Side by Side Internships

Side by Side Internships

Art Spark Texas (formerly VSA Texas) offers opportunities within a technology and arts-based environment to support young adults with disabilities. We design side by Side Internships for young adults transitioning from school to adult life. These intensive internships are one to eight weeks long and give the interns skill building knowledge and hands-on work in creative industries such as film, photography, radio, and music. Interns work in small teams with local professionals in their field of interest.

Filmmaking Internship

Art Spark Texas Side by Side participants are working with Jerry Slayton, Art Spark Project Director, and Grace Robins-Somerville, Bennington College intern, to learn what it takes to be part of a filmmaking team. They are learning about the variety of jobs associated with making a documentary, including but not limited to script development, camera operator, director, sound engineering, editing, animation and more. Gain hands-on experience while producing an engaging and effective video/film.

Jerry Slayton is the New Media Arts lead instructor for Art Spark Texas and most recently program manager of the Arc of the Arts. Currently, Jerry teaches graphic design and filmmaking in a partnership with AISD’s Go Project for young adults with disabilities. Grace Robins-Somerville is a Senior at Bennington College and is well versed with a variety of digital media platforms. Guests will offer expertise on digital media and communication, sound effects, animation, and more. The class will produce a 2-3 minute documentary about Art Spark Texas for outreach and marketing purposes.


The internship meets Tuesday mornings for eight weeks.

  • Dates: Tuesday, January 7, 2020, through Tuesday, February 25, 2020.
  • Time: 9:30 – 11:30 am
  • Location: Room 101 of the AGE Building at 3710 Cedar St. in Austin.

Watch the three short films created in our most  Side By Side Filmmaking Internship of Summer 2015!


This mentoring program in partnership with local graphic designers empowers young adults with disabilities ages 16-22 to give voice to social cause that is important to them. Working together with a professional graphic designer, youth have the opportunity to express something that is significant to them, and, more importantly, have someone to listen. At the same time learning valuable graphic design skills from a professional one-on-one.

In October 2018, Giving Voice hosted eight mentor/mentee matches between professional AIGA graphic artists and Art Spark Texas young adults with disabilities. The social cause posters were designed in four Saturday working sessions. Each mentee receives a professionally printed copy of the poster and one framed copy is available for auction. All proceeds go back into the program for 2019 when we host another group of young graphic designers and their mentors.

New in 2020!

Download Giving Voice Application Deadline: February 7, 2020

Graphic Design Foundations
Spring Break Week March 16-20, 2020
10 am - 2 pm
Art Spark Texas, Classroom 101
3710 Cedar Street, Austin, TX 78705
Instructor: Jerry Slayton

A week-long Spring Break Graphic Design Foundations Course, led by Jerry Slayton, gets you prepared for your one-on-one mentorship with a graphic designer. Then, the following four Saturdays, you will work with a graphic artist to create and then present a unique poster for your cause. In past years, we have promoted anti-bullying, support for foster parents, gender id, disability awareness, care for the environment, self-advocacy, and much more. What is your cause? Come share it with us and the world!

Side by Side Mentorship with local graphic artists
Saturdays: March 21, 28, April 4, 18
12:00 - 1:30 pm
There will be a pop-up exhibition of the posters on April 18.
Request an application by contacting April at [email protected]
Follow our Giving Voice Facebook page for updates!

March 2020
Join the team this Spring Break for a Graphic Design Foundations course and Side by Side Mentorship. Download Giving Voice Application (Word .docx file)
Deadline: February 7, 2020

intern and mentor pose with poster they created
intern and mentor work at a table
mentor instructs intern at a table
AIGA logo
ProGraphix logo
Art Spark Texas logo

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