“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.”

Victor Hugo

Community ARTS

ARTS is innovating approaches to creative community building by engaging youth as the leaders of our efforts.

ARTS’ community development work began in 2012 with our move to National City. Since then, we’ve been a key partner working with government and civic leaders in National City toward their goal of establishing a safe, healthy, and vibrant city where residents feel pride in and ownership of their surroundings.

The ARTS Center serves as an anchor institution and hub of community creativity in National City’s emerging arts and culture district.


Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods Initiative (CVNI)

We are grateful to the founding donors of the Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods Initiative: National City, The San Diego Foundation, The Pomegranate Center, The Orca Fund at The San Diego Foundation, the Lily Lai Foundation, The Robert T. Keeler Foundation, and Bank of America.

In 2015, ARTS launched a 3 year pilot program in community engagement as a strategy to root the organization in the community of National City. We understand that our mission of improving the lives of youth is tied closely to improving the quality of life in communities where youth live, and from that realization, CVNI began.

Through CVNI, ARTS has completed local Gathering Place projects, public murals, and yearly trainings in the Pomegranate Method of community engagement. Youth interns have worked alongside professional artist mentors on CVNI projects, and local residents and volunteers from throughout San Diego County have come together to contribute their time and talents to murals, Gathering Places, and other art projects in public spaces.

From 3 years of CVNI learning, we are excited to launch a new era of creative community development at ARTS that will be sustainable, impactful, and meaningful for National City residents and visitors for generations to come.


Interested in commissioning ARTS to undertake a public art project?

Please contact Nadia Nunez at (619) 297-2787 or nnunez@areasontosurvive.org for more information.