2020 SFF AnnualReport - Page 14

EPACENTER Promotes Racial Justice through
Art Programs for Young People
he arts are an essential part of the cultural
life of any community. They provide artists
and audiences alike the opportunity to
gather, cultivate their talents, express their
cultural roots, and enrich their communities.
Arts and culture are also an important part
of the San Francisco Foundation’s strategy
to preserve communities where people can
live, work, create, worship, and belong.
More specifically, the arts are a powerful
tool to connect with young people and give
them a place to deepen their own sense of
purpose and belonging.
In 2010, a number of young people in East
Palo Alto came together because they
wanted a place to gather and nurture their
own artistic dreams. They had a vision
for a community space for arts and music
education that would, in their words, “ignite
and enliven the mind, body, and soul
through art and music; keep peace; and
promote EPA youth and community to grow
in a positive way.”
With the help of the John & Marcia Goldman
Foundation in partnership with Stanford
2020 Annual Report
University’s John W. Gardner Center for
Youth and Their Communities, EPACENTER
was born. We are proud to provide funding to
EPACENTER, which provides free, culturally
responsive instruction in animation,
cartooning, art, dance, film, and music in
school, after school, and during the summer.
In the past year, the leaders of EPACENTER
realized that they could do more to respond
to a rapidly changing world reeling from a
pandemic and a series of protests about racial
justice. The organization will add programs
that help youth transition to careers that
take advantage of their creative talents and
will also add art therapy, music therapy, and
drama therapy programs that help build
students’ emotional resilience through art —
all offered free to participants.
Perhaps the most exciting news is that, thanks
to additional support from the Goldman
Foundation, in 2021 EPACENTER will move
into a new state-of-the-art facility — the first
arts center of any kind in East Palo Alto.

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