The Museum is proud to partner with individuals, schools and foundations to bring the arts to underserved audiences.

By removing the financial barriers and taking art to the audiences, Museum artist-educators provide multiple-visit programs that are tailored to the needs of underserved audiences, especially at-risk teens.

Among the sites served by Museum outreach are ALBA (Alternative Learning for Behavior and Attitude), The Monarch School, Bayside Blended, Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility, and Chula Vista Middle School.

The San Diego Museum of Art strives to provide “Art for All” through our various forms of outreach. Our Education Department provides workshops and instructions for students of diverse backgrounds through a variety of outlets. We engage with the community by partnering with nonprofits, festivals, and providing experiences for adults with diminished capacity.

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

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. In the coming school year (2019-20), a Museum artist-educator will visit four schools in the La Mesa Spring Valley School District: La Mesa Dale, Avondale, Casa de Oro and Highlands.

The Artist-in-Residence Program develops art lessons centered on Museum exhibition content and presents art processes and methods to classroom teachers so that they may continue implementing art curriculum after the end of the residency. The program includes a visit to the Museum and an exhibition of student work shown in the Museum’s Auditorium.

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 an inner-city school to the resources and educational opportunities available at museums in Balboa Park. The instructional environment offers interactive learning and encourages students to become active participants in their own education. The participating third- to eighth-grade students and their families are invited to return to the Museum free of charge.

Learn more about this incredibly impactful School in the Park program.

Outreach to Underserved Students

To help fill the void left by program and budget cuts in schools, the Museum offers a variety of ambitious student-centered outreach programs that serve over two thousand underserved youth. These programs are particularly committed to working with young people who are considered “at-risk.” The Museum offers long-term, multiple visit programs with professional artist/educators who can spend time with students and 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 a final reception or exhibition.

Among the sites is the Monarch School, the only school of its kind in the country that serves students experiencing homelessness. The Museum provides the art education module and the program consists of sequential arts 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 who have been expelled from the San Diego Unified School District. Using art as a vehicle, the program is 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 a fluctuating student body. While the students cannot leave the detention centers to visit the Museum, the workshops are designed to expose the youth to the connection between art and everyday life, and they provide a creative outlet in what is otherwise a rigid environment.

Other outreach sites include Bayside Blended School for students that are on probation in the heart of Barrio Logan and Chula Vista Middle School, which serves working class first generation and immigrant Mexican-American students.


Memories at the Museum | Alzheimer Tour

Participate in “Memories at the Museum” 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 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 community. Museum staff and volunteers offer an art making activity related to a current exhibition, encouraging participants to visit the Museum.

You can meet the SDMA staff at Chicano Park Festival (spring), Market Creek Arts & 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.