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Apprentices filming a scene

Nine young apprentices are learning film under Augustana Associate Professor Stacy Barton in the Quad City Arts’ Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship Program. 

Augustana hosts Quad City Arts’ Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship Program

Nine young apprentices from the Quad Cities have spent the past several weeks writing and shooting two original short films at Augustana College as part of the Quad City Arts’ Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship Program. The students are under the direction of Augustana Associate Professor Stacy Barton.

The Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship Program provides paid creative apprenticeship experiences in the arts to students in the region aged 15-21. First launched in 2000, the program provides mentorship, support and funding to youth who work with professional artists during the five-week experience. This year, apprentices are working on projects in film, mural painting and digital storytelling.

Quad City Arts will host a final showcase on July 11 from 6-7 p.m. at the Rock Island Public Library Watts-Midtown Branch Community Room, 2715 30th St., Rock Island.

"These talented young people have already written uniquely creative short scripts, each 5-10 minutes in length, that we'll move into production and then post-production in just a few short weeks,” said Barton, who leads Augustana’s film program. “The program wraps up on July 11 in time to premiere the films that evening. We can’t wait to show the QC community what we are creating!"

Apprentices in the program are utilizing Augustana’s film program facilities and equipment to create their projects, including a dynamic set of backgrounds, an LED lighting grid and professional grip equipment. Participants are filming scenes in the production studio as well as locations around campus.

Augustana announced the college’s film major and minor curriculum in December 2022 and held a ribbon cutting in February 2024 to showcase the new film space in Sorensen Hall. Barton established the major and minor curriculum, with a focus on cultivating well-rounded, holistic filmmakers with the skills to bring to life professional, complex and creative productions from idea to completion.

Ben Gougeon, Quad City Arts events coordinator, said the Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship Program is one of the nonprofit's flagship programs and that it truly highlights the mission of Quad City Arts.

“Not only does the program emphasize our placemaking efforts in making the QCA a vibrant destination, but it also nourishes both the artistic and professional skills of our young artists,” he said. “We’re extremely proud of all our apprentices, and of the support our community partners like Augustana College provide.”

Apprentice Jaide Logsdon of Davenport is a senior film major at Minneapolis College of Art & Design. She first became involved in the apprenticeship program as a sophomore in high school.

“I love this program. I did murals every year. I used to be a painter, but now I’m a filmmaker,” she said. “It’s always a fun experience, especially when I’m out of school.”

Logsdon is first assistant director on the Metro Arts summer film “Clowns,” which she said highlights cultural appropriation and commentary about society through clowns and makeup. She said the script was written as a group and the experience has taught her a lot.

“I have learned more about the industry standard – script writing, proper foundation, scheduling and working as a team,” she said. “In the future I want to direct films and write. I hope to travel, but I also want to come back here.”

Augustana’s partnership with Quad City Arts' Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship Program highlights the college's commitment to connect through partnership and contribute to neighborhood vitality. This is a key component of the college’s strategic plan, Bold & Boundless, which also prioritizes engaged learning and maximizing student potential. For more information, visit Bold & Boundless


Nicole Lauer, 309-794-7645 or

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