Could not authenticate you.followers
The City of West Hollywood is home to dozens of arts, fashion and interior design businesses, and on Thursday, April 21, they will become a laboratory for 15 local students seeking first-hand experience in the art and design career fields. The City of West Hollywood is hosting a tour of the businesses as part of its “Get On The Bus” initiative. The participating high school students were selected by the West Hollywood Teen Center and the Greenway Arts Alliance, a nonprofit organization that provides arts instruction at Fairfax High School, and have all expressed an interest in pursuing a career in the arts. The tour will stop at locations such as the Pacific Design Center (PDC), as well as many of the businesses in the Avenues of Art, Fashion and Design.
The “Get On The Bus” initiative was created by the city five years ago in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and is designed to create education and career opportunities for teens in West Hollywood. Students will get an understanding of the requirements of a career in the arts, as well as providing for networking and career advancement.
“It is a way of promoting our design and art businesses, and also a way of giving back to the community and creating opportunities for young people,” West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman said. “This is an opportunity for young people to find out a little more about careers that are available, or to start thinking about their careers.”
The initiative was led by Prentis Bonds, an administrative specialist for the City of West Hollywood and a member of the African American Heritage Month Committee. Bonds said West Hollywood is a natural place for the tour, with the Pacific Design Center and the Avenues of Arts, Fashion and Design on Robertson and Beverly Boulevards, and Melrose Avenue. The tour will visit the Here is Elsewhere Gallery, the Academy of Couture Art, the American Society of Interior Designers, the Phyllis Morris store, and Hamilton Selway Fine Arts. The tour will also include a meeting with West Hollywood City Councilmember Abbe Land and John D’Amico, and a discussion with Ryan Faber, the executive director of the Avenues of Arts, Fashion and Design; and Allan Dallatorre, of the American Society of Interior Designers.
“We want them to develop a dialogue with the merchants as a tool for career advancement,” Bonds said. “We are known as the creative city, and we have a very strong creative arts community here.”
Whitney Weston, the co-artistic director for the Greenway Art Alliance and a member of the West Hollywood Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, said the “Get On The Bus” initiative was a natural fit for some of the students at Fairfax High School who are currently involved in arts programs. She added that the partnership with the city provides an opportunity that otherwise would not be available.
“This fits perfectly with our mission to connect students with the arts,” Weston said. “With all of the arts funding in question at the schools, it gives them an opportunity to work with arts professionals, and lets them see what opportunities are available to them.”
Fairfax High School senior Laura Rogers, who will be participating in the tour, said she hopes it will help with her career plans.
“It will be great exposure,” Rogers said. “I have always been more into the theatrical arts, but I am also into designing, and I am hoping to see some of those types of businesses, and am hoping to talk to some designers.”
West Hollywood resident Elizabeth Gordienko, a junior at Fairfax High, said she is also looking forward to the tour.
“I am really planning on becoming an illustrator, and going on this field trip will be amazing,” Gordienko said. “I am hoping to see different types of arts businesses that will improve my career search. Living here provides a great opportunity for a lot of influences. It is Hollywood, so there are a lot of opportunities here.”