Arts on the Block (AOB) is an organization based in the Washington, DC area offering young people the opportunity to learn about the intersection of art, design and business by engaging them in real-world art projects. Hundreds of individual artworks — from park benches to large scale murals — grace public and private spaces throughout DC because of their talented youth.
These commissions transform neighborhoods and young artists in their pursuit of creativity, collaboration and community. AOB programs teach artistic expression, business acumen and transferable life skills such as patience, teamwork, attention to detail, confidence, and pride in accomplishment. For youth who are passionate about art, Arts on the Block is a place to learn about the creative process, to experience the world of a working artist and develop a better understanding of themselves and their community.
AOB's signature program, Pour Your ART Out (PYAO), transforms high school students into Apprentice Artists to learn about art and develop job skills that can be used in any career. Apprentices work on commissioned art for clients as they learn about professionalism and entrepreneurship. PYAO alumni have gone on to become graphic designers, photographers, teachers and other creative professionals.
In 2011 AOB helped launch a new arts program targeted at underserved middle school students called Excel Beyond the Bell. The program enlists the aid of professional teaching artists in offering after-school programs at schools with the greatest need. The program features weekly classes that lead students to explore a variety of media and avenues of expression including cartooning, printmaking, mosaics, and even improvisation and theater techniques.
For information on upcoming events, how to get involved, or to donate, visit there website.