ArtLab is sponsored by Land Title Guarantee Company. Locally owned and operated since 1967.

Based on best practices for youth development programs, ArtLab is an innovative year-round, out-of-school program for underserved high school youth that integrates the creative process and arts-based learning with academic, personal, and professional skill development. As an intensive program, we are limited to 15 youth who go through a competitive application and interview process. Youth do not need to have an arts background. This program seeks youth who do not have access to learning through the arts and would benefit from structured immersion in the creative process.

ArtLab intern Chloe mentoring Jason during a Learning Lab

ArtLab intern Chloe mentoring Jason during a Learning Lab

ArtLab youth are involved in the creation and presentation of major works, mentored by professional artists, participate in workshops directed by visiting artists, mentor younger at-risk children during Learning Labs, and participate in service-learning projects. All projects address social issues affecting their generation which creates opportunities for youth to give voice to those issues. Each endeavor has clear goals and connections to the real world. This propels youth to become active members and catalysts for change in their communities. ArtLab integrates organic and structured activities with respectful interactions among all. Through individual and group struggles, challenges, and obstacles, ArtLab interns learn to work together as a team, communicate, accept differences, and focus on completing a project/goal together. In the end, ArtLab youth create high-quality works of art and experience a sense of accomplishment, pride, and shared purpose.

Get to know our current ArtLab interns

Become a mentor

Support one or more students with an ArtLab Scholarship

At PlatteForum, ArtLab youth are hungry for every opportunity to achieve their dreams. You can make a profound impact on their lives by the ArtLab Scholarship Program. Scholarships are available for $1,500 per student. You can support one or multiple students through this program. Give now (please put “ArtLab Scholarship” in the notes section for your donation), or contact us to learn more about the ArtLab Scholarship Program.

“Growing up in an area where the idea of the arts is something that is completely unaffordable, ArtLab has given me the opportunity to experience a feeling that is unlike any other. ArtLab has opened doors for me that I thought never existed. It has given me the essentials to compete in this world and also interact with society due to the people skills I have acquired.”

— Ruben, ArtLab Alumnus

Our goal is that 100% of ArtLab interns successfully graduate from high school and go on to post-secondary education. Therefore, we also offer a Access Mentoring Program (AMP), a two-year, one-to-one mentoring program in which youth are paired with adult mentors who follow PlatteForum’s detailed 18-month curriculum to guide youth through the college preparatory process. AMP also empowers the families of youth in the form of community workshops and parental advising about early awareness opportunities, financial aid, careers, and the college application process.

Additional Information

Benefits to Youth
• Collaborate with peers and resident artists
• Exposure to a diversity of artists and ideas
• Improve academic, professional and personal skills
• Enhance critical thinking, self-esteem and community engagement
• Dare to dream and realize their potential
• Transform challenges into opportunities for creative expression
• Learn organization and time management skills
• Recognition and feedback from the public 
The Nitty Gritty
• For youth ages 15-19
• Year-round programming with an in-depth focus area (ie. theatre or public art)
• Creation of four to six bodies of work presented to the public
• 15 students, 4-6 hours a week
For the Artist
• Mentor and collaborate with youth
• Inspiration from youth
• Growth as an artist and a creative member of the community
For the Community
• A place for community participation
• Interact and learn from youth
• Work has a positive impact on the community 


Learning Labs

Olivia, PlatteForum Learning Lab participantI love to go to PlatteForum. I have learned so much. I have written poems, made sculptures and other stuff. PlatteForum really gets my imagination to soar way up high. — Olivia, PlatteForum Learning Lab Participant

Learning Lab is a program in which K-12 youth are teamed with contemporary professional artists in residence in long-term, intensive sessions during the artist’s residency at PlatteForum. Youth work side by side with resident artists to learn their creative process then plan, create, and exhibit a body of work. The youth focus on a process-based model to create new artworks through integrative learning and experimentation with varied genres and mediums such as digital media, 3-D sculptural installation, site-specific performance, animation, filmmaking and creative writing.

Each Learning Lab spans approximately two months of sessions with the same artist and youth cohort. For each series, we partner with a different local school or youth-serving organization and provide Learning Lab programming for free to their youth. These interactive and intensive workshops build upon the ideas and forms of the resident artist, and culminate in the completion of a work presented to the public in exhibitions and performances during a free opening reception at PlatteForum.

Learn about our current Learning Lab and past Learning Labs


Learning Lab Details

The Nitty Gritty
  • Six- to eight-week sessions, two to three times each week
  • Working in a real-world, vibrant studio space
  • Mentored by master artists
For the Youth
  • Collaborate and cooperate with peers and resident artists
  • Exposure to a diversity of artists and ideas
  • Improve academic and personal skills
  • Develop awareness, observation and intuition
  • Enhance self awareness and self-esteem
  • Experience a sense of accomplishment
  • Connect to a larger community beyond their immediate neighborhood
For the Artist
  • Opportunity to mentor and collaborate with youth
  • Inspiration from youth
  • Growth as an artist and a creative member of the community
For the Community
  • A venue for the community to interact
  • Youth make a positive impact on their community
  • Increase dialogue across multiple arts and community organizations