We Stir Up


Young Artist Apprenticeship

Launched in 1989, the Young Artist Apprenticeship Program is an intensive 20+ week course in the visual arts, facilitated by a team of leading professional artists. This highly competitive program bases admission on a portfolio review and recommendations from art teachers. Participants benefit from more in depth artistic experiences than are available in their public schools, many of which are in underserved areas.


Each year 20 students attend weekly sessions at Arts Fifth Avenue, where they enjoy exploring a variety of media as taught by master artists, who work closely with the teens. The bond between the mentoring artist and the apprentices strengthens artistic technique, aesthetic and confidence in the teens. The apprentices also participate in group critiques, whereby they learn to express themselves graciously and accept helpful criticism.


Students will receive opportunities to work with professional artists using special types of processes and media, such as possibly, glass fusion, technology, robotics and drawing/painting and other media. Students who are selected will develop a portfolio and supplies will be provided.


The following art trips will also be scheduled to enhance the art experience:

  • Trip to local museum(s)
  • Trip to artist studio(s)
  • Visits by local Artists
  • Culmination of Art Exhibit(s)

During the 2014-15 school year, the YAA students were able to learn new skills as they experienced glass as a creative medium through a series of education and studio experiences at SiNaCa studios. As part of the focus for the YAA experience for the 2015-16 school year, students will explore the power of “Technology in Visual Arts” through a series of innovative workshops that integrate Robotics and Art! The students will discover similarities in the Scientific Method and the Artistic Process through this mindful and creative workshop!

The Art of Nature & Science

– The Life and Death of a Texas Bobwhite Quail

This experiential learning opportunity takes place at a working Texas ranch that is the natural habitat for Bobwhite quail and practices sustainable ranch practices for land and water conservation, Bear Creek Ranch, one of four ranches operated by the Dixon Water Foundation (DWF).

Part one of the program:

  • Quail Necropsy Students will get to see live male and female quail, as well as perform a quail dissection with an in-depth examination of its anatomy.
  • Run for Your Life Students will emulate the daily life of a quail by “becoming” a quail or a predator. As a quail, they will explore the habitat, hunt for food, try to avoid predators, live in a nest, care for their young; and as a predator, they will try to make the quail their prey whenever it leaves the nest.
  • Quail CSI Students learn about habitat loss, conservation and predation habits of animals by becoming crime scene investigators, investigating multiple clues to determine what or who destroyed different quail nests around the ranch.


Part two of the program:

An in-class experience applying what students learned about adaptation and predation during their visit to Bear Creek Ranch.


  • Bob White Pic Collage
  • Adaptation Artistry – Students will create their own unique bird species out of art supplies based on the adaptations they want it to have to survive in the biome they have chosen for its aquatic or terrestrial home.  They will present their bird in class and describe its biome and adaptations.



Trinity River Project

– A Water, Land & History Field Investigation Day

Teaching the basics of water quality and the components of healthy aquatic ecosystems, students will travel to a location in the Trinity River Basin locally to sample water quality and riparian parameters, conduct analysis, perform chemical experiments, and record data for later comparison and analysis. They will also learn about the founding of Fort Worth at that very site and the early history of our great city. To read more on this program, click here to read a featured article from the May issue of the Texas Wildlife magazine.


Students will rotate through five stations while in the field for a hands-on investigation day:


  1. Riparian/Rainfall Simulator – Students will learn what a riparian area is and will participate in an interactive demonstration using a rainfall simulator to increase the students understanding of ground water and run off water, the importance of vegetation to the soil and the effects of trash on our land and water.
  2. Macro-Invertebrate Collection – Students will use nets, tweezers and collection containers to collect and identify macro-invertebrates from the Trinity River. Students will try to determine the water quality of the river based on analysis of the types and numbers of pollution sensitive, somewhat pollution sensitive and pollution tolerant species they collect.
  3. Water Quality Testing – Students will test water samples from the Trinity River to measure temperature, appearance, odor, pH, dissolved oxygen and ammonia levels. Students will then analyze that data to determine the overall water quality in the Trinity River on that particular day.
  4. TRWD Stream Trailer – Students will experience the stream trailer, which allows hands-on experimentation demonstrating how streams flow. Students will explore the balance between erosion and deposition, learn about the protective nature of stream bank vegetation, discover the importance of sediment to streams and learn about the natural processes of erosion and flooding.
  5. Ripley Allen Arnold Statue – Students will visit the statue that sits on the bank of the Trinity River and learn how and why Fort Worth was founded on that site because of the bluff, the river and its resources. Through interactive storytelling and song, they will learn about our rich history as told by a slave who lived in early Fort Worth in the 1850’s.

Stay Tuned to Learn more about these programs…

  • Eco:Art– Creating Connections: Art from Nature at Camp Carter for Kindergartners
  • Rock Springs– Botany, Math & History in the Garden for 4th graders
  • Exploring the Art of Robotics at the Fort Worth Central Library for Middle School students