Youth in Arts’ Executive Director to Depart

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Kristen Jacobson at YIA Fundraiser

San Rafael, CA — June 14, 2024 — Youth in Arts (YIA), a leading Marin nonprofit organization dedicated to providing arts education to students of all backgrounds and abilities, announces the departure of its Executive Director, Kristen Jacobson, who will be stepping down from her role after nearly five transformative years of leadership.

Kristen has accepted a prestigious new position as the Director of Grants for the Arts in San Francisco’s Mayor’s Office. This extraordinary opportunity will allow her to support and elevate the Bay Area’s arts community on a broader scale, leveraging her extensive 20 years of arts education experience, to benefit a wider range of organizations and arts initiatives.

Reflecting on her time at Youth in Arts, Kristen shared, “My decision to step down was not made lightly, as my tenure at YIA has been immensely rewarding and impactful. Together, we have achieved remarkable milestones and have significantly enriched the lives of countless students through our dedicated programs. It has been an honor to lead this organization, and I am incredibly proud!” 

Under Kristen’s leadership, Youth in Arts has seen significant programmatic expansion – most notably in the San Rafael City Schools District during and after the Covid 19 pandemic. Additionally, she has enhanced the organization’s financial sustainability, notoriety and growth. Her passion for arts education and her dedication to the Youth in Arts’ mission have left an indelible mark on the community.

Youth in Arts Board Chair, Naomi Tamura, expressed her gratitude for Kristen Jacobson’s contributions, stating, “Kristen has shepherded us through some challenging times, starting with COVID and school closures, and left an indelible mark on our long history, taking Youth in Arts to greater heights while fostering deeper roots in San Rafael. The board of directors and I wish Kristen the best, and we can’t wait to watch her take on her next role with the dignity and grace she brought to us.”

The transition period will continue through mid-July, during which Kristen will work closely with the YIA Board, and staff to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities. Efforts are underway to identify her successor, and an interim leader will be appointed to help guide the organization through this change.

Youth in Arts is a 53 year old, San Rafael-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive and innovative arts education to students throughout the North and East Bay Area. YIA’s vision is that youth of every background and ability have the creative skills, compassion, confidence and resilience to share their voices and achieve their goals.