A young boy skates on the ramps during the skate competition at the 15th Annual Youth Arts Festival at La Raza Park. Photo Vanessa Serpas

Potrero Del Sol Park, also known as “La Raza Park,” came alive with joy and creativity when youth and families filled it for the 15th Annual Urban Youth Arts Festival.

Spectators crowded around the skateboard competition, which featured very talented skaters of all ages – from toddlers to teenagers.

On the other side of the skate competition, skilled local artists created impressively intricate graffiti pieces.

Music helped to set the festive mood, with performances by local rappers and spoken word artists.

“The event is giving a good representation of the neighborhood.” said 20-year-old Angel Martinez, a San Francisco native.

He feels the Precita Eyes Urban Youth Arts Program was one he could have benefited from when he was in high school, so he appreciates what it does for the teenagers in the neighborhood.

Fred Alvarado, a coordinator of the Precita Eyes Youth Program, was pleased with the event and the new location. Previously the festival had taken place at Precita Park, but it was moved to Potrero Del Sol Park this year.

According to Alvarado, the goal of the festival is “creating a space where youth can feel safe and create their art.”

Alvarado has been involved with the festival for the past seven years and feels the event has become “generational” as he watches the kids he has worked with become young adults.

Courtnie Mundane, a new resident of San Francisco, expressed her excitement at seeing so many people at the festival and was amazed at the level of community involvement.

Mundane said the strong sense of community she saw at the event is “the heartbeat of the city.”

The festival was a success, and with the support of the community, it will likely continue to be for years to come.