Neighborhood Studios is the Arts Council’s arts education program for local teens, ages 14-18. During this six-week summer apprenticeship, students receive hands on instruction in an artistic medium, as well as career skills training to prepare them for today’s creative workplace. Each apprentice also receives a weekly stipend so they don’t have to choose between a quality arts education and a summer job. 

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, 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.

The theme for Neighborhood Studios 2021 is Connected. 
How do you recognize connection in your own life? In what ways have you disconnected and stayed connected this past year? This summer, Apprentices are going to explore the theme of connection as we come together for a summer of artistic expression and career skills development.

Virtual Showcase Links
(all other Showcase information can be found in our digital program, below)

Making A Scene: “Power (tools!)”
August 2, 10am
Available on-demand

Breakdancing Shakespeare: Love’s Labour’s Lost
August 12-13, 7pm
Streaming via Zoom and

Write to the Point!: Write to the Point! Showcase
August 6, 10:30am and 11:30am
Virtual exhibit

Eye on Video: Eye on Video Film Premiere!
August 9, 6:30pm
Livestreamed on YouTube

Neighborhood Studios is supported by:

Travelers Foundation
The Hartford
Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trust
Lincoln Financial
George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation
Charles Nelson Robinson Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee

Stanley D. and Hinda N. Fisher Fund at Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
Berkshire Bank Foundation

2020 Highlights

79 Apprentices:

  • built self-confidence, independence, teamwork, and experienced personal growth
  • created new/original artwork evoking theme of “Power”
  • had a safe, creative outlet during a global pandemic

SNAP! Photography
Amistad Center for Arts & Culture

  • Respond to daily photography prompts, hone technical skills, and learn about history of photography
  • Develop a final portfolio of works and exhibit in The Amistad Center galleries

Youth Jazz Orchestra
Artists Collective

  • Connect to teaching artists for regular workshops encompassing music theory, sight-reading, composition, and arranging
  • Learn American Songbook standards and the works of great jazz artists of our time

Breakdancing Shakespeare
Hartford Stage Company

  • Learn breakdancing techniques, physical and vocal characterization, and interpretation and recitation of a Shakespearean text
  • Utilize performance skills to perform a filmed, abridged Shakespearean play infused with hip-hop dance

Write to the Point!
The Mark Twain House & Museum

  • Explore poetry and creative non-fiction while considering the most important connections in your lives
  • Produce three main projects: individual creative writing portfolio, group slam poem, and a virtual museum exhibition designed with peers

Eye on Video
Real Art Ways

  • Develop an understanding of film history, intricacies of filmmaking, and the creative process
  • Learn on-site and/or virtually through a curriculum highlighting screenwriting, visual storytelling, composition, operation of cameras and filming equipment, and post-production
  • Create an original film reflecting on theme of “Connected”

Making a Scene

  • Receive hands-on artistic training on-site and/or virtually
  • Learn about set design process, props and scenery construction
  • Realize your own vision through design and construction