What is Spotlight on the Arts?
Since 1993 California Lawyers for the Arts has proudly sponsored Spotlight on the Arts, a comprehensive multidisciplinary arts 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 or apprenticeships, 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. More than 80 Internship sites have included 826 Valencia, African American Art and Culture Complex, A.C.T. Costume Rentals Shop, Chinese Culture Center, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, Musical Theater Works, Project Level, Root Division, Southern Exposure, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Youth Art Exchange.
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, college application processes and expressive arts. Pictured here are youth exploring identity and emotions through a visual arts project.
Individual meetings with a 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.
School Year Continuation Program
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 and attend monthly workshops that include hands-on collaborative art projects. Previous projects involved mural making and What If This Happened to You? a video documenting youths’ experiences with police and racial profiling.
School Year Apprenticeships
Through placement with individual artists in their studios, youth gain exposure to the artistic practices and business strategies of professional artists of diverse disciplines while assisting them in all aspects of their work. This may include stretching and priming canvases, installing exhibitions, social media marketing, organizing and cataloging artwork, and collaborative and solo art making projects.
Spotlight on the Arts would like to thank those who have supported this program, including the San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Department of Children Youth & Their Families, The Tom Merit Hancock Family Fund, The Merit and Carol Hancock Memorial Fund, GGS Foundation, Joseph & Vera Long 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.