September 1, 2021
Today at Apple Creative Studios expands to Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Following recent Creative Studios launches in Los Angeles, Beijing, Bangkok, and London, Today at Apple’s mentorship programming comes to young creatives in Washington and Chicago
Next month, Today at Apple Creative Studios will bring its career-building programming and creative resources to underrepresented communities in Chicago and Washington, D.C. These two new cities expand on the programs launched earlier this summer, which explored a variety of creative passions across music and radio production, photography, app design, and more. Led in collaboration with community partners, local nonprofits, and Apple, young creatives in Washington and Chicago will have access to mentorship, hands-on experience, and the industry know-how to dive deep into photography, illustration, and writing.
Since the program’s launch in June, Today at Apple has brought Creative Studios to Los Angeles, Beijing, Bangkok, and London, linking 24 nonprofits and community partners with 80 teaching artists, mentors, and industry experts. Apple works intimately with nonprofit partners on multiyear plans to ensure that support continues in these communities and for these participants long after their Creative Studios programs come to an end. Additionally, people around the world have joined online sessions with the program’s accomplished mentors, including photographer Bethany Mollenkof; Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s global editorial head of Hip-Hop and R&B; and iPhone photographer Eric Zhang.
“We’re so excited to be able to connect young people from underrepresented communities with artists and mentors to guide and inspire them in Washington and Chicago,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People. “In each city where we’ve launched Today at Apple Creative Studios, our partnerships with incredible community organizations have enabled us to bring creative arts education to those who need it most, and we look forward to bringing Creative Studios to even more cities.”
Today at Apple Creative Studios – Chicago
Launching September 18, Today at Apple Creative Studios – Chicago will work with youth in Little Village to amplify up-and-coming talents’ unique stories through photography and illustration. In collaboration with community partners Yollocalli Arts Reach, Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy, and Chicago Architecture Biennial, Apple will provide free arts and cultural programming across five weeks to aspiring artists and photographers, offering the tools they need to embark on their creative journey.
Chicago-based photographers Mercedes Zapata and Sebastián Hidalgo will serve as mentors, guiding participants through a combination of portraiture, journalistic assignments, Photo Walks, and immersive design activities that will enable the youth to capture their community.
“Yollocalli Arts Reach is the award-winning youth initiative of the National Museum of Mexican Art, and it has provided creative development opportunities to young adults in Pilsen, Little Village, and the surrounding communities since 1997,” said Hananne Hanafi, deputy director of Yollocalli Arts Reach. “It is our goal to provide a safer space for our students to not only grow as artists, but to also become active members in their communities. We are thrilled to be working on Today at Apple Creative Studios – Chicago, and we look forward to seeing all the amazing artwork from our participants.”
Today at Apple Creative Studios – D.C.
Today at Apple Creative Studios – D.C. will give aspiring authors and illustrators an opportunity to hone their creative and professional skills while expanding their ability to tell their stories in their own words. The program, which officially begins September 20, aims to diversify the landscape of children’s and youth literature, and is presented in collaboration with local nonprofit Shout Mouse Press — a writing workshop and publishing house with a mission to amplify marginalized voices — and students from the Latin American Youth Center. Through Shout Mouse Press’s authorship program, students from the LAYC have authored a collection of four bilingual children’s books. Over the six weeks of programming, the students will take these stories through illustration and audio production to reach new audiences and expand their capacity for storytelling.
“Shout Mouse Press is dedicated to centering and amplifying the voices of marginalized youth,” said Kathy Crutcher, founder and executive director of Shout Mouse Press. “The young people we coach are underrepresented — as characters and as creators — within young people’s literature, and their perspectives are often unheard. Apple shares our commitment to providing a platform for diverse voices, and we are proud to partner with them to support young authors in telling their own stories.”
Participants will further hone their unique narratives through six weeks of Apple-led skills-based sessions, and will also learn from established authors, multimedia artists, and illustrators, including Zara González Hoang, the founders of “La Horchata Zine,” and the co-hosts of “La Valentina Podcast.” The program will culminate in a celebration of the release of the students’ books, which will be available as ebooks on Apple Books, and also in print.
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