The Museum is proud to partner with individuals, schools, and foundations to offer “Art for All” to students and visitors.

Museum outreach programs bring relevant and accessible high-quality arts education directly to schools and institutions around the county. Sites served by the Museum include The Monarch School, ALBA (Alternative Learning for Behavior and Attitude), Bayside Community School, Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility, and Chula Vista Middle School.

We also engage the community by partnering with nonprofits, festivals, and by providing experiences for adults with special needs.

Learn more about the many ways we engage with the community through Art for All.

If you would like more information about these programs, please contact us at

Student-Centered Programs

School in the Park

Funded through the generosity of Price Charities, School in the Park is an innovative program that shifts the location of school from a traditional classroom setting in City Heights, to the resources and educational opportunities available at museums in Balboa Park.

Students from Rosa Parks Elementary and Wilson Middle School participate in unique one-week-long educational experiences offered by nine cultural institutions inside San Diego’s world-famous Balboa Park. The program enables students to spend up to nine weeks, or twenty-five percent of their school year, learning and making real-world connections at the park.

Artist-in-Residence Program

Sponsored by the Arts Education Council

The Museum’s Arts Education Council funds artist residencies at elementary schools in East County. A Museum artist-educator visits three schools in the La Mesa Spring Valley School District virtually: Avondale, Casa de Oro, and Highlands Elementary. The Artist-in-Residence Program develops art lessons centered on Museum exhibition content and presents art processes and methods to classroom teachers so they can continue implementing art curriculum after the end of the residency. The program includes a virtual visit to the Museum and an exhibition of student work for the families.

Engagement with Community Schools and Institutions

The Museum offers a variety of ambitious student-centered engagement programs that serve over two thousand students in the greater San Diego area annually. Long-term, multiple visit programs enable our professional artist-educators to spend time with each student, and to help them express themselves through art.

Throughout the year, Museum educators visit up to twelve sites, providing anywhere between six and twenty workshop sessions, visits to the Museum, and student exhibitions.

Among the sites is The Monarch School, the only school in the country that exclusively serves students experiencing homelessness. The Museum provides art education modules, sequential art learning experiences, and Museum visits throughout the school year.

The teen art program at ALBA (Alternative Learning for Behavior and Attitude) is an interdisciplinary educational program for middle school students designed to promote an artistic outlet, social growth, critical thinking, and to make students aware of career opportunities in the arts.

Kearny Mesa Juvenile Court School is one of the two juvenile detention centers in the region with fluctuating student bodies. Because these students cannot visit the Museum in person, educators have designed workshops with art practices that help students relate to everyday life outside of detention, as well as providing a positive creative outlet within an otherwise rigid environment.

The Museum also serves Bayside Community School in Barrio Logan, which offers independent study programs for students referred by probation, social services, or school district offices.

Museum educators also visit Chula Vista Middle School, which serves students specifically interested in the creative and performing arts.

Guest Pass Donation Requests

The San Diego Museum of Art is proud to support the non-profit community within San Diego County. Because the Museum receives thousands of requests throughout the year, the following criteria are considered when awarding donations.

If approved, you will receive via email a voucher for redemption of a pair of guest passes valid for general admission at the Museum during regular business hours. Guest passes are not valid for ticketed events or Art Alive.

The requesting organization must:

  • Be a 501(c)3 non-profit in good standing in the State of California
  • Serve within San Diego County
  • Be arts- or education-related, or have a mission to reach the greatest number of people in the San Diego County community
  • Not be affiliated with any political party

This criteria allows the Museum to support our community in alignment with our mission to inspire, educate, and cultivate curiosity through great works of art. To submit a request for donation, click here.


Memories at the Museum | Alzheimer Tour

“Memories at the Museum” is a collaboration with UCSD’s Alzheimer’s Research Center, the Timken Museum, Mingei International, and MOPA to offer tours to people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s. This outreach program serves student, senior centers, libraries, community organizations. For more information please email Dr. James Grebl, Manager of Docent Programs, at


The Museum participates in family festivals and fairs throughout the region. Museum staff and volunteers offer an art-making activity related to a current exhibition, which encourages participants to visit the Museum.

You can meet the SDMA staff at Chicano Park Festival (spring), Market Creek Arts and Culture Festival (fall), Día de la Mujer (spring), Diwali Festival of Lights (fall), and Día de los Muertos (fall).

Please contact to learn more about our past outreach engagements.