Our mission is to build on the power of art to transform lives and communities through creating, teaching, and presenting the arts.
Nonprofit and donor-supported, Armory Center for the Arts is a national leader for contemporary art exhibitions and community arts education. The Armory believes that an understanding and appreciation of the arts is essential for a well-rounded human experience and a healthy community.
Community Art Education
At the core of our mission is a deep commitment to social justice through arts education. Every day, Armory Teaching Artists transform lives and communities through the power of art. We went from teaching year-round studio art classes for all ages from our Old Pasadena campus to now online virtually, where students can learn from the comfort and safety of their own homes. We offer full scholarships for eligible students of all ages. Quickly adapting, our teaching artists completely reinvented how they teach art in the age of COVID while ensuring equitable access for everyone.
Our teaching artists are the foundation of our organization. For years, they have collaborated with incarcerated teens to create murals inside juvenile detention camps. They've instructed graphic design workshops at continuation high schools in Boyle Heights and now instruct art classes virtually that empower students to express themselves with art. They help public school teachers integrate art with math to excite imaginations and inspire critical thinking. They deliver free art classes at low-income elementary schools, inner-city parks, and recreation centers—mentoring some our most vulnerable community members. The Armory can do all these things for one simple reason: we have a strong community that supports and inspires us. You are part of this community. This is what the power of art looks like. This is your Armory.
If you'd like to support the efforts of our teaching artists, learn how here.
Contemporary Art Exhibitions
Armory exhibitions inspire dialogue around visual culture and contemporary life, contribute to global discourses in contemporary art, and introduce contemporary visual art to Pasadena, Southern California, and beyond. In addition to critically acclaimed exhibitions by contemporary artists, our exhibitions team also produces a broad range of public programs, including artist residencies, forums, screenings, and performances, many of which we now bring to you online.
Armory Arts @Home
We can still come together as a community to celebrate the power of art. Everything you love about the Armory has gone virtual - art activities, classes, community events, exhibition programs, and more. As we continue developing, we'd like to hear your ideas. What kinds of activities and content would you like to see? How can the Armory further help our community? Please email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cultural Equity and Inclusion (CEI)
While 2020 presented profound challenges to the Armory, the importance of our cultural equity and inclusion work is underscored by the growing social movements dismantling institutional racism.
Cultural equity and inclusion work at the Armory means listening to the needs of our constituents and then seeing how we can play a role in achieving community cohesiveness, promoting wellness, and providing channels for self expression at a time of great uncertainty and intensified emotions.
Through art and education programs, we believe our role is to enhance social-emotional wellness, provide a powerful vehicle for self-expression, unite communities, and to help offer creative career pathways, which is more important now than ever. As the pandemic has further emphasized the economic disparities in our communities, the Armory, moving forward, focuses the majority of our efforts and resources on the most vulnerable populations and will seek to do this work more efficiently through the merging of our community, schools, and exhibition programs.
We will focus on serving the most vulnerable populations facing most acute challenges and will work with them wherever they are in the places where we can make the greatest impact.
Below is the Armory's Cultural Equity and Inclusion Policy. Many arts organizations across Los Angeles County are engaging in work towards diversity and inclusion. At the Armory, we are integrating these values into our organizational DNA. This policy represents several months of work by our entire organization—from interns and artists, to board members. We understand this work represents an on-going process. This journey will take time, courage, persistence, and commitment as we build the Armory's future.