-based mediums like writing, movement/dance, and acting, through a series of workshops and culminating in a showcase of solo performances during the Gay City/Velocity Arts Pride Showcase.

As storytelling is a way to create history and build community, the Youth Arts Program will focus on telling the “story of me” to building participants’ performances around life journeys with the guidance of two artist mentors.

Made possible by the City of Seattle

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Photo of Black queer person with a brown hat, black jacket and burgundy turtle neck


A New York-born poet, actor, educator, and sound-word practitioner who is Ghanaian/Bajan and queer.

Akua uses the vibratory energy of sound and the intent of word as a vehicle towards healing.

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Illustration of filipinx person with brown and black hair, and gold, red makeup with multicolored ear rings


Moonyeka is a sick/disabled Filipinx femme and movement-based storyteller who utilizes art creation, teaching, and organizing to realize a world that honors her communities’ stories in a way that is healing, celebratory, and generative.

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What are you looking for in an applicant?

An ideal application will share who you are and what you are most passionate about. Anyone looking to grow in their artistry and in community. Our goal is to connect you with the resources and people to empower yourself and build connections within their community. 

What if I don’t have any artistic abilities?

Even better! We would love to help you start your artistic journey.

What if I don’t meet the age requirement?

We are happy to receive all applications regardless of your age range. Our Youth Advisory Council will review your application and determine if you and other participants will benefit from doing the Youth Arts Program together. 

What is the Youth Advisory Council?

The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a group of LGBTQ BIPOC youth (ages 12-24) that live throughout the City of Seattle/ King County. In collaboration with Gay City staff, they support the design and evaluation of effective youth advocacy. In this case, YAC will advise the design of the Youth Arts Program and screen all applicants because this is a program by youth for youth. 

Program Details

What workshops are provided?

The workshops support the creation of a new performance piece. Workshops include:

      • Brainstorming
      • Writing
      • Editing
      • Critiquing
      • Movement
      • Improv
      • Idea mapping
      • Storyboard creation
      • Lighting, sound, and tech 

Participants will learn:

      • Skills to edit and critique your work for creative growth
      • To identify LGBTQ artists and performers  to draw inspiration
      • To learn different forms of  queer and trans dance and movement
      • Learn skills used in Queer and Trans theater
      • Technical skills for performing
What is the format for teaching?

Virtual sessions will be hosted in Zoom meeting video conference program.

What is the stipend for participants?

The stipend is $250.

What is the timeline for applications and the program?
    • Applications Open: TBD for next cohort
    • Applications Close: TBD for next cohort

Meetings will take place from 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm. The tentative program dates and times are:

      • Dec 8 30, 2021 – Orientation
      • Dec 15, 2021 – Brainstorming/Researching 
      • Jan 5, 2022 – Editing
      • Jan 12, 2022 – Writing
      • Jan 19, 2022 – Movement
      • Feb 2, 2022 – Acting
      • Feb 9, 2022 – Story of Me Review
      • Feb 16, 2022 – Draft Review
      • Feb 23,2022 – April 19, 2022 – Performance Crafting
      • Final TBD by youth and Artist Mentors
Will transportation and food be provided?

If in-person then yes. Round-trip bus passes and dinner will be provided.

What if I am undocumented/don’t have a social security card? Can I still get paid for the program?

Absolutely! No worries.


If you have questions, we’ll find the answers.
Just want to provide feedback about arts events? We’ll take those too and incorporate into upcoming events.