Youth Artist-in-Residency Program

Located at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Seattle

A program for youth (13-18) who are or aspiring to be visual artists, writers, musicians, and other awesome makers and creators. Schedule flexible with school.

Artists have created art in national parks since the late 19th century when famed Hudson River School painters captured the majestic views of our nation’s western parks. Today, the sights and sounds in national parks continue to inspire artists in more than 50 residency programs across the country.


  • Develop professionally and personally through mentorship, networking, and more through tailored meaningful engagement 
  • Receive necessary tools to become leaders in your communities and progressing along your National Park Service journey
  • Receive a stipend and/or school credit for your contributions


The Youth Artist-in-Residence Program empowers youth to share their stories and challenge traditional narratives of national parks with their communities through art.

The Youth Artist-in-Residence (YAIR) Program is a youth-driven experience that truly celebrates youth voices with national parks, local sites, and community partners through artful collaborations. Youth artists (ages 13-18) are welcomed into their national park in Pioneer Square, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park – Seattle (KLSE), to engage with communities through art.

Youth projects may appear in community showcases hosted by the national park and neighboring sites as well as on digital platforms, such as the park’s website and social media accounts.

Youth artists will have flexibility in choosing their platform to showcase their projects. This could be a showcase at KLSE during a Pioneer Square First Thursday Art Walk or a hands-on art project at a community tabling event in the Chinatown-International District; the YAIR Program desires the youth artist to compose their own narrative with National Park Service support.

The YAIR Program is important because youth voices matter. Youth are the next generation of stewards for our lands, stories, and cultures. Showcasing youth voices through art allows a message to be shared across language and culture.


Since 2013, IMBY has served over 70 youth volunteer interns through six cohorts collaborating each summer to increase a sense of belonging for youth in our shared public lands through experiences in Seattle with community partners and mentorship from NPS staff. The YAIR Program formed through feedback from recent cohorts that a paid program highlighting youth voices exclusively through art is needed.

In 2019, the IMBY cohort composed of 14 youth created a temporary exhibit at KLSE called, A Place at the Park. Each of the 14 youth shared what they would like to experience in their ideal national park. From LEGO models of their park’s visitor center to painted landscapes on canvas, an exhibit was formed and supported by our park’s first YAIR. With the success of this temporary exhibit last year, the YAIR and IMBY Program will continue to collaborate.