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Archives by Year: 2014

Theater Co-op Learns More than Just Acting!

Surprisingly, it has already been past the halfway mark at Artworks, and the theater/film co-­op still has plenty of work to do. Our master teaching artists, Mr. Jimmie Woody and Mr. Mike Fields, have done nothing other than teach us skills we will use for the rest of our lives. Whether it is to become an actor on either the big screen or stage, or just learn how to speak with confidence, our two MTA’s have taught us more than I could ever have thought possible. When we began our co­-op, we were immediately thrown into fun and engaging warm up exercises, that allowed us to break out of our shells and see what every apprentice had to offer. In that moment, whether we knew it or not, our co­-op became a family.

As time went on, Mr. Woody taught us more and more that went along with acting. Comedy, drama, romance, history, contemporary; it didn’t matter, Mr. Woody knew how to help us in any role we wanted to take. He began to bring up the use of monologues, so that when we audition, we have two contrasting monologues that are able to show our acting abilities. Some people did monologues from plays, other took their monologues from movies, and some even brought in their favorite piece of poetry. It was amazing to see how far we had come from the beginning. We learned that the expressions and voice projection used on stage, were not necessarily used in front of the camera. Speaking of cameras, that was also the time Mr. Mike started to ease us into the technical part of both film and theatre; specifically with the camera.

Getting a feel for both in front of the camera or stage, and behind, balanced out how we see our roles. From cameras, we were taught about lighting. This lead us to finally shoot our own commercials, which are finished and will be edited by yours truly; the apprentices. They turned out great! Never would I have thought that we could shoot an actual commercial, yet we did. Everyone took turns on set to be a different part. We were given the opportunity to become either a director, cinematographer, sound technician, slate, or actor for each different commercial. Everyone found their strong and weakest points, which was awesome. It definitely an experince none of us will

One of the last and most exciting things we have done so far with Artworks is visit Playhouse Square and see the production of “How We Got On.” Before the play had even began showing on the stage, we were given an inside sneak peek to what the play was about and where the playwriter had gotten is idea from. The play, or should I say musical, is about three teenagers who represent the three aspects of hip hop. They grow up in a small suburb in Michigan and try to figure out not only hip hop, but themselves. It’s was mindblowing. Your age as an audience member didn’t matter nor did your music taste because everyone could relate to it.  Mr. Woody even knew one of the main actresses, who was from Cleveland! In fact, Mr. Woody had her as a student. At the end of the play, we were all able to meet the actors and take pictures with them. It was riviting! They were so friendly and down ­to ­earth, you almost felt as if you had known them for a long time. I think all of us were blown away by how wonderful our time was there.

Time is flying by, I wish I could stop it. This co­op has taught me so much about not only film and theatre, but other skills I am going to use in my life time. From public speaking to problem solving, Artworks has provided me with a program anyone can learn something from. Whether you crave to specialize in the arts or not, this is something that all students should take.

ArtWorks Flashback: Screenprinting Co-op Summer

Over the next few weeks, blog posts will flashback to some highlights from the Summer 2014 program.  Stay tuned!

Written by Chris Vento, screenprinting co-op apprentice

During the course of the summer the artworks screen printing co-op has faced many creative challenges this summer including deadlines. However with creativity and ingenious thinking they managed to exceed all the expectations set upon them. Overall while there experience may have been stressful at times, it has been very rewarding. Specifically over the course of this apprenticeship the screen printing co-op has worked at the Cleveland Flea and created an installation shown at MOCA Cleveland and Gay Games 9. Each of these events have yielded valuable experience for all the apprentices.


The screenprinting co-op was invited to the Flea for the opportunity to market and sell the products that were made in our co-op.  We also got the experience of networking with other artists.  Thanks to the live printmaking demonstration and awesome hand made artwork,  our tent had attracted a lot attention and a decent amount of sales. Through this experience we learned how to troubleshoot challenges, make sales, and how to interact with the public.

