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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

With Help From Apple, Little Village Youth Will Tell Their Stories Through Photography, Visual Art

Apple will partner with local groups, including Yollocalli Arts Reach, for the free program that provides youth with mentoring, training and access to Apple products.

Sentrock will serve as a guest artist as part of the five week program.
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LITTLE VILLAGE — Aspiring young photographers will get free training and resources to tell visual stories about their communities through a program led by Apple.

The tech giant is partnering with local groups Yollocalli Arts Reach, Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy and Chicago Architecture Biennial to launch Apple Creatives Studios in Chicago on Sept. 18. The program previously was set up in Los Angeles, Beijing and Bangkok, among other cities.

“We’re so excited to be able to connect young people from underrepresented communities with artists and mentors to guide and inspire them in” Chicago, said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of retail.

The free, five-week program will offer mentorship, access to Apple products, and training in photography and illustration to people ages 13-24. Photographers Mercedes Zapata and Sebastian Hidalgo will guide the participants, and Sentrock and Joseph Josue Mora will serve as guest artists.

Artists will showcase their work at the end of the program.

Jennifer Ventimiglia, of Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy, said the program provides a huge opportunity for her students to “reshape the narrative” of their communities.

Yollocalli Program Director Hananne Hanafi said the initiative will be a game-changer for participants and will expand the nonprofit’s programs and opportunities. 

“It is our goal to provide a safer space for our students to not only grow as artists, but to also become active members in their communities,” Hanafi said. “We are thrilled to be working on Today at Apple Creative Studios – Chicago, and we look forward to seeing all the amazing artwork from our participants.”

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