(858) 367-0813

How we started


Patty Smith and Jeri Denniston

ArtsBusXpress (ABX) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2002 to specifically underwrite field trip transportation connecting San Diego school children with arts and science venues.

Through this effort, ABX is committed to providing students access to rich, integrated in-depth learning experiences outside the classroom at more than 200 regional venues. The program is available to over 500,000 children in the 42 school districts and 646 schools in San Diego County.

ABX was founded by local San Diegans Patricia Smith and Jeri Denniston, both patrons of local museums and the arts. They had discovered how many San Diego children had never left their neighborhoods or ventured outside the classroom to visit a museum or coastal tide pool. They were astonished to find that San Diego County school districts did not have the funding to send each county K-12 student on a field trip just once a year.  So they did something about it and started ArtsBusXpress.

A Five-Way Partnership Started It All

ArtsBusXpress began as an unprecedented 5-way partnership with San Diego City Schools, the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, the Community Council for Music in the Schools, San Diego Arts Education Partnership, San Diego City Schools-Visual and Performing Arts, and the San Diego-Tijuana Sister Cities Society, the founding partner.


In April 2005, ArtsBusXpress became an independent 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation.

To get the buses rolling, founding grants were made by the Dickinson Foundation and corporate sponsors from the arts and framing industry. To date, foundations, corporate sponsors, art patrons, and individual donors are putting wheels under our vision of arts in the education of every child -- and YOU can join them!


We guarantee your support will make a difference in the lives of every student we serve. Your contribution will expand each student's exposure to arts, culture, science and technology to fill the gap no longer provided by our school systems.