Mission: Ryman Arts teaches classical drawing and painting to talented and motivated high school students as a bridge to a lifetime that expresses and appreciates the arts.


From a single drawing class for 12 students in 1990, Ryman Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has grown to 40 classes for 600 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 We Got Started

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?

Since 1990, Ryman Arts has engaged over 6,000 Southern California teens in our core program and provided outreach activities to more than 20,000 inner city students. 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 150 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

  • Classes are taught by professional artists.
  • Classes are 3½ hours long, meet on weekends, and require 6-8 hours of weekly homework.
  • Classes are 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.)
  • 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.

Ryman Arts was named a 2015 PBS SoCaL Community Champion!
Watch the video here to learn more about Ryman Arts.



Ryman Arts: A Student’s Perspective
Watch a five-minute video presenting brief interviews with young artists who have participated in Ryman Arts programs. Teens talk about challenges they have faced, accomplishments in the program, and the different Ryman Arts has made in their lives.
Produced and directed by Philip Hover.
(c)2008 Ryman Arts