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DNDA HeartSpace
Strengthening connections during crisis

Welcome to the online hub for DNDA programs and content from the amazing educators, instructors, performers, and Anchor Tenants of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

While we may not be able to access our community spaces during this pandemic, we can certainly still access our heart space, and that's what really connects us after all. We hope this will be a welcoming space for the many youth, families, and artists that call Youngstown home and fill our programs with inspiration and empowerment.

What are you doing to strengthen connections during this crisis? Share your story with us.

In health and hope,
Erika Bell, Youngstown Manager

Live-streaming and payment instructions listed per offering where applicable. For the best experience, subscribe to the social media platforms listed in each section and download Zoom. Please direct any questions to the pertinent email address. This page is updated regularly.




DNDA Celebrates Black History

DNDA recognizes Black history as American history. We realize that at the heart of our racial and social equity work is the call to lift up the voices of the marginalized, and we will endeavor to do that through sharing the stories of African Americans leaders and peoples. We invite you to celebrate with us through our social channels, and here, all month long. #BHM21

July 1963: 35 youth stage a sit-in to protest racial discrimination in housing in Seattle

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Read more at Seattle Star

Do you know Dr. Maxine Mimms?

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Audio clip of Deep End Friends Podcast's interview of Dr. Maxine Mimms, December 2018. Shared with permission from Deep End Friends Podcast. Full interview

Read more at UW Tacoma Library

A Brief History of African American Theatre

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Video clip of Twelfth Night Production's Once on This Island, performed at Youngstown's Thelma DeWitty Theatre, 2019. This special performance, featuring an all Black and POC cast of phenomenal artists, packed the house with joy and tears and laughter, night after night.


Let's look out for ourselves and each other.

As cases continue to increase rapidly across Washington State and the US, the safest way to gather is with the people you live with. Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.

Wear a mask

  • Wear a mask with two or more layers to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
  • Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Make sure the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face.

Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you

Wash your hands

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it when you are unable to wash your hands.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Have you heard?

There's a new street mural in the West Seattle Junction, and DNDA had the honor of partnering on the project. The artist collective West Seattle Art for Social Justice, in their first community project, brought together nine gifted and intergenerational local artists of color to create a beautiful new Black Lives Matter mural in West Seattle's California Ave. / Alaska St. Junction. Check out 107.7 The End Radio Station's write-up of the July 26th event, and please follow WS Art for Social Justice for more on this and future community projects.

Excerpt from 107.7 The End excerpt:

"Our organization has art and giving amplification of artists at the heart of what we do. At the center of the West Seattle Black Lives Matter mural is the collective of nine amazing artists that brought the mural to life and was supported by our community. WS Art for Social Justice is the organization that supported their work, and is a team of educators and artists that are active in our community."

- Founders of WS Art for Social Justice

A word from DNDA Teaching Artist Jolyn GC

Painting the Black Lives Mural in West Seattle and representing DNDA was an honor! It was the highlight of my July. I did not anticipate the extremely hot weather. West Seattle Social Justice had plenty of water, supplies, and snacks to keep myself and the other artists energized and refreshed. Traffic paint dries extremely fast, so we all did our very best to paint quickly and with as much precision as possible on the bumpy pavement. Plenty of people stopped by to see what was going on and looked pretty excited about what we were up to. Check out the pictures below. Again, thank you DNDA for the opportunity to contribute my artistic creativity to this moment in our history.

Photos by Erik Bell

Jolyn GC


West Seattle Black Lives Matter Mural:
A Movement in Photos
The junction is more vibrant than ever thanks to incredibly talented local artists!

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ALYSSA, Writer- 107.7 The End radio station
West Seattle Black Lives Matter mural
Photo by: Erik Bell

These days you can't turn a corner without seeing a Black Lives Matter banner, yard or homemade sign. It's pretty incredible to see neighborhoods and communities come together for equal justice. We have a long way to go, but the conversation is currently booming between friends, family members and all over social media. It's our job to keep the conversation and momentum alive!

