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Program Overview

Each year, NXTHVN selects seven emerging artists, two curators, and eight high school apprentices to participate in its highly-competitive Fellowship and Apprenticeship programs. With a focus on mentorship, professional development, and skills training, the cohort works collaboratively to cultivate their practices within the context of New Haven’s creative community.  

The NXTHVN team, with Deborah Berke Partners, has designed a unique shared environment—within a state-of-the-art facility—where artists, curators and the local community converge to make art, exchange ideas, and extend their networks.

Year-long Studio & Curatorial Fellowships

NXTHVN’s unique pedagogy focuses on both the theoretical and practical components of establishing and nurturing a sustainable studio or curatorial  practice. Our curriculum features bi-monthly workshops led by visiting artists, curators, scholars, and practitioners whose lived experiences serve as the foundation for our signature, mentorship-driven curriculum. It is through their personal anecdotes and experiences of navigating the art world that we often learn the most!

Some examples of our workshops and seminars include: Strategic Planning, Money Management, Contracts (Art and Law), Online Portfolio Development, Donor Relations, Public Speaking, and Grants Writing. 

In addition to active participation in cohort-building activities, each fellow mentors a local high school student through our Apprenticeship Program to ensure the next generation of talent is given a chance to excel in the arts. 

Paid High School Apprenticeship Program

Each year, NXTHVN welcomes between four and nine local high school students who have exhibited a strong interest in the arts, possess a desire to learn new professional skills, and are ready for the responsibilities of paid employment. 

Under the supervision of the Apprenticeship Coordinator and NXTHVN Staff, Apprentices work directly with the Studio and Curatorial Fellows 3 hours each week, and have 2 hours each week dedicated to group projects and activities. Studio tasks include, but are not limited to, stretching canvas, mixing paints, conducting research, and leading guided tours. Group activities include learning and exercising leadership skills and participating in team-building exercises.

Apprentices also attend regularly scheduled professional development workshops and assist in the planning, production and installation of the exhibition in the NXTHVN gallery at the end of the year. 

The Apprenticeship program is as much about empowering Apprentices to express themselves artistically and imaginatively, as it is about the ripple effects these thriving young individuals will produce in their family and, in turn, within our communities. By providing a fully-funded platform for Apprentices to step into their own leadership potential, NXTHVN invests in the next generation of local artists, innovators, and creative problem solvers.