ArtWorks News

Thank You to the City of Cincinnati for supporting Youth to Work

ArtWorks thanks the City of Cincinnati for keeping Youth to Work in this year’s budget and for the increased dollars in the 2021 budget.

The City of Cincinnati has a tremendous legacy in supporting youth employment, keeping our young people safe and productive. The City helped found ArtWorks, when Mayor Roxanne Qualls and a delegation from Cincinnati visited the Chicago-based creative youth employment program now known as After School Matters. Soon after, ArtWorks, then incubated by the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, held its first summer in 1996 for Youth Apprentices, ages 14-21. Since our start, ArtWorks has received both public and private dollars for support. Thanks to this partnership we have employed over 3,600 local youth over the past two decades.

ArtWorks is proud to provide opportunities for our region’s young people, especially those who may have more disadvantages. In 2019, 59 percent of the youth employed with ArtWorks came from underserved households. The impact of working at ArtWorks is life-changing for these youth, building their confidence, social capital, career readiness, as well as empathy and inclusion. Working on projects that foster collaboration and creativity is the heart of our program, from painting murals to sewing superhero capes or tackling social change, the youth feel a huge sense of accomplishment and pride in their work. And of the 134 youth in the program last year, 93 percent finished the program with good or great career and workforce knowledge that includes the areas of job interest exploration, networking, time management, public speaking and understanding additional career options and more.

We recognize the tremendous challenges that 2020 has presented and believe the support for this program and for job creation is more important than ever. All Y2WK partners provide opportunities that support the community and allow youth to contribute to making the City a beautiful and safer place.

At ArtWorks, we know it is the tenacity of our City’s young people that have directly contributed to our region’s global reputation as an arts destination reflecting a vibrant, welcoming community to live in and visit. And our City’s youth will be the key to rebuilding our communities as we come out of this crisis.

With the City’s support, ArtWorks has been able to launch its new season of New Voices. Y2WK provides youth the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves. This program develops our next generation as leaders, citizens and community builders. The dollars spent on our City’s Youth today are priceless investments in our City’s future.

We thank the City of Cincinnati for supporting our City’s our youth.

Image by Bergette Photography.

About ArtWorks

ArtWorks is an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that transforms people and places through investments in creativity. The organization creates jobs for youth, ages 14-21 with the majority from underserved households, providing competitive 21st-century career-readiness skills through mentorship by professional artists. Since 1996, ArtWorks has employed more than 3,600 youth and 3,200 creative professionals, and the organization has completed more than 12,500 public and private art projects that include 190 permanent outdoor murals, contributing to the region’s global reputation as an arts destination. ​