THE FULL STORY – AOB GETS A NEW HQ!
Two years ago, AOB landed a very big opportunity — a long-term lease on a great new space in downtown Silver Spring that will double the size of our studio and allow us to open a new store and gallery—all run by creative teens and young adults pursuing art & design careers!
Our new home is on the first floor of the Silver Spring Library at 900 Wayne Avenue. We’re proud and excited to be the latest arts organization to join the Silver Spring Arts & Entertainment District, and new neighbors to the Levine School of Music and Gandhi Brigade Youth Media. Together, we are ready to launch a cultural hub that attracts more residents and visitors to downtown Silver Spring and has a big ripple effect on the creative pursuits and career opportunities for young people in the region.
TRUE CREATIVE CHAMPIONS
AOB is backed by a resilient and generous creative network, who lend expertise, time and resources to make it happen. AOB was awarded a $100k bond bill by the State of Maryland, an advancement grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, special support from the Maryland State Arts Council and expansion grants from the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and the Philip L. Graham Fund.
We designed the space through an amazing collaboration with Full Circle at Hickok Cole. Colleagues Andrea Jones at Peak Experience Lab and Jessica Sticklor-Lipson led design challenges focused on the experience of our apprentices and how we want people to feel in our new space. The engineers at GPI signed on to do our MEP plans, Casaplex is getting us wired for security and technology, and the team at The Creative Industry are helping us share our story as we grow. Our partners at Airbnb helped us build and launch our mosaic workshop, now happening every Saturday in downtown Silver Spring.
Our inspired Board of Directors raised $42k in leadership gifts the first year. This season, they hosted two Creative Champions workshops to build the central artwork for our new studio, a glittering glass mosaic archway.
Now we’re at 75% of our expansion goal, the artwork is 50% complete, we opened our second pop-up studio in January, and we move into our new studio in just four months!
Wait, what? You’re already in Silver Spring. And you’re moving again?
That’s right! In January 2019, we popped-up a mosaic workshop on Fenton Street, brought to you by our champions at Peterson Companies. We rang in 2020 at the Metropolitan Building on Georgia Avenue thanks to our new friends at Kay Management Company.
AOB’s apprenticeship model isn’t possible without clients who care about young creatives. We are so proud of the artwork produced this year and our partnerships with Chase, Landex, Lerner, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, and WorkSource Montgomery.
At every turn, our vibrant and resourceful community of creative professionals, community leaders, family, friends and neighbors have had our back. We want you to join our crew too!