We believe that art is more than an object to be looked at. It is a force that revitalizes people, programs and places. To revitalize places, we provide free studios and gallery spaces in economically challenged areas. To revitalize programs, we provide art educators to help supplement art programs in schools affected by budget cutbacks. To revitalize people, we foster the creative spirit in the communities we serve.
Some people saw a " For Lease " sign. We saw a way to bring artists back to the community.
Since the recession forced them to downsize their Silicon Valley advertising agency, DMNA resolved to donate their suddenly unused office space to artists rather than have it sit vacant. Their business was bleeding red ink. So they said: "Let's mix some paint with that ink." They took their extra offices and converted them into artist studios. An insane economy evicted many artists. So they said, "Artists, you can come back now, here is the space you need. Use it to create. Use it to help us see again."
Staying true to the spirit, they did not charge any rent, leaving artists more time to pursue creative challenges. DMNA sought emerging local talent. Culling through many portfolios after placing ads and putting the word out, they selected eight artists whose work they found especially moving and promising. And so, Red Ink Studios was born. The artists understood that the group could be disbanded at any time should the space be leased.
After nearly a year in Palo Alto, Red Ink Studios was welcomed to San Jose. Then, the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency invited Red Ink to The City where they now occupy three spaces downtown in the Mid-Market district.
"The professionalism of Red Ink Studios, along with their dedication to being a part of the neighborhood, lends confidence to landlords who might otherwise be apprehensive," said Lisa Zayas-Chien of San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.
Today, Red Ink Studios has expanded its mission beyond inhabiting temporary spaces. Art has now become a force that revitalizes. From art studios and gallery spaces, new ideas have grown. In addition to the three locations in downtown San Francisco , Red Ink Studios has developed other types of programs to benefit communities. For example, Red Ink in the Classroom brings art back into schools affected by cutbacks. But that's not where it ends.
The ink is running all the way to Flint, Michigan (Michael Moore's home turf). In areas where factories have been shut down and over 50,000 jobs have been lost, Red Ink Studios is in the process of converting unused square footage into community art centers. "It's amazing how many people are willing to help," DMNA partner Todd Diamond said. "It's a good cause and people see that."