The San Francisco Art Institute’s award-winning City Studio program offers underserved youth high-quality arts education in their own neighborhood, enlists youth in a long term program to gain passion for and skills in the fine arts, and assists them in developing a portfolio for a professional career in the arts and/or to possibly qualify them to apply for higher education.
The City Studio classes offered run for fourteen weeks, parallel to the public school calendar. Courses meet once a week for 2–3 hours, and are held at community and arts centers in neighborhoods throughout the Bay Area. Currently, City Studio satellites in San Francisco include The Bay View Opera House and SCRAP in the Bay View neighborhood, the Excelsior Boys & Girls Club in the Excelsior neighborhood, Galeria De La Raza and The Lab in the Mission District, and SOMArts in the South of Market neighborhood. City Studio’s Oakland is the East Bay Asian Youth Center in Central East Oakland. Courses are offered in all media; current courses include photography, filmmaking and video, electronic music and sound composition, graphic arts and design, sculpture and installation, ceramic sculpture, and authoring video games. In Fall 2011, City Studio also will partner with the Bay Area Video Coalition and SOMArts to establish a neighborhood news studio production facility and teach a course in youth journalism, with television newscasts to be broadcast via Public Access channels.
Classes typically begin two weeks into the public school semester, and end one or two weeks before the end of the public school semester. At the end of each semester, students participate in a public exhibition of their work. In addition, upon completion of a course, students are awarded a training stipend.
City Studio also offers participating youth an opportunity for a scholarship to the San Francisco Art Institute’s PreCollege program. Upon completion of four semesters of City Studio courses, students can be eligible for a full scholarship to the San Francisco Art Institute’s summer Pre-College program, which provides courses in art and art history that qualify for five transferable college credits.
The City Studio Program, now in its sixth year, was originally made possible by support from the Walter and Elise Haas Fund. Program supporters include the National Endowment for the Arts, the Surdna Foundation, the Omnia Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Comer Foundation, the Wells Fargo Foundation, and Adobe Microsystems. Stanford University’s School of Education, under the auspices of their School Redesign Network Program, has cited City Studio as a national model for other educational institutions throughout the country.
Julio Cesar Morales is faculty in the school’s New Genres, Urban Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies Programs. He is an artist/educator/curator currently residing in San Francisco and working both individually and collaboratively. He uses a range of media (photography, video, and printed and digital media) to make conceptual projects that address the productive friction that occurs in transcultural territories such as urban Tijuana and San Francisco, as well as in inherently impure media—such as popular music and graphic design.
Morales’ recent solo exhibitions include, Fototeca de Havana in Cuba, Peres Projects in Los Angeles,Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte Roma, Mexico City, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art with groups shows at The San Juan Triennial in Puerto Rico, Harris Lieberman, New York City, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany, and representing Mexico in the 2006 Singapore Biennale, as well as the 10th Annual Istanbul Biennale. His curatorial projects include Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, The San Francisco Arts Commission, Southern Exposure, and the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art amongst others. He is the founder and co-curator for Queens Nails Annex, an artist-run project space in San Francisco, and is also an adjunct curator at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He has received awards by The Rockefeller Foundation, The Creative Work Fund, Artadia, The San Francisco Arts Commission's Public Art Program, The California Arts Council, The Fleishhacker Foundation, and AIT Arts Initiative Tokyo in collaboration with The Ishibashi Foundation.
Chris Bratton was formerly President of the San Francisco Art Institute and is now president of School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and deputy director of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Bratton joined the San Francisco Art Institute in January 2004 and served as its president until Spring 2010. Bratton is a national leader in arts education and a co-founder of Chicago’s Video Machete, a community-based, youth-organizing arts and media project. Bratton was instrumental to implementing the City Studio Year-Round Program in 2005 and is leading an institutional commitment to strengthening youth and community education and engagement. As an artist and videographer, his work has been shown at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland; Franklin Furnace, New York; P.S. 122, New York; and on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Bratton, received his M.F.A. in film from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1994, attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York from 1984 to 1986, and received his B.F.A. from the Atlanta College of Art in 1982. Since 1992, he has been on the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where, prior to serving as dean, he chaired the Department of Film, Video, and New Media (2000-01); and the Department of Video (1993-95 and 97-98). He is the recipient of grants from the J. Roderick MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Wexner Center for Contemporary Art.
JD Beltran possesses a wealth of experience in arts education and specifically, youth education. She achieved her MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1998, and has been faculty in both the undergraduate and graduate programs at the San Francisco Art Institute since 2002. She also has a J.D. from the UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law. She teaches in the school’s programs in New Genres, Film, Design, Interdisciplinary Studies, Critical Studies, and Urban Studies, and co-developed and has taught the freshman core program, Contemporary Practices, for the past six years. She also has extensive experience conducting arts workshops with underserved populations through the TODCO Group, which provides housing and social services for the poor, disadvantaged, and the working people of South of Market -- elders, hotel residents, homeless, immigrants and families. Those projects included arts workshops collaborating with the residents to create short film documentaries, photography histories, and oral histories, plus staging annual exhibitions of the work.
Beltran’s art practice includes working in film, painting, photography, new media, text, sound, and new genres. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center, the M.H. De Young Museum, the Kitchen in New York, both 2006 and 2008 01SJ New Media Biennials, the Singapore Digital Media Festival, and the Perm Center for Contemporary Art in Perm, Russia. Her public artwork commissioned by the City of San Jose was recognized as one of the best public artworks in the United States for 2009 by the Public Art Network. She has received awards from Artadia, The Public Art Network, The San Francisco Arts Commission's Public Art Program, The Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Arts Writers Program, and ID Magazine. Ms. Beltran also serves as Vice President of the San Francisco Arts Commission (where she serves on the Executive and Visual Arts Committees), and as Vice President of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, (where she is Chair of Marketing). She also writes as a columnist on art and culture for the online edition of the San Francisco Chronicle.
VISITING MASTER ARTISTS
Raqs Media Collective
Rene de Guzman, Curator
CURRENT TEACHING ARTISTS
Laura Boles Faw
CHRISTINE LEE – Assistant Director, 2005
TAMMY KO ROBINSON – Director, 2006
BARBARA GARBER – Assistant Director, 2007