• YouthCAN

    For ages 15 – 19



The program is free to participate and open to anyone age 15-19. All levels of artistic experience are welcome. All materials are provided by the museum. 

“I learned that I have to make my own milestones in life so there is a legacy that I leave behind.”
–Yu, age 19, YouthCAN participant

YouthCAN is a free, after-school, high school arts program designed to provide students with exposure to arts professions, increase their knowledge and familiarity with the Chinatown-International District, and to connect with the museum, its mission, and its programs。

Students work with teaching artists to explore identity and culture through art and produce creative work that culminates into a group exhibit displayed in the Frank Fujii Youth Gallery at the Wing Luke Museum。

In 2010, YouthCAN received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award。

Contact us:



Embodied Cultures: Storytelling through Movement and Fashion

This winter quarter, students will explore the practice of storytelling with a focus on movement, dance, performance art, and fashion。

Program session times: 4pm – 7pm, Fridays, February 7 – April 3, 2020

Location: Wing Luke Museum (719 S King Street, Seattle WA 98104)

Light refreshments will be provided for each session.

Registration opening soon!

For questions, email youthcan@krajty.com


Fall 2016

bound by our stories

I’ve always been fascinated by the ways people present narrative work; some artists make photocopied zines for urgent, widespread distribution, while others spend months on a one-of-a-kind art book with beautifully
intricate details.

For our YouthCAN class, I wanted us to explore this idea of narrative work, by introducing various methods of bookmaking while also weaving themes of identity and storytelling throughout the process. During the past 10 weeks, I wanted the students to push the possibilities of what a book is and can be, by allowing themselves to make mistakes but also have fun. This show, bound by our stories,  is the result of that exploration. Sarah Rosenblatt, Teaching Artist

Summer 2016


This past summer, our young artists were encouraged to think outside box, and explored new ways to express themselves through the arts. From installation to painting to photography, each students explored various ways that they were able to imagine, create, and manifest.

For this three week session, the artists were challenged to move beyond what they knew of themselves, to think bigger and to be open to seeing art as more than just expression, but also as a tool for change, both within themselves and in their environment. 

Winter 2016

Creative Connections: Design Brings the Neighborhood Together

“For the Winter 2016 program, YouthCAN participants worked in small groups on design projects for our community partners: Phnom Penh Noodle House, IDEA Space, Hing Hay Coworks, World Pizza, Sun May Trading Co., and the Wing Luke Museum. The community partners acted as our clients and commissioned projects such as re-designing menus and brochures, creating new signage, and making entirely new products. We learned about design and how to make our own professional business cards with the help of our teaching artist Erin Shigaki.

It is important to help the Chinatown-International District neighborhood through these projects because it helps our own community. Good design revitalizes local culture while preserving local history, and also it’s important to help business promote themselves so they can continue to do well in the neighborhood.” – Lillian Nguyen, Youth Lead

Fall 2015

Imprint: Identity Through Art

This exhibit is the result of a 9-week program that teaches young individuals how to display their works of art and express themselves as an artist, a member in the community, and resident of the Northwest.

“Art enriches human development. The purpose of art has a fluidity, it can be used to express oneself or to compel others with a message or value. People find agency through the many forms art takes.” – Katie Nguyen, YouthCAN Student

Summer 2015

Shhh…A Listening Exhibit

“This exhibit displays sounds through a variety of mediums and they come from a variety of places. YouthCAN has taken sounds and created many different means of listening to them in order to showcase their singular beauty and comparability as a compilation. You will also be able to discover your own sound in the exhibit by playing with the laser-cut optical theremins and handmade contact microphones. From sample sounds to a full sound collage, this is Shhhh: An Active Listening Exhibit.” –Tamar Sunnam Manuel, YouthCAN student

Winter 2015

Made in ___: Behind the Seams of Our T-Shirts

“This Winter quarter, we have gotten ‘behind the seams’ of the t-shirt making process, from sketching out our pattern to choosing fabric to sewing the pieces together. With the enlightening assistance of our teaching artist, Malia Peoples, we have created a wearable t-shirt made with our own hands. During this program, we also ventured through a clothing factory and learned about the labor it takes to create clothing. We learned what it truly takes to work in the fashion industry. We stretched beyond our typical mindset to make designs on paper come to life! This exhibit has taught us patience and gratitude, and taught us how to look at clothing with compassion.” – Christina Nguyen, YouthCAN student 

Fall 2014

A+ Ordinary: Our Inner and Outer Selves

幸运快3YouthCAN studied Asian artists (both American and abroad) who mixed disciplines, subjects, and artistic media to create art that shows us something we’ve never experienced before。 What YouthCAN noticed was many of these artists used art as a way to both reflect on their APA identities and to challenge its common misperceptions。 Taking cues from these pioneer experimental artists, YouthCAN’s newest show is a colorful and immersive installation that confronts the stereotypes projected onto them as Asian Pacific Americans, as well as offers insight on how they truly perceive themselves。

Spring 2014

Mask-querade: Hidden Identities

YouthCAN worked with painter Kathy Liao to create papier-mache masks/heads that portray the hidden aspects of their identities and channeled their fantastical and super-human role models. YouthCAN additionally snapped photographs of their family, personal life, and community, and collectively created a 5′ x 7′ collaborative collage for display in the historic Canton Alley.

