PRYAC supports arts education for kids in the San Luis Obispo County

PASO ROBLES — Reaffirming its 25-year commitment to “giving and growing” county nonprofits, the Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County (CFSLOCO) has awarded $400,000 in grants to select local organizations. Among the honored beneficiaries is Paso Robles Youth Arts Center (Youth Arts) with a generous $25,000 unrestricted grant award. 

“The goal of our General Grants Program has always been to provide funding for agencies that directly address community needs,” says Heidi McPherson, CEO of CFSLOCO. “We are thrilled to announce this grant cycle and extend our gratitude to these remarkable organizations for their dedication to our community.”

Grant funds will help Youth Arts meet increasing demand for its free afterschool arts programs. Classes in music, art, theatre, dance, and culinary enrichment for all local youth ages 5-18 open the world of self-expression to a new generation. With research showing that arts education is critical to kids’ cognitive development, self-confidence, and resilience, Youth Arts seeks to serve as many of our precious children as resources can cover. 


“Once again CFSLOCO has stepped up to help bring the joy of art to our children,” says Ann Berry-Gallegos, executive director at Youth Arts. “This two-year commitment will expand our best-in-class programs to meet the county’s growing need. We are incredibly grateful for the foundation’s leadership in building an enduring, thriving and engaged community.” 

Also commemorating its 25th anniversary, Youth Arts welcomes the community to its annual Dining with the Arts Gala on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. Themed “A Night at the Museum,” the evening promises an enchanted blend of art, music, live performances and more. Tickets are available at

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 wellbeing of community youth. Information is available at