A Summer of Experiences
Each year, ArtsGroup participates in the Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment program (MBSYEP), in partnership with the District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (DOES). This summer, we hosted over 30 youth who served as a video production crew for a music video we shot in partnership with Global Kids. In addition we mentored several employees who are budding comedians, music performers, mural artists and more.
Over 6 weeks we gave youth paid positions that exposed them to digital media arts. We hosted workshops so that they could learn how to conduct themselves as artists and employees. Through the partnership with DOES, we were able to provide free studio time for those who wanted to learn how to record in a professional recording studio. We provided referrals for jobs and reviewed resumes for those looking for full-time positions. With staff help, youth employees planned and organized a end-of-summer event, our Young Moguls block party. Not matter what field our youth eventually pursue, they now all have qualifications on their resumes for project management, customer service, group collaboration and event management.
Even more rewarding than their resumes, we are grateful for the new relationships and the growth we saw in individuals over the summer.
Take Darrius, who transferred to our site after realizing that our building, StudioPlace, is a place that can cultivate his natural talent as a comedian, host and rapper. During his 6 weeks in the program, Darrius sat behind our studio engineer, Wayne Parker, recording several tracks and ended our program by being the host of our culminating event, our Young Moguls block party.
Or Hamirah, who started as a quiet participant but consistently stayed with the program and grew strong working relationships. She now has another paid position with ArtsGroup as a production assistant for a documentary for Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office.
Or Theresa, who arrived at ArtsGroup with a beautiful singing voice, and ready to assist on our projects. By working with us, she was able to join 3 of her colleagues on a week-long trip to South Africa to document another SYEP program’s international program. She described the trip as “one in a lifetime”. Darrius, Hamirah and Theresa each took a different path in the program, but emerged with experiences and qualifications they wouldn’t have had without our summer program.
Thank you to the Department of Employment Services for making programs like ours possible for youth in Washington, DC.
If you’d like to create more opportunities for youth, please DONATE here.