First ExposuresFirst Exposures

This 2023-24 exhibition featured mentee works from First Exposures, a nationally recognized Bay Area youth arts nonprofit leveraging the power of mentoring relationships and photography to empower young people ages 11 through 21 to thrive, express themselves creatively, and become leaders in their communities. Through time spent in experiential learning environments like darkrooms, museums, and outdoor spaces, First Exposures envisions a world where supportive relationships, community engagement, and creative expression are celebrated as catalysts for change. Since 2004, over 95% of their mentees have gone on to pursue a college education with many returning to the program as mentors, teaching artists, and committed community members​​.

The Personal Is Political
Through analog and digital photography, the young artists of First Exposures delve into The Personal is Political. This concept, rooted in the feminist and civil rights movements of the 1960s, emphasizes the idea that understanding our own personal experiences can lead to a deeper understanding of the societal structures in which we live.

Using the personal to discover the political has long been a part of First Exposures’ pedagogy. From visualizing the impacts of climate change to destigmatizing mental health issues to using self portraiture as representation, these young artists’ work shows us how truly interconnected one’s inner world is to one’s outer world. Looking through the lenses of current and alumni young photographers, The Personal is Political embraces the wisdom and radical potential that each of our lives hold.

The Personal Is Political features works by Alejandra Zapanta Arroyo, Ty’ler Banks, Martin Bello, Frida Calvo-Huerta, Alexis Canche, Brennen Chan, Gisella Chan, Dijorn Cole, Sabrina Denman, Emilio Perez Duarte, Daniella Espinoza, Kunta Aungkh Heru Men Gary, Franchesca Hernandez, Henry Jimenez, Nicole Lee, Haley Ngow, Kimberly Ornelas, Itzel Perez-Alarcon, Delilah Ponton, Bridgette Joanna Carreon Ramirez, Lupe Reyes, Miranda Ruiz, Aliyah Saleh, Daya Wallace, Michelle Zhao, and Ezra Zimmer.

For more information about First Exposures visit

Click here to see what’s currently on view as part of the KQED Community Art Program.

KQED Live and PRX Podcast Garage ticket holders can view art up when doors open and up to one hour prior to scheduled events.

Art is located in the lower lobby corridor leading from the garage into the lower lobby, and in the community meeting room in The Commons lobby.

For questions about the community art program, please write to