West Seattle Art for Social JusticeIn June, Capitol Hill was the first major canvas of the Black Lives Matter movement in Seattle when the neighborhood received their beautiful BLM street mural. The dedication to the cause carried over the bridge into the heart of West Seattle. Local artists and devoted neighbors came together one morning in July to create a vivid masterpiece for all to enjoy while visiting the Junction.


On Police Reform

Recently, social media has captured the murders of Black people at the hands of police and made visible to the world the terrors of police brutality, institutionalized anti-Blackness and grief and rage that are not new to Black communities. DNDA stands in solidarity with others across the nation who are yearning for more than reform; for our current form of policing to be defunded so that restorative and community-led alternatives that center healing and Black liberation, can be brought to the forefront.

Police reform efforts from Minneapolis to Seattle have failed. Some laws have been changed but day-to-day practices like profiling have not ceased. To prevent unnecessary violence, policing mustbe transformed at every level from its size, funding, values, and approaches to managing wrongdoing.

On Black Lives Matter

We are mourning and grieving along with many, feeling profoundly shaken by the needless loss of Black and brown lives at the hands of police.

This is not new. The killing of George Floyd, and so many others, is what lynching looks like today.  The concept of race was created to divide us, and to build inequities into our rule of law, educational systems, and financial institutions. “Whiteness” as a concept was created to suppress black voters when the term Christian was no longer sufficient.

DNDA continues on the path of dismantling structural, institutional, and individual racism. It is a long road, because we have a long history of racist oppression in America, in our actions and policies, our police, criminal justice, educational systems, and more.

On DNDA Partners Redwan Aman and Yusuf Beshir

We last wrote to you about the incarceration of DNDA partners Redwan Aman and his colleague Yusuf Beshir on July 16, 2020. Since then, we have learned that both men were located and visited by representatives from the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia. They were granted bail by the Ethiopian judicial system on June 28th, and are currently staying with family in Ethiopia.

While these updates are flickers of good news, we have heard jarring things about their time in prison. They were subject to inhumane conditions and both experienced rapid declines in their health. While they are out on bail, they remain beholden to the Ethiopian legal system, and we worry they could be returned to the overcrowded prison where they experienced physical violence, and where COVID-19 is prevalent.

In solidarity with the Oromo Community of Seattle and Redwan and Yusuf’s loved ones, we ask you to—


EcoArts Teaching Artist Series

We had a successful summer of youth virtual programs, and are continuing select portions through the Fall. Read about it here.

DNDA Art Challenge Gallery

Follow us on Instagram for Monday Art Challenge announcements!


Nature Consortium Blog

Volunteer in the Forest (Again!)

Updated October 22, 2020

We have re-opened our forest restoration volunteer program with additional COVID precautions. This includes limiting each event to a maximum of 5 volunteers. As a result, volunteer spots may not be available on all dates. After you submit a volunteer inquiry, our staff will contact you to confirm your spot. If you have any questions, please contact the DNDA Environmental Programs Director.

High school students from Camp Fire of Puget Sound removing invasive blackberry roots.



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Totem Star supports a diverse community of young recording artists learning music and life skills through mentorship and meaningful relationships. Our work in the studio and on the stage fosters growth in collaboration, leadership, and self-identity. Totem Star keeps kids off the street, in the studio, and on the stage since 2010.

Totem Star on Soundcloud


Arts Corps is offering a variety of virtual art lessons for youth. Tune in to their YouTube channel here, and check out a couple of our faves below.

Visual Gratitude Poem with Arts Corps TA Meredith

Have you heard about R.E.A.C.T.?
R.E.A.C.T. is a call to join a creative forum open to all art mediums to respond to the injustices of police brutality against Black lives. Arts Corps will showcase these artworks in a digital history book and through social media to help raise voices of activism through art.

For more info or to join in this effort, click here.

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Frog Hollow School is a language arts program for homeschoolers focused on helping young writers thrive.

Throwback to Frog Hollow's Poetry Exhibit at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center

A resource for homeschooling parents:

A Few Crooked Words Newsletter offers writing prompts to help kids love writing.

Click to learn more and subscribe.