Summer 2013

Beyond the Gray

YouthCAN spent this summer learning photography and visual storytelling techniques with mentor artist Carina del Rosario, then hit the streets to document the essence of their city — as the guide books would describe it, but also from their own unique perspectives。 The resulting photographs range from the personal to the political, from the iconic to the unexpected。 The summer studio also included a camping trip to Mt。 Rainier, following in the footsteps of the Japanese photographers who founded the Seattle Camera Club in the early 20th century。

Spring 2013

Zodiac Animal Mural Project

For this Spring session, students worked with mentor artist Kristen Ramirez to create 12 mural panels depicting the different animals of the Chinese zodiac. The panels were displayed in the boarded-up windows of the Kong Yick West building next door to the Wing Luke Museum.

Winter 2013

Alter Ego A _________Sanctum

Students worked with mentor artist Romson Bustillo to create assemblage sculptures based on traditional altars, expressing their own ancestors and heritage, along with their personal identities and dreams for the future。

Summer 2013

Ghosts in the Fields

YouthCAN worked with mentor artist Stewart Wong to create public art proposals to interpret the invisible Asian American history of Ebey’s Landing, including detailed models or their proposed installations. They also created a series of five video games that allowed visitors to experience different aspects of the farmers’ immigration stories. In partnership with the National Parks Service and the Island County Historical Society.

Winter 2013

Spoken Word Performances

幸运快3YouthCAN worked with spoken word artist Stephany Hazelrigg and Youth Undoing Institutional Racism to explore the stereotypes and discrimination they face as Asian American youth. They also interviewed community elders of different races to gain context for their own experiences, then created individual poems and group performances.

Spring 2012

Lenticular Storefront Window Installations

Mentor artist Jonathan Wakuda Fischer guided students through the design and creation of a series of lenticular paintings for The Wing’s storefront windows. Students created pairs of thematically juxtaposed images, which they then cut into strips and reassembled in zig-zag right angles, so that one image is visible when the piece is viewed from the right, and another image appears when the piece is viewed from the left. The works explored issues in the students’ lives and communities.

Summer 2011

Alien Americans: Sunup to Sundown

Students worked with mentor artist Jonathan Wakuda Fischer to learn the traditional Japanese arts of tatebanko (3-D paper landscapes) and karakuri (mechanized puppetry), then created animated 3-D landscapes depicting the lives and labors of Japanese immigrants in the early 20th century. They also worked with sound artist Paul Kikuchi to create soundscapes to accompany each tatebanko piece. The project included historical research and a camping trip to the historic mining town of Monte Cristo in the North Cascades, where Japanese laborers maintained the railroad line. In partnership with the National Forest Service and the Granite Falls Historical Society.

Summer 2011

Fresh Start? The Ambiguous Journeys of Japanese Picture Brides

Mentor artist Junko Yamomoto worked with YouthCAN students to explore the lives of Japanese picture brides and their husbands in the early 20th century. Students studied actual diaries from picture brides and grooms of the period, as well as Japanese visual story-telling arts, from ancient scrolls to modern manga. They invented their own ambiguous love stories and created poetry and paintings to express their imagined tales.

Winter 2011

From the Ground Up

Who has style and where does it come from? From the Ground Up explored the origins of style among Asian Pacific American youth。 High school- and college-aged artists present their personal style and visions of the street in original graffiti prints。 In partnership with the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Comcast, Wing Luke Museum Annual Fund Donors。

Spring 2010

Creation of Language

This exhibition investigated the fluencies and literacies of one’s language of heritage. Original mixed-media sculptures were created to explore perspective regarding the loss of language and the creation of new ones. In partnership with Comcast, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Wing Luke Museum Annual Fund Donors

Winter 2010

That’s Messed Up, Yo…

This exhibit marked the exploration of milestone and movement among young people within Seattle’s Asian Pacific American community. Drawing on personal archives, nine high school artists reinterpreted their messy pasts and suggested creative futures that are not ruled. Original works of collage, drawing and text were featured. In partnership with Comcast, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Wing Luke Museum Annual Fund Donors.

Spring 2009

A Call for Passions

幸运快3Smart. FOB. Gang Member. These are some of the words that described Asian Pacific Islander American youth. Noticeably, ‘passionate’ is not one of these words. A Call for Passions displayed the art of local Asian Pacific Islander American youth artists, winners of the 2009 YouthCAN High School Exhibits Contest, who expressed their passions and their talent through diverse mediums. In partnership with City of Seattle, Office of Information Technology, Comcast, Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, Lucky Seven Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Wing Luke Museum Annual Fund Donors.

Winter 2009

Weaving Stories of the Ages Generational Gaps within the Asian Pacific Islander American Community

This inaugural exhibition of the Wing Luke Asian Museum’s YouthCAN Program explored the generational divide between APA youth and their parents and grandparents. YouthCAN artists unearthed the generational gaps that exist in their lives and put forward bold ways on how to bridge them. Original works of glass and mixed-media were featured. In partnership with City of Seattle, Office of Information Technology, Comcast, Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, Lucky Seven Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Wing Luke Museum Annual Fund Donors.

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