High Output is proud to continue its partnership with Brighter Boston, an educational internship program that puts high school students to work backstage on professional shows. In July, this collaboration brought two teens from the Boston Public School system to High Output for a two-week intensive lighting internship. The students helped design and create the lighting system for Boston Summer Arts Weekend, a free outdoor music festival in Copley Square.
The interns, ages 15 and 16, worked for 8 days at High Output’s warehouse in Canton, experiencing every aspect of professional lighting. They made technical drawings, reserved equipment using the company’s database, and pulled, tested, and packed every piece of equipment for the show. They visited each area of the company’s warehouse, learning about rigging, cable, conventional, and automated lighting fixtures. Students even meet with the company’s CEO to hear about business and the history of High Output. Finally, they learned how to program automated lighting fixtures, or moving lights, using the state-of-the-art Hog 4 control system.
When it came time to light the festival, students installed the entire lighting system in Copley Square and even directed the crew. When the concerts began, students operated the lighting for the shows, using their new skills as Hog 4 programmers.
This internship program, in its second year, is a groundbreaking example of corporate citizenship and urban education. Public high school students were taught employable skills and given a direct pathway to careers, in a high-stakes professional environment. Over 20 of High Output’s employees interacted with the interns directly, teaching their particular specialty. These students are now prepared to work in the high-tech lighting industry, with knowledge about every facet of the business.
For more details and photos, please visit Brighter Boston on Facebook.
Content and photography by Dan Jentzen