Destiny Arts Center exists to end isolation, prejudice and violence in the lives of young people.
We accomplish our mission by:
- Offering skills training to youth, ages 3-18, through after-school, weekend and summer programs in the performing and martial arts, and violence prevention at our main site, and in outreach programs at local schools and community centers.
- Providing youth with caring adult mentors.
- Supporting youth in developing an individualized series of artistic expression.
- Giving youth opportunities to share a message of peace and empowerment through performances, events, and workshops.
- Nurturing the physical, emotional and spiritual development of young people.
When Destiny has succeeded in our work, young people will value themselves and others – ever mindful of the ways their words, actions, and attitudes affect their communities, and the world. They will: respond rather than react to situations; teach and practice love rather than violence; honor people from different backgrounds and experiences equally; and be connected to and participants in the life of their communities.
our values & beliefs
- The principles of love, respect, care, responsibility, honor, and peace as embodied in Destiny’s Warrior’s Code.
- Building and sustaining a diverse and inclusive community.
- Being able to provide services to youth regardless of their families’ ability to pay.
- That youth are inherently good.
- That based on the social and political climate of today, young people experience isolation, violence, and prejudice in their lives.
- That youth respond favorable to love and positive reinforcement.
- That everyone has a unique voice and that each voice is equally important.
- That when communities take active responsibility for the struggles as well as the successes of all its young people, youth, and thus communities, are more likely to thrive.
More than two decades ago, our founders had a dream: to create a space where young people could learn to prevent violence in their lives and share a message of peace with their communities. Our founding Executive Director, Kate Hobbs, was adamant that all youth learn the basic skills needed to keep themselves safe. She and founding Martial Arts Director Sifu Anthony Daniels, both black-belt martial artists, worked together to create Destiny Arts Center (De-Escalation Skills Training Inspiring Non-violence in Youth), tailoring it to meet the unique needs of Oakland’s children. In 1988, Destiny began programs at local elementary schools, providing intensive martial arts and deescalation training during after-school hours.
The program quickly expanded into center-based after-school and weekend programs for youth ages 3-18 in traditional martial arts– which included meditation, rigorous physical training, sparring and judo within a formal belt-system, and skill building for peaceful conflict resolution.
In 1990, in an effort to provide even more relevant, movement-based violence prevention programming, Sarah Crowell was invited to set the groundwork for Destiny’s now vibrant dance program. All dance and martial arts students learned the tenets of the Warrior’s Code and the practical self-defense and conflict resolution skills which would become our Five Fingers Violence Prevention curriculum
In 1993, Crowell and Hobbs formed the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company (DAYPC). The Company mingled the performing and martial arts with philosophies of nonviolence to create original thought provoking performance pieces that highlighted young peoples’ fears and hopes, increasing social awareness and promoting social change.
Our center’s programs continued to grow and now serve hundreds of youth during after-school, weekend and summer hours when youth are most at risk for harmful behavior. Each year, thousands of children and adults attend Destiny Arts Center workshops, performances and events led by our professional instructors and students. Our many dedicated volunteers are also essential to our success. Together, we’ve built Destiny Arts Center into a leading violence prevention, youth development and arts education center that directly serves over 4,000 young people annually.