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Arts & Community Development


What is Spotlight on the Arts?
Since 1993 California Lawyers for the Arts has proudly sponsored Spotlight on the Arts, a comprehensive workforce development program for low-income high school students ages 14 to 17. Since inception we have provided job training and career exploration to more than 900 students. Spotlight employs a three pronged approach that includes internships, workshops and college counseling.

Through internship site placements that reflect their interests and skills, participants get “hands on” job training and explore careers in diverse arts disciplines. Internship sites have included Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, A.C.T. Costume Shop, Cartoon Art Museum, African American Art & Culture Complex, Chinese Culture Center, Boys and Girls Clubs, the de Young Museum,  and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Complementing their internships, Spotlight participants attend workshops that include “backstage” tours of art facilities, presentations from veterans in the industry, and interactive exercises in conflict resolution, workplace etiquette, interview skills, public speaking, civic advocacy, financial literacy, and college application processes.

Individual meetings with our college counselor provide participants with the opportunity to explore personally tailored career and higher education pathways. Given the high ratio of college counselors to students in our public schools, this program feature has proven to be highly valuable to our participants.

Graduates of Spotlight's summer internship program may be eligible to continue their internships for up to 10 hours per week during the school year. 

How to Apply

Youth applications are due April 1, 2019. We strongly encourage early submission.  Download a flyer and application here. For questions about the program you may contact Senior Program Manager, Jill Roisen at

For arts organizations interested in partnering with us as an internship site, please check out our FAQ. An application is downloadable here. The deadline for submitting an internship site application is March 15, 2019. 

Our Supporters

Spotlight on the Arts would like to thank those who have supported this program, including the San Francisco Department of Children Youth & Their Families, The Tom Merit Hancock Family Fund, The Merit and Carol Hancock Memorial Fund, GGS Foundation, Kimball Foundation, LEF Foundation, Lennar Corporation, PG & E, Wells Fargo Foundation, Bernard E. and Alba Witkin Foundation, William and Clare Warhaftig Fund and Diane B. Wilsey.

What If This Happened to You?

In 2013, CLA's SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS program provided a platform for teens who were harassed by San Francisco police officers to describe their experiences in a short video, "What If This Happened To You?" The teens in this program learned interviewing as well as sound and camera techniques under the direction of CLA's Spotlight on the Arts program staff. They also interviewed a knowledgeable attorney about how they should respond in such situations.



California Lawyers for the Arts is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit and your donation is tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the fullest extent of the law.  State Bar LRS Certificate #0021.

MCLE Provider # 1248.

The information provided on this website is not legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for individual advice regarding your legal matters.

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