Another opportunity that we had was creating a balloon installation at MOCA Cleveland in there guest exhibit area. Initially this idea, came as a surprise to us–having our artwork in a museum was a big deal–but we accepted the challenge with confidence. After touring the museum the co-op quickly began making plans for the installation and began creating designs. This event would allow us the opportunity of working with a team for a massive project that needed time management, collaboration and communication skills.  Although the installation at MOCA was large, it was not as large scale as the one we were planning to install at the Gay Games 9 Rainbow Run!

moca install

After trying lots of experiments to see what would make the balloons float the best and longest as well as troubleshooting the supplies and logistics, we completed another massive project!  One of the biggest challenges, was printing on a 3D object, primarily because screenprinting is usually a 2D process.  But with a lot of trial and error and teamwork, we printed more balloons and figured out the best option to display them outdoors.  We all learned how to solve problems quickly!

Artworks has been a very important and influencial experience in our lives. All of the skills we acquired at ArtWorks, regardless if we plan to go into art or not, can be applied to almost any other job in one way or another. Needless to say, ArtWorks as provided an unique opportunity for area students–it’s not reproducible! Anyone who has the opportunity to be an apprentice at ArtWorks should take full advantage of it, even if they do not plan on going into art.


ArtWorks Flashback: Fashion Co-op Summer

Over the next few weeks, blog posts will flashback to some highlights from the Summer 2014 program.  Stay tuned!

Written by J. Williams, fashion co-op apprentice – July 2014

The past four weeks in the ArtWorks program have been awesome. My master teaching artist, Ms. Jeanne, has taught us so much. Our first day starting this program was not what we all expected. I personally thought it was going to be like the first day of school all over again. But it was not; we jumped right in!

Ms. Jeanne taught us how to use the sewing machines, the importance of sewing, the different types of ways to sew, and the different ways that the grain of the fabric goes.   She also showed us how to take a large t-shirt and transform it into skirts. Amazing, right!? When we finish making the clothes, we are going to donate them to a women’s shelter called Laura’s Home.  Ms. Jeanne took everyone in the fashion co-op to go see what the Laura’s home is all about. As soon as we all went through the doors, we felt welcomed to be there. One of the ladies that worked there gave us a tour of the home and told us what to expect it to be like as we all walked through the home. Also, we all got a chance to see the little kids and where they stay.  They gave us a list of all the kids and the sizes of who they thought would be eligible to be in the fashion show that we were creating. So right now we’re making clothes for the kids in the fashion show and who ever models a certain outfit is the one who gets to keep that outfit. We have a logo and brand right now that is called ”MOM.” We picked MOM because the mothers play a big part in the kids’ lives and the children also look up to their mom. We made a logo with a superhero mother holding a child’s hand and the child is looking up at her. We also picked a superhero because little kids go through this phase of which they look up to superheroes.

fashion co-op clothes

We also took a field trip to Kent State University to learn more about the fashion industry in the fashion school. They also gave us a tour around the school and they showed us the fashion library, the fashion class rooms, their sewing machines and also how they’re used. It was a good experience for me because now I would like to go there for college. My master teaching artist, Ms. Jeanne is a teacher there.


There is a lot of fun things that happen in the fashion co-op. ArtWorks is a very good program and everyone should try to participate.

Center for Arts-Inspired Learning Launches Resident Teaching Artist Program, Adding 5 More Positions to Staff


After celebration of its 60th anniversary, change in hiring strategy strengthens the Cleveland non-profit team; adds new jobs to NEO creative landscape

Cleveland, OH (August 21, 2014)—For over 60 years, the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (former Young Audiences) has worked with some of the top talent in Northeast Ohio. Building a roster of over 100 teaching artists, CAL has been able to pair working artists with area educators to benefit youth education. In the last year alone, CAL’s roster of contracted teaching artists engaged students in 5,432 programs.

