Opportunities for young artists in the Bay


For years, the Bay Area has been a place of artistic opportunity for many budding artists. Yet while it’s common enough to see adults on the local theater stage or sharing their work in galleries, it’s also important to offer these opportunities to young people. Here are some opportunities for BHS artists recommended by several local art teachers.

Recommended by BHS Film teacher Amanda Marini, Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), is an organization dedicated to creating and sharing diverse and impactful messages with the world through filmmaking. 

Founded in 1976, BAVC has an array of classes and camps throughout the summer and school year alike. This includes four-week intensives on connecting filmmaking and climate change, as well as twice-a-week classes that work on animation, video production, and more. 

BAVC also has a unique program, “Reel Stories” which holds workshops and camps that highlights the voices of women and gender expansive people. BAVC describes it on its website: “Through collaborative, hands-on programs, we’re creating a pipeline of filmmakers with the skills they need to enter the film and media industry, and the confidence they need to succeed.” 

With limited space in classes and rolling acceptances, interested students should apply for spots as early as possible on their online website.

While there are many places to find exceptional and intensive performing arts opportunities, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre certainly stands out. The Berkeley Repertory Theatre offers numerous summer programs for artists of all levels of experience. They also have plenty of programs that combine leadership with stagecraft, including the Teen Council, a collective of 10 to 15 students who organize and host events throughout the year to encourage art and performance exposure plus experience for teenagers in the Bay Area. 

The theatre also has an annual student-written film festival, where selected students in the Bay Area work with professional local theater artists who help the youth create and craft their own plays and scenes. A four-month process, students’ theatrical works are presented to an audience at the end of the program.  This year’s Berkeley Repertory film festival takes place on March 18th with free admission, and applications for next year’s programs will be announced on their website. 

A unique program that works to promote a powerful message is Girls Garage, recommended by BHS Creative Arts teacher Candiss Youngblood. This program is dedicated to encouraging more young women and gender-expansive youth to pursue a career in STEM by offering classes in building, carpentry, and technology. Many of Girl’s Garage’s camps and workshops are free or offer scholarships. Students in the classes build a vast array of things from public displays of art, furniture, or political and movement-driven signs and posters. 

Girls Garage also has a focus on contributing to the community, where specifically furniture made in the woodworking class, would be gifted to people in need in the community. “I don’t really see that often,” said Linnea Kalar, a BHS freshman. “A building class where they’re so focused on  building things that will end up going to other people and actually be used.”