Blog Post

Creative Careers Playlists for Learning

Creative Careers Playlists for Learning banner

Hello, my name is Mikey Cordero and are coming at you from New York City and the organization Urban Arts Partnership who are a recent DML Playlist Challenge winner.

UAP’s four proposed playlists will create learning pathways to Creative Careers, guiding passionate young people from under-resourced communities to develop the technical skills and creative competencies necessary for success in the 21st Century.  

Youth will follow a dynamic formula of XPs that develop complex skills in:

  1. Video Production 
  2. Music Production 
  3. Creative Direction 
  4. Coding + Game Design 

All playlists provide real world exposure to career paths through impactful partnerships, connect youth to professionals in these respective industries, instructs them on how to create portfolios of their work and promotes opportunities for public youth showcases. Each playlist is rooted in our existing student-centered methodology and partnership model, and follows the same sequence for each creative industry. Student progress is documented through UAP’s digital badging framework that scaffolds skill development in the four creative areas.

The intended outcome of a UAP playlist is for young people to access an engaging learning pathway comprised of experiences and resources that  harness real world opportunities that will transform their lives. Creative tech partners are urgently seeking new talent from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and this opportunity will propel underrepresented youth to follow clear pathways to meet that growing demand.

There is an urgent need to provide opportunities and pathways for driven young creatives eager to contribute their skills to entrepreneurial industries.

While NYC is the media capital of the world, the populations UAP serves are egregiously underrepresented - of employees in this billion-dollar industry, 11% are people of color and 4% are women, and the vast majority are recruited from outside NYC. This is compounded by the fact that young people are not equipped or well informed to make decisions about their career path because their schools and communities lack the resources to support them.

UAP’s Creative Career playlists are inspired and driven by its secondary to post-secondary programs, The Academy and Alumni Scholars, that serve 200 young people from high school throughout their early twenties, and mirrors the lifecycle of a student in this pipeline.

These programs focus on the following areas:

  1. Artistic, technical mastery
  2. Professional skill and career development
  3. Self efficacy and leadership skills

In addition to concrete skills, we honor youth as whole people full of experience and knowledge and support them in developing the life and social-emotional skills to ultimately achieve economic and personal fulfillment, no matter their chosen path.

While the playlists will formalize and enhance this space, their reach will scale to include the entire UAP community of 15,000 students, 500 educators, families and our public/private partners who serve thousands of youth as well.  Playlists allow us to connect more youth to our Creative Career tracks that will meaningfully support them in charting a vision for their futures.

At the heart of the UAP methodology is culturally responsive pedagogy, or instructional approaches that honor student interest, choice, agency and the reality of their lives. Our Creative Career playlists are a collection of connected learning experiences that develop interest-driven, relevant mastery in creative areas and, buttressed by strong partnerships, tap participants into a concrete pipeline to potential employers and postsecondary areas of study.

UAP views our playlists as a unique opportunity to build communities in different spaces to diversify opportunities for youth and create a robust network of support that will continue opening doors long after youth learners complete the playlist.

Our four playlists follow a learning pathway of XPs, supported by local and digital resources, documented by digital badges:

  • Skill Development: Students will learn advanced art skills in one of 4 creative areas and gain preparedness for careers in the arts.
  • Field Trips: Students participate in field trips to gain access to and knowledge of companies, organizations and individuals working in specialized fields of the industry.
  • Master Classes: Students participate in a specialty workshop or class, given by an area expert.
  • Partner Collaborations: Students participate in longer-term internships, volunteer opportunities, and special projects with creative tech partners to gain knowledge in specialized fields of the industry.
  • Digital Portfolio: Students create digital portfolios of their work with CV/Artist Statement and record of digital badges earned
  • Showcase Opportunity: Students participate in 1 group critique presentation and 1 public showcases
  • Creative Product: Youth learners create at least 1 product (e.g., music album or app)

We are currently in development of our playlist and model for the LRNG Platform. We welcome you to comment with feedback on our proposal.


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