Mission and Vision

our mission

Destiny Arts inspires and ignites social change through the arts.

When we are successful, young people grow up to live meaningful, connected, and secure lives in an inclusive society. As a leading creative youth development organization that equally values mastery of movement arts, inclusive communities, and cultivating advocates for peace, Destiny Arts Center:

  • Delivers programs that develop creative, powerful, and peaceful youth and communities.
  • Creates a welcoming culture of inclusion, and
  • Trains expert, diverse teaching artists.

our vision

We envision a world where young people are creative, powerful, and peaceful.


our values & beliefs

We value:

  • 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.
We believe:
  • 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.

our history

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.

I can spot a Destiny Arts dancer from a mile away...they view performance as a forum for expressing the best parts of themselves.

Linda Carr
Dance Director, Berkeley High School