Storyboard Arts Initiative exists to inspire teenagers to fall in love with the creative process by celebrating authentic self-expression, incubating creative impulses, inspiring excellence, and offering artistic opportunities that benefit the community.

To inspire teenagers to fall in love with the creative process… We believe in the inherent value in the very process of creating. Regardless of the end product, the act of engaging in creativity is deeply healthy. The creative process exercises courage; emotional intelligence; critical thinking; the ability to make connections; appreciation of story; the development of skill; and high levels of vulnerability, patience, endurance, and boldness. The creative process is a process of celebrating uniqueness and finding ways to offer that uniqueness to the world as a constructive contribution.

…by celebrating authentic self-expression… In our ad-driven and social media-saturated society, truly authentic expressions of the complexities of the human experience are countercultural. Each attempt to dive beneath the superficial and express emotion in a way that engages beauty, truth, and justice deserves a true celebration. SAI creates spaces for those kinds of expressions and a culture of that kind of celebration.

…incubating creative impulses… Creative impulses are fragile. Moments of inspiration are unpredictable and when they do present themselves they are vulnerable to countless perils: self-doubt, distraction, lack of vision, lack of resources, etc. On the other hand, inspiration breeds inspiration. When immersed in a community of creativity, inspiration grows into action and results in meaningful, finished projects. SAI creates a culture that inspires— a culture that combats self-doubt with unconditional hospitality and generous listening; overcomes the threat of distraction with focused art challenges, competitions and presentation opportunities; instills vision for a healthier and more beautiful future; and resources students with creative opportunities.

…inspiring excellence… Artistic excellence is not a requirement for authentic human expression, but it does enhance its impact. As artistic craftsmanship is honed, the ability to articulate complex concepts in an emotionally engaging way becomes increasingly precise. As pre-teens and teenagers grow in their self-awareness, cultural awareness, and gain the cognitive capacities to think critically, their ability to engage in meaningful conversations regarding the integration of beauty, truth, and justice will grow in proportion with their practical artistic and communicative skills. SAI provides craft-specific feedback groups, artistic exploratory events, performance opportunities, educational conferences, and publication opportunities for students to aid and inspire students to grow in their artistic craft.

…and providing them with artistic opportunities that benefit the community. SAI provides opportunities for students to connect their art to the community through visual arts competitions, open mic nights, performances, and other forms of creative community engagement. Introducing student art projects into the community serves to beautify public spaces, inspire others toward constructive authentic expression, and amplify the voices of our future culture influencers.

SAI Values  kindness, generous listening; expressive authenticity; cultural diversity; eagerness to learn; and the integration of beauty, truth, and justice.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who is SAI for? – SAI is for every 13-18 year-old interested in expressing themselves–whether or not they consider themself an “artist” or are pursuing a career in the arts. We intentionally provide experiences in a wide spectrum of artforms and believe in the inherent value of the artistic process itself. Students coming from all backgrounds and moving toward any career path will benefit from learning to express themselves in more precise ways, listening generously to others, and engaging in the thoughtful integration of beauty, truth, and justice. SAI’s commitment to unconditional hospitality and generous listening creates a safe environment to experiment with modes of self-expression while being heard, accepted, and encouraged.

How Do I Get Involved?  – There is no membership fee or time commitment requirement to be involved in Storyboard Arts Initiative. Sign up for our mailing list and follow our social media to be in touch. We’ll post every event, group, and competition on those platforms and you can choose which events will benefit you. The more you hang around our events and feedback groups, the more friends you’ll make and the more inspired and equipped you’ll be to create meaningful things.

Is SAI a Religious Organization? While we are supported by Grace Church, our values of cultural diversity; expressive authenticity; unconditional hospitality; generous listening; eagerness to improve in artistic craftsmanship; and the integration of beauty, truth, and justice are applicable to people from all systems of belief and SAI is committed to respectful dialogue between artists with diverse worldviews.

What are the Submission Guidelines for the Storyboard Blog? We believe that engaging in the creative process is an inherently healthy practice, regardless of its content. However, this doesn’t mean every creative expression should be publicized. Some creative expressions are personal, others need time to develop, and still others are well-suited for a specific occasion or audience and not as well-suited for the general public. In order for the SAI Board to approve blog submissions, they must be appropriate for the general public and align with the SAI purpose and values. Therefore all published blogs will be:

  • Authentic
  • Embody kindness
  • Culturally sensitive
  • Constructively explore concepts related to truth, beauty, and/or justice

All Storyboard Submissions and Performances will be free from:

  • Overtly sexual themes or nudity
  • Profanity or strongly disturbing content
  • Endorsement of the use of drugs or alcohol
  • Hateful or discriminatory language or messages

Have any questions? Contact storyboardartsinitiative@gmail.com!

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