In this unique community outreach program, six to eight inner city teens are paired with an artist to create a beautiful piece of public art.
In BananaWORKS, the arts serve as a catalyst for helping young people prepare for the working world. Students apply for the program and are hired by Team Pennsylvania CareerLink Lehigh Valley. They are responsible for designing, creating and completing the work of art, and they also learn how to build a résumé, attend a job interview and are required to show up for work on time, just like a regular job.
Partnering on creative projects teaches the teens the significance of strong teamwork, job responsibilities and collaboration, while creating artwork cultivates good work habits. Taking responsibility and ownership of the project promotes a strong work ethic and sense of respect, therefore helping to boost self-esteem. With a professional artist serving as a mentor, these young workers learn how to channel their energy using the power of creative expression!
Since its inception, BananaWORKS has had a major impact on young people's lives. More than 200 students have participated in the program, resulting in more than two dozen works of art for the community to enjoy.
BananaWORKS projects are made possible by support from corporations, grants and private donors. Team Pennsylvania CareerLink pays students' salaries and workmen's compensation insurance; however, funds are needed for art instructors, assistants and art materials for each project. Any individual or business that is interested in funding a project and supporting educational initiatives for area youth is invited to contact:
ArtsQuest Vice President of Advancement
Director of Corporate Relations