Open Arts

Art for Everyone!

Art for all! The creative learning community is one of Hyde Park Art Center’s biggest assets, and we believe that all people–no matter their economic status–should have access to it. The Art Center now offers all arts courses (150+ every year) in all media for all ages and skill levels in the Oakman Clinton School + Studios through Open Arts: a contribute-what-you-can tuition model.

As part of the 2016-2020 strategic plan, we heard from constituents that Hyde Park Art Center’s art-making facilities, teaching artists, and community of makers are a vital part of many people’s lives–and at the same time, that many were unable to participate because of cost. So the Art Center made a radical shift to ensure that no one is shut out due to economic status. In the spring of 2022, after many years of piloting, planning, and support, Open Arts was born.

We ask that everyone contribute what you can to this vibrant creative community–through financial support, class participation, spreading the word via social media, or however else you can. Thank you for joining us!


“I love that you are a resource to the community and have moved to a pay-what-you-can model! For the next term, I actually paid a little more than the suggested amount because I was able, and I love the idea of broadening participation.” – Intro Acrylic student

“Sarah was an outstanding teacher, meeting each student at whatever level they were at, providing clear instruction, patience, and a wealth of knowledge. The class was perfect and I wouldn’t have been able to take it without Open Arts.” –Quiltmaking student

“My daughter loves this class and has taken it online for almost 2 years. We had the teacher last summer for camp. I love the offer of the virtual class.” Did the contribute-what-you-can model impact your ability to take classes? “Yes this makes it something that I can continue to enroll my daughter in each term.” – Anime & Manga Drawing parent

“I pay the suggested amount because I like the way Open Arts has increased the diversity of people able to use the center.  It should reflect what the overall community is.” – 65+ Silver Sculptors student

“The ceramics program at the Art Center is phenomenal. Students and teachers have created a wonderful community of which I felt welcomed and accepted. So much expertise, enthusiasm, and experience in that space. Without Open Arts, I would not have been able to afford it to take this class. I am so pleased I was able to experience ceramics.”  – Intro Ceramics student

“Our income has remained steady and we are currently able to pay the full amount for the class. I care about this community and think this is a great way to encourage more togetherness. Making it possible for all to participate is a kindness in a harsh world.” – Family Clay parent

Open Arts was created to answer a need identified by our community. Sustaining Open Arts and the unique tuition model requires an investment to provide continual opportunities for current and future student artists. We invite you to contribute what you can towards the Open Arts initiative and partner with us to maintain equitable access to arts education.

Thank you for your support!

Open Arts is made possible by Clinton Family Fund in memory of Burton Kanter; Good Chaos; Joyce Foundation; Sacks Family Foundation; Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation; and a community of supporters.

Interested in volunteering or contributing in other ways? Let us know!
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