Today at Apple Creative Studios launches to mentor young creative workers

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In Los Angeles, young creatives will receive mentorship from Grammy Award-winning producer Larrance “Rance” Dopson, documentary photographer and filmmaker Bethany Mollenkof, and Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B Ebro Darden.
In Los Angeles, young creatives will receive mentorship from Grammy Award-winning producer Larrance “Rance” Dopson (pictured), documentary photographer and filmmaker Bethany Mollenkof and Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B Ebro Darden.
Photo: Apple

Apple announced a new global initiative today called Today at Apple Creative Studios. It aims to provide career-building mentorship, creative-industry skills training, resources and access to Apple products to workers from underrepresented communities globally.

The initiative is an expansion of the Today at Apple programming in local stores and online. It launches in Los Angeles and Beijing. Later in the year, Bangkok, London, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., will follow. In each city, Apple said it will work closely with nonprofit community organizations to connect young people with mentors and established artists.

Launch tied to opening of Apple Tower Theatre in LA

Though announced today, the initiative’s launch is tied to the opening on Thursday of Apple’s 26th location in downtown Los Angeles. The new store will open in the historic 1927 Tower Theatre. It will also serve as the location for Creative Studios LA.

“Creativity and access to education are core values for Apple, so we are absolutely thrilled to kick off Today at Apple Creative Studios in Los Angeles and Beijing,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People. “Building on our long history of using stores as a venue to host local artists to educate and inspire, Creative Studios is one more way we’re providing free arts education to those who need it most.”

Today at Apple Creative Studios programming

The initiative’s programming is available to young people who face barriers to education in the arts and creative fields, Apple said. It will hone their interest in subjects like music, film, photography, and art and design.

Across eight to 12 weeks of programming, mentors, Apple and community partners will guide participants through a curriculum of hands-on sessions featuring insider industry knowledge, Apple said. The program will provide ongoing feedback on participants’ creative projects.

In addition to developing creative skills, mentors and community partners will try to nurture participants’ self-expression. And it will encourage them to spark social change in their communities.

At the end of each program, Apple plans to host a celebration and showcase of participants’ final works in their local Apple Store or elsewhere in the community.

Today at Apple will also offer public sessions, open to anyone. The artist-mentors working with Today at Apple Creative Studios participants will lead the public sessions. You can register for them at apple.com/today.

Today at Apple Creative Studios – LA: all about music

Today at Apple Creative Studios – LA focuses on developing young musicians’ talents, Apple said. Working with the Music Forward Foundation and the Inner-City Arts and Social Justice Learning Institute, Creative Studios LA will amplify up-and-coming talents’ stories over nine weeks of free programming.

Participants will learn creative direction, writing, and production. By creating a visual album called an “LA Love Letter,” participants will hone skills and share stories through music, design and imagery. For this they’ll use iPad, Apple Pencil, Beats headphones and iPhone. They’ll also try their hand at GarageBand, Procreate, Notes, and the Camera app.

Who will guide the young musicians? Grammy Award-winning producer Larrance “Rance” Dopson, for one. Documentary photographer and filmmaker Bethany Mollenkof, for another. And Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B Ebro Darden. Other artists will teach an additional one-off session.

Creative Studios LA will also give participants access to Apple Music creatives and executives during its Industry Week.

“Music Forward aims to transform young lives by breaking barriers of gender, poverty, and race,” said Nurit Smith. He is Music Forward Foundation’s executive director. “Apple shares our commitment to empowering diverse voices in the creative arts. We are proud to chart careers and provide opportunity to Los Angeles youth.”