Becca Hall founded Frog Hollow School in 2011 and has been working with young writers ever since. She writes fiction, essays, and poetry. She likes hiking and eating homegrown tomatoes with her toddler.

Becca is a brilliant teacher that has a beautiful way of playfully weaving a rich language arts program…. Her craft of teaching truly keeps the joy of writing alive for children that are just learning to write or are developing as writers.

~ Jaime, parent

Join weekly LIVE STREAMED Classes!

1. Download ZOOM APP on your device
*preferably a device with a larger screen for better visibility

2. Pay between $6 and $18 per class via Venmo to @JenniferCepeda_Productions - sliding scale until further notice

*Sliding Scale Notice: This pricing to reflect the craziness of the world right now. You might want to mix & match these. I am including tax within the pricing:

$6-$9 Per Class - Unemployed. Plan to take multiple classes per week.
$10-$13 - Plan to take 1-2 Classes a week
$13-$18 - Plan to take 1 class a week/month or are feeling generous in this time.

3. Submit your Email to JencnDesign@Gmail.com
Once you have submitted both your payment and your email, I will add you to the scheduled meeting.

4. Registration ends 15 minutes prior to the event.

Class Description
Dance Powered covers many genres of dance, and is rooted in Hip Hop Movement. Engage your brain, body and get social in this welcoming and challenging dance class! All levels of dance enthusiasts are a part of this community, and love the music, the creative choreography, and the dance workout!

*Side effects may include:
Sudden boldness on the dance floor, irresistible urge to dance at work, entertaining your friends while likely horrifying your children with your dance demonstrations.

About the Instructor

dance powered

Virtual Class Schedule

Monday // Bellydance Street Team - BRAND NEW SESSION starts Nov 16

6:30pm - 7:25pm Level 1 - Basic posture, slow and fast moves from the general skills vocab (FCBD), Intro to Arabic rhythms and zills (finger cymbals) playing

7:30pm - 8:00pm Level 2 - Level 2 students work on all the material from level 1 and play zills while dancing and lead the group in improv - Instructor permission is required to join this group

*In person dance class with video conferencing and live stream options https://www.leslierosen.com/monday-night-bellydance-georgetown

Tuesday // School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA) Adult Circus Strength Flex 4pm- 5pm ~ Join at 3:55pm (5 min before class) to see puppy or kitty circus tricks!

Wednesday // Bellydance Roots Workout Class ~ 7pm Bellydance Roots Workout featuring Kalbeliya, (popularily known as Indian Gypsy dance - Hailing from Northern India the origin point of the Romany Trail - *Online only until 2021 Holiday Series starts 11/18

Private lessons are available for personal training and dance on zoom by request. Get in touch to schedule.


Poseurs” is a collective of yoga teachers offering all styles of yoga on a sliding scale of payment. Our goal is accessibility, no matter what your bank account or your practice looks like.

Join POSEURS at 6:15pm Thursdays for DOPE MOMENTS with Megan Brannum.

Password: POSEURS
Payment (sliding scale): Venmo: @trippyyoga and PayPal: megsb88@gmail.com 

Click for all POSEURS' offerings

About the Instructor:
Teacher Megan Brannum currently offers Vinyasa yoga for all levels on Friday nights at 6:15pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. She has graduated two 200-hour Vinyasa yoga teacher trainings, as well as a 100-hour Yin training, and has taught since 2015. She enjoys weaving the philosophy of the practice into each class she teaches. Megan strives to create fun and foundational sequences while focusing on the power of the breath to change your mood, body and your life.


Private virtual music lessons for ages 4 and up. Click the button below for inquiries and registration.

30 minutes- $35
45 minutes- $45
60 minutes- $65

Teaching Philosophy
My teaching philosophy is to create an individualized lesson plan for each student, based in theory, technique and student goals with an emphasis on creative expression and empowerment. Music is a language based on listening and creative expression.
-Kelli Frances Corrado

Virtual Music Lessons!

Beginner Piano and Guitar online lessons by Kelli are offered to Seattle Public School students through The Office of Arts and Culture's The Creative Advantage. You can start with a good guitar-tuning lesson below, and continue your musical journey at The Creative Advantage YouTube channel!