Artists in School & Community

Kala’s multi-faceted Artist in Schools & Community Program is relevant and engaging, and brings together students, teachers, and families from the East Bay and beyond.

The 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 and community space by working closely with teachers and staff to develop curricula and arts activities 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.

Throughout the year and including summer, we offer in-person and online programs with our partnership schools and community spaces for both during and after school classes. We continue to work with our partners to offer classes that are safe, fun, and exciting. Whether it’s arts integration during school hours or arts enrichment after school, our teaching artists engage with students with heart and intention, to create a 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; students dive deep into the creative process, while learning, experimenting, reflecting and collaborating. 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.

Days & Times
– Kala provides in school, after school, and summer residencies in arts integration or arts enrichment for grades K-12
– Residencies at schools or community based organizations can last from a few weeks or for the entire school year.

– Residency costs are based on the length of the residency, material needs,  as well as the number of sessions per classroom.

Please contact Gisela Insuaste, Education & Public Program Director at

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

Emeryville: Emeryville Center for Community Life
Oakland: Youth Uprising

Art Lab @ECCL
Bay Area Youth Storytelling Project @ YU

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