ArtWorks is a life-changing experience for the City of Buffalo and Erie County teens. The youth development initiative utilizes the power of the arts to transform young lives and enrich the community. For either 6 weeks during the summer, or 24 weeks after school, high school students apprentice with professional artists to gain arts and employment skills, as well as college readiness. Working in teams with a Master Teaching Artist, apprentices produce high-quality art and gain valuable experiences transferable to any future career.

Get Paid to Create

ArtWorks Youth Apprentices:

  • Create art

  • Work independently and collaboratively to meet deadlines

  • Discover hidden strengths

  • Learn job readiness skills

  • Participate in career exploration workshops

  • Participate in College readiness workshops

  • Learn from professionals in the community

  • Perform and/or exhibit works of art

  • Learn decision-making skills 

  • Practice public speaking

  • Learn about financial wellness

  • Build friendships with students from different schools

  • Participate in performance reviews and feedback sessions

  • Learn why the arts are important to a community’s identity and success

  • Gain employment


The ArtWorks program will address the need for youth to develop skills in a real-world work environment, and builds core competencies that are needed in today’s economy. Apprentices will learn to become creative and innovative participants in the 21st Century’s competitive economy and gain important skills in problem solving, communication, leadership, responsibility, critical thinking, and collaboration. ArtWorks not only inspires students to succeed, but also ensures they have the skills to do so.

“Youth are capable of becoming powerful influences within our world,” said Aitina Fareed-Cooke, 2018 Master Teaching Artist. 

“What a pleasure it is to provide hands-on arts programming where apprentices developed job readiness, communication, writing and public speaking skills. It was amazing to witness them thinking and reaching beyond their own expectations, and actively become positive and proactive leaders, while using their art to inspire others. This really speaks to what happens when the arts is creatively integrated into education.”

Interested in becoming a Master Teaching Artist for Fall 2022?

Here’s what you need to know!

  • Master Teaching Artists provide instruction in the arts while helping Youth Apprentices develop workplace skills and gain knowledge in post-secondary options.

  • Selected artists will work with diverse populations of Youth Apprentices with a broad range of artistic experiences to perform and exhibit works of art, develop community partnerships, provide real-world project experiences, and guide apprentices in the development of a professional portfolio. 

  • Curriculum proposals from artists of all disciplines will be considered including but not limited to: theater, music (all forms) and/or vocal performance, dance, filmmaking, recording arts, video game/web design, visual arts (all forms), architecture/design, culinary arts, and poetry/literary arts.

A total of TWO teaching artists will be selected. Artists must be available Tuesday and Wednesday,  from 3:45PM - 6:00PM. Additionally, an extra weekday and one weekend day throughout the Fall may be required. Program proposals must be effective in a digital setting should regulations change. Prior experience teaching virtually is appreciated. Proposals must culminate with a final showcase as described in the application.

The Fall Session will be held October 3, 2022 - December 14, 2022

APPLICATIONS DUE: Thursday, August 25, 2022 by 4PM



Interested in being a Youth Apprentice for Fall 2022?!

The ArtWorks program consists of a Fall Session held October 3, 2022 - December 14, 2022.
Monday - Wednesday, from 4:00PM - 6:00PM.

ArtWorks is held in-person at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo NY 14203