Start the holiday season off with YAYA Inc. during its annual fall fundraiser and showcase. Just Say YAYA takes place Wednesday, November 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. and proceeds will directly benefit the free YAYA afterschool arts and entrepreneurship training for New Orleans teens.

The online event includes a live performance by Tank and the Bangas, an interactive art activity with Terrance Osborne, an appearance from Brandan “BMike” Odums (one of Adore's 2020 A-Listers!), an online auction featuring experiences and artwork, presentations by YAYA artists, and more. 

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A scene from Just Say YAYA 2019

Just Say YAYA is typically a cocktail party with live music, an auction, live demonstrations, and a huge showcase of YAYA's students' work. It is also an opportunity for the students to "flex their entrepreneurial muscles" by pricing their own art and selling to potential buyers.

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A scene from Just Say YAYA 2019

YAYA's Executive Director Meg Miles and the board made the difficult but safe decision during the summer to take this year's event, which also celebrates five years at The Arts Center, online. 

"We wanted to make the event unique and celebrate local talent including both up and coming and established artists," Miles told Adore. "It has been a dream to have Tank at one of our events."

In addition to the performance, guests will receive a behind the scenes look at BMike's studio and the opportunity to participate in an art activity with Terrance Osborne. (Both have been longtime supporters of YAYA and its programs.) Participants can take the evening up a notch with a party box which comes with art supplies for Osborne's activity, postcards of YAYA artwork, a cocktail mix from Faubourg Farms, and more!

While the pandemic has taken the event online, it has also given YAYA an unusual opportunity to explore virtual learning. "We are proud to say we have not missed a single day of programming in 2020," Miles said. YAYA immediately pivoted to online workshops, then started to offer hybrid programs in the summer. They have slowly started increasing the size of in-person programs with city guidelines. They were also able to bring artists across the world to New Orleans via Zoom. 

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A scene from Just Say YAYA 2019

"YAYA's focus is to use visual arts training as a way to give young people leadership and life skills. They can take these with them no matter where they go or what they do in life."

Commerce has also gone digital this year. "We've wanted for a long time to do e-commerce. We used this as an opportunity to launch an online store, which will have a longer ranging impact than a single in-person event."

Just Say YAYA tickets and sponsorships of all levels are available to purchase. Join in on the fun from home with YAYA's many advocates including artists, art collectors, philanthropist, and former YAYA families, while supporting YAYA programs and local artists.