For Art Education
Every student deserves access to high quality Arts Education.

Learn more about how the San Francisco Arts Commission supports arts education in and after school.

Where Art Lives class at Tenderloin Community School


San Francisco spends over 20 million dollars a year cleaning up and dealing with graffiti vandalism. Small business and property owners are constantly having to repaint their walls. Public art and beloved murals are also getting tagged. Countless hours of artistic energy are being squandered.

As part of their response to this problem, San Francisco Public Works and the Arts Commission created the Where Art Lives program to engage the youth who will be the future leaders and business owners of our city. For several years now, experienced artists have been visiting students in 4th-6th grades to teach art skills and discuss the difference between public art and illegal vandalism (spoiler alert: the answer is permission).

This year, participating students will be asked to collectively envision how San Francisco will look when today’s adolescents are running things. What images would they like to see on the walls in their neighborhoods?

Video produced by TraVaugh Hicks with other students at Sunset Youth Services to document the spring 2014 Where Art Lives program.

Review the Where Art Lives curriculum

How to bring Where Art Lives to your students...
The program serves 12 sites per year. Participation is free, including art supplies. Classes will take place during the spring semester of the 2015-2016 school year or during summer sessions in partnership with community programs.

This program is ideal for...

  • A 4th or 5th grade elementary school class, OR
  • A middle school art, leadership, STEAM, or other elective class, OR
  • An after school program serving youth in grades 4 through 8, that can help ensure the consistent attendance of 8-15 students over four sessions, OR
  • A group of high school or transitional age youth who would like to improve their community in an after school program or in a project-focused high school class.

During the class, students will....

  • Learn skills from an experienced, professional teaching artist for four sessions,
  • Be provided with all necessary art supplies for classroom use,
  • Imagine their own future business and decide how they will decorate its walls,
  • Spend time creatively considering how they can improve their city,
  • See their own art and ideas as part of a larger discussion.

We will do our best to coordinate with teachers to incorporate the Where Art Lives lesson plan with your curriculum and your students’ learning goals.

You can also participate independently...
Anyone, even adults, can participate in this discussion. Imagine you own a property in San Francisco. How would you paint your wall to best benefit the people in your community? Contact Todd Berman for worksheets so you can participate – or just upload your idea on social media and tag it #oursfwalls.

Check out these videos to learn more about this innovative program:

For local teaching artists and art organizations that provide arts education services to San Francisco youth in grades pre-K-12, please see the Artist Directory.




What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Full Arts Commission Meeting

October 02
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

City Hall | Rm 416
Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

September 25
12:30 PM to 2:30 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125
Public Meeting

Community Arts, Education & Grants Committee Meeting

October 10
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125
Public Meeting

Street Artists Committee Meeting

September 13
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125