How to Start a Community Art Class

Updated March 23, 2017

A community arts class can be a great way for an artist to earn extra money in between projects. It can also help to strengthen the community and provide positive activities for kids to do after school. Many community arts classes are either set up by age or skill level. They provide people the opportunity to learn more about how to create art in a low-pressure setting. A good community arts class will be able to reach out to a wide variety of community members.

Determine the type of class that you want to teach. Most art classes have a focus such as drawing, painting, pottery and a skill level that is connected with the class. Before you begin the rest of the process you need to have this already in your mind.

Search the community to see if there are already classes taught at the community centre or a local arts centre. If there are you can ask them how to apply to teach a program. Generally they will provide you a place to teach the class and pay you an hourly fee. They may also pay you depending on the number of students enrolled. This makes establishing and advertising your class much easier. If your community offers this write up a proposal for the class you want to teach.

Find a place to hold your class if you do not have a local recreation program offered through your city or your county. Often churches will let you rent a room or two to teach a class during the week. A community centre may do this as well if they do not offer a recreation program of their own. However you will need to bring in your own art supplies and easels.

Apply for funding or grants to help cover the initial start-up costs of a community arts class. This money can be used to help with advertising, buying a classroom set of easels or to pay the first semester's rent for a classroom.

Decide the amount that you will charge per class. You can charge per individual session or charge an amount for a set number of lessons to be completed each month or semester. Generally it is safer to have a fee for set number of lessons, especially when you are just beginning. The fee should cover the building fees, any supplies you provide and still give you a good hourly wage. Determine how many people you need to have enrolled in each class in order to meet those needs and still have a reasonable fee.

Advertise the class. You can advertise on your town's website, in classified ads, with signs at grocery stores or on community notice boards. Offering a free initial class can help to bring people in and build your clientele through word of mouth. On the flyers you should include a short write up of what the class will teach, as well as the date, place and time of all the classes and contact information.

Begin teaching the class on a regular basis.


A local arts council is a great place to find funding for arts classes. The state arts council may help as well, particularly if there are no art programs in your community. Be sure to apply to these organisations for grants to help you get started.

Things You'll Need

  • Location to hold the class
  • Money for supplies and advertising
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About the Author

Miriam C has been writing since 2007. She earned her bachelor's degree in English from Brigham Young University. Among her many jobs, Miriam C has taught middle-school students. She's written for and other clients on finances, family and education.