Josh Cardenas here! I’m one of the founders of this little digital art school we call Art Reactor. Well, unfortunately, this is a difficult time for us. As of January 1, 2013, we will be closing the doors and moving out of our Studio space located at 402 Tamal Plaza in Corte Madera, CA, and we will no longer be able to offer our digital art classes.
HOWEVER! There is still a CHANCE to save our studio!
We’ve started a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo.com to pre-sell classes for the winter and spring sessions, among other things. If, through this campaign, we can raise enough money to cover our expenses until our busy summer season, we think that will be enough time for our digital art classes to finally become self-sustaining.
If you’re interested in helping us out and preserving a great program for the artistic teens and adults of Marin County, continue reading our story below then head on over to www.indiegogo.com/art-reactor and see if there’s an offering you’d be interested in.
How did this happen?
Art Reactor began about a year ago very simply – we, owners Josh Cardenas and Jennifer Fry, are passionate about DIGITAL ART and felt that we could bring our professional expertise and love of teaching together to create a business that would fill an unmet need in the community.
We took what savings we had and used it to buy the basic hardware and software we needed, and we began looking for students who would benefit from our classes.
Starting out by renting community rooms by the hour, we soon realized that to grow we would need the flexibility our own space would allow. We were fortunate enough to find a commercial building owner who supported our vision and provided us a space for a reasonable rate.
Summer brought many new students through our doors and we could feel the momentum building. We met so many motivated and talented kids – it was a dream come true.
However, once school went back into session, we discovered the realities of competing with homework, sports, and other after school commitments. We had a handful of dedicated students, but not enough to support our overhead costs.
As our funds dwindled, we couldn’t afford the necessary advertising dollars to spread the word about Art Reactor, so we held out hope that we would continue to recruit students through word of mouth and our established channels.
We’ve held out as long as we possibly can, and even though we see encouraging signs of growth, we can no longer support the cost of staying in our studio space. As of January 1, 2013, our digital art studio in Corte Madera will be closed – THAT IS, UNLESS YOU CAN HELP SAVE US!
Our campaign is all about covering overhead costs so that we can remain in our customized studio space in Corte Madera, CA and continue to offer a flexible and diverse selection of digital art classes for teens and adults. If we lose our studio, we won’t be able to meet the needs of our students, and the future of Art Reactor will be in jeopardy.
We’ve been overwhelmed by many students and parents expressing their excitement over the value of our program, and we want to continue to be there for them, and for the many others who have yet to discover us. We need your help to make this happen!
How much do you need to save your digital art classes?
We need to raise $18,000 – this is the minimum operating capital required to keep our doors open for the next six months, until summer begins. Summer is our busy season and we’re confident, based on last year’s success, that we’ll be able to not only cover expenses but also make enough to help carry us through the beginning of school next fall. Operating capital covers our rent, insurance, software subscriptions, licenses, and utilities.
What can I get for pledging?
We’ve got a great selection of perks in exchange for your pledge: everything from cool Art Reactor swag to discounted 6-week after school class vouchers you can use anytime between now and the end of May, and special offerings only available through our Indiegogo campaign. Take a look! And remember, you can always give more – if we raise more than our initial goal, we will have the funds to buy amazing new equipment, pay for advertising to get the word out, and more.
What happens if you don’t meet your goal?We need to raise at least $18,000, or the entire project doesn’t fund, which means we have to move out of our studio, and scale back our offerings indefinitely. We need your help!
Why is Digital Art education important?
At Art Reactor, we believe that arts education is a powerful force to foster creative problem-solving, critical thinking, keen observation, innovation, and visual communication skills.
While we are artists and believe in the value of arts as a foundation of culture, we also believe that providing a project based digital art education improves a student’s ability to learn in all aspects of his or her life.
Further, we see Digital Art as a medium for self-expression, as we do a pencil, paintbrush, clay, or any other art tool.
“We must accept the fact that learning how to communicate with graphics, with music, with cinema, is just as important as communicating with words. Understanding these rules is as important as learning how to make a sentence work.” – George Lucas
Did you know that DIGITAL ART is an important form of literacy in the 21st century? Current middle and high school students have to prepare for jobs that may not even exist right now, and one thing’s for certain: they will need to be excellent at visual communication through digital media if they want to be successful.
The classes offered at Art Reactor help students develop stronger visual communication skills, as well as the technical knowledge necessary to realize their visual ideas. In general, schools don’t have the resources to provide the technology and level of instruction we offer at our studio, and yet these things are incredibly valuable to your child’s future.
Read a great interview with George Lucas on this very subject: http://www.edutopia.org/lucas-visual-literacy
I’m not that interested in taking a class, but I want to support you. What can I do?
We understand that our classes and perks aren’t for everyone. But we also know that no matter your level of interest, art education is a great cause, and supporting local businesses is important to many people in our community.
As such, you have the option to contribute any amount without accepting a perk; just click the CONTRIBUTE button and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the list. Click on “No Perk, just a contribution!” We thank you so very much for your generosity.
I can’t afford to contribute, how else can I help?
We understand that you may not be able to contribute financially – these continue to be hard times for many. But you can still help! Tell everyone you know, share this campaign on Facebook and Twitter, and through email. We are so appreciative of anything you can do!
**It is important to note that Art Reactor is a for-profit business, so any pledge you make is NOT tax deductible.**