Educational Partnership with Artists for Humanity

Urban Teens Learn Math, Science, and Leadership Through Lighting Design

In spring 2014, High Output, Inc. sponsored a unique ten-week intensive workshop on lighting design for urban teens. The program took place on Monday afternoons after school, and began with the basic vocabulary of lighting. The teens completed a series of hands-on seminars on physics, chemistry, optics, electricity, and neuroscience. To put their newly acquired knowledge to use, the students then designed the lighting for two professional shows – a fundraiser gala for Company One and a private wedding reception! The students met with the clients, created the designs, and loaded in the equipment. They ran the events as professionals, and were able to directly apply everything they learned to real-world scenarios.

High Output donated rental equipment for the workshops, including robotic lighting fixtures, computer control systems, chain motors, and trussing. High Output’s technicians and designers also helped teach the workshops, contributing their unique expertise.

“I don’t think we would have been successful without the professional equipment,” said Rebecca Volynsky, Education Coordinator at Artists for Humanity. “This was a perfect example of our initiative to have youth develop entrepreneurial skills and communications skills with clients.”

The program took place at Artists for Humanity (AFH) in South Boston, a nonprofit that employs urban youth as professional artists. Four teens from AFH participated in the program. Teaching support was provided by Brighter Boston, a similar nonprofit that creates internships in lighting design for high school students. Company One, an award-winning Boston theatre company, welcomed the teens as professional crew on their fundraiser event.

This project is a shining example of community partnership, and of the great things that happen when organizations bring their unique resources to the challenge of public education. High Output is proud to support urban youth and help them develop as artists and professionals.

“This is the best way to learn. This project hit every single mark, and the teens were involved with every step. Now, they can take these skills with them, to engineering, or hospitals, or restaurants! If they have an idea in their head, they know where to start, and how to finish.”Jason Talbot, Special Projects Director, Artists for Humanity