Celebrating over 27 years of

Empowering youth
through photography

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Thursday, April 29th, 2021 at 6 PM PDT

This year, Looking Forward, Giving Back, our annual art auction and fundraiser, will be virtual, free, and directly supporting First Exposures’ efforts to grow a safe, creative, and transformative space for young people in our future home in San Francisco’s Mission District.

You can help make this happen by joining us Thursday,

April 29th for a celebration of First Exposures’ community of artists sharing their stories and their incredible photography.


First Exposures leverages the power of mentoring relationships and photography to empower young people to thrive, express themselves creatively, and become leaders in their communities.


Right now, our mentees’ lives are changing at an alarming rate, and it’s so important that we prepare our young people for the world ahead of them. With compassion, attention, and support, we can help the next generation reach their potential. 




We are living in a time in which solidarity can no longer be a noun, living only in our words and on our social media, but it must be a verb of action, protest, and unlearning. Read how First Exposures is committed to dismantling systemic inequality.

"First Exposures is the safe place where I can be myself. My mentor is the one I can confide in when I need any support."

Ella Dean, age 18, fifth-year mentee


Become a mentor or mentee and join our First Exposures family! 

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make an impact

Since 2004, over 95 percent of our students have gone on to pursue a college education.


First Exposures +

Youth Speaks

Youth Speaks and First Exposures have come together in an innovative partnership to create a safe space for youth, storytelling, and community building in San Francisco’s Mission District. Collectively, for over 50 years, First Exposures and Youth Speaks have provided young people with free access to arts programming through direct mentorship, arts education, and opportunities to amplify their stories for positive change.


Photographers for Our Future

First Exposures teamed up with some extraordinary photographers to launch Photographers For Our Future, a campaign to support the creativity and wellbeing of the youth of First Exposures during this trying time. Each week, we will highlight new artists who has generously donated their work for you to purchase and support the programming at First Exposures. Your purchase will help keep FX free for the young photographers we mentor.

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