That Art Studio is a Normal-based, small business that focuses on providing in-home, professional-level, visual art lessons to children throughout the Bloomington-Normal area. They have developed roots within the Bloomington-Normal community. Kayla works as an instructional assistant professor in the art education department at Illinois State University, and her husband, Ali, works as an art teacher at Normal Community West High School.
Holding state certifications in art education and graduate degrees in education, Kayla and Ali, decided to utilize their “combined strengths and expertise in order to advocate for the visual arts and art education in [their] local community.” As they considered opportunities to teach art outside of the academic setting, they found it important that their “business model emphasized student-led learning and fostered creativity and independent thought.”
While Kayla and Ali have in-depth knowledge in their field, they came to the Illinois SBDC of McLean County at Illinois Wesleyan University to learn more about how to register and structure their business. They shared that “We utilized the services at IWU SBDC in order to ensure that we did everything correctly and have a smooth start-up experience. We also worked together to discuss topics including pricing, marketing, and streamlining management processes with various software and other resources.”
“They were a HUGE help, and our mentor was there to answer any questions we had along the way! Today, we are a licensed LLC serving just under 50 youth in the Bloomington-Normal area.”
That Art Studio “offers year-round group art classes in a variety of 2D and 3D media including painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and ceramics. Additionally, they offer youth art camps that are held sporadically throughout the school year and summer, ranging from 1-3 days to several weeks and cover a variety of themes and subjects.”
In the coming years, they would like to grow their community outreach program. Their goal is to ignite Art activism in young students by providing opportunities for kids to get involved in the Arts while gaining experience working with the outside community and non-profit organizations.