I took my first class at Inner-CityArts (ICA) in the summer of 2020, in hopes it could salvage my indoor summer. But who knew I would find myself back there in 2021 with an internship that would give me a plethora of new opportunities.
ICA is an art education program dedicated to teaching young people the creative process in hopes of making a more inventive and collaborative future. They offer several media, visual and performing arts classes from character design to songwriting. The Work of Art internship (WOA) is a college and career readiness program that gives high school juniors and seniors real world experience of what it’s like to work in the arts as a professional. Depending on what medium they’re skilled in, each student is placed in the media, visual or performing arts studio at the beginning of the program.
I first discovered WOA when my Career Technical Education and journalism teacher Adriana Chavira emailed the internship to me, asking If I might be interested. Seeing this as a great way to learn more about my potential future career in animation, I jumped at the chance. After a short and friendly interview, I was welcomed into the program with open arms.
WOA is split into two parts: the internship in year one and the externship in year two. The internship is where students work on their art for the permanent collection, a gallery of all the collective artwork each student has made in their first year with InnerCity-Arts. The externship is where students are placed in a company that aligns with the studio they’re in.
As soon as the program began, I was placed in the media arts studio and we began our digital artwork for the permanent collection. Every four weeks, we got a prompt and created an art piece accordingly. Week one was the introduction and brainstorming, week two was brainstorming and sketching and the following two weeks were additional work time to draw our ideas digitally.
The first prompt given to us was in a collaboration with Dreamworks. It asked us to make a piece that displayed what we thought a better future would look like.. It was the first project given to us from the program so I was a bit nervous but I managed to make a sketch of my idea. I showed it to my advisor, Ashley Margo, and she told me it didn’t look like it embodied what my idea for a better future would look like. She then guided me through the creative process and three weeks later, I had the perfect final piece.
I’m still in the internship phase of this program, so it’s far from over. I can’t wait to cherish every memory I make and I look forward to what’s next in store for us.