Welcome to The Art Institute of California—Sacramento

Originally the home of several Native American Indian tribes, Sacramento was named by Spanish explorer Gabriel Morega when he arrived there in the early 1800s and proclaimed the area “Sacramento”, the Spanish word for holy sacrament. The city itself was founded in 1849 as a result of an amazing discovery in the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains: gold! Perhaps the original “boomtown,” Sacramento almost immediately became a bustling economic center for the region.

The city formed a perfect hub between the railroad from the west and the local river system, making the city a natural economic center for the entire California territory. Sacramento became the capital of California in 1854, four years after the state was admitted into the Union. The gold rush soon faded, but the city’s economic, and political strength continued.

Today, the Sacramento metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, making it the fourth largest in California. In addition to state government, the city is a major transportation and commerce hub linking the east with much of the California coastal cities. It is also a major cultural center, with playhouses, ballet, concert venues and two professional basketball teams.