50 Reasons to Support the Art Center
- During Covid lockdown, the amazing Art Center staff worked diligently to provide art programs to the community, from outdoor summer camps to curbside fire and glaze programs.
- The Art Center has the largest, cleanest, and brightest ceramic studio in the Bay Area.
- Our exhibitions are always free admission, for everyone.
- We provide arts programs for all ages—toddlers to seniors.
- The Art Center is committed to paying all of our exhibiting artists for participating in our exhibitions.
- More than 800 volunteers support all the programs we provide to the community.
- Our renovation in 2011/2012 represented one of the largest public-private partnerships in the City of Palo Alto’s history—bringing together private donors and City support for maximum community impact.
- Our paid internship program has consistently provided professional opportunities for diverse youth, introducing them to museum work.
- Your support is leveraged with our funding from the City of Palo Alto to provide the most benefit for our community.
- Our dedicated and passionate staff are committed to providing the most meaningful arts programs to our community.
- We have received recognition and funding for our programs from highly competitive and respected grant programs such as the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Arts.
- Since 1971, the Art Center has been one of the rare places where you can see and make art, all in one facility.
- Project Look has been providing important out-of-the-classroom learning opportunities to thousands of schoolchildren every year for more than four decades.
- We were created by the community and for the community fifty years ago and continue to provide the region with quality arts programs.
- Our drop-in figure-drawing sessions have been providing opportunities for artists of all levels to draw from the figure for more than four decades.
- The Art Center facility now has a printmaking press! The Paula Kirkeby Press moved from Cubberley to Studio A, expanding our opportunities for printmaking classes, workshops, and drop-in opportunities.
- Our school programs Cultural Kaleidoscope and Project Look have both received California State Superintendent’s Awards for program excellence.
- Exhibitions at the Art Center have recently demonstrated the power of representation, with The Black Index featuring portraits by Black and brown artists and The Art of Disability Culture showcasing art in a broad range of media by artists with disabilities.
- Our summer camp programs for children and teens engage thousands of youths every year in artmaking!
- Our Creative Attention initiative featured a residency with artist Christine Wong Yap focused on belonging, engaging Art Center Teen Leadership and Eastside Prep teens and Avenidas seniors to identify places of belonging in their community. Drop by the Art Center through May 21 to pick up a free zine documenting the project.
- The Art Center maintains relationships with more than 40 community partners throughout the region.
- We offer scholarships to youth for our classes in an ongoing partnership with DreamCatchers.
- We offer scholarships for adult classes to seniors in partnership with Stevenson House and Palo Alto Housing.
- Children’s classes at the Art Center promote creativity with opportunities for artmaking in a wide range of media, from painting and drawing to murals and fashion design.
- Our Friday Night at the Art Center programs create and sustain community, bringing hundreds of people of all ages together to celebrate art and creativity!
- Art Center Teen Leadership engages youth in artmaking and leadership opportunities throughout the year.
- Our Project Look program went virtual during the pandemic and now involves an in-the-schools program. This spring, we are slowly welcoming classes back to the Art Center!
- The Palo Alto Art Center Foundation has been working to support the Art Center in fundraising and advocacy since 1973!
- Our Creative Attention initiative includes free art therapy sessions in the community, with DreamCatchers, Palo Alto Housing and Stevenson House. We also conducted a session with local nonprofit workers!
- Our exhibitions this year have all featured Braille labels and QR codes that link to audio descriptions of artworks on view–reinforcing the Art Center’s commitment to inclusion in our programs.
- Cultural Kaleidoscope was started as a program to bridge the divide between Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, through the arts. This program has expanded into an artists-in-the-schools program engaging approximately 500 students every year!
- Zoom lectures and panel discussions continue beyond Covid, introducing hundreds of members of the public to a diverse range of artists, techniques, and approaches.
- The Clay and Glass Festival draws more than 10,000 people to the Art Center every summer for an opportunity to meet artists and collect their work on the beautiful grounds of our facility.
- Our annual December studio sale provides an amazing opportunity to see artwork created in our studios and purchase pieces to take home, supporting artists and the Art Center in the process!
- Drop by the Art Center lobby to participate in an ongoing belonging project by Christine Wong Yap that encourages everyone to identify places of belonging in our community!
- Our Community Gallery provides space for community groups, including Eastside Prep, the Palo Alto Camera Club, and other artmaking groups, to display their work to the public.
- Family and Community Days draw hundreds of community members of all ages to the Art Center for artmaking, performances, and more!
- The Art Center provides space for a variety of local music and vocal groups in the community for free performances.
- The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch draws more than 5,000 people every year to the largest glass pumpkin patch in California, an annual collaboration with the Bay Area Glass Institute.
- The Art Center programs have shared their excellence at professional conferences on a state-wide, national, and regional level, including staff presentations at the conferences of the American Alliance of Museums, the Western Museums Association, and the California Association of Museums.
- The Art Center suffered the most dramatic budget reductions in our history in FY21, involving more than $350,000 in cuts and the reduction of 4.26FTE staff. Despite these devastating budget losses, the Art Center staff have consistently rallied to provide valuable programs to the community, during Covid and into recovery.
- During the City of Palo Alto’s budget process for FY22, the Art Center escaped even further budget reductions, thanks to an outpouring of support from our community. As one resident shared, “The Palo Alto Art Center is a powerhouse institution. The arts are known to be 'second responders'—feeding the spirits of the youngest to the oldest among us. (Think mental health for youth and everyone.) The Art Center is an example of a community resource that helps us flourish rather than languish.”
- During Covid lockdown, the Art Center revisited Community Advice, a project the Art Center commissioned in 2012, in which artist Susan O’Malley asked 100 people what advice they would give to their eight-year-old self and eighty-year-old self. The responses resulted in a series of posters that were distributed in the community and placed on view at the Art Center. Working with the Public Art Program, we printed three billboard-style reproductions of the posters on our Embarcadero lawn, along with distributing copies of the posters to senior centers, teen groups, and first responders at Stanford hospital.
- The Art Center opened our facility during Covid into recovery for Covid-19 testing and voting!
- The Foundation offers so much to our members, including exclusive travel opportunities, a chance to meet and hear from artists, participate in memorable art experiences and so much more!
- We support artists! The Art Center hires professional artists as contractors and employees to teach our classes, workshops, and to provide art activities at family events.
- The Studio Gallery showcases work produced in our studios, by faculty and participating artists.
- Over 60 tweens and teens participate in our Counselor-in-Training program every summer to support summer camps and develop leadership skills.
- We are offering free virtual meditation sessions weekly to the community through June!
- Because we turned 50 in 2021!