About Young Artists Initiative (YAI)DSC_0731


As our families and actors will attest, three qualities distinguish YAI from other youth performing groups: our commitment to kids – not just the production; our commitment to excellence – not just quality; and our undying passion for what we do.  YAI brings a strong connection to the greater community of professionals and volunteers who work in youth development, as their efforts intersect or mirror our own.

In 2015, Young Artists Initiative (YAI)  was born as an independent 501(c)(3) organization and has used this status to build new supports for its mission in the community.


In 2017, YAI hired Matt Berdahl as the the organizations first ever paid YAI Artistic Director. Many artists and families started voicing they wanna keep coming back to YAI because they are impressed with YAI’s mission, artistic quality and integrity, and the organization’s commitment to kids. 


In 2020, YAI produced Frozen Jr and Matilda reaching some of it’s largest audiences and participant demographics ever before having to face it’s hardest challenge yet, the Covid-19 pandemic. With the support of generous donors and amazing community members like yourself, YAI is surviving and preparing to welcome the kids back into wonderful YAI experiences that the youth and community have grown to love. 


In 2021, with your help, YAI will celebrate another season of signature, high quality arts programming for the young people on Saint Paul’s East Side and greater minnesota area through upcoming virtual performances and eventual in-person performances once again!

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