November 2021 (Cape Cod, MA) – In an effort to strengthen internship opportunities in the creative fields for high school students, the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod (AFCC) and MassHire Cape and Islands Workforce Board are forming a partnership to identify mentors who can help shape and inspire young minds.
Dubbed pARTnershipWORKS, the collaboration will help strengthen MassHire’s ArtWorks Program which is celebrating its 25-year anniversary this year. The program exposes local high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to career development opportunities through internships with working artists and cultural organizations on Cape Cod.
Over the past decade, the AFCC has helped support the program financially through its annual grant giving. This year, the AFCC is expanding its support to connect artists in the community to student interns.
“We’re investing in the next generation of creatives,” said AFCC Executive Director Julie Wake, who joined the MassHire Board of Directors earlier this year. “This program creates a pipeline for career paths in the creative sector that can be grown on Cape Cod. It doesn’t mean these students are going to be artists for the rest of their lives, but it is definitely showing them that there are careers here for artists.”
Kara O’Donnell-Galvin, Executive Director of MassHire Cape and Islands Workforce Board, said the internships are often as meaningful for the artists as they are for the students. “Having had many interns here over the years, you get as much, and often more, out of it by exposing students to a career pathway they may be interested in in the future,” she said. “Seeing a young adult immerse themselves into an organization or a studio, there is nothing more rewarding than that, honestly.”
On an annual basis, there are between 25 and 40 students enrolled in the ArtWorks Program. In the past students have participated in internships in the following fields: drawing, painting, photography, fashion design, jewelry design, writing, poetry, video game design, dance, and voice. Internships are done in-person or virtually over the course of the academic year.
Through the program, students not only immerse themselves in a creative discipline, they build self-esteem, boost their confidence, and develop soft skills that can be utilized beyond art to the rest of their lives.
In recent years, MassHire has made several changes to the program, including paying for art supplies to eliminate potential barriers for students to participate in an internship.
About five years ago, ArtWorks expanded to include sophomores. Since then, Galvin said, “we’ve seen more students participate in the program for three consecutive years and we’ve seen more students go on to art school.”
ArtWorks graduates have continued their art education after high school attending MassArt in Boston, Tufts University, Maine College of Art, Cape Cod Community College, and Montserrat College of Art in Beverly.
Local schools participating in the ArtWorks Program are Barnstable High School; Cape Cod Regional Technical High School; Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School; Falmouth High School; Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School; Mashpee Middle-High School; Monomoy Regional High School; Nantucket High School; Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical High School; and Sturgis Charter School.
Artists or cultural nonprofits that would like to serve as ArtWorks mentors should contact Kara O’Donnell-Galvin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-775-5900.
About the AFCC
The AFCC’s mission is to support, promote, and celebrate the arts and culture of Cape Cod. It fulfills its mission by funding grants, fellowships, and scholarships; by advocating for more awareness on the impact the Cape’s creative economy has on our region and beyond; and by building a strong arts community network through membership.
About MassHire Cape & Islands Workforce Board
MassHire Cape & Islands Workforce Board establishes connections with local employers, educational and community partners throughout the region to ensure the strong alignment of strategic workforce goals and initiatives. The CIWB is a federally-mandated regional organization with local oversight responsibility and policy making authority for federal and state workforce development activities within the region. Our mission is to ensure that the investment in education and training matches the local employers’ need for a skilled workforce this is accomplished through strengthening career pathways as well as exposure to work-based learning. Provide all job seekers with quality support services and the potential of training at MassHire Cape & Islands Career Center.