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A Gainesville resident since 2001... "I went to UF for my undergrad in fine arts and ended up laying down some roots..growing a little family here. As a parent, artist, and now art educator with two school-aged children under the age of ten, I am always searching for quality after-school art programming in the community. I have yet to find centrally located art classes that are offered during after-school hours and over-school holidays. My kids and many other children’s talents lie in the fine arts realm and, like sports or music, need regular weekly practice. Art classes have the opportunity to add educational support to children exploring big concepts and give a visceral/hands-on approach to learning. Through research, we have determined a need in the community for art programming in general but especially for school-aged kids."

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"Although many artists live in Gainesville, a lack of a cohesive creative community is a missing element that could strengthen community bonds and amplify the arts. In my twenties, living in Portland, Oregon, I saw the power that community building can have on the arts in my North Portland neighborhood. Artists and creatives thrived off one another in connection to shared creative spaces that allowed connections to be made and creative projects to develop. Communal art spaces allowed a happy healthy community to flourish that was unique to the culture of the neighborhood and was an undeniable benefit to community members and their families."

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