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Fort Mason Center. Building C San Francisco, CA 94123

About Us

historical image of young boy at the San Francisco Children's Art Center studio

45 years of history and commitment to children

History & Methodology

San Francisco Children’s Art Center was founded by Diane “Andy” Meyer Levy in the mid-1970s. Andy was passionate about art and her vision was to make creative self-expression art accessible to all children in San Francisco. First located in Ghirardelli Square and then on Polk Street, the organization was granted its 501(c)(3) non-profit status in 1978 and moved to its present home in the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.

Since its inception, San Francisco Children’s Art Center’s approach to creating with young artists has been child-centered and process-oriented. Our methodology uses an inquiry-based approach to art materials providing children the opportunity to express themselves freely without prescribed methods of representation. We guide young people in the process of creating and nurture them to trust their own creative impulses. Through this unique approach to artmaking, children develop the language to share their stories, learn to solve challenges, connect authentically with others, and grow in ways to fully realize their potential.

Annually, Children’s Art Center serves approximately 1200 San Francisco children ages 2-10 years old with artist residencies in preschool and elementary school classrooms, along with classes, workshops, and camps at our art studio in Fort Mason Center.

Commitment to Equity & Inclusion

We believe that art makes children powerful.

San Francisco Children’s Art Center is committed to anti-racism and anti-bias and we center our work in reversing the inequitable access to arts experiences for youth in our city. We address structural racism and bias as it exists in our educational systems by prioritizing partnerships with school sites that serve historically-marginalized communities of San Francisco. We are continually expanding our inclusive arts practices to make creative engagement accessible to all types of learners. Through applying a lens of social justice and equity to our work, we empower youth through creative self-expression by validating and amplifying their individual voices and supporting their communities.

Children’s Art Center’s Anti-Racism/Anti-Bias Frameworks are an important tool our teaching artists use to locate themselves within the communities they serve, to engage responsively to the cultures and priorities of our partner communities, and to ensure that our students feel seen and celebrated.  

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