Cool Jobs

A weeklong, pop-up creative community that brings together working artists, designers and makers to demonstrate their work to teens.

Cool Jobs shows young teens amazing, attainable career options.

COOL JOBS is a 3-day pop-up expo, with original funding from the James L. and John S. Knight Foundation, bringing successful working artists, chefs, artisans, art therapists, photographers, designers, and digital printers, and makers together in one place to demonstrate their work to creative teens. We invite students from Philly, Chester, Norristown and Camden low-income public schools to learn what a typical day is like for someone working in a creative field.

Fresh Artists presents our latest innovative initiative - Cool Jobs!
The Cool Jobs Mission is to:
  • Introduce almost 600 at-risk sixth and seventh graders to people doing real jobs they didn’t know existed.
  • Show them accessible paths to these jobs in the creative economy.
  • Encourage them to stay in school and choose the best-fit high schools and colleges.
  • To provide a resource through the Handbook given to each student with hundreds of afterschool, weekend and summer creative opportunities from organizations around the city.

52% of Philadelphia's creative kids with astonishing potential are at risk of dropping out between 8th and 9th grade, before they even make it to high school. Artistic teens are often told, “There aren’t any paying jobs for artists.” HOGWASH!

Look around. Someone designed the office chair you’re sitting in. The $300 Nike sneakers your kiddo has to have, the LEED Platinum building you work in, the set of dishes you bought at Crate & Barrel. The need for green design is taking off and designing prosthetics and adaptive devices is fascinating and meaningful work.

"There has never been a time in history when there were more opportunities for creative people to make a living."- Barbara Chandler Allen, Founder, Fresh Artists

Well, we’re tired of this being a well-kept secret. We decided to create a space where kids at this critical turning point can meet fascinating, dynamic, successful people who wake up everyday excited about their purpose and potential. Making things and creating change.

The Space: Cool Jobs.

We’re betting many kids leave Cool Jobs with a dream . . . “I wanna be a (fill-in-the-blank)”. A dream that will keep them in school, choose the best-fit high school, graduate and pursue their dream for a successful job to love for life.

The message: You don’t have to starve to be an artist. You DO have to have a dream, stay in school, pick the best-fit highschool, take advantage of after-school, weekend and summer art class opportunities, and work hard!


Help us throw 600 city kids a lifeline!

We need your help to make this a roaring success. We are looking for corporate and individual sponsorships for almost everything that is nailed down or mobile! We invite you to be sponsor who believes fiercely in Cool Jobs as a major educational innovation and impactful intervention.

Click Here to download the Sponsor A Dream brochure

Cool Jobs Advisory Council

Adam Aquino - BEHR Paint

Jeff Ashley - Jefferson University

Carol Bailis - Wells Fargo

Barbara Bassett - Philadelphia Museum of Art

Antonio Black - Industrial Designer, Toys and Pet Products

Ted Borowsky - Foster KeenCut

Jackie Buhn - Athenian Razak

Nicole Carville - Haworth

Robert Chaney - Institute of Contemporary Art

Donna Cooper - Public Citizens for Children & Youth

Karin S. Copeland - CreateXChange

Heather Coyne - philafad, University of Pennsylvania

Susan Miller Davis - Architect / Public Art

Joe Deetz - Visual Magnetics
Sammy Sitarski - Brulee Catering

Rosemarie Fabien - Fabien Communications

Donna Frisbee-Greenwood - Fund for the School District of Philadelphia

Susan Frostén - Jefferson University

Lyn Godley - Lyn Godley Design Studio

Elizabeth Grimaldi - Fleisher Art Memorial

Christine Hartley - Rhode Island School of Design

Douglas Herman - Rough Cut Productions

Jason James - Fig, Fresh Artists Board

Barbara Klinkhammer - Jefferson University, College of Architecture/Built Environment

Christine Kochevar - Clutch

Frank Lee - Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, Drexel University

Kelly Lee - Chief Cultural Officer, City of Philadelphia

Michael Leonard - Academic Dean, School of Design & Engineering, Philadelphia University

Maud Lyon - Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

Tricia Trainor Monsell - Interface FLOR

Jim Pasquerella - Avison Young

Karen Randal - Retired, Director of the Office of Business Attraction and Retention,
City of Philadelphia, Department of Commerce

Jaime Salm - MIO

Michael Spain - D2 Interiors + D2DA Architects

Gretchen Suess - Netter Center, University of Pennsylvania

Charles Thornton - Charles H. Thornton & Company LLC

Jason Varney - Varney Photo

Felicia Wallace-Benton - Daltile

Jerria Williams - Author

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