We've been inspiring and igniting social change through the arts since 1988.


In 1988, two martial artists opened a small storefront dojo on San Pablo Avenue in North Oakland, envisioned as a safe space where young people could learn and grow. A few years later, these young visionaries were joined by a professional dancer with a drive to create socially engaged dance theater. What they discovered is that movement, storytelling, and collaborative creative process could transform young people’s lives in profound ways. Destiny Arts Center was born.

Old image of some of the first martial arts students at Destiny Arts


Our founders—Kate Hobbs, Anthony Daniels and Sarah Crowell—laid Destiny’s foundation for developing peaceful, powerful and creative young people through a unique combination of self-defense training and movement arts practice. Throughout the years, they have been joined by a skillful, diverse corps of professional teaching artists who, together with the support of a dedicated administrative team and a loving extended community, now engage over 2,600 young people each year in arts practices at our North Oakland center and in public schools and community centers throughout the East Bay. We are committed to reaching young people with the least access to high quality arts education, and the movement arts practices we teach reflect the cultural diversity of the communities we serve. The Destiny community is socio-economically, racially and culturally diverse, and deeply committed to our values of welcome, inclusion and safety.

Image of Destiny Arts Center Artistic Director Sarah Crowell