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The Homegrown Fellows Program is designed to develop a cohort of youth with multiple skill sets related to employability; Primarily focusing on the areas of Critical Thinking and Analysis, Oral and Written Communications, Deconstructing Complex Ideas, Effective and Responsible Use of Technology, Facilitation and Exercising “Voice.” This program will increase pride, agency and cultural competency for at-risk youth while providing financial support; enabling them to participate fully in the creative economy.

This program is an eight-week, immersive, skill-building program designed to develop two, fifteen-person cohorts of young people into creative, critically thinking leaders of our community. The focus of the program is centered around gaining knowledge and confidence in multiple areas related to the arts and employability; focusing on building the strengths of analysis, oral and written communication, deconstructing complex ideas, effective and responsible use of technology, facilitation and exercising “voice.”

This program will increase pride, agency and cultural competency for at-risk youth while providing them with financial support in the form of weekly stipends that will enable them to participate fully. Participants who complete the program will be qualified for internships and other employment opportunities from CBT’s organizational partners. For the first time in our history we are in a position to offer a program of this magnitude to underserved youth in our community. With over 40 years of experience in the field, overwhelming local and national support and new community partnerships, CBT has the ability to offer in-depth experiences for young people that are currently unparalleled by offering skills that will provide a head start to successful navigation of our creative economy.

We now have ownership of multiple properties and each will be utilized as facilities for the program, along with the state of the art theater facilities at the Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College and the Clarence Brown Theater at the University of Tennessee. The first step of the program will be to utilize relationships with partner organizations with access to local high schools to aid with recruitment. We will begin the first week by allowing fellows to attend CBT’s first production of the 2018 Season. The following week’s activities will begin with ensemble-building exercises, encouraging teamwork and fostering the importance of good communication skills. Next, the fellows will be involved with the planning and execution of the second show in CBT’s season. These skills will be fostered form of job shadowing, hands-on training and tract instruction as we prepare for our Spring production. Fellows will be instructed in the subjects of Arts Management, Operations, Technical Theater, among others. Once familiarity of these facets are established, the next phase of the program will teach fellows about the necessity of successfully marketing and curating events. This phase will include lessons on effective and responsible use of technology, as well as an introduction to CBT’s Digital Storytelling practice. The final steps of the program will include the practical application of skills learned. Each fellow will express their interest and explore their aptitude in the skills they have built thus far helping staff and ensemble members of CBT complete their tasks while developing agency and ownership in the production. This cycle will repeat with each semester.