The Teen Arts Program provides dynamic opportunities for 65 teens – ages 13-18 – to explore the arts academically and professionally. Teens are paired 1 on 1 with a mentor in a creative profession to guide them through the complicated process of creating a portfolio and applying to specialized art schools. Throughout the program, teens also gain real-world experience through company visits and paid summer internships.
Become a Teen Arts Program Mentor!
We are now recruiting for mentors in our Creative Lab Program! Creative Lab offers teens an introduction to the creative industry and cultural institutions across New York City. Once a month, teens visit artist studios or attend workshops on professional development skills. Volunteer mentors meet twice a month with their teen (9th – 12th grade) to support them with career readiness and visual literacy skills.
Time Commitment (October 2020 – June 2021)
- Pairs will meet twice a month (group visit and one-on-one meeting)
- 1-2 points of communication per month to support career readiness skill-building (via email, phone, Zoom)
- Help teens explore their career interests, build their visual literacy, and increase their networks.
Mentor Applicant Requirements
- Experience and enthusiasm for working with teens (9th-12th graders)
- Interest in supporting career readiness skills
- Ability to support visual literacy skills
- Fine Arts background preferred
- 1-2 years of youth development experience preferred
- Access to the internet and a computer
- Technologically proficient
APPLICATION DEADLINE: WEDNESDAY, SEPT 21st
Interested? We would love to get to know you! Please complete this form for more information.
Individualized portfolio development for teens interested in applying to a specialized arts high school and/or college. Over the course of 8 months, teens and mentors work 1 on 1 to research perspective schools, develop a visual arts portfolio, and prepare for the rigorous application, interview, and audition process. 2019 schools include:
- Brooklyn College
- Buffalo State
- Fashion Institute of Technology
- Gramercy Arts High School
- High School of Art & Design
- Laguardia High School of Music & Performing Arts
- Lower Manhattan Arts Academy
- School of Visual Arts
- The High School Of Fashion Industries
Creative Lab offers teens an introduction to the many facets of the creative industry. Youth and mentor pairs meet monthly, to visit artists’ studios/museums, participate in professional development workshops, and build visual literacy. Teens work to build communication, networking, resume writing, interview and digital literacy skills. Over school breaks, teens visit top creative companies, meet employees, learn about their jobs and the paths they took to get there. 2019 companies include:
- Draper James
- Penguin Random House
- Phillips Auction House
- Warby Parker
High school juniors and seniors earn paid summer internships hosted by creative companies. 2020 summer internships include:
Curtis Kulig Studio
Free Arts NYC
Orchard Street Ventures
Penguin Random House
“Free Arts means a lot to me, it’s become a part of my life. I love art and I want to pursue a career in art, and Free Arts helped me express myself and learn who I am through what I love.”
– Ricardo, Portfolio Development Program