Young Artist Opportunities


Inspiring young artists ensures both a greater commitment to creativity and community that has a lifelong impact. We encourage area teens to express themselves through our youth programs. Toledo's teens need access to arts and creative opportunity maybe now more than ever. For more than 30 years our programs have inspired thousands of Toledo youth to explore their individuality while working as a team to change their city for the better and to develop more fully into thoughtful and responsible citizens. Our YAAW and Congressional alumni can be found all over the world and all over Toledo making a difference. 


Since 1994, Young Artists at Work (YAAW) has offered paid summer apprenticeships to area teens to learn creative skills and job skills alike and to connect to community through the creation of public art and salable works. Each year more than 40 teens from diverse neighborhoods and communities in and around Toledo come together to find a completely unique summer employment opportunity and access to an experience meant to impact for a lifetime.


Since 1983, in partnership with Congresswoman Kaptur, the Ninth Congressional District Invitational Art Exhibition has offered a fine arts and commercial design experience for area high school teens. The annual reception and awards ceremony is host to hundreds of students, friends, and families from across Ohio's Ninth Congressional District, offering a curated fine arts experience in a professional gallery setting. Several awards are given, with the first place winner receiving the honor of having their work displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year. 

Want to recommend a young artist for YAAW?

Applications for the 2017 YAAW program are closed. Stay in touch by recommending a student below.

Teacher, counselor, minister, mentor, or parent. You know our community best.  Do you know a 14-18 year old student who would benefit from the Young Artists at Work experience?  We're interested in your recommendations for area youth who would benefit from a dynamic six-week paid summer apprenticeship in the arts. Click on the below button to submit a recommendation on his/her behalf. We'll add their contact info to our lists and they'll be notified about future YAAW opportunities and other opportunities to connect with the arts and grow as leaders in our community. 

Inspiring a Vibrant Toledo

Student Artists recognized with awards during 34th annual Ninth Congressional District Invitational Art Exhibition for High School Students

A Moral Quandry by Amanda Gargac. This artwork received top award in the 2017 Exhibition, with granted privilege to display in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. for one year alongside artworks representing other Congressional Districts across the nation.

Congressional Winner - Amanda Gargac (Cardinal Stritch)

Congressional Runner-Up Awards - Anyse Doss (Whitmer) and Elyza Mihalski (Lakewood)

Congressional Honorable Mentions - Andrew Blachowski (Whitmer), Jake Boyk (St. John's Jesuit), Micah Inak (Lakewood), Miranda Mauk (Bowsher), Amelia McDonnell (Lakewood), Cameron Jackson Patton (St. John's Jesuit) and Alyssa Radtke (Cardinal Stritch)

Commercial Design Winner - Ambrosia Trout (Bowsher)

Commercial Honorable Mentions - Lillie Boose (Perkins), Christina Daniel (Toledo School for the Arts), Olivia Parr (Toledo School for the Arts) and Josh Trout (Perkins)

Baldwin Wallace University Award - Emily Rodriquez (Bowsher)

BGSU School of Art Awards - Amelia McDonnell (Lakewood), Zachary Miller (Toledo School for the Arts) and Alyssa Radtke (Lakewood)

UT Center for the Visual Arts Awards - Jake Boyk (St. John's Jesuit) and Josh Trout (Perkins)

Lourdes University Department of Art Award - Samantha Cornell (Toledo School for the Arts)

Law Firm of Eastman and Smith Award - Paige Davis (Notre Dame)

Valko and Associates Award - Crystal Buckman (Whitmer)

Inspiration Award - Victoria Gregg (Lakewood)

Rudolph Libbe Companies Inc. Award - Adrian Yerdon (Perkins)

HCR ManorCare Awards - Christina Daniel (Toledo School for the Arts), Zachary Miller (Toledo School for the Arts), Andrea Oltean (Lakewood), Cameron Jackson Patton (St. John's Jesuit) and Hannah Wilson (Perkins)

American Frame Rising Star Award - Maggie Marx (Bowsher)

Law Firm of Spengler Nathanson Award - Gabriella Tatkowski (Bowsher)

Downtown Toledo Coffee Cup Awards - Ben Carr (Bowsher) and Micah Inak (Lakewood)

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