Arts Street is proud to announce that in 2014 they have implemented a long-held goal to provide weekend, skills-intensive, technology workshops. These “learn and earn” classes pay each student a stipend to learn new skills and produce something concrete for a real-life client. Taught by industry professionals, teenagers who are unsure of what they may want to study now have a chance to explore a new topic using creative technologies.
So far this year, Arts Street has hosted five of these weekend technology workshops. (1) “Lights, Camera, Fashion,” gave students Fashion Marketing skills and taught Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. (2) The “Webtacular Workshop” taught WordPress, coding, and what it means to be a freelance web designer. (3) “Piece of Cake” was about Social Media Marketing. (4)“Parkitecture” gave students skills to think in 3-dimensions by teaching SketchUp software and had students invent new plans for La Alma Lincoln Park in Denver. (5) “Food for Thought” was a Business Branding workshop were students gained Graphic Design skills and created new marketing materials for a local granola company called Olde Man Granola.
The Arts Street technology workshops have produced amazing final products for their clients. The Fashion Marketing team created beautiful photographs and marketing materials for a group of weavers in Nepal. The Social Media team pitched catchy ideas for Baker Street Irregulars, a small cake-pop decorating business in Denver. The Web Design team created a new website for La Alma Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association. Recently, a member of the association said, “Our website now comes up on the first page of a Google search. Feels like a real accomplishment.” With every class, everyone is so impressed with the level of creativity the kids have and what remarkable, ingenious things they can create when given the right tools and encouragement.
Founder of Arts Street, Stella Yu, says about the program: “It gives students that first-time work experience so that they can explore, find out what’s out there, and determine their interests so that they can go forward with their education.” Major funding for this year’s technology programs is thanks to the Adolph Coors Foundation, NOFA, and Xcel Energy.
Arts Street’s new goal is to create a sustainable program where kids can actually get industry-recognized certifications and walk away confident in their ability to find a well-paying job. This summer Arts Street will be running its first “Academy” program, thanks to a special new partnership with Jobs For Thy Neighbor and the City of Denver. They call it “Renewable Academy,” which will teach about the recycling industry by bringing in guest speakers, teaching relevant software technology skills, and producing the Jobs for Thy Neighbor glass recycling pods. Arts Street is extremely excited about this new Academy, and to be bringing forward thinking, real-life job training to Denver’s youth.