You’ve heard of Fender and Gibson. Your dad used to play a Rickenbacker. But have you heard of Prisma Guitars? These unique, handcrafted instruments are one-of-a-kind made from upcycled wood. And not just any wood; the wood from old, defunct, and recycled skateboards.
“Sometimes we sit all day and pull grip tape off the boards ’til our fingers basically start bleeding,” Nick said. “In the beginning it was taking six months to make a guitar. Now, I can do it in a day.”
“I take some of these boards out, and there is blood on them, or a huge chip in them from where the skater was mad and hitting the ground with their board,” Nick said. “Visually, (once we work on them) you can see the pressure cracks, or where someone broke it, or holes, but when you touch it…it’s not there. So that way, you get the story. It’s like people-watching, but just with skateboards.”
We talked to Nick about entrepreneurship in the arts, how he got where he is today, and what advice he has for other creative spirits who are considering taking a risky leap of faith towards a big reward.
It’s easy to be a Monday hater. But, you can’t give up on Sunday! Sunday is a built-in reset button. It’s a day society actually expects you to rest, recuperating from getting knocked around by life all week. Sure, another week starts tomorrow, but Sunday is there for you. Like a mother who just wants what’s best for you, it also expects you to be productive. Read more
Don’t be an April fool. That is behind us! Myths about what it means to pursue the artist’s path have been around for as long as, well, artists have been creating. From their perfectionist tendencies and eccentric personalities to the moody temperaments and emotional chaos that must inspire (and also eventually derail – I’m looking at you, Van Gogh) their forms of expression, these stereotypes persist despite the diversity of artists working today and the many insights into their lives and process that they willingly reveal. Here are a couple whopper myths we’ve seen over the years: Read more
Nestled in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley, West Chester University is a picturesque and historic community that offers small-town charm with cosmopolitan flair. The West Chester University School of Music offers students an opportunity to perform weekly under the direction of world-class teachers and musicians. With 16 undergraduate programs and over 24 ensembles to choose from, you can find your perfect fit.
This week, we sat down with Professor Randall Scarlata, Associate Vocal Professor and an acclaimed vocal performer, to learn more about his life as a singer and a professor. Read on to learn more about Randall’s accomplished career, his advice to aspiring musicians, and the highlights of his time working with students at West Chester. Read more
It’s been a potpourri of artist interviews on the Acceptd blog, and it smells like Spring! Fresh perspectives are blooming, and we’re living for it. Today we talk to Joan Pinnell, freelance graphic designer and Assistant Director, Communications and Outreach (assistant-imagination-person) at Northwestern University’s Transportation Center in Evanston, IL (just north of Chicago).
Joan has catalyzed her creative, ambitious spirit into an innovative career in the education sphere, at one of the most renowned schools in the country. Read on to learn her story, and what advice she has for young artists interested in a similar future. If you’re eager for education and your creativity is matched by a thirst for knowledge and lifelong learning, this interview is for you!
Careers in the arts cover a lot of ground. While there’s someone to fluff up wardrobes between acts, there’s someone who first created the costumes, and of course someone who orchestrated and wrote all the music. There are singers, dancers, and acrobats; wildly powerful writers, and photographers whose imagery takes your breath away. There are the ticket takers, the planners, and the audience to cheer them on. There are truly infinite opportunities to work and be involved in the arts!
One thing we hear all the time from parents and skeptical art students is that an arts degree “won’t get you anywhere.” While we can say this is not true, and remind you how many jobs are available for artists, we know the best way to get this point across is to show you firsthand. Today we’re sharing a real-life example of someone who studied the arts in college, and has made a career in the business sphere using his arts background. With no further adieu, Senior Production Manager at Boardriders, Inc, Dave Kowalski. Read more
Interview performed by Acceptd Digital Marketing Coordinator, Amy Overturf.
Last week, we shared an interview with NHSO Fellowship recipient and viola player, Gabrielle Skinner. This week, we’d like to introduce you to James Keene, another New Haven Symphony Orchestra Harmony Fellowship recipient. James is a versatile soloist, chamber musician, and music pedagogue. After attending Interlochen Arts Academy, he received his B.M. from Rutgers University, and he received his Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory. James currently works as a violin teacher & performer. Read more
The New Haven Symphony Orchestra has introduced a brand new fellowship that could change your life. The two-year program is open to promising, diverse violinists, violists, and cellists pursuing an orchestral career. With the intention to include more diverse backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in orchestras, the NHSO strongly encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply and join the ranks of some of the best professional strings players at this program.
Two key differentiating factors of this program are community outreach and mentorship. Fellows bring classical music into the New Haven, CT, community through hands-on work in local high schools, and merging language arts and music through hip-hop. Fellows also have the opportunity to rehearse and perform alongside the orchestra, receiving invaluable career development and audition preparation. This direct, hands-on enrichment within the fellowship encourages generational inclusion and one-on-one learning that is truly in a class of its own.
What it’s like to apply, win, and then experience life as an NHSO fellowship recipient? To find out, we spoke with one of this year’s inaugural award winners, 24-year-old Gabrielle Skinner. A dedicated grad student at Rice University, Gabrielle is based in Houston and travels to CT regularly to participate in her fellow ship at NHSO. A kind person, lovely conversationalist, and an incredibly talented viola player; Gabrielle has earned every bit of this fellowship. Read on to learn why and hear her story. Read more
Interested in attending the Powerhouse Theater Training Program? Then be sure to continue reading to hear first hand from a student about their life-changing summer at Powerhouse!
I stumbled into The Powerhouse Theater Training Program almost by accident. The spring before my final semester of college at Central Michigan University, as a Musical Theatre major, I spent all my free time auditioning for summer theater companies and generally trying to figure out how I fit in the world as an artist and soon-to-be college graduate. After attending an informational call-back with Producing and Education Director Michael Sheehan, I found out about the Powerhouse playwriting program. The timing of this meeting was nothing short of serendipitous. I had just finished writing a script that turned out to be the first of many, and I used that work to apply to (and ultimately be accepted into) the program as a playwright.
We’ve shared advice on selecting the right audition material, which is a critical part of any audition, but the next step, once you’ve found that perfect piece is how to make it your own and nail your audition. If you would like the inside scoop on how to make your video a standout, meet Songbook Academy Musical Director and Coach, Beckie Menzie. Read more