Making creative expression accessible: LaunchSpace launches ‘Access to the Arts’ scholarship campaign

Attendees participate in crafting activities during an event at LaunchSpace in Orange.

Attendees participate in crafting activities during an event at LaunchSpace in Orange. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 12-02-2023 12:00 PM

The nonprofit 10,000-square-foot workshop on the Orange Innovation Center’s third floor has taken steps to help enable more people the financial ability to participate in the programs offered at 131 West Main St.

LaunchSpace initiated the “Access to the Arts” scholarship campaign on Nov. 6 in an attempt to break down barriers and ensure that people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to engage in various forms of creative expression. The campaign launched with a $20,000 pledge from Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Co. in the form of $5,000 per year for the next four years. The initial pledge was bolstered about a month ago with a $10,000 pledge from Greenfield Savings Bank.

“It’s something we ... have been talking about since the beginning. We understand that they’re always a cost barrier to things and we’d like everything to be free but that’s not the reality of things,” said President and CEO Brianna Drohen, who started LaunchSpace with Alec MacLeod in 2017. “So we’re really excited about the launch of the campaign with about a quarter of the way raised.”

The campaign aims to raise $20,000 per year from regional businesses and individuals to provide access to arts education for at least 200 people.

LaunchSpace holds classes on a regular basis and has studios for crafts that include including fiber arts, painting, marbling, leatherworking, 3D printing, pottery and woodworking. Drohen said people can start applying for “Access to the Arts” scholarships on Jan. 1. She said use of a WIC or EBT card will be required in order to cater to those of limited financial means.

Beth Spong, CEO of Dean’s Beans, said the company has been a supporter since LaunchSpace started six years ago and a monetary contribution was a no-brainer.

“We feel that it’s a great addition ... to the community and it brings so many resources for creativity and the arts to the community,” she said. “We’re just really excited about what LaunchSpace is doing and bringing to the region, and really happy to make it possible for people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to participate in classes and take advantage of the amazing variety of resources there.”

Thomas J. Meshako, Greenfield Savings Bank’s president and CEO, said he has toured LaunchSpace and was so impressed that he recommended the bank’s contributions committee make a donation to the scholarship fund.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

An intimate concert in the hills: Watermelon Wednesdays celebrates 25 years of presenting world-class acoustic music
12-year-old Gill resident joins Circus Smirkus, with local performances this weekend
Real Estate Transactions: July 19, 2024
Former NMH dorm head admits to having sex with minor; charge stems from 1975
Montague board may consider Falls Farm enforcement order after erosion, wetlands violations
Talks on noise mitigation at Greenfield grow facility to continue Aug. 15

“I think this was a well-deserved foundation. Brianna does a wonderful job there,” he said. “It makes you want to take a class and learn how to do some of the things that they do there. You can really feel that people are there to learn.”

Anyone wishing to make a monetary contribution can contact Drohen at 978-633-5131 or brianna@launchspace-orange.com.

“No amount is too small to support community members,” she said.

 

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.