Sponsor Spotlight: Preston Singletary Studio

Preston Singletary in his studio.

Guests who’ve attended one of our annual Festa galas in past years are sure to have spotted the beautiful prints and glass pieces interpreting Tlingit cultural objects, mythologies, and concepts. These pieces, created by artist and long-time in-kind Arts Corps sponsor Preston Singletary, use a combination of glassblowing and lost wax casting to render totem poles.
When asked what motivates him to donate to Arts Corps, he replied: “Arts Corps can help inspire artists through highlighting possibilities. We all have stories of what draws us to make art, and artists sharing their stories can inspire something in individuals to endeavor to create art and share their perspectives.”
Singletary himself is an example of this truth. Having grown up in Seattle among glassblowers, he started with production glassblowing in 1982 before studying at the Pilchuck Glass School. There, he learned how artists work with the material and eventually developed the technique and style he uses today.

“The thing I love about my work is that it connects me to a deeper part of my ethnic background.”
This connection is evident. Through his many years as an artist, Singletary gained widespread notoriety, something he attributes to the personal dimensions of his pieces, the hard work required to create them, a commitment to learning and practice, and finally, to finding mentors to help along the way. 10,000 hours to master your craft or medium is very real, he explained.
As his following grew, Singletary gained the opportunity to travel and interact with different cultures, Indigenous and otherwise. “This process connects me to an older kind of thought process which I like to think of as genetic memories. The more I interact with these cultures, it informs new directions as I continue to develop my work”

Singletary’s journey is unique in that he came to his art form through practical experience, which he believes would be difficult to replicate today. However, he believes that opportunities are always there for people with a passion for art, youth, and community to carve out paths of their own. 

“Everyone comes from somewhere and has a story. That story is unique to each person, it sometimes just needs to be found. Once you find that story, you need the passion and intense focus to develop it.”
We’d like to express sincere thanks to Preston Singletary Studio for its ongoing support of Arts Corps and our work in helping young people find and express their own authentic narratives.
In his last words to us, Singletary said, “As I see it, we all have a story and that is where the most honest and genuine expression comes from. So go make art!”
We couldn’t agree more. 

— GRECIA LEAL PARDO, Development & Communications Coordinator

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Sponsor Spotlight: Hoxie Huggins Construction

Two men smiling lean against a wooden counter with a sign reading "Hoxie Huggins Construction"
Chris Huggins and Rob Hoxie, founders of Hoxie Huggins Construction.

At Arts Corps, it is a deeply held belief that together we can do better.

This is one value shared by our longtime sponsor, Hoxie Huggins Construction. A premier builder of unique, custom architectural homes in the region, Hoxie Huggins creates their best work by collaborating with talented designers, fabricators, engineers, makers and craftspeople in the area and beyond.
Every team of collaborators is tailored to the need of the owner and the design priorities. This is because each individual project represents individual set of needs and challenges which require unique approaches. Such work prompts those involved to think and excel in new and different ways every time.
Chris Huggins, one of the company’s founders, shared with me how this creates a need for “creative, engaged, empowered and enthusiastic folks,” a clear connection he sees between his company and Arts Corps.

“At times the work seems technical and systematic, but the success is not always due to a masterly of a trade, but the way in which teams can work together in a collaborative and mutually successful way. We feel like we can always teach the technical, but we depend on a baseline level of creative and critical thinking – which Arts Corps clearly is helping to build in our community.”
The recognition of the importance of these skills originates from the founders’ own arts educations. Both Rob Hoxie and Chris hold fine arts degree and have a first-hand understanding that there is no clear linear path to career success. Chris described his own arts education as critical to his development as a young person. Born into a family of artists and makers, Chris feels fortunate to have had their lessons and a creative community available to him since an early age.

“The broad range of experiences, successes and failures all helped build a critical way of looking at things and being creative and open-minded and then empowered to confidently find a means to any end.”
Hoxie Huggins is aware that not every student has access to the resources which make these types of experiences possible, and that schools face continuous challenges for providing arts education in underserved communities. Moved to do their part in addressing these social and economic challenges, Hoxie Huggins takes the same approach as with the design and construction of the homes they build, which invests in collaboration and processes responsive to the needs of those they serve.

