Learning life-long skills through the arts.

Program: June 26 - August 4

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 26 through August 4 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. 

2017 Studio Partners 

The Arts Council is proud to partner with 6 local arts and cultural institutions to offer the following studio programs:

The Amistad Center for Art & Culture — SNAP! Photography
Under the guidance of a master teaching artist, SNAP! Photography apprentices will gain an understanding of the history of photography in both practice and theory as well as the elements of exhibition design and installation. Working as a team and independently, apprentices will gain experience working in a dark room, use digital and film cameras and learn editing techniques with Photoshop software.  The culminating activity will be a public photography exhibition of their works. 
See photographs from the apprentices that tell their stories

Hartford Stage — Breakdancing Shakespeare
Breakdancing Shakespeare combines the classical text of Shakespeare with the art of breakdancing and theater. Apprentices participate in all-day rehearsals and workshops with master teaching artists and choreographers. Breakdancing Shakespeare apprentices also learn breakdancing techniques, physical and vocal characterization, movement, and interpretation of classical text and use these skills to put a modern twist on a classic Shakespearean play. What culminates is an exciting, high-energy public performance that makes Shakespeare fun for audiences of all ages.
Watch the apprentices in action as they perform Hamlet

The Mark Twain House & Museum — Write to the Point! 
How does living in Connecticut shape who you are as a writer? If you became famous, what would you preserve and collect for “the museum of you”? Through poetry and creative nonfiction, apprentices will explore the role of time and place on a writer's work. Working with a master teacher as well as museum staff, through mapping, study in the Mark Twain House archives, and writing exercises, apprentices will compose and perform a piece exploring place and identity.
Listen to stories from the apprentices.

TheaterWorks – Making a Scene 
Making a Scene apprentices will learn the elements of how to design and build scenery for the stage. Learn to use power tools; and pencils and rulers - in new ways! Creative energy and willingness to try new things are required as Master Teaching Artist Michael Lenaghan and the professional staff at TheaterWorks guide apprentices through the production process of "Raging Skillet", a new play that will debut at TheaterWorks this summer, about a punk rock caterer. Apprentice read and study the script of “Raging Skillet,” observe and work alongside design professionals and staff during the tech process, and learn how a design becomes reality. Learn the answers to: Where did that set come from? How did they do that?

Real Art Ways — Eye on Video
Eye on Video is an unparalleled opportunity to learn the art of filmmaking under the guidance of a master teaching artist and other professionals in the field. Apprentices learn professional camera and computer operation, digital video production, editing with Adobe Creative Suites, screenwriting, storytelling and composition. Each apprentice develops an independent project, investigating the language of film and its potential to tell a story. Students will also have the chance to collaborate with each other on partner and small group exercises. Eye on Video emphasizes students’ creation of work, backed by a strong film studies component that highlights cultural film landmarks and contemporary standouts. Apprentices will be asked to reflect on their own cultural backgrounds, and what it means to be a citizen in the media age.
Watch film trailers from the apprentices

Artists Collective — Youth Jazz Orchestra 
Youth Jazz Orchestra apprentices develop instrumental and performing skills to a high level of proficiency. Apprentices will learn improvisation, creative expression, sight-reading, music theory, voice, history of Pan-African Music, and the various genres that evolved from the African Diaspora, including jazz, blues, gospel, modern concepts Western classical technique and related musical traditions. Apprentices receive optimum exposure and interaction with professional musicians, performing opportunities, and bandstand decorum with solo development. Students will have the opportunity to learn 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


Contact Us

The Greater Hartford Arts Council

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

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



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