Community taps toes and steps up to support Paso Robles Youth Arts Center

PASO ROBLES — Bringing the community together for great music, food, and drinks, the third annual Backyard Jam benefit raised more than $8,000 for Paso Robles Youth Arts Center (Youth Arts). Band students and alumni from Youth Arts rocked the crowd with current favorites and personal compositions during the live performance May 31 at Backyard on Thirteenth. 

For the musical beneficiaries of Youth Arts’ free after-school arts classes, the jam session was a way to thank supporters for “life-changing experiences” made possible through the center’s programs. Led by music director and Youth Arts professional instructor Kunchang Lee, performers were Cody Littlefield, Nolan Alvarado, Zoey Rainey, Addie Gomez, Genevieve Higuera, and Mariah Higuera. 

Among generous supporters are Amy and Russell Baker, owners of Backyard on Thirteenth, who have hosted the fundraiser each year. 


“The arts are so important, and we are thankful that we have an organization that focuses on helping students find their voices and develop their passions,” says Amy. “Youth Arts is such a gem in this town.” 

In a safe, nurturing, creative environment, Youth Arts music students enjoy developing their unique sound through a variety of instruments. The program aims to spark the imaginations and build the self-confidence of local youth, especially those who otherwise may not have access to musical performing arts. 

About Paso Robles Youth Arts Center

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Paso Robles Youth Arts Center (Youth Arts) has provided children ages 5 to 18 with free visual and performing arts classes since 1998. The nonprofit was founded by artist and philanthropist Donna Berg to provide all children in Paso Robles and surrounding areas a safe place to learn about and participate in the arts, regardless of their socioeconomic status. 

By encouraging the arts and self-expression, Youth Arts provides a creative outlet and positive way for young people to deal with the world’s pressures. The organization has helped more than 10,000 students find their voices, build confidence, strive for higher education, and avoid gangs or other negative influences. Programs are open at no charge to all students who wish to enroll in offerings such as art, dance, music, theatre, and creative enrichment featuring video production, digital music creation, and culinary arts.  

Youth Arts is funded through private support from generous donors wishing to share the possibilities that arts education contributes to the well-being of community youth. Information is available at

Feature Image: Band students and alumni from the Paso Robles Youth Art Center play for the crowd at the May 31 Backyard on Thirteenth event that raised $8,000 for the program. Contributed Photo