While the main focus of the Wanda Fullmore teen summer internship in Madison, WI, involves a deep dive into job readiness training with Common Wealth Development and workplace experience placements throughout various departments within the City of Madison government, sometimes there are hours reserved each week for the intern cohort to focus on their inner self and their creative expression with the Bubbler.
Since 2014, Common Wealth Development has partnered with the City of Madison to annually provide roughly 30 teens the opportunity to work paid summer internships with various City Departments. Initiated by Mayor Paul Soglin, this program aims to diversify the City of Madison staff to more accurately represent the residents they work for and represent. The program’s namesake, Wanda Fullmore, grew up in Madison and spent her career as an employee in the Mayor’s Office.
VOICE YOUR VOICE shares a sample of the projects created by the 2021 Wanda Fullmore Teen Interns in Madison, WI.
All of the Wanda Fullmore teen interns worked with library staff on day-long workshops throughout the summer to dive deep into Madison Public Library's all-age behavior policies in our first effort to co-build youth behavior policy and staff training with Madison youth.
Fifteen of the interns spent two hours per week reflecting on their inner self, working in collaboration with one another, and exploring various avenues of creative expression in this Bubbler workshop series led by Milwaukee-based multidisciplinary artist, George Jones, and flavored with guest appearances by Madison teaching artists Rob "Rob Dz" Franklin and Sam Christensen. The hands-on programming complemented the intensive job readiness training the teens completed with Common Wealth Development in addition to their internship placements within the City of Madison government.
While teen participants are usually focused on creating a final product, Bubbler workshop leaders are more concerned with relationship building, supporting original voices and levels of basic skill development, and extending deeper connections to the community. In this series, students were engaged in sessions covering personal identity during self portrait & mask making workshops, covering public messaging during screen printing & block printing workshops, and topped off with the layers and rhythm of drum making & drum playing workshops. During the final session, we learned to play several basic group rhythms, one of which was recorded as the soundtrack to the video above.
Madison Public Library is committed to resourcing teens in an effort to meet their intellectual and creative needs while making space for their voices to be heard, because youth belong.