Dear Community –

Wow, wow, wow – we just keep saying it and I don’t think we’ll stop saying it for a long time. We are so thankful for this experience so far and so looking forward to what is to come. From the very first idea exchange, it has been invigorating to see so many other folks get behind this idea in so many different ways: from high fives and encouragement to suggestions for potential locations and partners, and all the way to providing insight leading us to shift, focus, enhance, and (even more exciting/scary) grow and expand the idea.

Since the Big Event, we have jumped right back into the grind, working to link up with some of the new relationships and begin some concrete plans for the next few months. Here are some of the on-the-books plans we have for the first few months of 2024:
We have already started hitting up Art Walk and hope to be able to brainstorm some fun ways to engage more of the Art Walk crowds in our mission to bring art supplies to those Art Deserts. (Community: have some ideas for us? Message us over @AcadianaArtCloset!)
In January our team will be meeting up with the folks from Abby’s Acre to have a build-bash where we’ll be working together to make our first Art Closets that will be headed out into the community. We have a good deal going with them – they are excited to provide the lumber and manpower to build our little closets in return for our artsy skills on some of their future products.
In January and February, we will be working with our connections in the College of Arts at UL Lafayette, the Lafayette Public Library, and other local businesses to find a space for Art Closet supply donation boxes.
We hope to meet with Dr. Downs over at J. Wallace James in January to chat about the process of inviting the kids to participate in a design contest and to nail down a commitment to installing an Art Closet (if not the first art closet) with the winning design there on school property.
Coordinate with Dr. Josh Edmond to install an Art Closet at the MLK Rec Center near the community pantry.

Beyond these specific plans, our overall timeline looks something like this at the moment:
WINTER: Build first 5 Art Closets and pin down locations based on targeted art deserts of
Acadiana (i.e., North Lafayette, Scott-ish, South-South, Broussard-ish, and Central Lafayette). Build community awareness.
SPRING: Install first 5 Art Closets (and party), stock with starting supply of art supplies, continue
building community awareness
SUMMER: Ramp up community engagement through Patreon support and/or donations
FALL: Plan for Acadiana Art Closet anniversary community celebration

We have some additional hopes and ideas and look forward to sharing those with you as we move forward. We have been realizing the potential and our desire for this project to extend beyond just our team. Seeing the excitement of all of you as you got to know the heart of our idea is beyond our wildest expectations. We would love to invite each of you to join us in ways that highlight your skills and interests, so don’t be a stranger. Let’s make art happen!