history & overview
The Fulton County Department of Arts and Culture developed Art at Work (AAW) in 1995 as a six-week summer program to provide opportunities for teens interested in visual arts and job training. Since the program’s inception, hundreds of Fulton County youth have been integrally involved in all aspects of production and marketing while learning valuable work skills and earning their own income. The Art At Work program was recently expanded to include instruction in performing arts.
Understanding the need to be proactive rather than reactive, the Fulton County Arts and Culture (FCAC) entered into partnership with the Fulton County Juvenile Court (FCJC) in the fall of 1996 to develop and execute a program to serve youth who were on court ordered probation. As a result, the program evolved into what it is today: A year-round program that serves both youth from the juvenile courts, “at risk” teens and Fulton County youth.
Students in the AAW program become Apprentice Artists and are employed to design, create, and market original works of art. The program operates year-rond and is comprised of three 10-week sessions and one 4-week summer session. Each session serves 25 - 30 students. During the fall, winter, and spring sessions, participants meet Tuesday & Thursday, two hours after school and four hours on Saturdays. The summer session is Monday through Friday, five hours each weekday. As a part of the program curriculum, teaching staff and participants take a maximum of two field trips per session, and two day outings during the summer session.
The Art At Work Program has a long standing premise: to fill the void of youth opportunities in the arts by:
Providing youth with instruction in visual and performing arts.
Employing youth to produce functional, decorative art and performance based arts.
Teaching youth the business and entrepreneurial aspects of art.
Providing youth with job training skills.
Providing youth with a sense of accomplishment and worth.
AAW’s target population is urban, at-risk, underserved youth that meet the following criteria:
14-16 years old
Low to moderate risk offenders referred by a Fulton County Juvenile Court probation officer; or
Community referrals (i.e. public school, alternative school or social service agencies).