Have you heard about the Ramp Up Fellowship? It launched as a pilot this January as a partnership between Assemble and The Legacy Arts Project. The Ramp Up Fellowship is a full-time program for individuals 18-24 years old who are interested in becoming teaching artists, and prioritizes young adults who identify as BIPOC or LGBTQIA creatives who reside in or grew up in Homewood and Garfield.
Our 2022 Ramp Up Fellows include Veronica Rae Green and Alona Williams of Garfield, Breydon Prioleau of Homestead, and Azadiel Watts of Penn Hills. Each are incredible artists and creatives who specialize in an array of fields from creative writing, theater, photography, anime, songwriting, character design, video games design, and more! Throughout the program, the Fellows get hands-on work experience co-teaching in youth-serving programs at Assemble and The Legacy Arts Project while also engaging in professional development focused on skills, knowledge, and disposition. The Fellows have been engaging in sessions with Nina Barbuto, Assemble’s Executive Director, diving into learning theories and pedagogy from Paulo Friere, Dr. Bettina Love, and more. The Fellows are creating their own Manifestos for Learning inspired by past theorists as well as their own lived experiences. Michelle King, the Learning Instigator, has also been a guest expert for our Manifestos, imagining with the Fellows the future of learning. The Fellows also have been meeting weekly with Jacquea Mae Olday diving into the history of communities, goal setting, and future planning. They have also embarked on field trips to the spaces like Children’s Museum and the Museum Lab on the Northside.
The Fellows have helped with the Legacy Arts Project Podcast launch, the Africana Wellness Conference on April 2, and will be helping with Dance Africa this summer. Check out the podcast here: https://bit.ly/LegacyPod. Erin Perry, the Executive Director of Legacy Arts Project shared, “The Ramp Up Fellowship has been a beautiful experience of creating space to cultivate the next generation of teaching artists while strengthening our practice as a community arts organization.”
Alona Williams shared a little about their experience in the Fellowship so far:
“The Ramp Up Fellowship has made me aware of who I want to be as an artist in terms of connectivity and community. It has reignited my passion for helping young people express themselves and the education theory has been helpful not just with teaching but also with creating my own work. I’m learning how I best learn and work and how to put that into visual and literary concepts. I also appreciate the level of morale building that both Legacy and Assemble make a priority in their work culture. I believe this will make me a better collaborator all around even when this fellowship ends.”
The Fellows, alongside Assemble and The Legacy Arts Project Staff, have also engaged in collective professional development workshops on Self-Care with Ta’lor Pinkston – The Heart Advocate, InterPlay with Lois Toni McClendon, and Grief and Trauma informed care with the Highmark Caring Place.
This first year of the Ramp Up Fellowship program is supported by the Arts Equity Reimagined Collective Action Grant and A Remake Learning Moonshot Grant. Assemble is currently working on securing funding for a second year of the Fellowship so it can continue to do the work of hiring and training the next generation of teaching artists. This collective action will foster the next generation of teaching artists to advance our missions and build opportunities for community-based arts education.
To find out more about the Ramp Up Fellowship and other happenings at Assemble, please contact Nina Barbuto at: firstname.lastname@example.org. To find ou more about The Legacy Arts Project and their programs, please contact Erin Perry at email@example.com