This week, CAL grew its staff by 1/3, adding 4 resident teaching artist positions. This uniquely positions the Center amongst its peers by including teaching artists as part of the permanent staff. The Center looked to the regional artistic community with the goal of keeping top talent in Ohio and provide an opportunity to hire artists as artists. The response to the positions was high with over 70 applicants considered. Coming from a variety of artistic backgrounds, this group was assembled to work as a team and has been challenged to build new programs for CAL that are innovative, multi-disciplinary, and teach 21st-century skills to students. The resident artists will also work directly with the incredible artists on CAL’s roster who have helped grow its reputation as the authority on arts-infused education. Candidates for a team-leader position are still being considered.

The possibilities of working with these artists on a day-to-day basis has energized the staff. Director of Programs Mike Obertacz, who spearheaded the change in hiring, said, “This change creates a very exciting new structure for the organization. Professional teaching artists are central to the quality and success of programs and partnerships at CAL. This investment infuses the organization with creativity and innovation that not only makes us more successful today, but in creating a stronger vision for the future.”


Carla Carter

Carla LynDale Carter is a mother of three, a filmmaker and an educator from the Cleveland area and had taught a variety of film production and Game Design courses. She received her BA in Cinema Studies from the University of Chicago and her MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. While in Philadelphia, she served as Video Facilitator at Scribe Video Center teaching various community groups how to make documentaries that promote social change. These programs were broadcast on PBS as part of the Precious Places Series, WHYY TV 12 and started her passion for using media as a tool for activism and change. Carla has been a Visiting Instructor at Oberlin College, teaching courses in Video Production, Black Cinema, Editing, and Media Literacy Pedagogy. In 2013, she started the organization Focused.Arts.Media.Education. (FAME), which engages youth in documentary filmmaking to create media that matters in their communities while teaching media production curriculum that promotes Social and Emotional Learning. She has a sincere passion in using her filmmaking and technology expertise to excite, engage, and promote self-expression in youth. Carla produced several documentaries that have screened in film festivals throughout Philadelphia and Cleveland and enjoys producing documentaries that engage whole communities.

Mark Yasenchack

Mark Yasenchack is a teaching artist who grew up in Parma, Ohio. After graduating with a B.S. in Biology from Baldwin-Wallace College he pursued a career in art and teaching, combining subject matter and natural forms from his biology background with the craft of ceramics, mosaics and collage and his love for teaching children. Currently his focus has been on mosaic murals that combine hand-made clay tiles with the traditional stone and glass tesserae. He has been delighted and inspired by the magic of working side by side with preschoolers and teenagers to create murals, the goal not being a take-home item but a shared collaborative experience.

Jimmie Woody

Jimmie Woody is a professional actor, director and teaching artist who has worked with many diverse age groups and cultures throughout Cleveland and New York. As an actor he has performed at historic venues such as Karamu House, Cleveland Playhouse, La Mama ETC and The New York Shakespeare Festival. As a director he’s translated Paul Fleischman’s “Seedfolks” for the Tri-C JazzFest and the Cleveland Public Library. And as a teacher Mr. Woody taught drama at The Cleveland School of the Arts, Warrensville Heights High School, Cleveland Heights High School and the High School for Global Citizenship in Brooklyn, New York. He currently teaches acting for the camera and stage at Cuyahoga Community College and enjoys working with various community outreach programs throughout Cleveland. In 2012, he received the Community Workforce Fellowship Grant. Mr. Woody studied at Columbia University in New York, where he earned an M.F.A. in acting.

