SAY Sí began as a program under the umbrella of the King William Neighborhood Association in a space at the Blue Star Arts Complex [a large warehouse arts district south of downtown San Antonio]. Classes began in February of 1994 with 12 students from one high school, with studio sessions held three days a week. Since that time, SAY Sí has steadily grown to include over 100 students in its programs, with studio sessions held 4 days a week.  Additionally, SAY Sí’s outreach program ABC (Artists Building Communities) contributes art activities to a range of partner events.

1994: Inception

SAY Sí is launched as an umbrella program under the King William Neighborhood Association, 12 students from one high school, studio sessions held 3 days a week, 8 hours per week.

2000: SAY Sí Launches Media Arts Studio

SAY Sí launches its Media Arts Studio, a program committed to giving students marketable skills to pursue careers in commercial art, graphic design, advertising, printing, and publishing.

2000: SAY Sí Expands

Due to increased interest and need, programs outgrow its original 1800 square foot space and occupies twice the square footage in an adjacent space at the Blue Star Arts Complex.

2001: SAY Sí Launches Middle School Program

A year-round Saturday program for middle school students in both visual and media arts. SAY Sí employs its high school students to work as student instructors, allowing for reciprocally beneficial peer-to-peer mentoring.

2002:   National Recognition

SAY Sí received the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Awards, formerly Coming Up Taller.

2002: SAY Sí Expands

Programs takes over the older original space and adjacent studios, providing 3,500 square feet of programming space at Blue Star.

2005: SAY Sí Reaches A Tipping Point

Due to community need and the quality of its programming, SAY Sí reaches capacity in all its programs and begins conversations about looking for a new location to grow into.

2007: SAY Sí Moves into its own Building

After a successful 2.5 million dollar capital campaign, SAY Sí moves into SAY Sí Central, an 26,000 square foot converted warehouse originally built as a JAX brewery distribution site – now teaming with activity and bursting with new talent.

2007: SAY Sí Launches Theatre Arts Program

The program provides students interested in the performing arts with opportunities to develop their skills in acting, directing, playwriting, technical theatre, and stage management.

2010: SAY Sí Reaches Another Tipping Point

Due to continued community need and the quality of its programming, SAY Sí reaches capacity in all its programs and begins conversations about expanding its footprint to grow, allowing more students to join and expanding its opportunities for youth.

2013: SAY Sí Nationally Recognized by the Wallace Foundation

SAY Si highlighted as an exemplary national model in this report that offers some answers, including 10 principles for developing effective programming.

2013: SAY Sí Expands its Spaces

SAY Sí embarked on the final phase of the facility transformation, constructing middle school program spaces and expanding its gallery space in the undeveloped 6,000 square feet of underutilized storage space.

2014: 20th Anniversary for 2014

SAY Sí celebrates 20 years of creative youth development with its largest annual fundraiser, Small Scale Work for a Larger Cause. The organization’s reach grew from 12 students from one high school in 1994 to over 200 students from all of San Antonio’s school district in 2014 — in addition to serving 3,000 youth through the ABC (Artist Building Community) program.

2015: SAY Sí Launches New Game Design Program

The HIVE Studio [Home for Innovation and Video Ecology] a game design studio will be the newest program under SAY Sí’s nationally recognized youth development initiatives. The new program will be the only game design initiative in San Antonio during the out of school time, and one of the few programs across the country.

2021: SAY Sí moves to 1310 S. Brazos

During the COVID-19 pandemic, SAY Sí moves into a former industrial warehouse located at 1310 S. Brazos Street. Maintaining the original industrial design, the building is in the process of being renovated to suit SAY Sí’s needs, including a performance space, an onsite restaurant, a garden and interchangeable murals that will showcase collaborative art created by students and community members. The move will not only allow for more enrollment in SAY Sí’s tuition-free arts programs, accompanied by an expansion in program offerings such as courses in Culinary Arts, Digital Music Composition, Journalism and more.