Innovators Pop-Up Launch

$412 of $400 goal

Raised by 20 people in 33 months
Hello! My name is Thea Grillo, and I am a Junior at the Maryland Institute College of Art, majoring in graphic design and printmaking. I am creating this fundraising campaign because I need help with a very special project.

Earlier this year, I was rattled by a shocking statistic. 27% of Baltimore City students entering high school drop out before graduation. After doing some reseach, the problem seemed to be that many public elementary schools in the city were remarkably underfunded and, consequently, underperforming. Even after last year when the protests in Baltimore brought race, discrimination and poverty in the city to the forefront of every national news platform, the disenfranchisement of impoverished Baltimore neighborhoods continues to result in a lack of faith in their students’ ability to succeed. I think that this is a shame–young students are wonderfully creative and deserve our encouragement. So, for one of my spring classes, I will be dedicating the remainder of the semester to creating Innovators, a pop-up shop and a campaign that encourages young students in Baltimore to excercise their ability to make!

Innovators provides a two-fold solution to the problem of under-encouraged students: providing them with well-made creative tools to supplement the basic tools absent from their classrooms and instilling pride in those students so that they feel empowered to pursue their creative passions. In order to do this, Innovators will be giving away hand-crafted creative kits, sketchbooks, patches, zines, tote bags, posters and other fun supplies (all of which will be silkscreen printed by hand) to local Baltimore City students in order to show them that if they want, they CAN be artists, designers, engineers and makers.

And production has already begun!

Due to a tight schedule, I have already begun screen printing patches, creative kits and other bits of ephemera. However, I'm affraid I cannot do it alone. This fundraising campaign will help cover costs that would otherwise be coming out of my own pocket. All money raised will be used to fund the materials needed to create all of the Innovators creative kits and ephemera. The goal is $400 and I hope to reach that within the next two weeks, but this project will be ongoing, so more is always welcome! All leftover funds at the conclusion of the project will be used to buy classroom supplies that will be donated to public elementary schools in some of Baltimore City's lowest income neighborhoods.

Innovators is tentatively set to launch on April 22 to the public, and then will be unveiled as a semester project at MICA one week later. More production updates and links to Innovators' website and online shop (for further fundraising purposes) will be provided over the next few weeks. And, an update: our Instagram handle is @baltimoreinnovators.

I look forward to your energy and support, and I hope you find this as exciting as I do! Thank you so much!
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The website is live! Visit for details about where and when the pop-up's launch will occur!
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Here is one of the patches, tactfully placed in a local playground for young innovators to stumble upon. Guerrilla marketing at its finest!
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I finished printing some fantastic canvas patches last night! And I could not have done it without the help of my friend, the always-reliable Scotty St. George.
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Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far! You have all made the project better than it would have been without your help. Updates will arrive within the next few days!
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$412 of $400 goal

Raised by 20 people in 33 months
Created March 17, 2016
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Nilam Sari
32 months ago

!!!! super cool !!!!

Jen Evans
32 months ago

Thx for the cool patch! : )

Doug Thomas
32 months ago

Cool project

Nicole Fleming
32 months ago


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