Igniting the youth with A Reason To Survive through the arts in National City

ARTS Center in National City

Nestled within the heart of National City, A Reason To Survive (A.R.T.S) sits as a San Diego treasure in every sense of the word. Think the Magic School Bus or Out of the Box, but in real life and somehow still as magical.

A once grand public library space-turned-bohemian paradise, A.R.T.S is a massive non-profit arts center dedicated to igniting the power of creativity in the youth of San Diego (particularly in National City), inspiring them to overcome personal obstacles with the creative skills needed to create change in themselves and their communities. This includes access to a wide-variety of music making equipment, a woodworking shop, ceramics center, arts and crafts space and more.

Along with access to rare equipment, A.R.T.S also provides various after-school and community volunteer programs for youth of all ages, along with family initiatives designed to promote intergenerational creative exercises. Workshops, panels, youth-led programs, and art exhibitions from youth creators are all common occurrences in the 20,000 sq. ft. building.

Opened in 2013 alongside National City's Kimball Park, the center prides itself in being a beacon of arts in an area of San Diego all too often underserved with creative resources. As one of San Diego County's poorest community, young people in National City constantly face challenges that can stamp out all creative passion before most youth even have a chance to nurture it. With the A.R.T.S center, the A.R.T.S team of adult mentors and volunteer youth leaders work everyday to change that reality and create an inclusive space where passion and creativity reign supreme.