CITY OF OAKLAND, CA
Mayor Jerry Brown

Careers in the Arts Apprenticeship Program (CAAP)

Quality of Instruction & Participant Performance

Careers in the Arts Apprenticeship Program (CAAP) is a unique arts program that provides an enriching cultural experience for young people ages 15-20 years old. This six-week summer program marks its fifth year of promoting youth leadership in community-based art making and career preparation in visual arts, music, dance, photography and theater. This year fifty young Bay Area artists took advantage of this opportunity to earn a paycheck and school credit while creating art in a stimulating, educational and supportive work environment.

This highly diverse program brings together youth from all over the Bay Area, and focuses on unserved youth and/or "youth at risk". 85% of the participants are targeted toward low income youth, youth affected by Welfare reform, youth in foster care or group homes, and bilingual youth and youth of non-English speaking parents. Apprentices and interns of different backgrounds inevitably work with each other and learn about cultures other then their own. By using the medium of art to communicate, artists are often able to break down barriers such as language or religion that otherwise might seem insurmountable.

The apprentices work under the guidance of two levels of professional artists: lead instructors and teaching assistants. CAAP employs multi-racial, multi-generational local professional artists as mentors and guest artists for the program. CAAP hires eight full-time professional artists, at an hourly wage for 6-weeks, as an instructor in their specialized fields. Guest artists/organizations are also hired at a flat fee for a I Va theme or current social/economic issue to research, explore and create meaningful and powerful art about. In 1998 our theme was Human Rights and the Youth Bill of Rights; in 1999 our topic is Environmental Justice and Environmental Racism. To fulfill the arts creation component each youth creates meaningful and powerful art (drama, dance, music, visual arts and photo) daily with a professional artist/instructor. The focus is the creation of an interdisciplinary art production utilizing the research theme. For this final performance the youth work collaboratively to create a cohesive, meaningful production.

Creativity of the Program's Approach Toward Engaging Youth Participants

CAAP utilizes a youth-based or youth centered approach to teaching and CRAFT method. The CRAFT methodology represents:

CONTACT: Introduction to participants and other artists; know your own skills/abilities; formulate your own interests, expectations, beliefs, and morals.

RESEARCH: Identify creative project; Establish purpose/issue/problem; Identify who involved, how, where, what materials are needed, how much money is needed; make arrangements; Confirmation; performance space/tour, grants, commissions.

ACTION: Create Arts project/product; Explore, compose, develop, rehearse, refine, and complete collaborative project.

FOLLOW-THROUGH: Build on-going dialogue with community; Perform, reproduce, distribute, dissemination; "Get the word out"; Audience development; Marketing.

TEACHING: Continue to develop projects; educate others about impact of Arts in society; teach other artists the CRAFT process.

Our staff attends a multi-day spring training to learn this method of creative teaching and understands how to utilize it in their daily interactions.

3. The integration of support services, prevention strategies, and child development components with arts/performing arts programming.

One of the most exciting outgrowths of CAAP is its focus on the arts as a viable medium for career preparation, personal development and basic community organizing. The skills that apprentices gain working in the visual and performing arts are not just applicable to an artistic field, but are transferrable to any number of settings the arts or otherwise. Our focus is not only to develop an artist, but a citizen and individual person as well.

This program dives into various aspects of human nature and social issues through workshops and presentations, large group discussions (60 people), small group discussions (10 people) and I-to-1 mentoring sessions. CAAP also has on staff a trained counselor and access to various social service organization in the city of Oakland as needed.

Evidence that the program is making a positive impact on attitudes and development of children and youth through improved school grades, improved school attendance, increased knowledge regarding at-risk behaviors, etc.

The program incorporates a comprehensive evaluation to track the impact the program has on youth. With the creation of goals, weekly self- and mentor- assessments, and program evaluations we are able to see how the program has effected youth. According to these methods we have helped to improve career preparation/life skills training, self-esteem issues, school drop-outs, critical thinking skills and accesses to continuance of higher education. Youth testimony letters and evaluation documentation (See supplemental materials) exemplify this.

Role of the Mayor & City Government In This Program

The City of Oakland and the mayor supports the Careers in the Arts Apprenticeship Program through funding, a program director position, and a multitude of in-kind resources. The mayor would like to see this program

Financing Mechanism for the Program

The program is funded from a variety of sources including: private foundations (through grants), the Oakland Private Industry Council (Summer youth Employment Training Program), the City of Oakland Department of Craft and Cultural Arts ($10,000) and the East Bay Institute for Urban Arts ($10,000). Throughout the fall and winter we fund raise for the following summer program.

 


 
 


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