About Us

Our Team

Gene Furchgott

Gene Furchgott

Executive Director

Elizabeth Bowers

Elizabeth Bowers

Assistant Executive Director

Lori Bate

Lori Bate

Director of Development

Katrina Grosek

Katrina Grosek

Assistant Director of Development

Our dedicated and professionally-trained staff is the essence and energy behind our mission.  Small but mighty, Yo Art isn’t possible without their strategizing, fundraising, number-crunching, and partnership building.

Our Mission

Yo Art enhances everyday classroom curriculum with media arts programs designed to spark students’ curiosity and teach real-world skills. Our projects encourage learning through discovery and discipline, improvisation and technique, and provide a fertile ground for creative thought through coding, photography, filmmaking, and design.

Our Vision

Yo Art is committed to closing the opportunity and achievement gaps in Charleston’s public schools through transformative media arts and technology programs. With coding, photography, filmmaking, and design students are encouraged to engage in their learning through a creative and project-based 10-week curricula, which also reinforces a South Carolina core curriculum standard in science, social studies, or math. We aspire to expose Lowcountry students to new and exciting career opportunities to help them succeed in school and in life.

Our Future

Yo Art has an ambitious plan to strengthen our existing media arts and technology programs by growing our programs with pre-existing students to higher institutions of learning, so they can continue to solidify their new creative skills. We also plan to expand our participation in Professional Development workshops, so we exponentially raise the number of students our programs reach every year. If we instruct 20 teachers and they in turn take our programs back to their classrooms, 20 students become 400. Teaching just three Professional Development workshops a year will double the number of students we reach annually, and we plan to teach many more. Learn about our major priorities over the next five years to expand and enhance our organization below.

View Our Strategic Plan

A Letter from the Director

Dear Friends of Yo Art,

In 2017, we celebrated Yo Art’s 10th anniversary. It was a very special year for our organization, and to this day we are still feeling the glow!

But even more than it was a cause for celebration, 2017 was a moment of reflection, a moment when we looked back on the 10,000 students over the past 10 years who have experienced the excitement of holding a camera for the first time, of the wonderment of what an iPad with Keynote could accomplish, of the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a public presentation in our programs. We are also thankful for the number of generous supporters and partners who made the past 10 years not only possible but remarkable. We are incredibly grateful for those who pushed us to grow and inspired us to think bigger. We hope you are as proud as we are with what we accomplished during our 10th anniversary year.

Highlights include:

  • We served 995 students – a record for us!
  • We partnered with yet another school, Cainhoy Elementary in Huger, S.C.
  • We hosted our first fundraiser (our 10th anniversary birthday party) – and what a success it was!
  • We developed a new website and strong development plan.

As you can see, 2017 provided us with many reasons to celebrate.

Looking ahead to 2018, we are excited to empower more students, serve more schools, and train more teachers. Thank you for joining us on this journey! Your support of our work changes so many lives for the better.

With gratitude,

Lori Bate

President of the Board

Gene Furchgott

Founder and Executive Director




Ten years ago, Yo Art started as a summer after-school art program with 35 students at Sanders-Clyde Elementary. Today, we’ve taught in over 25 schools in Charleston and Berkeley County, and we are teaching close to 1000 students annually.

We’re proud of our enduring presence in Charleston, and we plan to remain an important fixture in the educational community by reaching more students, teachers, and administrators each year.


2007   Led by Gene Furchgott at the request of Charleston’s Mayor Joe Riley, Yo Art is founded with a grant from Nobel Laureate Robert Furchgott. Thirty-five students participated in the pilot program. The second year 110 students attended our summer camp.

2008-9   Yo Art is recognized for its innovative and creative after school programming by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment. Only two non-profits were awarded this honor in South Carolina that year.

Sanders-Clyde Elementary added programs in drama, acting, and photography. Memminger Elementary School added computer arts, and Marion-Stroble taught 100 students Fabric Design. A total of 225 students were enrolled in Yo Art programming.

2009-10   Yo Art added programs to five elementary schools, one middle school, and the Boys and Girls Club in computer arts, photography, landscape design, photojournalism, drama and public art. Seven schools taught 546 students.

Nickelodeon awarded Yo Art with “the Big Green Help” grant for its education through the arts of students in environmental stewardship.

2010-11   Six elementary schools, three middle schools and summer camp taught programs in photography, computer art, journalism, and mask-making using Publisher, Photoshop and PowerPoint.

The Find Your Light Foundation recognized Yo Art for its hard work and dedication to enriching the lives of children through art and creativity.

2011-12   Five elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school taught photography, portraiture, mural painting, and fashion design using PowerPoint, Publisher, and Photoshop. Eight schools taught 459 students.

Yo Art was recognized by the Charleston County School District and Dr. McGinley for providing outstanding art experiences to its students.

2013-14  Thirteen schools taught 708 students coding, photography, fashion design, mural/scarecrow construction using Publisher, PowerPoint, PicsArt, and PhotoShop.

2014-15  Fourteen schools and two summer camps taught 964 students coding, fashion design, landscape design, photography both with cameras and iPads using Photoshop, Keynote, and PowerPoint.

2015-16  Thirteen schools taught 950 students coding, art of construction, photography, flooding study, fashion design, and filmmaking using Keynote, Photoshop, and PowerPoint.

This past year, Yo Art instructed more than a 1,000 students in 12 area schools.

Executive Board members

Lori Bate

Lori Bate


Eliot Tuckerman

Eliot Tuckerman

Vice President

Raymond Murray

Raymond Murray


Judi Cline

Judi Cline


Advisory Board Members

Ann Addlestone Apple, Daniel Affourtit, Gretchen Barbatsis, Jessica Solomon Bluestein, Karen Chandler, Corie Hipp, Rodney Moore, and Ron Anton Rocz

Our professionally trained instructors

Mike McKinney, Obed Danjoint, Tommy Taylor, Paige Hetherington, Adam Chandler, Becky Taylor, and Jonatan Guerrero

Join Our Staff

Yo Art’s staff is dedicated to making a positive difference in the world and in the digital divide of the school districts of Charleston. We are a team of collaborative, creative and mission-driven individuals who respect and encourage each other. Guided by core values of community, opportunity, respect, and high expectations, we work together every day to narrow the achievement and opportunity gaps in the Charleston area. Our headquarters are in Charleston, South Carolina.

A wholehearted thank you to Yo Art’s sponsors and grantors:


Yo Art, Inc., is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing creative learning and enrichment programs serving the Charleston area public school system.  Yo Art, Inc., prepares its financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (U.S. GAAP)

Audited Financial Statements:  2016 / 2015 / 2014 / 2013

The Yo Art, Inc., business department supports the administration of finance, facilities, and human resources needs, and ensures the organization is a good steward of the private and community funds it receives.  For more information about Yo Art’s finances and business operations, please contact Director of Finance, Raymond Murray.