At ARTS, we believe that art is a powerful tool that can change the lives of youth, their families, and South Bay community residents.

At the core of our Creative Youth Development model is Art Education: free after-school art classes in Fine Arts, Performing Arts, Media Arts and Maker for youth ages 11-22 in National City using a Social Change curriculum. These free art classes occur at the ARTS Center, our 20,000 square-foot hub of creativity and safe spaces where young artists come to explore, engage in, and evolve through the arts.

All ARTS students receive free support services, including health and wellness counseling, college and career counseling, and leadership development.


ExploreExplore classes introduce budding artists, ages 11-14, to basic skills/creative expression in one or more of three art disciplines: Fine Arts, Performing Arts, and Media Arts. Students are free to explore various disciplines and take multiple art education classes. Students also have opportunities for structured social activities including movie nights, field trips to cultural institutions, and Guest Artist lectures.


EngageEngage classes are for serious young artists, ages 14-22, who want to take their artistic experience to the next level. Students make a year-long commitment to develop their skills in one of four disciplines: Fine Arts, Performing Arts, Media Arts, or Maker (woodworking, welding, and digital fabrication). For 6-12 hours per week, students divide time between art classes, open studio time, guest artist lectures, field trips, and student service support (includes individual counseling, career & college mentoring/coaching, and leadership development). Each student is required to participate in at least one community art show as well as two end-of-semester showcases with ARTS.


The ARTS Center is open Monday – Saturday. For class times, please see our current Class Catalog.