Young Artist Opportunities


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. 

Want to recommend a young artist for YAAW?

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. Remind the youth to complete his/her youth application at the button above.

Student Artists recognized with awards during 35th annual Ninth Congressional District Invitational Art Exhibition for High School Students

Assemble by Nola Williams-Riseng. This artwork received top award in the 2018 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 - Nola Williams-Riseng (Lakewood)

Congressional Runner-Up Awards - Ben Carr (Bowsher) and Elyza Mihalski (Lakewood)

Congressional Honorable Mentions - Jerry Fantozzi (Perkins), Sasha Grimerich (Maumee Valley Country Day School), Evelyn Jenkins (Lakewood), Erin McHugh (Lakewood), Nakiya Peters (Rogers), Emily Rigby (Maumee Valley Country Day School), Bethany Sager (Cardinal Stritch)

Commercial Design Winner - Zachary Miller (Toledo School for the Arts)

Commercial Honorable Mentions - Abby Adler (Notre Dame Academy), Megan Burmeister (Bowsher), Sara Penrod (Bowsher), Trisade Zimmerman (Perkins)

Baldwin Wallace University Award - Sasha Grimerich (Maumee Valley Country Day School)

BGSU School of Art Awards - Bethany Sager (Cardinal Stritch), Madison Stribling (Waite), Amanda Yoster (Waite)

UT Center for the Visual Arts Awards - Teja Ether (Notre Dame), Lynwood Fisher (Rogers)

Lourdes University Department of Art Award - Kathryn Riddle (Notre Dame)

Law Firm of Eastman and Smith Award - Clair Rochowiak (Bowsher)

Valko and Associates Award - Jerry Fantozzi (Perkins)

Arts Commission Vibrancy Award - Sara Penrod (Bowsher)

Rudolph Libbe Companies Inc. Award - Nakiya Peters (Rogers)

HCR ManorCare Awards - Jordyn Hawkins (Perkins), Zachary Miller (Toledo School for the Arts), Casey Riley (Toledo School for the Arts), Octavia Schnittker (Perkins), Michelle Zheng (Whitmer)

American Frame Rising Star Award - Elaina Klump (Whitmer)

Law Firm of Spengler Nathanson Award - Jacob Hartranet (Bowsher)

Inspiring a Vibrant Toledo

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