Since the summer of 2000, Metro Arts has provided area youth 15-21 years old with paid summer apprenticeships in various arts disciplines. The program provides opportunities for youth and enhances the community through the arts. For five weeks, area youth work together in groups to complete art projects under the supervision and mentorship of professional artists. Participants learn the artistic techniques and applications of their genre while developing personally and professionally.
As part of Quad City Arts’ continued focus on equity and accessibility the Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship Program expanded program offerings in 2021. In 2021, the program introduced projects in graphic design, poetry, and film. These projects were designed to be accessible to students with interest in multiple creative areas. The graphic design program was developed in partnership with Black Hawk College, so students did not need to provide their own computer, design software licenses, or any other equipment. Film and poetry were also designed in a similar manner. “We are excited to continue to offer more accessible options for our paid arts apprenticeship program,” says Executive Director, Kevin Maynard.
This year’s Metro Arts program will start on Monday, June 6 and end on Thursday, July 7. Apprentices will meet for up to four hours Monday through Thursday. Apprentices receive a stipend of $500, and Senior Apprentices (project leaders) receive a stipend of $750.
The program is highly rewarding for apprentices as expressed by a 2020 Metro Arts Apprentice, Maggie Pope:
"Last year was my first year doing the Summer Mural Painting, and I can confidently say I developed so many skills just within the month and a half of working for Metro Arts. In that short amount of time, I found myself wishing to go to work everyday— which is almost an impossible task when you’re required to work in the one-hundred degree heat with a mask on. Being with the artists around me helped me learn so many new strategies and techniques with painting. They also gave me a whole new perspective on how the process of large projects are made. Most of all, though, the artists around me turned me into a better person. I literally felt myself being more happy and successful in my work, which is a dream everyone wants."
This project will be led by Lead Artist, Aubrey Barnes. Apprentices will learn the elements of creating poetry including rhyming schemes, it’s cross-section with music, and more. Apprentices will have opportunities to workshop and present the pieces they create, and at the end will see their work published in a chapbook.
Apprentices will work closely with independent filmmaker and educator Jonathan Burnett and learn the art of filmmaking through the entire process. Apprentices will create a short film including writing the script, filming, editing, sound design, and more. Apprentices will learn the elements of film design using professional equipment, but walk away with an understanding that can be translated to creating short films on something as small as a cell phone.
Led by Lead Artist, Sarah Robb, apprentices will work with a client to determine their wants in a mural, then work as a team to create two or more concepts to be presented. Once the client offers feedback the apprentices will get to work on making their concept take shape into a beautiful mural.
Under the direction of Annie Oldenburg, apprentices will learn the basics of graphic design using the Adobe suite. In 2021, apprentices created vinyl wraps for windows in Downtown Rock Island to showcase what sort of businesses they wanted to see more of in Downtown Rock Island. The 2022, design project will be similar, but is still being developed.
Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship projects begin on June 7 and will conclude on July 9.
Apprentices will meet Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
*Friday, July 8 is the only Friday apprentices may be needed to make final touches on projects.*