It Takes A Village

{ filed under Community, Studio }

In the 4 months between signing the lease and getting the keys to my space a lot of work had to be done. Draw up plans, gather materials and most importantly figure out how the hell am I going to pull off all this work. When it comes to construction, tools, DIY I am about as dumb as a bag of hammers. My saving grace though, has been my fiancee, Kristen. Having grown up with a dad who can build and fix anything. It rubbed off on her in a big way. If she doesn’t know how to do it she figures it out and breaks it down for me in a way that I can grasp it. Knowing this would be such a huge project involving electrical and large structure building we both decided it would be best to have a professional here leading the charge. We asked her Dad (and Mom!) to come up for the week and help us out and they didn’t hesitate to say “yes."

Bringing People Together

As Director of Uniting People for AIGA Raleigh, Building and fostering community is a passion of mine. I knew I wanted this be a community creative space so I thought I would throw out the idea of a Studio Upfit Weekend. One weekend as many people as possible, as much work as possible. The response was overwhelming. almost 30 people had signed up to help out over the course of the weekend, some of them giving up their entire weekend to help make this space a reality. To say I was humbled is an understatement. We marked Dec 6 & 7 as the big weekend and spent the time leading up to it gather all sorts of reused and reclaimed materials from the ReUse Warehouse and The Scrap Exchange as well as a massive compliment of raw building materials. My New Media Campaigns family were also instrumental in helping me secure a lot of the materials needed. I cannot thank them enough. 

December 6

We walked into a 1750 sq. ft. white concrete warehouse to begin the transformation. The “crew” showed up not too long after and before long it was a flurry of painters tape, hammering, and the sweet symphony of power tools. Shelves and walls shed their white trappings with bursts of brilliant orange and soothing chocolate brown now adorning them. Where a 12x12 empty space once sat, an Exposure Room was now in it’s place. Blank walls were covered with reclaimed wood from a 1920’s schoolhouse in Kinston, NC and Another wall was covered with the tin roofing from that same schoolhouse. Everyone was in great spirits. I made sure everyone was well fed (Thanks Moe’s) and over 12 hours later we headed to the Blue Note Grill for dinner and drink.

Painting Away

Building A Dream

Walls Go Up


Wrapping Up Day One

December 7

Day two. Dragging a bit but excited to keep pushing forward. I would classify today as “details day.” Kristen and Sarah from Shed Letterpress wrapped up all the reclaimed woods walls. Tin roofing was put on the exposure room, we moved a HUGE wall back about 5 feet and ran to Home Depot about 37.678 times for supplies. Randy's Pizza (3 THIRTY inch pies!) made sure our bellies were full. A huge 8’x4’ print table was built, electricity was run, outlets were added, drywall was put up. By the end of the day when we settled into a delicious meal at Sushi Nine I would estimate that 2+ weeks worth of work had been done in two days thanks to the efforts of Wayne Musgrave (thank you future dad-in-law!) and the selfless efforts of the team that assembled to help make my dream a reality. 

Lets Go Day Two


Move It


Thank You Doesn’t Seem Like Enough...

For all these people to come out and give me there most precious resource, their time, truly is priceless to me. This would have never happened without them. To everyone below… Thank you from the bottom of my heart. All sorts of free goodies and studio time, workshop are coming your way once I am up and running. Once again, I want to give special thanks to my friends at New Media Campaigns. As soon as they heard the idea they said “We want to help.” And they meant it. The resources and support they have provided me for this endeavor have made this better than I could have imagined. To AIGA Raleigh family. I am with you forever. Your support has truly changed my life. I will walk through the fire with you all. Thank you. 

The Hey Monkey! Hall of Fame. Everyone on this list contributed in some way to make this dream happen.

  • Wayne Musgrave
  • Kristen Musgrave
  • Judy Musgrave
  • Marilyn & Paul Maxfield
  • Bella Terenzi
  • Amy Lyons
  • Tracy Maniaci
  • Tom Maniaci
  • Niki Litts
  • Christina Baker
  • Stephanie Whedbee
  • Laura Hamlyn
  • Taylor Owens
  • Lydia Kuekes
  • Sarah Almond
  • Caryn Sterling
  • Tenner Sterling
  • Basia Coulter
  • Byron Coulter
  • Josh Vaughan
  • Brian Allen
  • Patrick Clarke
  • Kristin McPeak
  • Fab Bianchi
  • Karl Sakas
  • Jose Ciceraro
  • Andy Hunt
  • Cheslea Kalnen
  • Maverick Raber
  • Joe Schram
  • Matt Munoz
  • Joel, Clay and Kris and everyone at New Media Campaigns

In the time since the upfit weekend Kristen and I (and others!) have got in there every chance we can to hammer, saw, paint and detail our way to the finished product. Next up... THE GRAND OPENING!

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