Young Artists at Work

Inspiring a Vibrant Future


For 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 alumni can be found all over Toledo and the world 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 designed to impact for a lifetime.

Thank you to the University of Toledo Department of Art. In addition to hosting the studio space for the youth apprentices, they also provide two $2,500 scholarships to YAAW alumni that are majoring in art at the University of Toledo. 

2024 Schedule

YAAW hiring deadline for Instructors and Assistant Instructors is February 2, 2024. Applications for the 2024 YAAW program apprentices are due on March 15th. The 2024 Young Artists at Work program runs from June 24th through August 2nd.

Young Artists at Work applications are due March 15th. Must be 14 years or older before June 24th to apply.

Current Projects

United Way Mural

United Way and SSOE partnered to bring to life a new mural on their building at 1001 Madison Avenue in Toledo with the help of the 2022 YAAW apprentices.

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Market Street Mural

During the 2022 YAAW Season, muralist Leah Tumerman worked with YAAW staff and apprentices to create a mural on Market Street.

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Peace & Healing Commons

YAAW apprentices brought Peace and Healing to the Toledo Spain Plaza off Collingwood with a series of installed murals.

artist in gallery

YAAW Alumni

After 25 years of YAAW, there are so many stories to capture. Stay in touch with the Arts Commission to stay in the know about events and opportunities.


The Story of YAAW

Led by Young Artists at Work alums Reagan Shull and Melissa Mintz, one team from the 2021 cohort tells the story of the history of YAAW through film. Apprentices interviewed former apprentices and staff of Young Artists at Work to tell the story of the over 20 years of the YAAW program.

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2021 Season Recap

Our 2021 edition of the Young Artists at Work program was a hybrid of virtual and in-person learning. This short video highlights the five major projects that the teams completed.


Thank you to all of our generous sponsors of the YAAW program.