In New York City, between the 2006 and the 2010 school years, funding for arts education was slashed by a staggering eighty-five percent, just one of the countless cuts that schools across America have experienced in their budgets for the arts. Thanks to the pressure of Standardized Tests and minimum result requirements, American school systems no longer have enough room in their budgets to properly fund classes about the arts, music, and other subjects that can’t be measured with a multiple choice test.
This loss of funding is a growing problem, and pinpointing a solution has become somewhat like hitting a moving target, but the folks over at Public Supply have nailed it dead center with their collection of charitable stationery. Founded earlier this year by a group of friends that work in and around the creative industry, Public Supply’s goal was simple: to provide kids with that same access to arts education that they all had when they were growing up. To achieve this, the Public Supply team designed a series of 5 x 8 notebooks and number 2 pencils, all made right here on the East Coast, to be sold throughout the world (we saw them first at Harry’s Barber), with twenty five percent of the proceeds going directly towards funding arts education in America.
The idea was to link designers, artists, and writers with the next (and the next, and the next) generation of creatives here in the United States, because right now America leads the way when it comes to design and artistic innovation, but we need to provide our support to keep it that way. For every notebook that is sold, the Public Supply team uses the organization Donors Choose to locate a classroom with a specific need so that they are able to directly fill that funding gap for a group of students. As a way to show their customers where their money is going, each notebook is printed with a code, so that you can go online to the Public Supply website and see the exact school that was able to receive a ream of paper, or a set of watercolors, or even a zylophone thanks to your purchase.
So far, the Public Supply team has concentrated their efforts on the New York City area, funding programs across the five boroughs, but in the future they are planning to branch out to schools all across America, and possibly across the world. At a time when recognizing the problem isn’t enough, the guys behind Public Supply have found a way to bypass all the red tape, and simply help out those in need. Thanks to Public Supply and their customers all over the world, arts education in America is making a comeback. —JG