October 11, 2022

Statement from SAY Si

Recently, some members of the SAY Si staff announced their interest in organizing a union. The board of SAY Si fully supports staff’s right to organize. We have decided to proceed to a secret ballot election governed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in order to give this effort its full democratic process. We respect the voting rights of every eligible employee and want to ensure all affected have the opportunity to exercise their rights. The SAY Si Board intends to support the NLRB’s decisions and will be 100% accountable to any directives they provide. And, we will honor the outcome of the election as determined by our staff.

SAY Si has worked diligently over the past 30 years to nurture social justice through art, and we remain committed to this mission and to our students. We appreciate both our staff and the community who have helped us build and grow our programs over the past three decades. We look forward to continuing to provide meaningful programming for our community’s children in the years to come.

Jason Moran, Board President

SAY Si

October 3, 2022

Dear SAY Sí Community,

For almost 30 years, Say Sí has nurtured social justice through art. We’ve grown from an enrollment of just 12 students in 1994 to almost 300 students every semester, currently.  We remain committed to the community we serve and look forward to continued growth in our new location.

Recently, you may have heard SAY Sí staff announce their interest to unionize. The SAY Sí board respect staff’s right to unionize. You may read our full response in the attachment.

The board assures you that we are all dedicated to ensuring there is no disruption to SAY Sí classes or events as staff exercises their rights. SAY Sí continues to be a safe and welcoming place for your students to attend.  You may have many questions, so we are developing an FAQ to be made public soon. I also invite you to feel free to e-mail me at jsn.moran10@gmail.com if you have any additional questions or concerns.

We are honored that you’ve chosen SAY Sí as a safe place for your child to harness their creativity and look forward to working with you to enrich the SAY Sí community. 

 Sincerely,

Jason Moran

SAY Sí Board President

Board Response to SAY Sí Staff

Say Si respects the rights of our staff to form or organize a union at work.  These rights are guaranteed by federal labor law and the government agency empowered to protect those rights is the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”).  For over 50 years, the NLRB has also conducted thousands of secret ballot union elections for workers to cast their votes on whether to unionize or not. 

After carefully evaluating the request for voluntary recognition, Say Si has determined that if a union seeks representation rights over our staff, they should file an election petition with the NLRB.  That way the NLRB can decide voter eligibility issues, including which of our staff are legally entitled to vote, and when a democratic election can be held. 

We understand some may be disappointed in our decision not to recognize the union based on union authorization cards alone but we believe firmly in the principle of allowing our staff to participate in a secret ballot election. 

Should the union file an election petition, Say Si will abide by the NLRB’s rules and regulations in order to effectuate a free and fair election.  If an election is held, Say Si will respect the decision the majority of voters make in that election.

We remain open to engaging in dialogue about this important workplace issue and taking your questions.

Thank you for all you do.  




August 23, 2022

Dear SAY SÍ Community,
Over the last year, local nonprofits have worked tirelessly to provide critical leadership and community
support to benefit the San Antonio area. These leaders have steadfastly undertaken their work while
confronting challenges such as inflation, labor shortages, deepening political divides, and continued
operational adjustments required by COVID-19.  Whatever words you want to use to describe current
times, we can no longer use “unprecedented” as we move into this next school semester. The valuable
work and impact of SAY Sí continues to be vital to advance a just, equitable and resilient community.
The SAY Sí board of directors stands ready to support organizational changes required to usher in the
next era of work. In that effort, we will be sharing important decisions and announcements on this
NEWS section of our website.
This month, we have
– Accepted the resignations of Nicole Amri and Stephen Garza-Guzman on August 8, 2022.
– Appointed Mary Ann Beach as Interim Executive Director on August 10 for a period of 60-days.
– Established a formal Search Committee to initiate a process for selecting a new Executive
Director, under the leadership of Melanie Mendez Gonzales, existing board member.
We are fortunate to have such gifted leaders within the SAY Sí family to take the leadership reins
immediately and help us achieve our vital mission.  Please join me in thanking existing staff and board
members alike for their resilience and patience through this leadership transition.



Sincerely,
Jason Moran
SAY Sí Board President
SAY Sí Graduate
SAY Sí Parent




Aug 4, 2022

To Our Community, 

It is with great sadness that we share our resignation from SAY Sí. We have a collective 29 years at this wonderful organization (Stephen for 10 years and Nicole for 19 years). 

