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Creativity Shell Rochester to Build Costume Design Center – Will Employ Local Designers and Students to Work!

It what will be only the second of its kind in the nation (the first will be the one the organization is building in Houston) the Creativity Shell Rochester is building a one-stop costume design center that will service local schools and community theater programs.

Founded in 2015, the Creativity Shell is a non-profit organization that teaches sewing/textile arts and other creative trades to children in their private studios, schools, community centers, libraries as well as shelters that rescue children from homelessness and human trafficking. Their programs are designed to educate and inspire children while teaching essential life and practical skills at the same time. The Creativity Shell Rochester opened in 2017.

The Costume Design Center will be a one-stop design center that will service the costume design and production needs for middle schools, high schools and community theater programs. Participating schools and theatrical programs will have the opportunity to obtain a membership to the Creativity Shell Costume Design Center and this membership will give them access to costume design and production services for multiple productions annually. The Costume Design Center will house a vast inventory of costumes for different productions and will have the capability to build new productions from scratch. The Costume Design Center will also be used to collect used dance costumes from companies and parents willing to donate them after recitals and performances. Dance costumes can be used by participating programs servicing low-income families who do not have the means to pay for new costumes.

“Sewing and textile arts is becoming a dying art” Says Shelancia Daniel, Creative Director at the Creativity Shell. “The decline in sewing has caused a rippling effect in costume production services for theatrical programs. Small theaters especially, lack the funding necessary to bring their productions to life and the few parents and volunteers available to help are being stretched extra thin with the necessary workload. The Creativity Shell CDCr will provide a capable staff that can design, sew, mend and provide any other costume services that small theater programs need.” Added Daniel.

Once the Costume Design Center in Rochester is Opened, it will also be used to share resources with the Center in Houston which will help reduce the costs of building new productions when costumes might already be available and not in use.

Students enrolled in Creativity Shell programs are also being trained with the necessary skills needed to work in the CDCr. Due to the positive experience the Creativity Shell has gained from working with human trafficking survivors, autistic and homeless youths; the organization is also hoping to hire these students to work in the CDCr once it’s opened.

The Creativity Shell is planning to have the CDCr in Rochester up and running by September 2021. To make this CDC a reality, the organization needs to raise $1 million dollars to cover the five development phases of their project (Exploratory, Purchasing, Renovating, Inventory and Production.)

Once opened, Creativity Shell CDCr in Houston and Rochester will be the first of their kind in the nation. The CDCr will also be open to school groups for tours where students can help to mend costumes, sew buttons, dye fabrics and other fun jobs that are educational as well as necessary for many different small theatrical productions across the City.

The exploratory phase begins in January 2020 and the Creativity Shell is looking for 10 middle schools, high schools or community theater programs that want to be considered a beneficiary from the Creativity Shell CDCr. Please contact sdaniel@creativityshell.org if you would like to be on the list. The Creativity Shell also plans to hire a part-time costume designer to oversee operations of adding costumes to the CDC as well as a Database architect to collect and store costume and logistic data.

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Creativity Shell relies on donations of cash, fabric, supplies and new sewing machines.

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