The Amory Center for the Arts builds on the power of art to transform lives and communities through creating, teaching, and presenting the arts.
At the core of the Armory’s work is a deep commitment to social justice through arts education. A key goal of the Armory’s mission is to provide engaging, high-quality art classes and art experiences in the region’s lowest income neighborhoods in order to advance cultural equity. Over 80% of programming serves socioeconomically disadvantaged youth and families.
Deeply committed to public access, education, and outreach programs, the Armory presents contemporary art exhibitions, performances, and educational experiences at its main facility and at satellite locations throughout Pasadena and Los Angeles. Two tenets historically make the Armory unique: engagement of professional artists with the community as educators and as exhibiting artists; and innovation and leadership in responding to the artistic needs of the community.
Armory programming spans five areas:
- Community programs provide year-round free programming to socioeconomically disadvantaged youth, teens, families, incarcerated youth, homeless adults, and senior citizens focused on accessible community centers in low-income neighborhoods, serving over 6,500 participants annually.
- School based artist residencies deliver exemplary visual arts education programs that support cross-curricular learning, targeting underachieving students at Title I schools. Each year, 2,500 students receive in-class instruction and 2,000 students participate in the Armory’s gallery fieldtrip program.
- Studio programs offer visual and media arts classes for children, teens, and adults, designed and taught by Armory Teaching Artists at its main facility. Tuition assistance is readily available, with over $140,000 in scholarships awarded each year. Studio enrollment reaches 3,700 participants annually through 390 classes.
- Professional development provides training in arts education pedagogy and instructional techniques for artists entering the teaching profession, established teaching artists, and public school multi-subject teachers. In partnership with Pasadena Unified School District, the Armory is a recipient of three major U.S. Department of Education grants, with the most recent (2017-2021) providing a school-wide visual arts integrated curriculum to support the transition of Altadena Elementary School into an arts magnet.
- Contemporary visual arts exhibitions and performance based work include rigorously researched and professionally presented exhibitions, screenings, performances, publications, lectures, and panels onsite as well as temporary installations at off-site venues, all of which are free to the public.