Who We Are

Founded in 1997, Arts for Humanity! is a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit that provides Expressive Arts Programs for marginalized, under-served community members, at no charge, through partnerships with local nonprofits, artists, and college interns. Arts for Humanity! provides Community Arts Programs in partnership with The Squire Foundation, a nonprofit 501(C)(3), and operates under their umbrella.

What We Do

Arts for Humanity! collaborates with local social service agencies and after-school programs to offer low-income elders, people with disabilities and at-risk youth free ongoing opportunities for personal growth through the arts.

We’re also making a difference in the lives of college interns who we mentor—inspiring a new generation to contribute to their communities through the arts in social service. These specially trained interns along with the staff of Arts for Humanity! enable and encourage each participant to be empowered and build community through dance, theatre, poetry and visual arts.

Please watch this brief video to get a glimpse of the magic of an Arts for Humanity! program:


How You Can Help

Your tax-deductible donation to Arts for Humanity! will help us continue our work to bring transformative arts programming directly to low-income elders, people with disabilities, and at-risk youth every week, at no charge.


I’ve learned so much from working with Arts for Humanity! Karsen taught me to be a better teacher by mentoring me; she spread her love for what she does, enabling it to affect more people.
— Jackie Rotman, Founder, Everybody Dance Now!


Our Programs


At the Heart of It

What began as the simple desire to fill an unmet community need has grown into a year-round commitment to bring weekly arts programming directly to under-served marginalized community members. Our public art exhibits, community events, and celebrated theatre/dance productions break through social barriers and raise community awareness about the gifts and talents within our diverse community.

Community Arts Programs

Our Community Arts Program (CAP) offers interactive arts to people with disabilities, at-risk youth, and seniors while also mentoring college youth engaging in the arts and social service. Working with art forms that include poetry, visual art, theatre, dance, life stories, and musicianship; our programs are offered free of charge to local non-profits. The following programs are encompassed within our Community Arts Program (CAP).

Teaching Artists Program

 Our Teaching Artists Program (TAP) engages professional artists in delivering art classes to partner organizations while also mentoring college youth. TAP draws on the talents of local artists experienced in both teaching and community service, allowing us to expand and enhance the quality of our programming.

Music Alive Program

Our Music Alive Program (MAP) shares the gift of music with seniors at low-income residential centers. Every week we bring musical experiences to our various community partners. Many local talented musicians perform a variety of genres that engage and delight our seniors.  

Creative Internship Program

Our Creative Internship Program (CIP) egages students from UCSB, SBCC, and Westmont to work with Arts for Humanity! as teachers, artists, photographers, videographers, and in PR and marketing. Our interns experience firsthand the benefits of the arts in social service as they expand their world view while changing the lives of others. For information on how to become an AH! Intern, click here.

spontaneous theater

Public Events Program

Our Public Events Program (PEP)  brings “Spontaneous Theatre & Portraits for Youth” to public events where costumes & props provide a plethora of creative opportunities for Santa Barbara youth.

“Inside the Outside,” Arts for Humanity!’s traveling outsider art exhibit, showcases art created by artists with disabilities and local youth from our programs at various Santa Barbara venues.