Youth Are Creative. It’s no secret that our community’s youth are engaged in a wide variety of activities and according to the 2017 Youth Assessment Survey, 94% of teens in Ottawa County report participating in a community activity this year. As our Youth Advisory Council seeks to create platforms and various avenues for our youth to express their thoughts, ideas, and opinions in meaningful and engaged ways, they developed a Youth Arts Showcase to highlight the creative side of many of the high school students in our community.   

From November 5 to the showcase evening on November 9, photography, paintings, drawings, and creative writing covered the walls at Jumpin’ Java for the community to see. Many artists were present at the showcase event where students were also selected to perform musical pieces. At the end of the evening, the YAC members tallied the votes for the People’s Choice piece(s) and also announced the Community Award – the piece of art that best captures the spirit of youth in our community – as well as the Judge’s Choice award.  

The following pieces were selected:  

  • People’s Choice (Creative Writing): I Invite, by Faith Stevens 
  • People’s Choice (Art): The Best Smile and a Heart Full of Love, by Addelyn Wachter 
  • Judge’s Choice: Paul Moffett 
  • Community Award: Coast Guard photo, by Carlos Rappleye

Community Award:
Coast Guard Photo
by Carlos Rappleye

Judge’s Choice:
by Paul Moffett

People’s Choice – Art:
The Best Smile and a Heart Full of Love
by Addelyn Wachter


People’s Choice – Creative Writing:
Faith Stevens

i invite
flowers to wrap around
my limbs and my brain and my heart
to suffocate the weeds
keeping me hostage for years.


While they didn’t submit them in the Art Showcase, members of YAC shared their own creative writing pieces, which we’ve assembled in a PDF that you can download. We’re very proud of their work!

Learn more about our Youth Advisory Council here, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.