Through their partnership, Hoxie Huggins supports Arts Corps in working towards a world where barriers to arts education no longer exist.
“We feel fortunate that we are able to share and know that what we do share is having and meaningful impact in the lives of youth,” Chris tells. “We know that Arts Corps understands how important and powerful creative empowerment can be in building a foundation for youth to stand proud and prosper.”
Thank you, Hoxie Huggins, for doing better, together with us!

— GRECIA LEAL PARDO, Development & Communications Coordinator

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Sponsor Spotlight: Swenson Say Fagét

The Swenson Say Fagét logo over the different members of the firm.

This year, Swenson Say Fagét joined the Arts Corps community as our newest Festa sponsor! A structural engineering firm with offices in Seattle, Tacoma, and Ellensburg, Swenson Say Fagét’s work focuses on designing systems within buildings and art pieces to ensure that these remain standing even when tested by people, snow, wind, or earthquakes. 

Upon learning about it, this work felt unexpectedly resonant. What is arts education if not structural support for young people? The creativity, critical thinking, sense of connection, and deepened belief in one’s abilities fostered by Arts Corps programs are all necessary assets, helping students persevere when faced with challenges and inclement climates. Moving beyond metaphor, Swenson Say Fagét highlights the importance of arts integration, since it is both math and drawing which helps to create and communicate structural system designs.

Brett Mozden, a principal engineer at the Seattle office, shared with us the impact of art education in his career. Although he did not feel like an artistic person growing up, his father kept him motivated to keep trying. In college, Mozden took architecture classes and learned much more about sketching and drawing. These skills have been very useful to him as a structural engineer, and he recommends them for anyone in the profession. Mozden reflects, “I don’t think I would be where I am today without the art programs available as a child and in college for someone like me that wasn’t naturally artistic but always had a desire to get better.” 

Like Arts Corps, Swenson Say Fagét also understands the value of community. Internally, the office culture prioritizes the comfortability of its members, allowing everyone to actually enjoy what they do so that they can be better collaborators. This culture is Mozden’s favorite thing about the work: “It’s very respectful of people as people.” 

Externally, the firm feels connected to the city. The Seattle office has been housed in Belltown for years and many of the company members have grown up in the city itself. This means the firm has witnessed the many changes Seattle has experienced over the last 10 years and employees such as Mozden recognize the disruption specific communities have faced. This is why Swenson Say Fagét likes to partner with organizations around town, such as Food Lifeline, the BLOCK Project, and now Arts Corps to make a positive impact. 

Mozden says, “We are always looking to connect with ways to help make our city a better place. We feel Arts Corps is a great way for us to help encourage the young artists in the city to express themselves and make the environment in Seattle a better place through their passions in art.”  

Arts Corps is grateful for our partnership with Swenson Say Fagét, who helps us support our city and our young people for a lasting, brighter future!  

— GRECIA LEAL PARDO, Development & Communications Coordinator

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Gratitude to the Arts Corps Community

Against all odds, I’m starting 2022 with a full heart and a strong dose of inspiration and hope. And it’s thanks to Arts Corps donors. 

Our supporters gave $118,317 in donations to support youth arts education through our year-end campaign- far exceeding our original goal of $50,000! This level of generosity gives us greater ability to take risks in service of our mission of revolutionizing arts education; it serves as another reminder that when we trust in the abundance of our community and place our hope in generosity, we’ll be ok. More than ok. Because our young people have space and support to be their full creative, beautiful selves.

As 2021 drew to a close, I felt hope and optimism eluding me like never before. With dear friends fighting cancer, family members struggling with other health challenges, Omicron spreading like wildfire, and ongoing systemic issues taking their toll on our collective bodies and minds, the end of the year left me heartbroken and exhausted and with a sense that the future was bleak.

So, when I drove to the office last weekend to check our mail and review year-end gifts, I wasn’t looking for hope. I wasn’t looking for inspiration, yet that’s exactly what I found.

As I opened the envelopes one by one, the names of Arts Corps donors started thawing the cold, constricted edges of my heart. Many of the individuals who sent checks have given loyally for years. I recognized their names. Pictured their faces. I felt a profound sense of gratitude. In these difficult times, so many people had dedicated time and energy to mailing a check or giving online. There was $21,100 in year-end gifts in that pile of mail alone.

