The Rockford Area Arts Councils artist apprentice program, ArtsPlace, is in full swing at Rockford Colleges Clark Arts Center. It is the 13th year for this program, which has established the arts as a credible vehicle for jobs training and youth mentoring. The culminating fund-raising performance and art sale will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Saturday, July 28. There will be performances, a video premiere, artwork for sale and a silent auction. The artist apprentices earn money by selling tickets to the Emerge event, as well as by selling the artwork created by the visual arts teams. Tickets are just $5 for adults and $3 for children.
The artist apprentices work in teams under the tutelage of professional artists. Teams this year include the following: painting, led by Maya Simmons; printmaking, led by Bruce McDonald; dance, led by Tammy Newquist; therapeutic drama, led by Geri Carter; and video, led by Antar Baker and Tom Peterson. The eight-week program produces many fantastic outcomes, including respect, teamwork, communication, decision-making, performances and artwork.
Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday-Thursday, until Aug. 1. If you are interested in a tour led by one of the apprentices, please come out to Clark Arts Center and find Program Director Lisa Jimenez, whose office is just outside the Cheek Theatre. Apprentices learn communication skills to prepare for giving tours. They also learn how to put together a résumé and go through the exercise of mock interviews.
The Dance Team performed at the Mayors Arts Awards and will also be taking the stage at Brat Days at Riverfront Museum Park at noon, Friday, July 20.
These are great opportunities to see how the arts positively impact the youth of the community. Stop by RAAC or Rockford College, Clark Arts Center, for tickets!
Anne E. OKeefe is executive director of the Rockford Area Arts Council.
from the July 18-24, 2007, issue