What makes AOB’s programs so unique and special?

Gretchen-769924What makes AOB’s programs so unique and special? by Gretchen Schermerhorn 

Several years ago, Jan Goldstein invited me to talk to the AOB apprentices about possible careers in the visual arts.

I gladly accepted, and practiced my story, that I’m sure included talking points like “You really have to work hard” and “You have to want it more than anything”. I was ready to drill into the teenagers the challenges of making a career of the arts. I was also ready to see them sit and half-way listen to me, look at me blankly, and periodically check their phones.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

One apprentice introduced me to the group. I was struck by her ease and confidence as she spoke. The apprentices paid close attention, some of them even taking notes. They also followed up with great questions. They shared with me the art they are doing in the community, the challenges and the rewards of working in a team, and gave me some good ideas about working with clients.

Here I was, thinking that I was going to teach them, but as I drove home I kept thinking about what they taught me.

What makes AOB’s programs so special is that they marry art and soft skill training like teamwork collaboration, self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

I’d be lucky to have one of those apprentices on my organization’s artistic staff one day.