about art in action


Our Mission:

CEOs across the country agree that an essential skill desired in the next generation workforce is creativity.  In an increasingly demanding visual society, it is clear that building a child’s visual literacy skills is a vital role in their success in the future. Art in Action provides art curriculum, materials, and training that empowers students to develop creativity, critical thinking, self-expression, and problem-solving skills. Through hands-on learning students expand their knowledge in art and art techniques, cultural understanding, technology, and more — so every student has the skills they need to succeed and be prepared for jobs of the future. Today we reach 85,000 students, training 5,000 teachers and volunteers in 623 schools and afterschool programs in 32 states. 51% of those we serve are Title I schools in low-income communities. 82% of our schools are in California, with 55% located in the Bay Area.

Our History and Founder:

As a teacher, Art in Action Founder Judy Sleeth was dismayed to find that her child’s Kindergarten class did not have an art program, so she started writing and teaching her own art lessons to the class. In 1982, she founded Art in Action as a response to a lack of art lessons taught in classrooms and the decimation of art education programs in California schools through Proposition 13. The program grew to area schools through word of mouth as the need for art programs like this continued to grow. In 1999, Art in Action became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and has become an invaluable resource for school communities across the country.

Art in Action founder, Judy Sleeth, discussing Kandinsky painting with students.

Art in Action founder, Judy Sleeth.