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Meet the Team

Gabby Rodriguez (they/them)

Lead Teaching Artist

Gabby Rodriguez is a young Latinx multimedia creator and artist based in Philadelphia. Their journey began at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), now enrolled at Drexel University as a Liberty Scholar. Gabby also serves as a dedicated student intern at WHYY. In this role, they collaborate with organizations like PaYouthVote, BillyPenn, YouOughtaKnow, ThePulse, and Youth Engagement Centers, contributing their creative touch to numerous projects.

 

Beyond their multimedia prowess, Gabby's leadership shone as they were the President of  The Bullhorn News, an independent student-run newspaper in Philadelphia. This experience propelled them to their current position as valued members of The Bullhorn News Advisory, standing alongside other influential leaders within the Philadelphia community. Gabby's commitment to youth journalism finds expression in an array of impactful written pieces across various platforms.

 

At the heart of Gabby's work lies their passion for crafting documentary films that empower youth and ignite conversations about Latinx identity. This dedication extends beyond their professional endeavors, as evidenced by their recognition at the 2022 Mid-Atlantic High School Production Awards (Student Emmy) and the Mayor's Office of Youth Engagement (City of Philadelphia) Impact Award.

 

Delve into a conversation with Gabby, and you'll find their enthusiasm for true crime documentaries and Dungeons & Dragons are topics they can easily discuss for hours.

Ivy-yon Jackson (she/they)

Co-Founder /Alumni / Lead Teaching Artist

I was a YAP participant for 3 years, as a high school student, before moving into a mentorship role. Now as a senior in college, I am a lead teaching artist. I am studying Psychology, Sociology and Criminal Justice. 

I’ve been interested in art for as long as I can remember. Currently, my main mediums are sewing, collage, and digital art, but I’m always open to trying new things. 

Being involved with YAP gave me the opportunity to develop as a person and as an artist, while providing a safe space for queer young people. I love to laugh and to be surrounded by good vibes. Come make art with me in YAP’s studio <3

Kris Hill (they/she)

Co-Founder /Alumni / Lead Teaching Artist

 I am a co-founder and Lead Teaching Artist at YAP. I deeply love being in and building community. Orange and brown are my spiritual colors. I use a plethora of mediums for art but painting and jewelry making are my two favorites. I have a collection of hobbies such as art (of course), rapping, dancing, cooking, baking, writing, (house) decorating, and I’m also stepping into doing stand up comedy soon! I’ve been taking control of the things that I CAN control and It has made me realize we have more power than we think!

Ella Wilkerson

Co-Founder /Alumni / Marketing Coordinator

I am a co-founder of YAP, and helped start it with some fellow acquaintances sophomore year of high school, and it turned into a beautiful organization that I hold dearly to my heart. I am currently a senior at Temple University for my BSW where I am also in the National Social Work Honor Society.

 

Some mediums I dabble in is embroidery, button making, and graphic design. If you follow the ig (@theyoungartistprogram), yep that's me!

Come join the program and discover something about yourself!

       Kevelis Matthews-Alvarado    
                        (they/he/she)

Project & Administrative Coordinator

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I’m an Afro-Latine multimedia artist, poet, and freelance consultant. I graduated from Lehigh University with degrees in Africana Studies, Public Health, and English and my research interests include Black poetics, Black music, and Black Queer media. I was the co-founder and former project manager at the Institute on Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at Lehigh University. More recently, my work at the April Institute, an antifascist research and educational nonprofit, includes expanding their education programming by establishing a virtual reading group. As an artist, I draw inspiration from the work of other BIPOC queer artists and thinkers, past and present, who have used their creativity to pursue liberation and enact change. I love basking in the sun, taking nature walks, dancing to loud music, and curating a fresh fit. I’m super excited to be a part of the YAP team. 

Tamara Suber

(she/they)

Financial Coordinator

Tamara Suber, a Philadelphia-based multi-media performance artist and educator, holds a unique blend of expertise spanning sculpture, photography, video, and pedagogy. Graduating from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a bachelor’s degree and earning a master’s from the University of Pennsylvania, her artistic works delve into themes of relational aesthetics, American history, and the symbiosis between man and nature. Tamara’s teaching roles, including serving as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and as a Primary School Teacher at the ITB School of Sustainability, have allowed her to shape young minds, imparting not just the skills but also the philosophies behind artistic creation and appreciation. Her teaching experience underscores her commitment to community engagement and educational development in the arts.

 

In addition to her pedagogical contributions, Tamara has also played a pivotal role in arts administration and strategy, particularly during her time at the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation. With a background in technology, illustrated by her tenure at Apple, Tamara stands as a versatile professional equally adept in arts and technology. Her recognitions, which include artist residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and academic certifications from the University of Pennsylvania, serve as a testament to her esteemed position in both the arts and educational spheres.

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