Learning life-long skills through the arts.

2017 Applications Available: March 1 - April 7

Neighborhood Studios
is the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s award-winning, nationally recognized summer arts apprenticeship program for area teenagers between 14-18. The six-week summer program kicks off on June 27 and includes an immersive, hands-on education in the arts, as well as career-skills training.  

Working as paid apprentices at some of Hartford’s most renowned cultural institutions, students receive training in dance, theatre, photography, writing, stage design, music, and public art. Apprentices are paid a $100 weekly stipend, teaching them the important responsibility of a paying job. Throughout the program, apprentices participate in all-day workshops with master teaching artists including a career building curriculum that teaches resume building, financial literacy, interviewing and networking skills, as well as vocational skills necessary to succeed in today’s workforce: creative problem solving, multi-media communication, teamwork and civic responsibility. Apprentices are selected from across the Arts Council's 34-town service area, providing an opportunity for teenagers to learn from others with different cultural, economic and geographic backgrounds. 

Join us for Neighborhood Studios Showcases! 

2016 Studio Partners 

The Arts Council is proud to partner with 7 local arts and cultural institutions to offer the following studio programs:

The Amistad Center for Art & Culture — SNAP! Photography
Apprentices who join this studio will work with a master teaching artist to carry out the mission of The Amistad Center while learning the elements of art and principles of design through photography. We’ll explore themes of urban and rural art, as well as land and agriculture through the camera lens. Working together as a team and independently, apprentices will gain experience working in a dark room before moving to digital photography. They will also learn photographic history and practice, fundamental photography techniques and skills, design and install a gallery show as well as prepare a professional portfolio. The culminating activity will be a public photography exhibition of their works at The Amistad Center for Art & Culture.  
See photographs from the apprentices that tell their stories

Hartford Stage — Breakdancing Shakespeare
Combining the text of a classic Shakespearean play with the language of hip hop, rap and breakdancing, apprentices in this studio will experience a six-week rehearsal process, take master classes with guest artists, which have included text and vocal work, music and recording, stage combat and more, to develop an exciting Breakdancing Shakespeare production. This year, we will stage a new production of Romeo and Juliet, which was the first Breakdancing Shakespeare show in 2006. The program culminates in three public performances on the MainStage at Hartford Stage, on August 11, 12 and 13.
Watch the apprentices in action as they perform Hamlet

Knox - Art for Good 
Want your summer to last? KNOX and their Community Garden Artist in Residence, Carol Padberg, will bring your creativity into the sun and the soil for the Art for Good Neighborhood Studio. Over 6 weeks, you'll work in concert with the team to learn design thinking, sustainability, and expand your concrete skills in the arts as you build an ever expanding curiosity cabinet to represent the past and present of Hartford's environmental movement. Art can be a major force of social change locally and around the world. We hope you'll join us in this future.

The Mark Twain House & Museum — Write to the Point! 
Apprentices who are part of this studio will spend their summer as paid writers at The Mark Twain House & Museum. You’ll meet experienced writers, peers who share your passions, and career experts-- but most of all, you'll unleash your ideas, observations, and dreams through creative nonfiction and writing your heart out.
Listen to stories from the apprentices.

TheaterWorks – Making a Scene (New Studio)
Apprentices at this studio will have the opportunity to work with professional set designers and help craft the set and props for TheaterWorks 2016 summer production, MIDSUMMER. Working in tandem with a combination of professional staff, visiting designers, and Kinsella School teachers, apprentices will learn the fundamental principles of designing and building theatrical scenery. During technical rehearsals of MIDSUMMER, apprentices will shadow and work alongside some of the industry’s most accomplished designers as well as technicians — stage crew and managers, designers, props artisans, light board and sound operators and more -- to learn the collaborative nature of theatre, and the many people and talents it takes to put on a show. The studio experience will culminate in a reception for students, parents, family and friends, as well as a talkback session with the apprentices following a performance of MIDSUMMER.

Real Art Ways — Eye on Video
Eye on Video is an unparalleled opportunity for youth to learn the art of filmmaking under the guidance of a Master Teaching Artist. Apprentices will learn professional camera and computer operation, digital video production, editing with Final Cut Pro, storytelling and composition, and an emphasis on career preparedness. This studio culminates in a Youth Film Festival at Real Art Ways. 
Watch film trailers from the apprentices

Artists Collective — Youth Jazz Orchestra 
Apprentices develop instrumental and performing skills to a higher proficiency. Studies include improvisation, creative expression, sight-reading, theory, voice, the history of Pan African Music and Diaspora, the traditional African-American music of jazz, blues, and gospel, modern concepts, Western classical technique and related musical traditions. Under the direction of professional musicians, the program provides students with optimum exposure and interaction with instructors, performing opportunities and bandstand decorum with solo development. Students will be taught auditioning skills for future enrollment at music conservatories and college music programs.
Hear music from the apprentices


Learn about apprentices' experiences on our blog! 



Photos from Neighborhood Studios 2015


Thank you to our funders for supporting the 2016 Neighborhood Studios program:

Presenting Sponsor

Contributing Sponsor

Supporting Sponsor

Studio Sponsors

Ensworth Charitable Foundation

Howard A. Fromson 


Contact Us

The Greater Hartford Arts Council

PO Box 231436, Hartford, CT 06123-1436

100 Pearl Street, 1st Floor, Hartford, CT 06103



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