Please support our growing community so we can continue with our mission!

Our mission is to increase the health of the community, one individual at a time, through experiential arts.  

WE NEED YOUR HELP to help with our rent + additional staff needed as we grow.  Our biggest challenge over the past two years is marketing, as we are a new concept to + business model is new and has been challenging to market, so please make a contribution as word is finally getting out there after two years.

Process | Empowerment | Access

Our focus at Root is to provide experiential opportunities and a wealth of resources to further personal development.  Design and creation is a process.

We provide an inspirational environment with flexible workspaces and a multitude of tools across a wide variety of artistic genres.  Root mentors offer targeted learning to help members during the self-discovery process, grow their skill sets and get their ideas on the fast track. Add to that our unique mentor program and the ability to learn and collaborate with other artists, and you have a recipe for unlimited innovation.

Owner Karen Isailovic established Root Studio out of a desire to bring healing to the community after creative practice shifted her life dramatically.  The studio was thoughtfully crafted to be a safe space for all people regardless of their artistic ability or background. The outcome has resulted in a culmination of increased personal exploration & self discovery and raised awareness of the value & health benefits which result from regularly engaging mindfully in the arts.  She shares her story in the video below.

Our team of mentors love building community, and they proactively nurture, inspire, and empower individuals through experiential creative practice and fostering new ideas, human interaction and a sense of community inside the arts.

Our programming is based on neuroscience
studies showing that creative practice engages specific parts of the brain to promote stress reduction, abstract problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and imagination.

Benefits to Creative Practice in the Arts
 - Reduces stress
 - Cultivates stress resiliency
 - Strengthens abstract problem-solving skills
 - Improves focus with greater ability to sustain attention
 - Increases openness to experience and self-actualization
 - Enhances visual literacy and observational skills

Now we need your help!
Our community has been slower to grow than anticipated and financial help is desperately needed to keep our doors open while on a journey to sustainability. We are looking for financial support to help with rent and to hire additional program staff as we grow.

Your Help Goes A Long Way!  
Feel good knowing your contribution supports 20+ happy creative volunteers, ensures job stability for our artist mentors and facilitators, and enables our dedicated, passionate team  to continue working on our social mission.  Your contribution is not deductible; however the value is doubled as we match 100% of your contribution $1 for $1 in value with in-kind creator passes given to local non-profit organizations.

We want to keep Root Studio open to all!
Current in-kind community partners:
Howard County Autism Society
Howard County National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI).

Reflections From Our Community
Since the beginning, we are rewarded every day with stories from our clients of how spending time in our studio environment has enriched their life, their children's life, or their parent/grandparent’s life.  Witnessing how Root Studio has uplifted such a variety of people is gratifying beyond words, we are honored that people open up and feel safe in sharing their vulnerability.

Recently, a teenage boy with severe social anxiety visited Root Studio alongside his mother for a creative community social event. Upon entering the studio his gaze was fixed on the ground and he would not speak or engage with anyone, including his mother. After 45 minutes of painting, on his way out he looked us straight in the eyes, shook hands and said, “Thank you so much for being here.”

A few months ago, a woman in her early 20’s shared she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  She immediately said how much she loves the atmosphere at Root and includes spending time in the studio in her self-care toolkit.  She said sitting in her group therapy sessions listening to their challenges or symptoms is not always what she needs to feel better, and so when she needs a pick me up, she thinks of coming to Root!

Backstory to the Cause: The Inspiration Behind Root Studio
Root Studio was born out of Karen’s struggles with alcoholism and her eventual discovery of using art as a tool for her wellbeing.  From early childhood, Karen felt out of place, lost, and struggled with motivation, though she often masked her suffering with a smile.  It was not until discovering creative practice did she gain a healthier perspective. The underlying challenges that led her down the self-destructive path of alcoholism were anxiety, depression, and anger.  Painting opened her soul. The process alone was enough. It opened a door to a sense of freedom and passion that she never knew was possible. She had no concern about the outcome of her artwork, what it looked like, or what people might say. It was the experience of creating that lit her soul on fire and continues to feed it today.  Karen found a direct path to pure joy through creative practice, which led to what is now her life purpose: opening space for others to find ways & feel the emotional lift she experiences from creative practice.  This desire became the foundation to where Root Studio started and how it has evolved until today.

WE WISH TO THANK YOU for helping make this mission possible ~ we will be forever grateful. 
May we all root in wellness together! 
~ The Team at Root Studio
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 23 mos
  • Shannon Flynn  
    • $75 
    • 24 mos
  • Lia Heisig 
    • $25 
    • 27 mos
  • Katie Hebb 
    • $50 
    • 28 mos
  • Dave Dittman 
    • $200 
    • 28 mos
See all


Karen Marie Horstkamp Isailovic 
Columbia, MD
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