Over the past year, emerging creatives across Los Angeles, Beijing, Bangkok, London, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., participated in and received career-building mentorships through Today at Apple Creative Studios. Participants gained hands-on experience, access to resources, and industry know-how, and used their learnings to create and present final projects to friends, family, and local communities. This month, Creative Studios D.C., LA, and Chicago will reach these exciting milestones and celebrate the work of their participants:
- In D.C., a collection of bilingual children’s books were created by emerging voices with guidance from Apple, Shout Mouse Press, and Latin American Youth Center. They will be published in print and available for free as ebooks on Apple Books come December 7.
- LA focused on developing the talents of musicians in partnership with Music Forward Foundation, Inner-City Arts, and Social Justice Learning Institute, and during their celebration will share their final music tracks and animated cover art, as well as hear from industry insiders, including Apple Music’s Zane Lowe.
- And in Chicago, with community partners Yollocalli Arts Reach and Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy, young adults in the Little Village neighborhood amplified their stories through photography and illustration. An exhibition of their final creations will be displayed at the Chicago Cultural Center from November 18 through December 10, in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
“It has been so rewarding to see what these emerging young creatives can do with the tools and mentorship offered by our teams and incredible local partners,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People. “We can’t wait for their friends, family, and local communities to get together to experience their final projects, and celebrate what they’ve accomplished.”
Ahead of their celebrations, below are just a few of these young creatives’ stories:
“At times my different cultures seem to be fighting with one another, and we wanted to write a book to reflect that.” – Joy Ugwu, Creative Studios – D.C.
Co-authors Joy Ugwu and Tseganesh Chala come from mixed cultures with Nigerian, Jamaican, Ethiopian, and American roots, and in “Joy-Grace and the Dress Dilemma,” they wanted to write a book about the challenges and beauty of having a multicultural identity. Their main character, Joy-Grace, is faced with choosing a garment to reflect her background for culture day at school, but her family is from Nigeria, Jamaica, and Ethiopia, so she struggles with how to represent them all.“We want the book to relate to everyone, whether you are multicultural, from a different country, or even if you don’t come from a mixed background, something we all do relate to and struggle with in different ways is identity,” said Ugwu. “I hope this book brings comfort to young people who read it.”
“Meeting my idols Syd and D Smoke and getting to know about their process inspired my own creativity.” – Hannah Abrahim, Creative Studios – LA
When Hannah Abrahim joined Creative Studios – LA, she’d already been actively pursuing her dreams as a singer-songwriter, but wanted to enhance her skills. Abrahim’s work throughout the program resulted in her final project song, “Fantasy,” which started as a love letter to the city of LA, but soon became a love letter to its people. LA is full of individuals who share multicultural ethnic backgrounds like herself, and she wanted it to be empowering for them. The bridge sung in Spanish not only speaks to the large Latin population living in LA, but also Abrahim’s own Puerto Rican heritage.Abrahim wants to continue to hone her craft as an artist singer-songwriter, and pursue that full time eventually. She’s currently working on polishing, producing, and recording her debut EP. “I understand the weight music carries in society and how impactful it can be,” said Abrahim. “When people find an artist they really love, they hold on to every word, and I want to use my music to spread goodness and light.”
“I want to use the skills I have now to go even further with my photography.” – Jazmin Delgado, Creative Studios – Chicago
Jazmin Delgado studied photography at the University of Illinois Chicago, but had moved away from it upon graduating. “Creative Studios made me want to continue photography again,” she said. “My photography focuses on documentation of my city, my family, and as I continue to develop my craft, I feel like I am better understanding my own family’s history through these photographs.”As a result, Delgado has been working on a brand of bags called Fiera — a Spanish word to describe a fierce woman — that incorporates hyper-masculine and hyper-feminine qualities seen through the traditional Mexican textiles she uses alongside elements like metal and steel.Her final project features photography of her brand and echoes the dichotomy she feels between her Mexican and American cultures. Delgado’s imagery hopes to convey her identity through a new generation of women who are expressing themselves in a raw, “don’t mess with me” kind of way, with a uniquely Chicago feel.
About Today at Apple Creative Studios
Today at Apple Creative Studios builds on Apple’s history of providing free educational programming in Apple Store locations worldwide through Today at Apple. Apple, community partners, and mentors take participants through a curriculum of hands-on sessions, insider industry knowledge, and career mentorship to develop their creative skills, nurture participants’ self-expression, and encourage them to spark social change within their own communities.