Established in 1978, The San Francisco Children’s Art Center (SFCAC) is a child-centered community art organization that values the importance of process-oriented art instruction. At SFCAC, children experience the advantage of direct contact with professional artists and connections with their peers from different schools and backgrounds in a small, art focused setting. A Reggio Emilia inspired program, children are challenged to make creative choices through age-appropriate art activities including drawing, painting, sculpture and digital photography. Children use art as they develop language to share their stories, solve challenges, and express ideas. Children also have the opportunity to take their art outside of the studio and into Fort Mason’s garden! Our hope is that even after one class we can instill an awareness and appreciation of creativity and increase the number of creators in our community. Learn more about our programs.

Our Mission

IMG_3035The San Francisco Children’s Art Center empowers children
to develop their sense of self through artistic exploration.

Our Community

SFCAC encourages creativity and connection throughout the Bay Area community through a variety of partnerships.

First Five and Preschool For All (PFA)

Since 2009 as part of the Preschool for All initiative, the Art Center began providing a series of 11-week visual arts residencies in preschools throughout the city, serving hundreds of children in San Francisco. In addition to offering 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. These residencies have 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 First 5. San Francisco, a program that provides free half-day preschool for all four-year-old San Franciscans who’d like to attend, regardless of income.

Community and Partnerships

  • Richmond Village Beacon – Art classes at a community-based after-school program
  • Museum of Craft and Folk Art – Collaborative family workshops
  • Raphael House, Clara House, and Holy Family Day Home – After school art classes at shelter for homeless families and children in transition in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. 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.
  • Schulte Grants for the Arts and Crafts – Year-long art educations lecture series about the role of art-making in child development through grant funding as part of a program of the Fort Mason Foundation
  • The San Francisco Children’s Art Center is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education.

Scholarship Program

A limited number of needs-based scholarships are available to provide tuition assistance, with preference given to new students. Download a scholarship application here and email it to sfcac@childrensartcenter.org. (1998-present)