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  During school year. Two days per week for 16 weeks, from 4:30 - 7:30 PM at 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. 100 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.