School Programs

Kala’s multi-faceted School Programs are relevant and engaging, and bring together students, teachers, and families from the East Bay and beyond.

The Artists-in-Schools (AIS) program builds strong connections with schools and community spaces where Kala’s teaching artists lead a series of visual art classes for youth grades K-12 throughout the East Bay.  Teaching artists conduct residencies that are tailored to meet the needs of each school by working closely with teachers to develop curricula that both challenges students and captivates non-standard learners.  Many of our projects are interdisciplinary and connect art making with other academic disciplines. Kala returns to the majority of its schools year after year. Over time, we’ve seen that art education fosters self-esteem, boosts motivation, creates resilient students, and helps build strong school communities. We reach over 2,500 local children and youth every year.

Fall 2021 Update: AIS Program is In Person and Online
This fall,  we are offering in person and online  programs with our partnership schools. Last. year, we offered  virtual art experiences through Zoom to schools, families, and community partners, for both during and after school classes. This year, we will continue to work with our partners in a format that is safe, fun, and exciting. Whether its arts-integration during school hours or arts enrichment after school, our teaching artists engage with students with heart and intention, to create fun yet thoughtful, and interactive hands-on art making activities using a range of materials and techniques. Kala teaching artists also nurture students’ curiosity and creativity; student dive deep into the creative process, while learning, experimenting, reflecting and collaborating. In our AIS program, as in all of our programs, students are encouraged to connect and explore issues and themes relevant to their lives, their communities, and the changing world.

The Arts and Humanities Academy at Berkeley High, Berkeley Arts Magnet Elementary, Cragmont Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Longfellow Middle, Malcolm X Elementary, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle, Oxford Elementary, Rosa Parks Elementary,  Sylvia Mendez. Willard Middle

Emeryville: Anna Yates Elementary, Emery Secondary School

Oakland: Chabot Elementary, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, North Oakland Community Charter School, Peralta Elementary, Thornhill Elementary

Go Bananas: Ratio and Proportion in Contemporary Art
Math Art Integration Project, King Middle School
Berkeley Watershed and Community Mural, King Park
Biodiversity Drawings
Emery Secondary School Trickster Project

Kala’s Teaching Artists represent a broad range of cultural backgrounds and artistic approaches. Teaching Artists are chosen by Kala for their professional skill, engagement with the art community, and experience teaching children and teens. Artists are responsible for meeting and planning with classroom teachers, designing and conducting residencies, mounting exhibitions, writing project and progress reports and helping evaluate the programs. As active professional artists who care deeply about urban youth, instructors inspire a great deal of respect in students as they pass on their technical expertise and passion for creating art.

Current & Past Teaching Artists