"Many of you know that we have done our best to adapt to this situation by moving our programming online to virtual classrooms. [H]owever, it has not been enough to maintain our regular overhead," reads a Facebook post. "The #ArtIsEssential movement is about making sure we all have access to arts for years to come."
Run by Patrick Everett (creative director), Shaun Mbateng (chief financial officer), and Mario Quinn Lyles (executive director), Level Up Studios has 17 teachers and five administrative staff members who depend on the organization's ability to operate. Their goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of June to support their programming and teaching artists. (Level Up quickly surpassed the original goal of $5,000 and decided to double it.)
There are a few ways you can support Level Up. One is by simply donating to the GoFundMe. Another is by purchasing an #ArtIsEssential t-shirts. Level Up partnered with local artists Jessii Marie, Deavron Dailey, River Bennett, and Trenita Elizabeth to design a collection that "embodies the importance and beauty in art."
The final way to support Level Up is to attend an #ArtIsEssential event Fri., June 19. There will be vendors, food, and an open mic from 8:30-10 p.m., and performers including Asylum Dance Crew, Royce Band, Dizzy D, and Bruce Ruger from 10 to midnight.
"With your help, we can continue to be a place where a sense of family and creativity meet," says Lyles.