Holiday Campaign UPDATE: A new $10,000 matching gift!
A generous donor will now match your gift – up to $10,000 – to support our new teaching artist Apprentice Company. Scroll down to learn more about why we need this program.
What is a Teaching Artist?
A teaching artist is a professional artist and educator. They teach youth to write, sing, act, dance, and perform. Our teaching artists also use the creative process to give participants the social and emotional skills they need to confront their trauma and be successful upon reentry into society.
Why our community needs this Apprentice Company.
There’s a critical need for people like Melvin who have been through the justice system, have incurred severe trauma and share life experiences like the youth we work with. They need teaching artists and mentors who look like them and understand what it’s like to lose hope, lose their identity and overcome the countless barriers to staying off the streets.
This is why our best teaching artists will come directly from Storycatchers programs.
What does an Apprentice Teaching Artist do?
- Work up to 30 hours/week inside a Storycatchers program.
- Receive teaching artist training in artistic skills, trauma therapy techniques, and classroom management.
- Mentor young people who need positive role models.
- Receive case management and life skills support on an ongoing basis.
- Perform in Storycatchers’ community performances.
- Work toward a meaningful career in a field that desperately needs qualified individuals who can understand and address the long-lasting repercussions of violence, generational poverty, and mass incarceration.
The vision and purpose for our Apprentice Company in 44 seconds.
“Being able to tell my story and help others to tell theirs has taught me that once you open up, you feel so much peace.”
Storycatchers Apprentice Company Member
Meet the current Apprentice Teaching Artists.
Teens Together Alumnus
“I didn’t aspire to be a teaching artist. Through my journey with Storycatchers, I was unintentionally gaining the tools of a teaching artist: leadership, professionalism, creative process, empathy and a desire to tell stories about life. The staff spotted that potential in me far before I did. I believe that is what TAs should do every day – find the potential in every student and lead them toward it.”
Teens Together Alumna
“Storycatchers taught me the power of story. I learned what it felt like to be heard and to use my own voice, and I experienced firsthand the value in having your voice supported by an ensemble of other storytellers. As a teaching artist, I want to create such an environment for others so that they can feel the way I did when I was given the space to tell my story.”
Changing Voices-Western Alumnus
“I want to be able to give back to my community by helping others tell their stories so they can work through their trauma the same way I got through mine. I want to guide and help others to become young mentors and leaders. I can use what I’ve learned to help others get to where I’m at. I know how it feels to be incarcerated. So I can connect to the youth because I know where I was in my past and also how much talent you can have and not even know it.”