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Heights Teens land jobs in Art Apprentice program
Young Audiences' ArtWorks program teaches students about the variety of creative jobs in the arts world and gives them work experience
Jobs available for teens normally include duties like shuffling fries, blending milkshakes, folding clothes, changing diapers or watching over a pool.

But a handful of students from Cleveland Heights High School are spending their after-school hours molding clay and building video games.

They've landed jobs at ArtWorks, a Young Audiences' job-training program that provides students from Northeast Ohio with work experience in creative fields like ceramics, digital game design, sound recording and dance. Play the video above to see what they are learning in the program.

Teaching artists oversee students and teach them skills in specific arts fields in the various small groups, or co-ops, offered, and students earn about $8 an hour.

The 7-year-old program was only offered during the summer until this year, when it expanded to after-school hours.

The program was founded in 2005 by Deborah Ratner and Executive Director Marsha Dobrzynski, who is a Cleveland Heights resident, said Kristan Rothman, special projects manager for Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio.

"They brought this program from a project that was created in Chicago called Gallery 37, and they brought this model to Cleveland and said we need to have something like this that employs students in the arts, that shows them that they can earn a living wage working in the arts and gain job skills and understand their path in higher education through the arts," Rothman said.

More than 115 people applied for the 40 spots available in this year's after-school program, Rothman said. They expect to see more than 500 applicants for the about 130 jobs available in the summer program. Students must submit a written application, letters of recommendation, essays and they must interview for the job.

"Every student who's in the program is going to come out of this program with a resume, with work experience on it so they can take that wherever they go," Rothman siad. "They'll also have a portfolio of the work they created during this project ... so they'll be able to take that, whether it's to a college visit or to a job interview, and say, 'This is what I did.'"
Michele Simakis
Click here to watch the video on