Our ARTpreneurs are primed and practiced and ready to hit the professional world running with their art. These high school students turned professional artists spent six weeks learning about art, job skills and entrepreneurship. Their “final exam” took place at Fenton Street Market in Silver Spring. The apprentices set up a booth filled with mosaic luminaries, pendants, handmade cards and more July 25 and August 2.
“The hours of hard labor, the countless lessons spent planning every single detail, all those extra early mornings working, it all paid off on Saturday at Fenton Street Market. People bustled in and out of our booth, many stopping to look through our original watercolor cards, as well as glancing over handcrafted mosaic pendants.” -Maddie P.
The ARTpreneurs workshop is for Montgomery County high school students who have a passion for art. Participants learn every step of the artistic process, from planning and creating artwork, to pricing and selling their finished pieces. ARTpreneurs is currently supported by grants from the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and the Donors InVesting in the Arts (DIVA) Giving Circle of the Community Foundation for Montgomery County. The ARTpreneurs used everything they learned to reel in customers and sell their goods at the market. Students from local non-profit, Docs in Progress, stopped by to film the Arts on the Block booth and interview our apprentices.
“Our booth attracted many customers because it was colorful and eye catching. The market was a great thing to experience because it gave us a preview of what it is like to work in an actual store and to engage conversations with people.” –Alexandra O.
Our apprentices had the opportunity of learning about the business side of art from Entrepreneurship Educator, Derek Sontz. Derek, Founder and Principal Consultant at WirelessGetaway.com, helped guide conversations about the AOB booth’s strengths and weaknesses between the two market days.
“Weather can be a fantastic advantage or a horrible inconvenience. We were amazingly fortunate the first day when it was 80 degrees and sunny with the perfect amount of breeze. The market was packed and most people were already in a good mood, making selling and attracting customers fairly easy. The second day, we weren’t so lucky. It rained on and off while the air was hot and humid.” -Tara C.
Our apprentices proved their creativity when the raindrops started coming down. They made trash bags into waterproof fashion statements.
“The Fenton Street market was an amazing experience. I learned a lot about the business aspect in the days leading up to the market. Learning how to properly price items was definitely one of the most important lessons we learned prior to the market.” -Yodit K.
What advice would you give to our young professionals? Comment below and share your experiences and expertise.