In the last couple of years, we worked with our staff and students to move from crisis-mode to creating safe-space again, both emotionally and physically, in a new time, a new building and a new neighborhood. We are proud to know that the efforts we made helped SAY Sí recover after the trauma we collectively experienced. SAY Sí students are laughing and making art together again, staff are happy to feel connected again and alumni and past supporters have been stopping by to see us! Every chance the public has had to join us has been successful and new partners and ways of fundraising are blooming. These are all confirmations of health and rejuvenation.

The work of social justice continues through the art, creativity and collective vision shared by our teaching artists, students, alumni and community members. We depart knowing that SAY Sí’s mission continues through them. To our colleagues, thank you for your wonderful partnership, mentorship and collective impact for the good of San Antonio youth.

We look forward to what’s next for SAY Sí. Stay tuned for updates from the board of directors.

With so much love,
Stephen and Nicole





May 24, 2022

Beginning Summer 2022, all classes will be held in-person in order to offer the best arts experience for our students. We strongly encourage all enrolled students to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 for the safety and health of our families, staff, and community.

Covid-19 safety practices, class sizes, and studio schedules are still subject to change as we continue to monitor the risk of Covid-19 spread in our local area. We aim to notify our students and caregivers of any upcoming changes as soon as they occur.

As a reminder, our safety practices at SAY Sí require everyone to:

  • self-screen for ANY symptoms before coming to SAY Sí and stay home if not feeling well
  • maintain a minimum of 4-foot distance from others at all times possible
  • wear their masks at all times while in the building (N95 masks are HIGHLY recommended for studio use)
  • take snack outdoors
  • maintain a minimum of 6-foot distance when mask is removed outdoors
  • sanitize everything used
  • wash their hands thoroughly

SAY Sí COVID-19 Safety Policies:

Daily Protocols:

Self Screen – Symptom Check

  • Students will be required to self-screen using the list below before coming to SAY Sí. 
    •  Cough
    •  Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    •  Chills
    •  Repeated shaking with chills
    •  Muscle pain
    •  Headache
    •  Sore throat
    •  Loss of taste or smell
    •  Diarrhea
    •  Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Known unmasked and prolonged close contact (Someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19 or have been displaying symptoms of COVID-19 in recent days

Student should stay home and inform their instructor if they have any of the previous new or worsening signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19.

Student/Family Responsibilities:

  • Upon arrival, you MUST enter from the FRONT DOOR. 
  • Individuals should avoid being in a group larger than 10 individuals in close proximity. In studios, meaning one instructor per group of 9 students maintaining the required 6 feet distance between students.
  • Staff, students and visitors should be wearing masks at all times when indoors.
  • When eating, staff, students and all visitors will need to separate themselves from others while their mask is removed. Staff and students must eat outside as permissible, but are allowed to eat inside if weather is not favorable and all present parties consent.
  • If outside: Masks can be removed if 6 ft distance maintained. New and extra masks will be offered for students who need a replacement due to sweat.
  • If SAY Sí provides a meal for employees, volunteers, contractors, and/or participants, it is recommended to have the meal individually packed for each individual. Snacks should be gathered and prepared by instructors before the arrival of students; Snacks should be pre-packed and handed out by staff member/picked up by student one-at-a-time.
  • Parents or guardians should monitor the health of their child and not send them to the program if they are displaying any symptom of COVID. Please refer to the self-screening checklist.  
  • If parents or guardians suspect their child may have COVID, they should seek testing promptly and report results to the program given the implications for other children, families, and staff.
  • In the event that a student gets COVID-19, student may return to the studio when the following criteria are met: at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications); the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath);  if symptomatic: 10 days have passed since first symptoms; if asymptomatic: 10 days have passed since positive test.



February 24, 2022

To the trans children in our community, you are not alone.

You have a community that supports you. We will continue to stand in solidarity with you and your families. We urge those who work with young people to recognize that gender-affirming care helps trans youth survive AND thrive, and targeting the most marginalized in our communities is harmful. Any other guidance runs contrary to the recommendations of the largest professional medical organizations in the nation.

It is our mission to ignite the creative power of young people as forces of positive change. SAY Sí remains a safe space for ALL young people to find their power. If you would like to learn more about the importance of gender-affirming care, we encourage you to follow San Antonio Gender Association, The Trevor Project, & Transgender Education Network of Texas.

If you would like to take action in support of trans youth and their families, we encourage you to follow Equality Texas & Southwest Workers Union for details on how you can contact state officials and leadership.




