A printmaker, a small business owner, and a creative entrepreneur, Darcy Schwartz or “Miss Darcy” as she is known to her students, is a woman with a mission. A mission of bringing affordable, accessible, creative art programming to anyone who wants to make art! From a business she started in her backyard over 10 years ago, to her studio on West Boylston Street which serves over 300 young artists a week in her After School Creative Art Immersion Program, Miss Darcy is engaging, connecting, and sharing her love of art with everyone who walks through her doors. This Week In Worcester had the opportunity to speak with Darcy about her business, her mission, and why she chose to be a part of Ladies Night Out Worcester.
Can you share with us a bit about your business and how you got started?
“When my children were young I volunteered in their preschool helping the teachers with art and craft projects. I felt as though many of the projects they were doing weren’t art related, but more skill based, like cutting and coloring. I knew that even the youngest child can understand basic concepts of color theory and mixing colors to make new colors. I knew that young children like to hear stories, and that learning about artists throughout history was a great way to put language and a face with different art styles, like cubism with Picasso, and abstract expressionism with Jackson Pollock. I created curriculum for four lesson plans, and began my company, ArtReach. This original, preschool outreach program is what launched my brick and mortar studio on West Boylston Street. Opening our doors just four years ago with only 10 students enrolled in our After School classes and workshops, we’ve grown into a unique, one-of-a-kind program that teaches art — all types of art — to over 300 students a week. We have a Visiting Artist Program that brings local artists into the studio to share their love of what they do\. This program is so successful, that we have partnered with the Worcester Public Schools, bringing it to students in their after school model. Our program “The ART of FASHION” is now celebrating it’s 8th season, and we have formed a partnership with The Hanover Theatre, where our program is now part of their conservatory classes. I am so very proud of the work we are doing in the studio, in the community, with local artists and agencies, and excited about some of the new programming we have beginning in January of 2019.”
What brought you to Ladies Night Out Worcester and what do you like about it?
“I love that my studio is part of the community. We have been able to collaborate with The City of Worcester on several events, like the upcoming Festival of Lights. We have several creative community partners in the Worcester Pop Up, the Sprinkler Factory, Crocodile River Music, our upcoming student program with the Worcester Center for Crafts, and others. I see Ladies Night Out Worcester as a way of building even more connections and partnerships with women entrepreneurs and small business owners who are doing it and who have been doing it for years. We live in an age where anyone with a smart phone can go online and speak about what you should be doing for your business, how to set goals, etc., and there is lots of advice out there to choose from. I however, am interested in meeting someone in person, hearing them talk about what they do, their successes and failures, their passion. I prefer to build a relationship on how we can partner, share common ideas, build each other up, and grow our businesses in a way that is beneficial for the community. Ladies Night Out Worcester is a community of entrepreneurial women who want to connect and make a difference, because when we support each other, we all benefit.”
Where can people interested in your program find you?
“ArtReach is located at 322 West Boylston Street, in the Greendale Neighborhood of Worcester. We welcome you to drop-in any weekday between 4pm and 6pm for information, or to register for classes. You may also visit our website at http://www.artreachstudioafs.com
or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.”