adult and youth programs

SFAI is committed to educating artists of all ages, both on campus and within the community. We invite you to support one of the following programs to ensure that Bay Area youth and adults have access to the personal and professional benefits of a high-quality arts education.

City Studio

Young people living in low income communities in the U.S. today are faced with so many challenges: a curriculum that fails to address the creative potential of the individual; high dropout rates; and underemployment, to name just a few. In 2005, responding to these challenges, SFAI launched City Studio, a year-round program that is fundamentally re-thinking the role of education within these marginalized communities.

By partnering SFAI with youth development agencies, school districts, and local cultural organizations, City Studio engages young people ages 11-19 residing in some of the most underprivileged neighborhoods of the Bay Area: the Bayview District, the Excelsior District, the Mission District, and the South of Market District in San Francisco, as well as central East Oakland.

Your gift can provide direct support to these students or to the operations of the neighborhood studios. Funds can be applied toward the purchase of art supplies and materials; computer equipment or software for design and media projects; stipends for students, many of whom provide the majority of the household income; or to support instruction at each site by professional artists.

City Studio was originally made possible by support from the James Irvine Foundation and the Walter and Elise Haas Fund. The program has also received support from the Surdna Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Omnia Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Comer Foundation, Adobe Microsystems, and the Wells Fargo Foundation.

PreCollege and Young Artist Program

SFAI’s PreCollege Program is a five-week, five-college-credit course of study designed for artists ages 16-18. The program introduces participants to what it’s like to be in art school—to the broad range of techniques, concepts, and debates that make up the contemporary art scene. Student participants, together with faculty from around the world, help create an authentic artistic community engaged in interdisciplinary thinking and contemporary studio practice.

The Young Artist Program is a three-week intensive summer program for artists ages 13-15 that combines studio arts instruction, critique, contemporary art history, and exhibition as a means of preparing Bay Area youth for a lifetime in the arts. Professional teaching artists work to develop each student’s artistic skills and enhance their visual literacy.

Your gift to these programs can provide scholarships to students needing assistance, underwrite course instruction, or help purchase course materials. Past Young Artist and PreCollege students have gone on to be admitted to top art programs across the nation including SFAI, Cooper Union, and UCLA.

Adult Continuing Education

Through the Adult Continuing Education (ACE) program, SFAI offers a range of evening and weekend classes for creative thinkers of all ages. Taught by professional artists and educators, ACE courses are specifically designed to provide hands-on experience with contemporary techniques, materials, and technology. Your support offers new opportunities to those seeking seeking to expand their creative and professional skill sets, and helps provide course materials and instruction by professional artists.