ICA What We Do

What We Do


Inner-City Arts provides elementary, middle and high school students, many living in Los Angeles' poorest neighborhoods, with the tools and skills they need to succeed academically and personally.


Our unique approach to arts education brings elementary, middle and high school students, educators, families and the community to Inner-City Arts' award-winning campus—an oasis of creativity and learning in one of the nation's poorest neighborhoods—to work with professional teaching artists in well-equipped studios and performance spaces.

Through a landmark partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District, and local charter and parochial schools, Inner-City Arts provides the only arts instruction many students will have during the school day. Our growing after school program for elementary and middle school students provides intervention and prevention during the critical afternoon hours. On weekends, opportunities for focused, long-term study devoted to a particular art form encourage middle and high school students to pursue higher education.

The Inner-City Arts — Annenberg Professional Development Program gives educators—classroom teachers, administrators, graduate students, teaching artists—the tools to build bridges between the arts and academic subjects, improving student literacy and overall academic achievement, and raising teacher retention rates.

Parent and family programs support student achievement outside the classroom and help strengthen communities.

A full-service arts center offering opportunities to learn, create, gather and celebrate,
Inner-City Arts contributes to the beauty, safety, well-being, and vibrancy of the entire community.

Transforming Lives

Since it was founded in 1989, Inner-City Arts has brought life-changing opportunities to more than 150,000 children living in the city's poorest neighborhoods.

“Andy, a fourth grader, was incredibly physical with the clay. He would throw his entire body into the work, ripping up the clay, smashing it down, making forms and destroying what he'd created, before starting all over again. Finally, at the end of class, he'd end up with something, but it was always a battle. His teacher mentioned that he had been throwing himself down the stairs at school. On the last day of class, Andy drew a picture of himself with a bullet going toward his head. I put my hand on his shoulder and told him, ‘You have choices.’ I could feel him tense, so I repeated it again and again. Finally he turned toward me and said, ‘Thank you.’"