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Welcome to the application for the sixth cohort of the Youth Arts Journalism Initiative. If you are a high schooler attending a New Haven or Hamden public school and have an interest in journalism, read on. Applications are open February 14 through March 13, 2022. 

The mission of the Youth Arts Journalism Initiative (YAJI) is to introduce New Haven high schoolers to grassroots journalism through The Arts Paper, the daily publication of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. Students independently research, report, draft, and publish articles covering the arts, culture, and community in New Haven and the greater New Haven region. Many YAJI alumni stay on as freelance reporters after the program ends.

The next semester starts this April with a multi-day "intensive” followed by eight weeks of pitch meetings and 1:1 professional mentorship after school. We ask students to produce between one and four publishable articles over the course of the program. Student pay starts at $75 per article.  In addition, all students receive a $250 stipend for participating in the program. 

The 2022 spring session will be held, in-part, on Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If citywide COVID-19 rates continue to fall, part of the intensive may also be in person. The Arts Council's headquarters at 70 Audubon Street has a strict mask and vaccine policy that we ask students to be aware of; we are also willing to work with students in a hybrid format or outdoors if that is of concern to them.  

Your commitment to the program includes:

  • Weekly 1:1 sessions with program mentors
  • Developing story ideas
  • Conducting interviews 
  • Writing publishable articles
  • Ten hours a week to working on articles independently

NOTE: Participation in YAJI is a tremendous time commitment. If you cannot commit at least 10 hours a week to conducting interviews, writing independently and working with mentors to edit and revise your articles, please DO NOT apply.


Important dates (Updated):

March 17, 2022: Application due
March 29, 2022: Applicants notified
April 4, 2022: Applicants accept or decline entry to the program. Waitlist regrets by April 8.
Programs begins: April 18, 2022
Program ends: June 10, 2022

Mentors plan to hold three afternoon "intensive" sessions via Zoom and two longer in-person sessions the week of NHPS spring break (April 18-22) (COVID-19 protocol permitting). 

Participants who successfully complete the spring program are invited to stay on for our summer camp where you will be allowed to continue writing stories for The Arts Paper as a freelance writer.

For questions, email markeshia@newhavenarts.org or lucy@newhavenarts.org. Fill out the application below to apply.

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YAJI Funders

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Our sincere thanks to the following foundations, institutions, and local businesses who have and continue to help make YAJI possible!

Interested in supporting YAJI? Contact our Development Director Megan Manton for more information.

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