Behind every great idea is a little bit of creativity. Every career requires it to some degree. But how do we learn such a skill? Our first introduction to creativity is normally grade school art classes, but with an ever-increasing focus on math and science, the arts are losing funding. One local company wants to make sure no child looses their chance to be creative and is finding their own creative ways to fund art programs.
“We want to strengthen art education,” says LittleDavinci Co-Founder, Jeff Binkowski. “Where art education exists, we want to make it better, and for those who are less fortunate, we want to help bring it back.”
How will LittleDaVinci help foster art education? “We allow people to turn photos into custom products,” Binkowski says. Customers can brand items like greeting cards, photo books, smartphone cases, iPad covers or canvas prints – he likens their list to what’s available on Shutterfly – with personal photos or children’s artwork. LittleDaVinci will then donate 20 percent of the profits back to schools to help fund their art education programs.
Customers can pick up to three registered schools for their funds. To become affiliated with LittleDaVinci, all a school must do is create an account and supply basic information. Registering will also give them access to materials they can share with students to let their parents know that by purchasing products, they can help fund their child’s education.
In addition to funding programs, LittleDaVinci provides ways for both kids and schools to share their artwork.
Binkowski and fellow Co-Founder, Matt Spitler, say the company is building software that partner schools can use to showcase artwork to share with parents. LittleDaVinci is focused on contributing to schools in as many ways as they can.
“We’re trying to offer tools to all of our partner schools that they can use in any way that they choose,” Binkowski says.
Art competitions will also be part of LittleDaVinci’s mission to develop creativity through the arts. First up is ‘One Gallery, Every Child.’ The goal is to gather 5,000 pieces of artwork created by children in Central Ohio into an online gallery.
A 6th grade music teacher ignited Binkowski’s passion for art.
“He really wanted to teach us that music could be cool,” he says. After studying The Beatles all year he was amazed at the influence they had on culture.
“That really set the course for me to do things a little bit different,” he continues.
Art Education funding has gone by the wayside, shifting the focus to math and science programs. Binkowski sees concern with taking away the creative piece of the puzzle, citing that you need imagination, creativity and innovation to come up with new ideas and products.
With several schools eliminating art altogether, “We’re doing an injustice to those kids to not have opportunity,” Binkowski says.
Schools are excited for LittleDaVinci to create opportunity in Columbus, with several ready to sign up at launch. While the service could be used by anyone, anywhere, Binkowski is excited to make an impact in Central Ohio.
For more information, littledavinci.com.