Arts Education

Serving hundreds of children each year, CEPA’s arts education programs stem from a belief that youth empowerment and success hinges on their access to adult and peer mentors, one-on-one encouragement, and opportunities to share their thoughts and experiences with the larger community. By welcoming honest expression in response to projects that are relevant to their lives, we encourage children to see themselves as agents of change—all while rekindling a pure love of learning.

Our broad array of 10-week arts education programs are designed to utilize artists as partners and combine photography, literary arts, and technology to provide accessible and incredibly powerful opportunities for children to exercise their inherent creativity while exploring themes of self, family and community. CEPA has also recently begun to translate the success of its arts education programs into new initiatives that serve adults and special needs constituents, and we are excited to continue this programmatic expansion.

The outcome of these arts education programs is confident, self-aware partners for change who have developed strong voices, empathy for their community, and the sense of personal and civic responsibility necessary to control their lives and affect their futures.

In addition to our signature arts education programs, we develop customized projects to meet the specific needs of schools, groups, and communities. Read on to discover the variety of arts education programs that CEPA provides to people of all ages—and find out how you can get involved.

Photography Classes & Workshops

CEPA’s photography classes and workshops cover a variety of subjects for students of all ages and skill levels, including:

  • Film and digital photography
  • Graphic design
  • Advanced photography courses, from studio lighting to wedding photography

College credit is available for some classes by enrolling through Empire State College. CEPA also offers private tutoring and custom group workshops to fit your specific needs.

CEPA’s 2019 Photography Classes & Workshops
CEPA Gallery Arts Education - Photography Classes &

CEPA Gallery Arts Education - Art Programs in Schools

Art Programs in Schools

CEPA’s art programs in schools are tailored to specific classroom goals and designed with a particular focus or subject area. Interdisciplinary in nature, these projects expand upon students’ understanding of language arts, science, social studies and technology.

CEPA’s Art Programs in School

Community Arts Programs

Recognized by Michelle Obama with a 2013 National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award, CEPA’s nationally celebrated community arts programs create opportunities for children throughout Buffalo and Western New York to come together and learn in a unique and supportive arts education environment.

Jose Lagares, 18, center, gets a hug from first lady Michelle Obama, left, as Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Arts, Inc., Education Director Lauren Tent of Buffalo, N.Y., watches at right, at the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, where Lagares and Tent were presented with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

CEPA’s Award-Winning Community Arts Programs
CEPA Gallery - Michelle Obama presents the PCAH National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award

CEPA’s After School Programs

CEPA Gallery Arts Education - After School Programs

CEPA’s after school programs give participating students the opportunity to learn about photography through hands-on experience with our exceptionally talented, professional teaching artists.

CEPA’s After School Programs

CEPA’s Special Needs Art Programs

CEPA Gallery Arts Education - Special Needs Art Programs

CEPA’s special needs art programs use photography as an art form to empower individuals of all ages and abilities to tap into their natural artistic abilities.

CEPA’s Special Needs Art Programs

CEPA Field Trips

CEPA Gallery Arts Education - Field Trips

CEPA provides free tours of our galleries for school and community groups. For small groups of up to 10 students, a brief activity in our darkroom can also be scheduled for a small fee.

CEPA Field Trips

CEPA’s Summer Art Programs

CEPA Gallery Arts Education - Summer Art Programs

Under the instruction of our teaching artists, CEPA’s summer art programs engage kids in film photography, digital photography, pinhole cameras, darkroom printing, graphic design, animation, creative writing, and bookmaking.

CEPA’s Summer Art Programs

Visit the Current CEPA Gallery Website