The program for 2021 will be conducted in a hybrid format with group sessions and one-on-one mentor meetings taking place online, while working sessions, workshops and field trips will take place in person throughout the San Francisco bay area.


Group sessions take place on Saturday morning, and bring together all students and mentors for reading discussions, presentations, and activities that create meaningful connections. One-on-one sessions are private meetings between students and mentors to work together on developing the students project. These are scheduled throughout the week based on the schedules of mentors and students.

Workshops are unique opportunities presented by mentors that explore specific topics, tools, and concepts in depth. Field trips will see us visiting museums and galleries for special artist talks, guided tours, and other unique experiences only available to Problem Children students.

Problem Children gave me a chance to understand myself and where I came from differently. I learned how to see my past in a different light.

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Areas of focus

We are accepting 10 students total in two distinct groups: Visual Arts and Performance Arts.

The visual arts track is for students actively exploring the fields of Photography, Design (graphic & web), Illustration, Painting, Digital Art, and Architecture.

The performance arts track is for students actively exploring the fields of Dance, Theater, Movement, Video, Music theory, Experimental or social performance, and Storytelling.

Applications are open through June 5th, with video interviews taking place between May 1st and June 5th. We notify accepted students on a rolling basis, and our final day for notifications will be June 8th.

Program general outline

The program is divided into three mostly consecutive sections

  1. The program begins with a focus on readings, presentations, and group discussions that provide context and reference points that create a shared base of understanding among students and mentors.
  2. The second section pushes students to identify their interests and work with a mentor to create an actionable plan of experimentation and research that builds towards the creation of a final project they have designed.
  3. The final section is reserved for students to put in dedicated work towards their project, with space for presentations & critique from the larger group, as well as the production of a final exhibition.


Due to the hybrid online format of the 2021 program, each student is required to have consistent access to a laptop or desktop computer, as well as a comfortable & quiet space for video conferencing sessions. Students should also have a reliable way to get to San Francisco for in-person field trips.

If you would like to apply, but do not have access to a laptop, please let us know in your application.

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