Inner-City Arts


Inner-City Arts uses arts education to positively affect the lives of inner-city children, improving their chances to lead productive and successful lives by developing creativity, improving learning skills and building self-confidence.

Its 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 United School District and local charter and parochial schools, Inner-City Arts provides the only arts instruction many students will have during the school day. In addition, the organization's after-school program provides intervention and program activities during the critical afternoon hours, and its weekend classes offer opportunities for focused, long-term study devoted to a particular art form to encourage middle and high school students to pursue higher education.

Inner-City Arts provides a safe and stimulating learning environment where children can confidently express themselves and realize their unique potential.

Inner-City Arts’ unique, campus-based program model not only works with young people, it trains their school teachers to integrate arts instruction across their school curriculum, aiding cognitive development and achievement in other core academic subjects. Other services include a five week arts summer camp, advanced professional development workshops, the Teachers Institute for UCLA’s graduate education students, public art projects, and a visiting artist series featuring world-class performers. As a research-driven organization, Inner-City Arts has become a leader in identifying and responding to critical issues impacting urban youth, such as overcoming barriers to success in school.

An evaluation of Inner-City Arts' programs by the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies showed that children who attend classes at Inner-City Arts, and whose teachers actively participate in Inner-City Arts programs, score dramatically better in math, reading and language arts on statewide standardized tests. Specifically, participants in Inner-City Arts have an 18% increase in reading scores, 8% increase in English proficiency, and a 25% increase in mathematics scores. Inner-City Arts' impact is regularly studied and supported by academic research teams throughout the country.

The arts are the life-blood of our city. And thanks to Inner-City Arts' work with young people and their schools, support from the creative arts industry and art philanthropy, and partnerships with organizations such as Para los Ninos, Say Yes, and A Place Called Home, Inner-City Arts is able to invest in our young people and contribute to a safer, richer Los Angeles.



Robert Smiland
President & CEO

Downtown LA

Area Served: 
Greater Los Angeles

# of Employees: 

(donations + earned income)

Guidestar Report