Our Story: Forming ABC

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” – Buechner

Art Beyond the Classroom began as an idea in a Messiah College Created and Called for Community Class (CCC), but the passion was laid on our hearts long before. As a freshman, Dani was talking to one of the art professors, Professor Dubin, about her personal goals to become an Art Therapist. Nonchalantly, Professor Dubin said “why don’t you start a program?” That offhand comment got Dani thinking, and she has shared many times before that Professor Dubin believed in her before she believed in herself.

Then the first week of CCC, Ally and Dani were paired together for a class icebreaker to find out similarities. Dani, then an Art Education major, said she liked art therapy, and Ally, Human Growth & Family Sciences major, said she liked art therapy as well. That day, they decided to start the program. That semester they reached out to a local organization to provide creative intervention services, and to Dani and Ally’s delight they accepted.

In the fall of Sophomore Year (2016), enter Lindsey Markle. The Career Center on campus led a session on beginning a creative art group, and Lindsey said that she wanted to collaborate. Lindsey, as an Art Business major, has been our “go-to” for all of our business questions about advancing and expanding ABC. Lindsey also runs her own photography business, which provides her with real-world application and advice for ABC.

Finally, Katy met Dani through an Educational Psychology class where they teamed up to present on Service Learning. They talked at length about how service learning had impacted their lives in high school, and Dani shared stories about current her service learning in college. Katy was instantly intrigued, and Dani offhandedly  shared the need for a logo. Little did she know that Katy had done graphic design in high school. Quickly, Katy volunteered to make one, and the butterfly logo was born. Katy and Dani remained friends, but Katy did not contribute much more over their Sophomore year. Then in the fall of their Junior year, Dani asked Katy to come on as their Media Coordinator.

Each one of these interactions reaffirmed the quote we each talked about in our CCC classes: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” (Buechner). Dani desires to allow people to express any way they want through art. Ally has a passion for healing families through art. Katy loves telling stories through words and art. Lindsey’s technical skills in the business world allows her to impact people through art. We each met each other seemingly on a whim, but it was all actually so purposeful.

Today, we are competing in Messiah College’s Impact Venture Challenge, added five new team members, and preparing to open two new locations. Our office is wherever there are four chairs, a table, and coffee.

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