What Is ArtWorks?

The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning’s ArtWorks is an arts-based job training and college readiness program for Northeast Ohio’s 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. Students are enrolled as paid apprentices to train under the guidance of master teaching artists, who mentor them in an art form while teaching them 21st century skills. The apprenticeship experience allows students to develop time management, professional communication, problem solving, and critical thinking skills, which are transferable to any workplace or college. Students also participate in workshops that focus on financial literacy, resume writing, financial aid applications, and interview skills.

Art opportunities range from year to year, but they include animation and game design, recording arts, filmmaking, slam poetry, fashion design, photography, theater, and visual arts. All apprentices will have the opportunity to perform and/or exhibit their work for the public, and will leave the program with a portfolio that can be used when applying to college.

  • DSC_0053 Afterschool  Fall and Spring. Two days per week, from 4:30 - 7:30 PM at the Tri-C Metro Campus. 40 apprentices.
  • DSC_0016 Summer  Five days per week for six weeks, six hours a day at either Cleveland Public Library or Tri-C Metro. 120+ apprentices.

An Award-Winning Program

Founding patron Deborah Ratner and Executive Director Marsha Dobrzynski were the recipient's of University Circle Inc.'s 2008 Joseph D. Pigott Leadership Award for bringing ArtWorks to University Circle, involving several other cultural organizations, and making "an especially noteworthy contribution" to the area. The 2008 program also received a best practice honor from national Young Audiences at an all-chapter conference and Ms. Ratner was honored for her vision and annual commitment to realize the program.

In November 2010, the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals honored Ms. Ratner with the Philanthropist Leadership award.

In spring 2011, Marsha Dobrzynski was bestowed the Cleveland Arts Prize's Martha Joseph Prize for her commitment to arts education in Northeast Ohio, and Center for Arts-Inspired Learning received the Ohio Association of NonProfit Organizations' Excellence Award for ArtWorks programming. In December 2011, the organization received the Ohio Department of Youth Services' Director's Community Recognition Award in partnership with the Governor's Council on Juvenile Justice and the Ohio Association of Juvenile Court Judges and Ms. Ratner was honored with MyCom's 2011 Youth Voice Award for Civic Leadership from The Cleveland Foundation and Cuyahoga County's Family and Children's First Council.

In January 2012, ArtWorks was named a finalist for "the coolest internship" award from the Northeast Ohio Council of Higher Education.



$10,000 +

  • Bank of America
  • City of Cleveland
  • The Cleveland Foundation
  • Forest City Realty Trust
  • The George Gund Foundation
  • Howley Family Foundation
  • John P. Murphy Foundation
  • KeyBank Foundation
  • Kulas Foundation
  • Martha Holden Jennings Foundation
  • Barbara and Abe Miller
  • Ohio Arts Council
  • Audrey and Albert Ratner
  • Nancy and Mark Ratner
  • Ronald and Deborah Ratner Family Foundation
  • Third Federal Foundation
  • Thomas H. White Foundation, a Key Bank Trust
  • The Treu-Mart Foundation

$5,000 - $9,999

  • The Abington Foundation
  • Donna and Stewart Kohl
  • Meisel Family Foundation
  • The Milton and Tamar Maltz Family Foundation
  • Katie Solender and Willie Katzin

$1,000 - $4,999

  • Barbara and Randy Gordon
  • Dozie and David Herbruck
  • Maria Hermann
  • Linda Rae and Andrew Hertz
  • Toby Devan Lewis
  • Sally Menges
  • NACCO Industries, Inc
  • Patricia and Richard Pogue
  • Susan and James Ratner
  • Sandy and Timothy Wuliger

$100 - $999

  • Sherri Appleton and Marty Resnik
  • Sharon Aunchman
  • Linda and Michael Bertsch
  • Marji Edguer
  • Sally and Bob Gries
  • Stacie and Jeffrey Halpern
  • Lee Heinen
  • Denise Horstman
  • Marilyn and Thomas McLaughlin
  • Angeli Persons
  • Meg and Jon Ratner
  • Paul Rosenberg
  • Susan Starrett and Jerold Smith
  • Rosemary Weltman

In Kind

  • Cleveland Public Library
  • Cuyahoga Community College
Additional thanks to the many other individual donors of gifts less than $100 who helped make ArtWorks possible.

Program Partners

  • Baldwin Wallace University
  • Cleveland Arts Prize
  • Cleveland Institute of Art
  • Cleveland Public Theatre
  • CSU Foundation
  • College Now Greater Cleveland
  • Compass Consulting
  • Downtown Cleveland Alliance
  • Halle Building
  • IdeaStream at Playhouse Square
  • The Music Settlement
  • Tailspinner Children's Theater
  • Tri C Metro Campus