Founded in 2011 with the generous support of an individual donor, the Y-Arts Scholars Program provides scholarships for talented Syracuse youth with demonstrated financial need. Each year, Y-Arts Scholars provides nearly 300 scholarships for such programs as visual arts workshops, music lessons, Arts Camp, and the Young Authors Academy--all at no charge to the students' families.

Our hope is to continue to expand the Y-Arts Scholars program, to provide even more scholarships in the future. To do that, we need your support! To find out how you can help or to find out how your child can participate, please call Arts Branch Executive Director Phil Memmer at 474-6851 x328, or email

The Y-Arts Scholars program receives major support from Delta Air Lines. Thank you, Delta Air Lines, for making it possible for our talented youth to participate in the arts.

Y-Arts Scholar Kamel Billue

Kamel Billue started playing guitar in fifth grade at McKinley Brighton Elementary School’s After School Program, meeting two days a week for two hours. But it quickly became evident that this was not enough guitar-playing for the enthusiastic young musician. Kamel has been a member of the Y-Arts Scholars since 2015, taking private lessons once a week at our Arts Branch in the Downtown YMCA. With Kamel’s continuing passion for music, we can expect great things in the future!