Month: April 2016

Side-By-Side Program May Be Headed for the White House


Senior Isaiah Mobley with Richard Jolley; this is Isaiah’s fourth year working with Jolley.

The Community School of the Arts Side-By-Side Visual Arts Apprentice Program has once again been chosen for recognition as a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Finalist by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and its partner agencies— the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“We reviewed 301 nominations from 44 states and the District of Columbia,” wrote the four partner-group leaders to CSA Executive Director Jennifer Willard. “Your program’s selection as one of 50 finalists distinguishes it as one of the top arts- and humanities-based programs in the country.”

A national jury of arts and humanities field experts is reviewing Side-By-Side’s application for one of the awards, which will be announced by the end of June. If Side-By-Side is selected, Willard will receive a $10,000 grant and an invitation to attend the White House awards ceremony hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. The Community School of the Arts would also participate in the ninth annual NAHYP Awardee Conference, August 3-5, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

“We are so grateful for this recognition,” says Willard.  “As I look around the country at the other great programs among the finalists, and I look what our visual-artist mentors and our CSA students are accomplishing together, I truly believe that this is our year to go to Washington.”

The Side-By-Side Visual Arts Apprentice Program, now in its 20th year, pairs CSA students with professional artists in their studios for a period of four to six months each year, giving students the opportunity to witness, participate in, and experience first-hand every aspect of the creative process under the tutelage of master professionals. In many cases, these pairings result in long-term working partnerships over the course of several years.

At the end of the school year — this year from May 30 to June 3 — all apprenticeships culminate in a full-scale art exhibition, where student and professional works are displayed side-by-side at Bennett Galleries and Company. The exhibit culminates with a silent auction and reception on June 3 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Bennett Galleries.

The CSA is marking Side-By-Side’s 20th anniversary by launching a campaign to raise 20 scholarships ($1,500 apiece) for future students to be able to take advantage of the program. “We kick off our Twenty-for-20 Campaign at a soiree on August 25,” says Willard. “I hope–I expect–to be able to report back on what I learned at the awardee conference in DC. And then we can make our plans to take this extraordinary program to the next level.”

The students selected for Side-By-Side must be in grades 5‑12 and have a minimum of two years’ classroom instruction in the visual arts at the School before being considered.

Students are chosen for particular apprenticeships based on the degree of difficulty of each medium and the amount of time required in the studio; the age, experience, and interests of the student; and the personality, family situation, and special educational or behavioral needs of the student.

Once accepted, the student is allowed to remain in the apprentice program each year prior to graduation; in most cases, this results in long-term intensive apprenticeships with one artist.

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