Local teen artists will show off their contribution to San Antonio’s growing creative community during the first-ever Downtown Teen Arts Fest on Saturday, Nov. 21. The event will offer art workshops, live performances, and a juried art show featuring the work of local high school students.

The San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) developed the event to encourage and celebrate young artists in the city and has partnered with the Southwest School of Art and Artpace to highlight the creative programming available to local teens. All three organizations collaborated with teen leadership groups to plan and create event programming.

Jennifer Velasquez, SAPL Teen Services coordinator, recently wrote an article in the School Library Journal detailing the importance of including teens in creative programming.

“Participation must mean that teens have a decision-making role in planning and responsibility for the end product,” Velasquez stated. “They need to be placed in charge of their own programming experience.”

Young people involved in arts-based community programs are four times more likely to win an academic award and eight times more likely to receive a community service award, according to a ten-year national study from Stanford University.

The Central Library, Southwest School of Art, and Artpace are all located within walking distance of each other and seek to provide a nurturing environment for creative expression, art training and social skills with others.

“Young people who share an affinity for a subject or who simply want to help the library, (will gain) experience in brainstorming, teamwork, decision-making, budgeting, organizing, and diplomacy,” Velasquez added.

Attendees can enjoy live music from local teen musicians including: Take Note, Victoria Celestine, San Antonio Music Academy and Teens from Eclectic Electric. Teens are also invited to the art workshops by local artists Margaret Craig, Victor Pagona, and Alex Rubio.

The Downtown Teen Arts Fest will take place on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 1-5 p.m. Activities will be found at the Central Library at 600 Soledad, the Navarro Campus of the Southwest School of Art at 1201 Navarro St., and Artpace at 445 North Main Ave. Click here to learn more about available programming and upcoming events at the library.

*Teens participate in weekly arts and crafts projects at the Teen Library at Central. Photo courtesy of 210TeenLibrary.

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Lea Thompson is a Texas native who has lived in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. She enjoys exploring new food and culture events. Follow her adventures on Instagram, Twitter or Culture Spoon.