City Studio

Youth. Art. Activate.

SFAI’s award-winning City Studio program offers underserved youth a high-quality arts education in their own neighborhood, enlists youth in a long-term program to gain passion for and skills in the fine arts, and assists them in developing a portfolio for a professional career in the arts and/or to apply for higher education.

Classes, taught by SFAI alumni, are located at community centers and schools year-round. Current SFAI students serve as TAs for many of the classes. 

Current community partners include SOMArts, Columbia Park Boys and Girls Club, Tenderloin Boys and Girls Club and Root Division. City Studio also works with A Better Chance and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) for an annual Graphic Arts Workshop.

City Studio works closely with SFAI’s Young Artist Program and PreCollege program, offering scholarships to deserving City Studio students to these intensive and enriching environments.

For more information, visit:


Painting Workshop at Columbia Park Boys and Girls Club with Tom Colcord

This six-week workshop focuses on gridding and perception exercises resulting in realistically rendered paintings. 


Video and Sound Intensives at Root Division with Diana Li

  • Loop, Loop, Loop: Make a short video that can loop and repeat forever! In this one-week workshop, you'll learn skills from pre- to post- production, writing scripts, scores, and shot lists to drawing out storyboards, shooting on camera, editing, and making gifs out of your footage. 
  • #Selfie AKA Video Portrait: Selfies and video portraits are an art form. Learn how to shoot, record, edit, and compile these into short narratives and documentaries. (Yes, you can use your phone in this class!)

for more info and to sign up:

City as Studio Practicum

In City as Studio Practicum, students link theory and practice by examining and participating in one of a number of projects working with professional artists and youth (or other populations). Students select from projects in SFAI’s City Studio program or other similar programs that partner with Bay Area community centers and arts organizations using urban sites in both San Francisco and the East Bay as a laboratory for research, practice, education, and social interaction. Students will collaborate with and educate youth or other populations in a variety of media, and together they will learn to develop and implement individual and collaborative projects. Students will also participate in class discussions investigating art education theory and current pedagogical practices in primary, secondary, and university settings as well as taking an active role in teaching and mentoring the community in their chosen outside project.

Please contact City Studio Director and SFAI faculty member Amy Berk for additional details: