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HOW TO INSPIRE YOUNG ARTISTS

How can schools elsewhere emulate the success of Young Aspirations/Young Artists (YA/YA) in giving inner-city students marketable job skills as well as motivation, optimism, and self-esteem? Those involved in the New Orleans project share their suggestions. School Principal Carol Chance proposes school-business partnerships, with each of a school's departments adopted by local enterprises. ``We need business people in our corner, coming into our school, and taking our school out.''

Practical work experience, says commercial art instructor Madeleine Neske, is a factor in making productive citizens: ``Jana [Napoli, the art gallery owner who initiated the YA/YA project] is giving my students a bridge between instruction and work.''

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Skip Persley, one of the students, cites the synergistic effect of working with a group of like-minded peers: ``In unity, that's where the power is.''

Another student, Dexter Stewart, urges attention to individual student's needs: ``Don't look at them as one whole. Try to notice students who need personal help instead of assuming they don't want to learn.''

``We're all talented. We all have something to say,'' says YA/YA member Lionel Milton. ``Just find the talent and see where the kids can go from there.''

Fellow artist Darlene Francis's advice to students is ``learn how to express yourself and just to strive because - who knows? - one day somebody might let you do something you want to do and it could change your life.''