August 30, 2021

SAY Sí Staff and Leadership have worked through pandemic, construction and snow storms to get to move into our new home and be reunited with our community. As we begin to serve in-person again, we are keeping in mind the health and safety of our young people and the responsible mentors who care for them.

For that reason, the COVID-19 vaccine is a requirement to learn, work and create in-person at SAY Sí. ALL outside visitors must be scheduled during the day when students are not in our building and all folx in our building must wear a mask and follow our in-person safety protocols. Before participating in-person for sessions all students will need to submit their vaccine card or other proof of receipt of the vaccine. We will add more information and updated registration forms to family-portal and email them out on Monday.

We will continue to offer virtual sessions for those students not eligible or able to be vaccinated. Being at SAY Sí may look different right now than it did before COVID-19, but we are still committed to creating a safe and healthy space for San Antonio youth. The new less-intense requirements for high schoolers are to respect the staff’s capacity, our adapting to new safety and cleaning protocols and to respond to the adjustment of your school-lives. Your help in respecting the safety protocols is how you can do your part to keep our community healthy and COVID-free.

FAQ ABOUT SAY Sí In-Person Work

How did you come to this decision?
In making decisions about how to keep all learners healthy and cared for and our staff safe, SAY Sí leadership is closely monitoring CDC guidelines and the advice of our local health officials. Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools and extracurricular programs safely return to in-person learning. It is our intention to do both. Based on a large number of our students having received the vaccine our staff has decided to re-introduce in-person learning with this cohort of students first.

Understandably, as a local nonprofit our resources and staff capacity are limited so we are designing our programs and schedules to serve as many students as we can while minimizing risk of spreading the virus. This is beginning with our vaccinated students.

Why do only vaccinated students get to return to in person?
For the first time in our 27 years, the risk of spreading a life-threatening illness to and amongst the young people who make up SAY Sí is our top barrier to providing learning experiences. To describe the challenge of serving San Antonio youth in the most equitable and community-focused way we can as “difficult” is an understatement. The staff of SAY Sí have taken into consideration the multiple health circumstances and needs of our students when designing a schedule of providing safe learning opportunities for all.

At this time, the decision to work with unvaccinated youth virtually allows those unvaccinated students to participate safely from home with no risk of contracting COVID-19 through their SAY Sí activities. In addition, any in-person opportunities that have been opened to vaccinated students is in limited number and exposure time in the building. This slow introduction of more students is going to teach us how to stay safe, sanitized and social distanced while being teaching and mentoring.

How long until students can return to in-person regardless of vaccine status?
SAY Sí teaching artists and staff make their own decisions about their personal safety in performing their jobs and delivering SAY Sí’s mission. These decisions are informed by the guidance of the CDC and San Antonio’s health leaders. We are monitoring the risk level our city is at and the positivity cases occuring for schools and families. After agreeing on what we are able to safely offer we hold our students safety and well-being as central to how we create programming. If and when the risk level and positivity rate is lower and the number of vaccinated community members is safer we can review our protocols and program offerings.

What if my child isn’t eligible for the vaccine or otherwise cannot safely get vaccinated?
We absolutely understand some health needs and other circumstances can keep a young person from receiving the vaccine therefore will continue online programming for those students at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.




February 12, 2021

Thanks for checking in on us. Our resiliency through this time has only been possible because of our community of support –  students, their families, the dedicated staff and board leaders, donors and volunteers and people like you. From the packs of pencils left in our art supply donation bin to large gifts from responsive donors and everything in between – you stepped up to help us get through this challenging time. 

As we are now into 2021, we want to share with you some news about where we are right now, and where we hope to see ourselves throughout the year. 

We’ve Moved

As of December 2020, we have officially moved out of our Southtown facility. Construction on the first phase of our 98,000sq ft facility located at 1310 South Brazos is expected to be complete this year, and we look forward to welcoming staff and students into their new home. Stay tuned for details as we work to prepare the space for the general public later this year. 

Our Programs Continue

Our programs are still virtual for now, and we are committed to being a community of support for those young artists part of our year-round long-term programs. While we are hoping to be able to start recruitment by summer we would like to direct any interested young artists to our ABC Art Studio Anywhere Online Maker Studio. There you’ll find creative videos to help build and expand your creative portfolio. In addition, we urge you to follow us on social media for any public offerings like upcoming workshops. In addition, we urge you to follow us on social media for any public offerings like upcoming workshops. 

