Start a Career in Art and Design with These 5 Courses in NYC

The demand for positions such as multi-media artists, visual effects specialists, and graphic designers is growing. As the industry expands, the need for professionals in art and design occupations increases with it.1 NYC is home to prestigious design schools like SVA, FIT, and Parsons and world-class art institutions like the Cooper Hewitt Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art. Whether you’re an adult rebooting your career or a youth exploring the possibilities, get started on a career in art and design with these 5 courses from local NYC organizations.

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Explore Art and Design Courses, Lectures, and Programs in NYC

National Academy of Design

With roots dating back to 1825, The National Academy of Design’s mission is to promote fine arts education in America through exhibitions and education. While its name has changed 5 times between 1825 to 2017, the mission of the organization has stayed the same: enrich and educate new generations of artists and architects while preserving and sharing their work with the public.

The National Academy of Design offers a variety of educational offerings, including forums, tours, and workshops that are designed to connect you with the National Academy of Design’s yearly-elected National Academians to learn from their expertise in their respective fields.

Subscribe to the National Academy of Design Newsletter for Updates on Educational Programming


Art Students League

The Art Students League is an organization created by artists, for artists. Striving to make art education accessible for all, The Art Students League opens up opportunities for individuals pursuing a career in the creative arts. Through the generous donations of benefactors, the Art Students League offers affordable lessons in a variety of artistic mediums.

In addition to educational events and exhibitions, The Art Students League offers lessons in printmaking, painting, drawing, welding, sculpting, and mixed media, as well as specialized classes for children.

Explore Available Classes and Workshops



Art21 provides students with first-hand experience from contemporary artists such as. Their mission is to inspire a more creative world through the works and words of contemporary artists. For over two decades, Art21 has used the power of digital media to introduce millions to contemporary art and artists.

Art21 proudly offers a professional development program for individuals in education called Art21 Educators. This year-long program teaches K-12 educators how to incorporate art into their daily teachings. Participants will learn how to design an art-focused curriculum, discuss films, visit museums, and attend lectures by distinguished artists.

Get Inspired by Local Artists with Videos from the Art21 Library



Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter supports artistic innovation and independent thought by shining a light on sculpture and its impact on the world around us through exhibits and events, and more. SculptureCenter provides an international forum to connect artists and audiences with exhibitions, commissioning, and educational scholarships.

SculptureCenter wants to encourage youth to pursue an education in the arts. The organization offers a free, three-week summer program for high school students called Public Process that opens the door to explore public art, urban planning, and architecture. Public Process empowers students to explore New York City and engage with the artists and professionals who shape the cultural and civic life of the state.

Get Involved with Public Process to Explore Public Art, Urban Planning, and Architecture


Art Start

Art Start serves New York City’s underserved youth through consistent creative workshops. They bring their work to homeless shelters, incarceration programs, and partner youth agencies to ensure underprivileged students can benefit from educational arts programs.

Creative Connections are spaces where youth can discover their place in the creative world. Programs include the Emerging Artist Program. This opportunity provides scheduled coursework, project creation, career-counseling, and more to youth between 14-20 who have exhibited creative talent but can’t access the resources to nurture it into a career.

Discover How to Support or Participate in the Emerging Artists Program



A hub of creativity - New York City offers a variety of opportunities for art and design students to kickstart their education. Consider participating in the above NYC courses and programs and foster a passion for arts and design in your career. For more arts-related opportunities, New Yorkers can get involved with:

  • Museum of the City of New York: The Museum of the City of New York engages audiences through exhibitions, learning opportunities, publications, and public events.
  • Harlem Arts Festival: The Harlem Arts Festival showcases Harlem artists in order to preserve the legacy of the neighborhood's artistic achievements.
  • CreativeMornings: CreativeMornings provides the opportunity to engage with like-minded individuals by offering short, free talks to the creative community one Friday each month.
  • Ballet Tech: With an emphasis on classical dance, Ballet Tech is committed to bringing arts education to individuals in underserved communities pursuing careers in performing arts.
  • American Institute of Graphic Design: The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) aims to inspire by sharing great designs and advocating for the role design plays in public life.


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