Writing & Performance Workshops are the heart of Youth Speaks. We come together weekly with an amazing poet mentor to imagine, write, share, and rehearse. Sign up today!

September 2023 – May 2024

Writing and Performance Workshops are an excellent way to get involved in the Youth Speaks community while developing your voice amongst a fun and friendly group of participants. For 12-16 weeks, a small cohort of young people from throughout San Francisco and beyond join a Youth Speaks Teaching Artist and Guest Facilitators to imagine, write, share and rehearse in preparation for a culminating event or publication at the end of each semester.Workshops are open to anyone age 13-19 years old of all experience levels, regardless of geography. 

Workshops are held in-person at the Youth Speaks Office (265 Shotwell St, San Francisco) and online via Zoom. Interested in joining? 


“Maya Did It First” Workshop

From Hollywood’s first Black woman director to San Francisco’s first Black woman street car conductor, Dr. Maya Angelou holds many “firsts” to her name. In this semester-long writing & performance workshop series, teens will study the work of Dr. Maya Angelou and her literary descendants as they create their own original writing based on her legacy.

$500 stipend if you attend 8 of 10 workshops.

Every other Wednesday 3/13-6/20
Youth Speaks Office
265 Shotwell Street | SF


3/13, 3/27, 4/10, 4/24, 5/8, 5/15, 5/29, 6/12, 6/20, 6/21-Culminating Event

“After Angelou” Advanced Workshop

Following the "Maya Did It First" workshop series, 5-7 experienced youth poets, alums, and local artists who have participated in the first series of workshops will be engaged and prepared to write new, original performance poems in direct response to the work of Angelou.

Poets will engage in a deep study of Angelou’s style and themes as well as their own lived experiences to inform their own artmaking. This series will end in a culminating collective performance on September 19th, 2024 for the unveiling of the Dr. Maya Angelou statue at the SF Library.

$500 stipend if you are selected to participate in the advanced workshop (7 spots)


August 7 Youth Speaks Office
August 21 TBD (Preferred Location -SFPL but will keep at Youth Speaks Office if not)
September 4 Youth Speaks Office
September 18 (Rehearsal)
September 19 (Unveiling)


After-School Writing Workshop Takeover
with Kingmakers of Oakland & Beats Rhymes and Life

1st Wednesdays in SF | 3rd Thursdays in Oakland
February 7-May 23

Attend 6 out of 8 workshops to earn $300


  • February 7, 2024 - SF Workshop & Open Studio 1
  • February 22, 2024 - Oakland Workshop & Open Studio 2
  • March 6, 2024 - SF Workshop & Open Studio 3 
  • March 21, 2024 - Oakland Workshop & Open Studio 4 
  • April 3, 2024 - SF Workshop & Open Studio 5
  • April 18, 2024 - Oakland Workshop & Open Studio 6
  • May 1, 2024 - SF Workshop & Open Studio 7
  • May 23, 2024 - Oakland Workshop & Open Studio 8
  • May 24, 2024 - MC Olympics Competition