Village Industries

At A Glance

What: Village Industries is our pre-employment program for teens and middle-school youth that combines art and social justice with social-enterprise to build self-sufficiency and actualize their creative power.

Why: Village Industries helps teens develop critical “whole life” competencies that directly counter the effects of trauma and poverty, including knowledge and credentials; creativity; social skills/networks; agency; and the ability to manage stress.

Who: Teens ages 14-19. More than 350 teens per year join one or more creative studios that produce high-quality products and services for local clients who wish to offer, feature, or leverage youth perspectives.

How: For example, an Impact Studios photography class will explore the concept of self-portraiture over the course of a semester. Students will learn the basics of digital photography and the history of self-portraiture and then compose their own self-portraits. The class culminates with an exhibit at the end-of-semester showcase. The program intentionally simulates the creative agency experience so that youth can safely practice the process of moving from research to ideation, to production, to presentation. We believe these are the very skills needed for young people to achieve social and economic upward mobility.

Go to Program


I learned that if you’re going to be a singer, it’ll take work. It turned me from just “I want to have fun” to “I want to have fun, but I want to do it well, and grow into professional settings.”

 — Emyne, Village alumna and current Village Youth Artist Fellow

Classes: Winter 2019/2020

Music Production

Students will learn how music production and songwriting can be used as a service. Day to day lessons will include critical listening exercises, group production and songwriting projects, and music appreciation lessons. Also small “work for hire” projects will be given to the students, and class trips to local music studios around the city.


Students will explore the artistic, technical, and business aspects of photography. The class will include learning camera basics such as F/stops, shutter speeds, depth of field, white balance, etc. They will also learn how to properly use Lightroom and Photoshop software. Throughout the class, students will implement their knowledge in a series of creative projects.


Students will be challenged with physical conditioning for warm ups to start class that will improve muscle strength and stamina. We will work to develop the following skills: balance, spatial awareness, range of motion, stage presence, ensemble work and musicality to name a few.

Monuments, Anti-Monuments, and Me

Monuments, Anti-Monuments and Me is a studio art course in which students consider what has been memorialized in monuments and what themes and perspectives they would like to add to public art in the city of Philadelphia. Students will use a variety of media and techniques to create sculptures. Techniques include additive and subtractive sculpture, the creation of armatures, relief sculpture, and mold making. Media include paper mache, modeling clay, plaster and household objects. Students will learn about historic and contemporary public art and work individually and collaboratively to create free-standing and relief sculptures.

Village Clay Workshop

This class encourages students of all skill levels to learn basic hand-building techniques and surface decoration methods in making functional and non functional ceramics and mosaics. This is an opportunity to start your personal conversation with clay in a safe and supportive studio. We will explore ceramics as a way to develop personal symbols that convey meaning influenced by current and historic cultural styles, while solving authentic problems. Students will become more confident creatives, comfortable with their originality, competent in their craftsmanship and astute at problem solving.

Fashion Design

Students will pick a trend and make an accessory that exemplifies said trend and our overall theme for the semester. They will identify their target audience, what goes into determining cost and where to sell it. Students will pattern, create a muslin prototype, shop for fabric and sew together their accessory. The other major project will be to produce a garment for a fashion show. They will make one piece for their own model and then collaborate with a fellow student to create a complete outfit. Students will again follow every design and production step in this project. Finally, all work will be comprised into a portfolio that they can use for further career opportunities outside The Village.