Community Outreach

After thirty years, the Art Center is proud to have remained true to its founding philosophy and to have survived as an arts organization over decades of change. In addition to classes, parties, and family workshops in our studio, the Art Center provides a variety of outreach programs designed to engage children across the Bay Area community. These take the form of in-school and after school classes at local elementary schools, public libraries, and a homeless shelter in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, among other locations. We also offer hands-on professional development workshops for educators, exploring current educational trends, the benefits of self-guided artmaking in early childhood education, and how to select classroom materials that stimulate creativity.

Through a generous donation of $5,000 per year in matching grant funds for a period of five years, we have been able to offer after school art classes at Raphael House, a shelter for homeless families in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

In Fall 2009, the Art Center began providing a series of 11-week visual arts residencies to preschools throughout the city, serving hundreds of children in San Francisco. In addition to providing the opportunity for visual arts exploration to children, our teaching artists are providing in-service training to preschool teachers, sharing best practices, strategies, and skills in leading art-related activities. This residency has been made possible through a collaboration with Performing Arts Workshop, an arts education organization that helps young people develop critical thinking, creative expression, and basic learning skills through the arts, and by a grant from Preschool for All, a First 5 San Francisco program that provides free half-day preschool for all four-year-old San Franciscans who’d like to attend, regardless of income.

"The teacher seemed really excited by the associations the children were making while immersed in a 3-dimensional project. 'Look, it is like a magnifying glass' and 'I made these pieces stand up like rabbit ears!' She heard the chorus of childrens’ individuality expressed in sharing their unique viewpoints while using the same materials." –Gail Tarantino, SFCAC Teacher

“Your art enrichment has been the best enrichment class we have ever had. It has been a wonderful experience for all the children and I have been amazed at the art created and the processes used to make it.” – Preschool Teacher

2007-2008
After thirty years, the Art Center is proud to have remained true to its founding philosophy and to have survived as an arts organization over decades of change. In recognition of this landmark year, the Art Center has plans to reinvigorate its Community Outreach Program that offers off-site classes in underserved neighborhoods. This initiative has been possible through a generous donation of $5,000 per year in matching grant funds for the next five years. Work is currently underway to implement after school art classes at Raphael House, a shelter for homeless families in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

2005 - 2006
Art Education Lecture Series. SFCAC was awarded a grant from Schulte Grants for the Arts and Crafts, a program of the Fort Mason Foundation, to present a series of workshops about the role of art-making in child development. The series of workshops was held between Fall 2005 and Fall 2006.

  • Designing a Child-Friendly Art Space - Karen Hampton, October, 6, 2005
  • Illuminating Children's Creative Processes - Gail Tarantino, November 19, 2005
  • Finding a Creative Home - Naomi Rifkin, January 14, 2006
  • Enriching Children's Lives through Making Music - Cindy Cohen Levy, February 16, 2006
  • Children as Visual Thinkers - Gail Tarantino, April 22, 2006
  • From Blueprints to Bridges - Shirl Buss, June 25, 2006
  • Fantastic Trash: Recycle, Reuse, Recreate - Linda Janklow, July 22, 2006
  • Necklace Books, CD Books, and Pop-Up Books -- Oh My! - c.j. grossman, August 5, 2006
  • Pictures + Words = The Writing Collage - Lauren Hall, September 24, 2006

1998-2004
Transitional Home Art Class Programs Working with organizations such as Raphael House, Clara House and Holy Family Day Home, the San Francisco Children’s Art Center offered classes to children in transition. Classes were offered for children ages 3 to 11. These programs gave children the opportunity to express themselves through individual and group art-making and provides a supportive environment for exploration to develop perceptual skills, creative problem-solving and critical thinking.

Various Dates
Community Partnerships and Programs SFCAC has partnered with the following organizations: Richmond Village Beacon Assisted by offering art classes at a community-based after-school program Museum of Craft and Folk Art Helped Plan collaborative family workshops

1998 - Present: Scholarship Program
Please visit our Scholarship page to learn more about our scholarship program and download an application.

For more information about the Children's Art Center's Community Programs, please call (415) 771-0292 or send us an email.