Miami is one artsy city, and non-profit arts education organization Arts for Learning (A4L) aims to keep it that way with ArtWorks, their newest venture into providing the youth of the Magic City with the resources and skills they need to realize their artistic potential. Made possible by a $75,000 grant from global financial services firm UBS, the program invites accepted high school artists hailing from Miami’s Wynwood Arts District to participate in a six-week paid internship that will educate them as to the importance of the arts to their local community—and provide them with the tools they need to become a part of it themselves.
In addition to creating artwork, the 20 students participating in ArtWorks’ inaugural year, which kicked off earlier this summer, visited local businesses, heard from guest speakers and were taught financial literacy courtesy of a UBS-hosted workshop. “We want the ArtWorks participants to not only understand what it takes to work as a professional artist, but also gain the skills necessary to be successful in any endeavor. College and career readiness are also important program components,” explains A4L executive director Sheila Womble. To that end, students are charged with organizing and promoting the open house that closes out their learning experience, and each participant will leave the program with both a resume and a portfolio.
By imparting aspiring artists with the practical skills needed to make it in the art world, A4L hopes its students will contribute to Miami’s vibrant artistic community in the years to come—and hey, if they can avoid the “starving” part of the “starving artists” label, that’s good for everyone! “The arts are woven into the fabric of this great city,” says Marsha Askins, chief communications officer for UBS Group Americas. “As part of UBS’s steadfast commitment to improving every community where we have a presence, we are proud to support ArtWorks and help provide young people in Miami with a unique learning experience.”
ArtWorks hopes to double its enrollment next summer, providing their unique blend of artistic and career inspiration to 40 high school students. More on the program and its teachers can be found at a4lmiami.wordpress.com; for more on A4L’s additional programs, visit www.a4lmiami.org.