Yarisa Diaz


As220 is an amazing artistic program. There is such a wide variety of artistic classes to choose from every semester with more and more new classes each semester. I’ve only been in the program for two semesters, yet I’ve already learned so much. In Photo Mem, I learned how to use an SLR camera. The film cameras are much harder to work with then your average digital camera. You must use the aperture to allow more or less light enters the lens so that a clear photo will come out. Also in Photo Mem, I learned how to print photos using film. It is an amazing experience to see the photo paper go from plain white to a beautiful image, just by using chemicals. That’s not all I’ve learned. Last semester and this semester, I am in vocals class. There, I am learning to hit notes by hearing them, to control my breathing and each semester we do a cover song and learn how to sing correctly with the other artists. This semester I am also in sewing and songwriting. In sewing, I am learning how to create things like bags and clothes with only fabric, thread and a sewing machine. In songwriting, I am learning how to become a lyricist, writing to beats and learning how to set up lyrics so my verse flows. I can safely say that I am learning a lot of artistic techniques that embrace my talents and help amplify them.

AS220 gives me many opportunities that school does not. My school is a college preparatory school, so the classes are mainly academically driven. Although the school does provide some artistic programs, nothing compares to AS220. The Youth studio helps me work on projects without really imposing ideas that the vast majority wants. The instructors listen to what us, the AS220 students, want in our program and they help us reach that that goal. AS220 is a place where I can grow artistically and where I can expand my talents into something more. AS220 also helps us build portfolios, giving us a resource we can fall back on when we need to demonstrate all the work all the work we’ve accomplished. It also provides connections to bigger organizations and shows our work to people on the outside, which is something we may have not been able to do before. This again is something the school cannot do, because they don’t really focus on the individual and how each person can expand.

On a more personal level, AS220 has become a second home for me. The instructors here provide us with support, as well as relating to us. In my case, I cannot embrace who I am and how I act in other places because it’s looked down upon to be as “foolish” as I am by many people. To me, it’s just my way of having fun in life, by acting hyper and spontaneous. My mental way of thinking is not accept by many but at AS220, it is accepted, embraced and valued. At AS220, I am allowed to be myself. For that, I appreciate this program, AS220.

Yarisa Diaz Photography

Yarisa Diaz Performance