An arts education center improving the lives of at-risk children

Inner-City Arts (ICA) in Los Angeles provides visual and performing arts education to at-risk inner-city youth to foster creative exploration and self-expression. ICA’s mission is to use arts education to positively affect the lives of largely impoverished Skid Row children, improving their chances to lead healthy and successful lives by developing creativity, improving learning skills, and building self-confidence. ICA is composed of a complex of buildings which have been recently expanded to include specialized studios for music, visual arts, ceramics, dance, drama, media arts, animation, and theater. The addition of 22,000 square feet during the expansion nearly tripled the original 13,000-foot space.

For Inner-City Arts, the choice to locate on the edge of Skid Row is central to its mission of bringing art education to low-income children and their teachers.

2009 Selection Committee

Nearly 8,000 students per year from over 50 nearby schools participate in ICA’s programs, including after-school and weekend workshops in collaboration with 10 local high schools and social agencies. The students are predominately from minority, immigrant, and low-income families, and ICA’s goals go beyond impacting students to transforming the entire Skid Row community. The center also works in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District and offers expanded teacher training opportunities and family events.