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Poetry and Storytelling with the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Program and 826 Valencia

August 6, 2022, 11:00 am4:00 pm
Oakland Youth Poet Laureate poets

2022 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate poets. Image courtesy of the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program.

Join us for a daylong celebration of poetry and storytelling with 826 Valencia and the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program. Enjoy a zine making activity, poetry readings, and a pop-up library. Hear Bay Area teens read powerful, original poems created in response to the Obama portraits and works from our permanent collection.

This event is part of a three-part series celebrating The Obama Portraits Tour at the de Young museum in collaboration with long-standing Bay Area youth organizations: Youth Art Exchange, First Exposures, and 826 Valencia, showcasing youth art, creativity, and activism in the Bay Area.


  • 11–4 pm: Zine making activity (all ages), de Young Café terrace 
  • 11–4 pm: 826 Valencia pop-up library, de Young Café terrace
  • 11–12 pm: Youth poets in the galleries, Location TBD 
  • 1–3 pm: Youth poets in the galleries, Location TBD


  • Kaylan Black, 2021 & 2022 Vice Oakland Youth Poet Laureate
  • Dara Kashayar, 2021 & 2022 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate finalist
  • Myra Estrada, 2021 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate
  • Bria Woodland, Oakland Youth Poet Laureate team member 
  • Maya Raveneau-Bey, Oakland Youth Poet Laureate team member

About 826 Valencia and the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program

826 Valencia is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting under-resourced students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. 826 Valencia is currently celebrating 20 years of service.

The Oakland Youth Poet Laureate program is an unprecedented citywide effort to celebrate literacy through poetry and connect young writers to far-reaching opportunities. Each year, the program welcomes talented Oakland writers (ages 13 to 18) to join a community of young poets.

About the Exhibition

From the moment of their unveiling at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in February 2018, the official portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama became iconic. The artists behind the portraits, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, have throughout their careers addressed the lack of Black representation in Western art history, using portraiture to explore complex issues of identity. Wiley and Sherald are the first African Americans to be commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to create official portraits of a president or first lady. The Obama Portraits Tour is a nationwide tour expected to reach millions who might not otherwise have an opportunity to view these remarkable paintings.

COVID-19 Guidance 

Masking is strongly recommended but no longer required for members of the public or employees while in the museum.

Ticket Information

This is a free activity, taking place during The Obama Portraits Tour.

Contact Information

Public Programs
(415) 750-7694