Neighborhood Studios Part 3: Self-Expression, Self-Reflection

This post is the third in our Neighborhood Studios blog series to share the journeys of seven people who have participated in Neighborhood Studios, the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s summer teen apprentice program. Each one of their stories is a different perspective on the way this program can shape you and prepare you for your future career, college, and a life that’s connected to the arts. Each post will highlight a specific skill they gained or growth they experienced as an apprentice, as a teacher, or as a staff member.

Today we’ll meet Stacey Queen, Education Associate at the Amistad Center for Art & Culture. 2015 was Stacey’s first year as Studio Coordinator for the Amistad Center’s SNAP! Photography studio.


Guest Blogger: Stacey Queen, Neighborhood Studios Studio Coordinator for the Amistad Center for Art & Culture

My summer with the ten apprentices from the Amistad Center for Art & Culture’s SNAP! Photography studio opened up a window to the creative growth and development of teens as engaged, open-minded and discerning artists. The theme of the studio was This is My Story, and they were charged to come up with ideas in which they were able to tell their story through photography. They really had to think outside of the box and learn to see themselves through the “lens.”  Think of your own life. What adventure or discovery would you interpret?  What story would you tell through photography? Such thoughtful questions required the apprentices to really think about how to present themselves in a manner that museum visitors would understand or even relate to. This was important because their photography would be featured in an exhibition where members of the community and museum visitors could see their works.

Along with interpretation of their works and participating in an exhibition, the apprentices used critical thinking skills and were able to reflect and critique their works and the works of their peers.  They were encouraged to consider the theoretical and practical side of photography all while being self-expressive and self-reflective.  SNAP! Photography studio apprentices are more than college and career ready, they are ready to face the world with great promise and success.


Experience Neighborhood Studios for Yourself!

Visit the Greater Hartford Arts Council website for more information about how you can apply to become a Neighborhood Studios apprentice in 2016!

Apprentices must be between the ages of 14-18 and reside in the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s 34-town service area. Additional eligibility requirements are listed in the Apprentice Guidelines. Neighborhood Studios applications are due by April 29, 2016. Apprentices will be selected and notified by the end of May.


Stacey Queen photo
Stacey Queen with Amistad Center apprentices Logan and Chris, summer 2015

Part 1: See how the Knowledge Brandon gained in Neighborhood Studios has helped his career in the arts and beyond. 

Part 2: Learn how Molly gained Independence through Neighborhood Studios.

Part 3: Read about how Stacey witnessed Self-expression and Self-reflection in the Amistad  Center’s SNAP! Photography studio.

Part 4: Find out how Poppy gained Perspective while participating in the Mark Twain House’s Write to the Point studio.

Part 5Learn why Sten’s most important Neighborhood Studios experience was all about the Truth.

Part 6See how Daisy built a connection with her audience while Performing in Breakdancing Shakespeare at Hartford Stage’s Neighborhood Studio.

About Neighborhood Studios:

Neighborhood Studios, the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s award-winning, nationally recognized summer arts apprenticeship program, will enter its 18th season when it kicks off in June 2016. The six-week summer program provides area teenagers between ages 14 – 18  with an immersive, hands-on education in the arts, as well as career-skills training

The experience of Neighborhood Studios aligns with the Common Core’s description of students who are college and career ready in Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, & Language. Additionally, all Neighborhood Studios align their work with the Common Core State Standards as well as the National Core Arts Standards.