Young Artist Background


Inspiring young artists ensures 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 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 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.


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. Cash awards are given, with the first place winner receiving the honor of having their work displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.

2019 Young Artist Opportunities


Young Artists at Work is a six week, paid summer apprenticeship program where teens ages 14-18 learn artistic and professional skills, under the direction of professional artists, art educators or instructors. Apprentices work 30 hours per week, Monday through Friday 9am-4pm at $8.55/hour. Benefits include a complimentary bus pass and hot lunch daily. The deadline for application for the 2019 summer closed March 22, 2019.

Young Artists At Work


Let us know what you've been up to!

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


Want to recommend a young artist for YAAW?

Teacher, counselor, minister, mentor, or neighbor. 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. Remind the youth to complete his/her youth application at the button above.

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2019 Congressional Exhibition

The Arts Commission and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur announce the 36th year of Marcy Kaptur’s presentation of the annual Congressional Art Competition for high school students in the Ninth Congressional District. Art teachers from high schools within Ohio’s Ninth District are invited to nominate up to three student two-dimensional artworks for display. Artworks were selected to receive awards by a jury composed of art educators, local artists, and representatives from institutions sponsoring awards. Congratulations to Grace Momenee from Maumee Valley Country Day School for winning the Congressional Award. Her piece, Birkenstocks will hang in the Capitol Building for one year.

Inspiring a Vibrant Toledo