ACNA offers work-study program to prepare artists for something bigger...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Arts Center of North Arkansas (ACNA) is looking for a few good men, or women who would be interested in learning a trade.

According to Laura Smith, president of ACNA, the group is seeking a couple of candidates who would be interested in spending their summer working in New York, using their newly developed skill set.

"We are looking to sponsor one or more people to teach them a craft and send them off to a summer camp at a YMCA resort in upstate New York. They will have the opportunity to meet people from other countries and have the ability to work," Smith said.

Once the applicants, who must be 18 or older to apply have been selected, Smith said they will begin learning a new skill such as weaving, leather crafting or how to create stained glass.

"We're willing to teach them at ACNA and other areas. The weaving I'm teaching at Ozark Rustic Charm and they can sign up and fill out an application and see what is involved; more in depth. When they are trained, they'll have a packet to fill out and if they are accepted will have a summer job. They'll [the resort] pay a stipend and feed and house them. It is a good way to get kids out and about to see a bigger world in a secure atmosphere and experience something different."

Smith said she has personal experience with the resort and has been associated with them for several years.

"I went to visit my family and while I was there a friend and I met up. She had her computer opened to a page and said to take a look. Forty minutes later I was filling out the paperwork and five years later I was still there teaching," Smith said.

The candidate's trip will be paid for and they will travel to the resort where they will begin to put their newly acquired skills to work.

Smith said in addition to gaining new experiences, working at the resort also offers the potential for gainful employment.

"There are people that come there all the time and often times have offered the kids jobs. Some have gone to other areas of the world to work. I can't say enough about it. I've been there for five years as their fiber artist and it's a joy. There are plenty of areas to go to work in and they have openings for most anything," Smith said.

While working the summer which will run from early June until August of 2017, Smith said the candidates will be mentored by existing employees.

Smith said ACNA is hoping candidates will take advantage of the opportunity.

"We're looking for someone open to new experiences; someone that would like to get away and explore and see a bigger world than they're used to," Smith Said. "There are people who come from all over the world but it is a very controlled and safe environment."

If you would like to apply, you may contact Laura Smith at 740-278-7927 for more information.

"I've seen the talent we have in this area and I want to exploit it," Smith said with a smile. "I want to get it out there and show them who we are.

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