We’re Counting On You

We’ve been fortunate and grateful to have public support from Councilwoman Gonzales and the City of San Antonio, and Bexar County Commissioner Rodriguez, and Bexar County, and recently The Charles Butt Foundation and David and Deborah Rogers provided grants to get the first phase of construction started at the historic 1310 S. Brazos warehouse.

However, there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done, and we are still raising funds for the completion of the project. Please help us by spreading the word about our ongoing Capital Campaign and, if you are able, no investment is too small. Every donation lays another brick in the foundation of SAY Sí’s future on the westside.

What’s Next?

Right now, we are looking forward to settling into our new home and welcoming our community when the first phase of the project is complete. As we take our first steps into the westside, we think it’s important to take this time to reset and assess what’s next. Part of that is hearing from our community. We are distributing a community survey that will allow us to get quality feedback about how you interact with us and what you’d like to see more of in these next steps of our journey. You can find that survey HERE

And COVID?

We are an organization that is invested in the success and care of youth in our city. We are eager to work in person with our youth again, but only when it is safe to do so. Our leadership is currently working with others to advocate for teachers, educators and youth practitioners to be among those regularly tested and also vaccinated for COVID-19. 
We are committed to continue to engage with the community online through social media and our ABC Art Studio Anywhere maker space at saysi.org. We hope that our videos and content inspire you to be creative and find art in your everyday life.




SEPTEMBER 17, 2020

To Our SAY Sí Community,

At SAY Sí we believe that our work and the arts have the power to heal, lift, and build community. Creatives have this instinctual process to problem solve, try new ideas, push through obstacles, and connect all of the pieces that make us whole.  

During this time, we wanted to share an update on our work and future.  


Providing Resources to Our Youth & Families: 

SAY Sí has always been looked at as a local and national model in support of creative and lifelong learning for young people. Our model, and that focus, continue now more than ever. Early on during the pandemic, we recognized that we needed to meet our students where they were and build new structures to support them and their families. This summer with the current city, country, and global virus issues growing, we partnered with funders, school districts, and local organizations to make sure that all our students who needed technology devices and hotspots have them, both for our creative programs and for their educational achievement.

Virtual Programming Through Fall: 

Since March, when students could not return to school or in-person programming, our staff worked brilliantly to shift and change, to use our creative talents and experience to continue to provide virtual creative learning and to also focus on our strengths with trauma-informed care. 

This has included a shift in SAY Sí events, with our first virtual showcase of student work in July and more planned throughout the fall.

Again, the creative power of transformation, from both our staff and students, has helped build this new learning model. We know that working together, with you, and our community, that our students will emerge from this time stronger and more resilient. 

At SAY Sí, we believe strongly in the power of science and data and do not intend to put our students or staff health and lives at risk. So we will not start in-person learning until we can confirm it is safe to do so. This may mean waiting for a vaccine.

Expanded Community Learning Resources:

Recently we also redesigned our home page to strengthen our reach beyond our core students.  We designed ABC Art Studio Anywhere, an Online Makerspace that provides free arts and community resources to everyone.  We have adapted our community programs that serve SAISD schools and organizations like Clarity Child Guidance Center and University Health System’s hospitals and clinics.  These programs are run by alumni and talented teaching artists.  Later this month, we have scheduled our second free art supply pick-up for the community in an ongoing effort to get creative resources in the hands of San Antonio youth.

SAY Sí’s Move to 78207:

Many have asked about our move to 78207, the westside of San Antonio. The current health crisis has delayed our hope to be there soon – but we will get there slowly but surely.  That beautiful building at 1310 South Brazos, by the Apache Creek, in the cultural heart of our city, is ours and we are revising our timeline and budget to accommodate starting small and building and growing, just the way we began 25 years ago.


We want to thank our community of funders that have allowed us to shift our programming focus that has supported our commitment to investing in our students and staff.  The remainder of this year is looking different for all of us, and we are forecasting what 2021 will look like in our new spaces. We are also spending some time reimagining what that future looks like, again something artists and creatives do well.  

Thanks to our staff, students, and families for their unwavering support and understanding.  Shout out to our Board of Directors, leadership council, and campaign committee members, as they have not missed a beat.  

So again, from ALL of us – WE thank you!
¡Adelante!


For Questions, email info@saysi.org

For Media/Press Inquiries, email jessica@saysi.org