Arts education programs nationwide have faced drastic defunding in recent years, but some organizations remain resilient in their support of young artists. Local nonprofit SAY Sí has been providing San Antonio’s youth with quality, tuition-free artistic education for over 20 years. Their ALAS Youth Theatre Company encourages students to use their life experiences, ideas and observations to create original productions. A local educator and musician, Dr. Marco Cervantes believes in empowering young minds and the use of artistic expression to advocate for social issues. His hip-hop alter ego Mexican Stepgrandfather is part of the Afro-Chicano ensemble Third Root
. Their music, which he labels “scholarly rap,” is filled with messages about socio-economic divides, social injustice and uniting communities. A National Poetry Month collaboration between Cervantes and ALAS, “No Filters” offers SAY Sí students a platform to share their original music, poetry, and performance pieces at two shows preceded by open mic sessions. $5 (free for youth), 7-9pm Fri, Apr. 14 & Sat, Apr. 15, SAY Sí, 1518 S. Alamo St., (210) 212-8666, saysi.org.