Inner-City Arts

Documentation Classroom


  • Founded in 1993 by public school administrators Bob Bates and Irwin Jaeger
  • Formed partly in response to California’s Proposition 13, which was added to the state constitution in 1978.  It resulted in several tax caps that virtually eliminated arts education from many California public schools.


  • ICA occupied a small, temporary space for several years. This is similar to many other not-for-profits, but it wasn’t conducive to the learning environment ICA was trying to be.
  • Architect Michael Maltzan collaborated with the ICA team to repurpose an abandoned garage in Los Angeles’s Skid Row.  The finished product is described on the website for MoMA’s “Small Scale, Big Change” page, as “employ[ing] a restrained and unified architectural language of simple, abstracted geometries with accents of bright orange, in which student creativity takes center stage. Highly adaptable interior and exterior spaces are intimate yet airy arenas for kids; tArchitecture of campushe main courtyard is a comfortable environment in which to gather, play, and explore, a haven in a neighborhood whose outdoor space is often unsafe.
  • ICA’s building was designed with community in mind; low, bright white stucco walls communicate the openness of the organization to the community and its commitment to upkeep, even on Skid Row.

What do they do?

  • As stated on their website, ICA’s mission statement is: “Inner-City Arts provides elementary, middle and high school students, many living in Los Angeles’ poorest neighborhoods, with the tools and skills they need to succeed academically and personally.”
  • ICA works in partnership with many Los Angeles area schools to provide school age children with the only art education they will have during the school day. ICA allows students who are most at risk for academic failure (those with Limited English Proficiency, living in high-poverty areas) to experience academic and personal growth.  ICA’s after school program preoccupies students who might otherwise get involved with gangs or other violent activities.

AnalysisStudents on campus

Information that we would need to gather to understand the negotiations

  • We would have to research the architect who designed the campus as well as the neighborhood that the institution is located in.
  • The area is located in the inner city. Inner cities are usually considered rough parts of town, so it would be necessary to gain information on inner cities, such as the education systems in inner cities, drop out rates, as well as the positive effects of inner city programs like this one.
  • We could also look at how the art benefits the children, not only in academics, but also in the fact that the kids will stay away from bad activities such as gangs and drugs.


Inner-City Arts and Grassroots

10, نوفمبر 2010
Group Members: Hilary Yeganegi, Andreas Nilsson, John Walker, Sarah Lashinsky

Inner-City Art    

Inner-City Arts    

Inner-City Arts describes itself on it’s website as “an oasis of learning, achievement and creativity for underserved children in the heart of Skid Row”.  The Los Angeles arts education program is a haven for local children and youth, and offers them with every amenity to submerge themselves in studio life.  Professional teaching artists provide hands-on instruction in well-equipped studios.  ICA’s campus is the ideal venue for creation.  Architect Michael Maltzan repurposed an abandoned garage, and outfitted it with simple, geometrical design.  The workspaces manage to accommodate lots of students, yet are still intimate. To kids who may have come to believe that “dreams are for other children”, ICA may be the perfect micro-city in a rough-and-tumble neightborhood.    




Architect and Students    

Architect and Business Owners    

Architect and Teachers    

Students and Teachers    

Why did we choose this?    

Inner-City Arts caught our eye when we were browsing around MoMA’s website for their Small Scale, Big Change project.  The campus is so beautiful we were intrigued to discover that it is actually in skid row.  In the end, we’re happy to give this project any exposure; it seems that Inner-City Arts does a lot of good.

Taxonomic Categories    

Charitable Design, Urban Design, Urban Integration, Community-Based Design




Notes is an organization that promotes social changes by endorsing other smaller organizations by offering them money to fulfill their goals. The organization offers an average of $10,000 a year for each organization. Basically the website is there to promote the creation of grassroots organizations and to get them started.    


Donors and the website    

Donors and Grassroots organizations    

The Website and Grassroots organizations    

Grassroots organizations and society    

Grassroots organizations and their cause    

Why did we choose this? provides money for grassroots organizations that are trying to start a social change, but might not have enough resources to become a fully started organization. Many grassroots organizations have trouble starting up because they are being funded by only a couple of people so usually there is a lack of resources and have trouble spreading their cause. So helps these grassroots organizations spread their cause by funding them.    

Taxonomic Categories    

Societal Design, Communal Design, Economic Design, Charitable Design