Summer program offers workforce development and training from professional artists 

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, in partnership with Jubilee Arts, launch Art @ Work: Sandtown, a five-week summer employment program for Baltimore City youth. Beginning Monday, June 29 through Friday, July 31, Art @ Work: Sandtown will employ 80 young people as artist apprentices under master teaching artists to create eight highly visible murals throughout their community. The program is an expansion of Jubilee Arts’ year-round art programs for teens. Art @ Work employs youth enrolled in the city’s “YouthWorks” initiative, a workforce development program that matches young people between the ages of 14 and 21 to five-week work experiences with private sector, nonprofit, and city and state government employers.

“This project will be a meaningful collective response to events of April 27. Our community-based nonprofit and youth from our neighborhood, who will be employed as key stakeholders, will be creating murals that will beautify our community for years,” said Todd Marcus, executive director of Newborn Holistic Ministries, which manages Jubilee Arts.

The goal of Art@Work: Sandtown is to introduce youth to career opportunities in the arts, offer gainful employment in a positive learning environment and to provide Sandtown youth with the tools to express themselves through the arts, all while beautifying the community. The students will also receive soft skills workforce development and financial literacy training, as well as leadership development for areas such as public speaking, community activism, interview preparation, and resume writing. This project is a joint initiative of the City of Baltimore and the neighborhood of Sandtown-Winchester.

The youth participants will work alongside professional artists Paula Phillips, Herb Massie, Ernest Shaw, Amy Sherald, Megan Lewis, Gary Mullen, Mike Thomas and Iandry Randriamandroso.  During the first two weeks, the youth will interview community leaders and residents to develop the concepts they will use to create each mural. On Friday, July 10, each team will present their mural concepts and designs to community members in a Town Hall session from 9am-12pm at the Arch Social Club located at 2426 Pennsylvania Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217. Throughout the course of the program the youth will visit successful African-American-owned artist-based businesses to hear firsthand how the owners infused their artistic talents into prosperous endeavors. Art @ Work: Sandtown culminates with a community celebration at Jubilee Arts Center immediately following the completion of the mural projects on Saturday, August 1.

Art @ Work: Sandtown is made possible through the generous support of The Abell Foundation, Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development, Clayton Baker Trust, France-Merrick Foundation, Lockhart Vaughan Foundation, WBAL Kids Campaign and YouthWorks.

Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA):  Serving as Baltimore City’s arts council, event center and film office, BOPA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that annually produces over 30 programs, all offered to the public free-of-charge.  BOPA reaches an annual estimated audience of more than 1 million through programs including the weekly Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar (under the JFX) and Artscape, the largest free arts festival in the country.  BOPA oversees the city’s mural program, which has produced more than 200 murals and is celebrating its 40th anniversary.  Bright StARTS is BOPA’s out-of-school time arts education program which currently provides Baltimore City children each year with high quality, hands-on arts experiences taught by professional artist educators.

Jubilee Arts:  Started in 2008 to address a serious lack of alternatives for youth and adults facing dangers in their communities, Jubilee Arts works to decrease involvement in drug activity and violence by using art as a tool for social change and community development. Jubilee Arts currently offers 23 classes weekly in ceramics, creative writing, visual arts (including drawing, painting and street art) and dance (including ballet, line dance, hand dance and African dance).  Participants are residents of Sandtown-Winchester, Penn-North, Upton, Druid Heights, Reservoir Hill and Mondawmin and surrounding neighborhoods.  In FY2014, the program served 554 participants in daily classes and 931 participants in special events.  Jubilee Arts is a program of Newborn Holistic Ministries, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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