• To foster a love of arts as a vehicle for self-expression and civic engagement among young people in San Mateo County.
  • To build community through arts and culture with the goal of greater youth involvement in the community.
  • To highlight the role of arts and culture in STEAM and other public discourse.


  • Open to artists aged 15 to 19.
  • Specializing in one or more art disciplines (ex. literary, visual arts, theater, music, digital, etc.).
  • Experience in community events, projects, or outreach (desired).
  • Able to serve as Youth Cultural Ambassador for one year beginning July 2023.
  • Be a San Mateo County resident.
  • Up to five (5) Youth Cultural Ambassadors will be appointed, including a Youth Poetry Ambassador.



  • Visit to complete an online application form. Deadline to submit your application is May 31, 2023. (You will be asked to attach an Artist Statement and 3-5 work samples. An Artist Statement is a description of your work, i.e., how you create art and why you do what you do.)


  • Application open May 1 – May 31, 2023.
  • Panel review in early June.
  • Appointment of Youth Cultural Ambassadors in June for a term to start July 1, 2023, and end June 30, 2024.
  • One of the Youth Cultural Ambassadors will assume the role of San Mateo County Youth Poetry Ambassador.
  • Each Ambassador will receive an honorarium of $500.


  • Develop and execute an arts/culture-related project that will engage the community on any of the following themes: identity and belonging; mental health and healing; environment and sustainability; education and learning. Can work in collaboration with a library, school, or other organizations.
  • Participate in organizing an Ambassador’s Convening event for middle and high school students during Spring Break 2024.
  • For Youth Poetry Ambassador: Twice yearly readings at Board of Supervisors meetings and assist with the promotion of the San Mateo County Poetry Out Loud competition.

This program will be implemented by San Mateo County Poet Laureate Emerita Aileen Cassinetto in its inaugural year.


For more information, please email