Youth Empowerment Programs

The Crucible loves working with youth ages 8-18! Every year, we connect with more than 5,000 young people through a range of programs. Our engaging and inspiring workshops, summer camps, collaborations with local public schools, and pre-professional training and leadership programs give our wonderful Youth Program participants in-depth knowledge of the creative process, the ability to bring their ideas to life,  confidence in their artistic risk-taking, and new skills that open doors for creative and vocational exploration.

Making art is an amazing way to build confidence, STEAM and STEM skills, competencies in industrial arts, leadership, and creative problem-solving.

Our Signature Programs

The Crucible’s Youth Program provides our most engaged students with meaningful pre-professional training, mentoring, and career counseling. Through a graduated learning structure, youth progress through different programs, projects, and classes, culminating—for our most motivated students—in paid positions in the Fuego Youth Leadership Program and/or Pre-Apprentice Program.

Fuego is a youth leadership opportunity for high school students excited about deepening their technical skills, learning leadership skills, and supporting The Crucible’s youth classes.
The Pre-Apprentice Program provides youth with training in metalworking and the arts, networking opportunities, and collaborations on public art projects that prepare them for future job opportunities in the trades.
Our Bike Program includes drop-in and scheduled activities designed to engage youth—primarily from West Oakland—with the basics of bike mechanics, welding, and engineering.
The Crucible’s free Field Trips offered to Oakland public schools and Title I schools are often a young person’s first exposure to the industrial arts and art making.
We work with youth to inspire the creation of site-specific art installations that emphasize collaboration and connection with our industrial arts education programs.

Classes & Access

Throughout the year, we offer weekend and after school classes in the industrial arts, as well as weeklong camps during spring and summer for youth, ages 8-18.

Where else can a 12-year-old pour molten metal, forge a steel hook, and bend glass into an illuminated neon sign?

In order to ensure our classes are accessible as possible, we provide over $100,000 in youth scholarships annually, holding 20% of all youth class spaces for scholarship students.

Impact You Can Measure

See a full breakdown in our Impact Report.


Provided inspiring educational experiences to over 5,500 young people


Served 60% of all youth free of charge in classes, camps, and field trips

Distributed over $100,000 in youth scholarships to participate in the fine and industrial arts
Employed 15 youth in leadership and workforce development positions, rewarding over $10,000 in compensation
Partnered with over 45 Bay Area schools to provide field trips, workshops, hands-on presentations, and studio tours

You Can Make Our Youth Programs Happen

Give Oakland’s Next Generation A Creative Future

Where The Student Becomes The Teacher

A West Oakland staple for over fifteen years, we have watched young people grow up in our Youth Programs, explore their creativity and begin to master their artistic disciplines. Some discovered a true passion and now—as adults—have joined The Crucible’s regular faculty. Read more of their stories on our blog.

“Five or six years ago, I wasn’t even able to make eye contact or speak with people. Now I am constantly explaining things, because fortunately I was put in an environment where I could grow.”

– Robert Collins,
Welding instructor

“Because of all of the support I have been given, I am in a place to give that support back to many other students. I want to be a role model to some of the high school girls. It will make me feel better to know I inspired some girls to do what I do.”

– Katia Navidad Rallon,
Woodworking instructor

“It taught me to push forward, even when I might feel uncomfortable. I was the only girl in the Pre-Apprentice Program, but I had female teachers who were so badass and strong, that I was inspired to get my hands dirty.”

– Jazzy Schwinges-Williams,
Welding Instructor

“I’m an artist at heart, but I also love teaching. It’s awesome to see somebody I’ve taught become inspired to do more art. It’s great to have that sense that somebody is looking up to you.”

– Adrian Rodriguez,
Blacksmithing Instructor

Questions? Contact Us
(510) 444-0919 x127