Lisa Yanofsky

Lisa Yanofsky is a choreographer, performer and educator working across dance, music and theatre. Most recently, she received her Ed.M. in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While at Harvard, Lisa was named a Project Zero Artist-In-Residence and was commissioned to create an original piece merging movement, text, and music. As a singer, Lisa has performed in the United States, Italy, Austria, The Czech Republic and Germany. She holds a B.A. in Art History and Dance from Oberlin College and a B.M. in Vocal Performance and Embodying Performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

About the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning

The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (formerly Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio) enriches the lives of children and promotes creative learning by uniting arts and education. Organized in 1953, the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning is the only multi-arts resource for schools and communities in the region whose primary purpose is to make learning through the arts an essential part of young people’s education. Programs take place in public, private, and parochial schools as well as libraries, hospitals and other civic spaces, reaching nearly 220,000 young people each year. For more information visit


High School Students Design and Merchandise Original Fashions

Owner of Shaker Square’s Cosmic Bobbins mentors 10 ArtWorks Apprentices

Cleveland, OH (February 24, 2014)—10 students have created one-of-a-kind totes worthy of Manhattan’s boutique shops. They’ve learned the fundamentals of hand-sewing, reverse applique, and machine applique. They’ve analyzed market trends and spearheaded their own merchandising strategies. And did we mention that they’re all in high-school? Read More ›

Basheer Jones to Inspire Cleveland High School Students

Motivational Speaker, Writer and Community Activist to Encourage Creative ArtWorks Teens

Jennifer Abelson
Director of Marketing
Center for Arts-Inspired Learning
(216) 561-5005

Basheer Jones to Inspire Cleveland High School Students
Motivational Speaker, Writer and Community Activist to Encourage Creative ArtWorks Teens

WHO: Basheer Jones, one of the region’s most powerful and engaging voices in media and entertainment, and 10th, 11th, and 12th Grade Cleveland students

WHAT: Basheer Jones will speak to 40 ArtWorks apprentices, encouraging them to take an active leadership role in their communities

WHEN: February 12, 2014 from 4:30-7 PM

WHERE: Halle Building (1228 Euclid Ave) Read More ›

North Ridgeville school assembly tells story of last fugitive slave

Jon Wysochanski, The Morning Journal
Click here to read the story online.

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — A special visitor took children back in time for a firsthand look into the life of a fugitive slave.

On Jan. 21 students at Wilcox Elementary, 34580 Bainbridge Road, watched actress Robin Pease perform “Last Fugitive Slave: It Happened in Ohio,” the true story of Sarah Lucy Bagby.

According to Case Western Reserve University’s Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, Bagby escaped from her master in Virginia in 1860 and found refuge in Cleveland. Her master, William Goshorn, tracked her down and had her arrested by U.S. Marshals on Jan. 19, 1861. Read More ›

A Mural Grows in Slavic Village with @ArtsInspiredCAL

Artist Melinda Placko, working with the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning at the Fullerton School in Slavic Village, supervises the creation of a mural in the school’s gym.

While CAL’s programs using arts tied to curriculum usually take place in the classroom, Ms. Placko was able to take a few moments to talk with Cool Cleveland as she worked with the students and their parents, donning smocks and working on the mural to spell out the word “Fullerton.” View the video here.

High school that teaches through video games, film and music: Coming to Cleveland soon?

Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer
Click here to read the story online.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – It sounds like a teenager’s dream: A high school where you listen to music, watch movies and play video games all day.

At the planned Cleveland High School for the Digital Arts, film, music and video games won’t be things a student does behind the backs of teachers. They’ll be part of every lesson and project and assignment students have to turn in.

But, sorry kids, playing Grand Theft Auto or watching the new Hunger Games flick won’t be the norm at the school, which could be open to Cleveland students by the fall. Marsha Dobrzynski of the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, formerly known as Young Audiences, hopes to have the Cleveland High School for the Digital Arts open by the fall. Read More ›

Power of the Arts Transforms Teens’ Lives

Martha Holden Jennings Foundation
Click here to read the story online.

They  paint,  act,  dance,  and  design. They  mange clients,  record  music,  write each  summer,  teens  from  high  schools   across  Northeast  Ohio  participate  in  an   arts-­based  job-­training  program  called   Artworks.  Sponsored  by  Young  Audiences  of  Northeast  Ohio,  the  program,  which began in 2005 and has been funded  in  part  by  Jennings  grants,  provides   instruction  in  the  arts while  developing   important  career  skills.   Read More ›