Youth Advisory Council

Our Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a group of emerging youth leaders, ages 13-19, who meet to influence decision-making about youth programming at Powerhouse Arts.

To learn more about the YAC, please email

Over the course of 10 weeks, YAC members explore various career paths in the arts by interviewing arts-industry professionals, receive program support and mentorship from Powerhouse Arts staff, provide feedback on educational opportunities, and collaboratively develop a proposal for future youth programs.
Meet the 2021 Youth Advisory Council

Abigail (Abi) Roman
Brooklyn Collaborative Studies
Hi :) I’m Abigail Roman. I’m currently in the 8th grade and I go to Brooklyn Collaborative Studies. I like to sing, draw, watch anime, and really do any type of project. I love to read and have been invested in all books ever since I was young. My biggest hobby is figure skating, which is what I want to do. My crew teacher told me that I would be a good fit for Powerhouse Arts since it seemed like it advocated for almost everything I’m interested in. During the interview I realized that it would be a good and fun experience for me.

Chloe Sanford
Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School
My name is Chloe Sanford. I currently attend Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School (BCAM) and am in the 11th grade. I like to draw in my spare time and bake. I used to read a lot, my favorites were fantasy books and slice of life-ish. I am currently taking pictures in the meantime as well. I wanted to join the Powerhouse Arts YAC because I am interested in art and want to go to school for studio art. I wanted to get more experience with things other than what I already know and to collaborate with different artists.

Elias Leon
Urban Assembly Maker Academy
I’m Elias Leon, a 12th grader at the Urban Assembly Maker Academy (UA Maker). My earliest influences involve walking around and eating a variety of delicious food with my dad in Chinatown. I am a music aficionado. I have been moving to music since before I could even sit up by myself. Even now, music is flowing all of the time. In addition to music, art is my life. I always have a sketchbook in hand. When I am not creating art, I like to get outside in the sunshine, travel to new places, explore and skateboard around the city with my friends. This is the reason Powerhouse Arts stood out to me as a super cool opportunity to learn and meet other youth artists. The YAC will make art a more serious career path.

Kaliyha Mayers
Stephen T. Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School
Hi, my name is Kaliyha Mayers. I am in the 11th grade and go to Stephen T. Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School. Some of my hobbies include dancing, art, sleeping, running, and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Due to the pandemic, I have picked up the hobby of binge-watching movies and tv shows. I have watched countless shows over time. But one of my favorite hobbies is art. It allows me to express myself in various ways and have a creative imagination. I joined Powerhouse Arts YAC because I like what it represents, the opportunities, and many learning activities it provides. Also, I admire how students get a voice in the youth programs. Being a YAC member will be beneficial because it will allows me to grow professionally and artistically.

Kimberly (Kiki) Castro
Williamsburg High School for Architecture & Design
My name is Kimberly Castro. I’m currently in 11th grade and attend the Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design (WHSAD). I’ve started to become very interested in art and its many different forms. I’ve always loved to read and at this point I think that’s my favorite thing to do in my free time. I like to write pretty much anything, even poems. My teacher told me I would be a great fit for Powerhouse Arts, and once I got my interview and got a sense of what this program was going to be about I immediately knew that’s what I was look for: new experiences, meet new people, learn from experts, and if possible have the opportunity to work on hands on projects.

William (Liam) Rice
Urban Assembly Maker Academy
Hi, I’m Liam Rice and I am in the 10th grade at Urban Assembly Maker Academy (UA Maker). In my spare time I love reading, taking photos and videos with my friends, attempting to bake, cycling, and I never go a day without listening to music. I’m currently learning French and can speak it at an A2 level. My favorite thing about the city is the culture it holds. There are so many different people from so many different backgrounds and it feels like it will take a lifetime and a half to learn just half about what there is to learn about NYC. I love exploring the different parks, neighborhoods, and especially bookstores! Powerhouse Arts YAC really stood out to me because they’re reaching out to the community to help create programs for youth by youth. I think that this could be really beneficial to our city and will help give more arts education and experience to youth.