Creating, recruiting for and implementing a pilot youth arts mentoring program in Vallejo was not so easy. 

But the end result, one Vallejo community member said, was a "win-win-win" situation. 

The "Out of Pocket Artistry" youth arts program, culminating in a downtown gallery reception set for Saturday night, was one of two community projects that came out of this year's Leadership Vallejo class. 

Member Andrea Garcia, who also serves as Touro University's director of external communications, said coordinating the moving pieces of the pilot program embodied the lessons she learned about working with team members in the Leadership Vallejo class. 

"When everyone has same the passion, same drive, the final result is magic," Garcia said. 

The program was designed to pull together 16 Vallejo students of all ages and pair them with local artists and businesses in an attempt to supplement arts education in the community, Garcia said. 

"It's good for the students to see that people in the community care enough to do something for them," Garcia said. "You don't want them to think they're out there by themselves, fending for themselves." 

The effort was made possible through partnerships and sponsorships from local businesses. 

Likewise, the energy by the idea was focused into a community project via the Leadership Vallejo program. 

Leadership Vallejo is an eight-month leadership training course whose sixth class graduates Friday. Participant groups within each class are expected to dream up and execute community-improving projects.

Garcia's group went to Jeanette McCree-Goudeau, of the McCree-Goudeau Gallery -- incidentally, where Saturday's art reception will be held -- for suggestions on crafting a youth-oriented community project, Garcia and McCree-Goudeau said.

"Possibly, this can be the lead-in to an ongoing program, since they don't have much to offer them in schools," said McCree-Goudeau, who has worked in tandem with husband Cleve "Goodie" Goudeau to host youth art programs at local schools in the past. "We were thrilled to be able to give instruction, to give guidance and to help them in any way that we can."

The youth exhibit is expected to remain up through July, at least, with youth on hand to talk about the artwork during weekend openings. Special group visits during the week can also be prearranged through McCree-Goudeau.

Leadership Vallejo year seven program starts in September, for which applications are still available. For more information online, visit

Contact staff writer Jessica A. York at (707) 553-6834 or Follow her on Twitter @JYVallejo.

If you go

What: Leadership Vallejo student art show

Who: Vallejo students from fourth grade through high school

When: 6-8 p.m. Saturday

Where: McCree-Goudeau Gallery, 930 Marin St.

Perks: Free, drinks and light refreshment served

Information: McCree-Goudeau Gallery, 246-4991