As I continued reviewing our year-end gifts, I was also struck by the fact that many of the individuals who contributed to the campaign had already given throughout the year. And I don’t just mean financially. One donor chose to give a financial gift after already dedicating hours and hours of her time assembling free art kits for students and families as a part of our COVID-19 Art Kit program. Such generosity of spirit!

We also had many new donors, giving gifts of all sizes. Gifts were in the range of $10 to $50,000. What wonderful diversity of community coming together in support of youth creativity and educational equity!

As I begin 2022, I’m so grateful to the Arts Corps community, and especially our donors.  You  lifted my spirits and reminded me of the hope that lies in generosity and the sacredness of giving and receiving. With your gifts, you’ve brought us closer to our vision of a world where barriers to arts education no longer exist and all young people can creatively lead the transformation of schools, neighborhoods, and beyond.


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A message from Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam 🎸


I’ve been a proud supporter of Arts Corps since it was founded in 2000. To deepen my commitment to its teaching artists and youth, I recently joined its board of directors. I’m excited to invest my time and resources into a community that helps young people connect with art and with each other.

As a 16-year-old, I stumbled into a connection to art without realizing it. A door opened when I was exposed to the garage rock, punk rock, and outsider music of the ’80s. With no obvious ‘rules,’ I felt like music was something I could do. The confidence and excitement of finding my tribe and identifying a creative outlet was thrilling for me and for all of us playing together in the Seattle scene, showing up to each other’s shows and rooting for each other’s ships to sail.

The success of Seattle’s music’s community will always be because of our shared art and vision. And that is one of the biggest things I love about Arts Corps. Arts Corps is about building community, support, and encouragement to say — sing, dance, draw — from perspectives that feel right to you, find your voice, tribe, find folks that you can make mistakes in front of… that might love your mistakes. An individual doubles or even triples their personal power when they collaborate and play with others, as a musician or as a person in life.

All young people deserve access to art as a core part of their education.

That’s why I am matching all gifts made to Arts Corps by December 31, 2021, up to $20,000. I invite you to make a gift to Arts Corps today. With your support, we’ll be one step closer to Arts Corps’ vision of a world where barriers to arts education no longer exist and all young people can creatively lead the transformation of schools, neighborhoods, and beyond.

— STONE GOSSARD, Arts Corps Board Member

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Sponsor Spotlight: True North Gear

The True North Gear team at an Earth Day clean-up event earlier this year.

Why would a company that designs and sells protective fire gear sponsor Arts Corps year after year? The short answer is that they deeply value creativity, imagination, and risk-taking; core skills that Arts Corps cultivates in students through our arts integration and out-of-school time programs.
True North Gear’s origin story speaks to how intrinsic these values are in the company’s DNA. With a sewing machine from Goodwill and an idea for a new type of pack he wanted to create based on his outdoor experience, founder Alyx Fier launched his company in 1992 out of his garage. While working full-time as a carpenter, he spent six months teaching himself pack design, patterning, and prototyping on nights and weekends. With time and persistence and innovation, he was able to design and sew his own designs.
Fast forward 29 years and True North Gear is a multi-brand corporation with a global reach whose products save lives. As Fier proudly describes it: “Everything we make is either used to protect the life of the person using it, or they are using it to protect someone else’s life. That is so consequential and intrinsically meaningful.”

Their products range from chainsaw packs to radio harnesses to flame-resistant pants, and they have dealers across the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Even with their growth, they continue to be a family-owned company, located on Martin Luther King Jr. Way S, just a few miles from the garage where it all began.
When asked if arts education influenced his development as a young person, Fier unequivocally associated it with his success in business. He shared, “I’m living proof that studying and being engaged in the creative process as a student can provide the foundation for an intellectually and financially rewarding life. My college education focused on film, theater, music and audio engineering, none of which would seem obvious choices as a precursor to a successful business career as opposed to getting an MBA.”

Fier continues: “The common denominator of my studies is that they all involved the creative process and what I learned is understanding and appreciating that failure is an intrinsic and important part of success. Knowing that emboldened me to risk taking. You have an idea, you try it, it doesn’t work the way you expected, you learn from that experience and apply it to the next attempt. It’s only failure if you don’t learn anything and don’t then try again. Fear of ‘failure’ is what holds most people back from actually being successful.”
Arts Corps is so grateful to have corporate partners like True North Gear who value the importance of cultivating creativity, imagination, and risk-taking among youth. Thank you, True North Gear!


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