Ryman Arts logo

Mission: Ryman Arts transforms lives by creating access and opportunity for a diverse community of young artists through rigorous education in fundamental art skills and mentoring.


From a single drawing class for 12 students in 1990, Ryman Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has grown to serve over 500 students annually. We offer intensive out-of-school studio art instruction, college and career guidance, art supplies, and support services—all at no cost to the student.

Watch our 25th Anniversary Video

(c) 2015 Ryman Arts

How Ryman Arts Got Started

Herb Ryman painting Ford Pavilion, 1964-1965 New York World's Fair

Herbert D. Ryman (1910-1989) encouraged young artists throughout his long career as an artist, designer, and Imagineer at Walt Disney Studios. After his death, his friends and family established Ryman Arts in 1989 to carry on his philosophy of teaching foundation skills of drawing and painting, and commitment to encouraging young artists to reach their full potential.

Who Are Our Students?

Ryman Arts student in Foundation Drawing class

Since 1990, Ryman Arts has engaged over 6,000 Southern California young artists in our core program and provided outreach activities to more than 21,000 students in underserved communities. Almost all graduates go on to college, many alumni work in the creative industries, and all are poised for personal success.

This vibrant community of culturally diverse teens comes from more than 190 zip codes across five counties in Southern California. More than 80 percent live in low-income neighborhoods where schools provide little access to art and dropout rates are high.

By supporting Ryman Arts, you are investing in the future to ensure a thriving creative economy in Southern California!

Quick Facts about Ryman Arts

Ryman Arts students with Master Teaching Artist Sergio Rebia at California State University Fullerton

  • Classes are taught by professional artists.
  • Classes are 3½ hours long, meet on weekends, and require 6-8 hours of weekly homework.
  • Classes have been held on the campuses of Otis College of Art & Design and California State University, Fullerton. (Students choose which site to attend; the same classes are offered at each site.) As of fall 2020, classes will be held virtually to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
  • Acceptance to Ryman Arts is highly competitive and based solely on merit.
  • With small class sizes, we are able to provide personal attention and work with each student’s unique circumstance so as to provide the same high quality service to every student.