Celebrating YAC, my first door into the art world.

Tomorrow I give this speech at Youth Arts Collective's birthday celebration luncheon. I wanted to share with my web followers & anyone who can not attend, so that this program's influence on my artistic growth can be known!

I may be the last to speak, but I was the first one here!
My name is Meheen Ruby Hauge and I first joined YAC 10 years ago as a high school sophomore. Back then, all I wanted to draw was my favorite video game characters and pages copied from my favorite comic books. Now, I do abstract painting and woodblock printmaking if that tells you anything about how YAC helped expand my expressive abilities.
YAC was my internship, and gave me skills I needed to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Art. And, because of a letter of recommendation from Meg and Marcia, allowed me to get a scholarship that paid a chunk of my rent in college. YAC’s professional network is the reason that I have my current job as a studio assistant to a local Etsy seller.
I moved back suddenly to the Monterey area after my life in Humboldt fell apart and YAC immediately welcomed me back. Getting to know this new generation of artists has been a gift and a joy. I am endlessly inspired by the work they produce, and I cherish the fact that I can be a small part of their growth. They blow me away.
YAC taught me that I could achieve a career in the arts. More than that, to see myself as an Artist. It didn’t have to matter that nobody with my name was one before me; I had a place for my diverse voice in the art world.