Escape Velocity part 2

For the second and final part of this post on the Museum of Science Fiction's Escape Velocity, Donny Smoot was kind enough to interview multiple participants about both the event and Art Way Alliance. We loved the immediate feedback and want to thank everyone who took the time to share their thoughts. And of course, thanks again to Donny for your hard work on this post! 

Art Way Alliance’s success with events such as Escape Velocity in teaching STEAM based workshops and programming wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated support of its Artists, Teachers, Organizational Affiliates, Parents, and Students.

AWA thrives off voluntary collaboration and critical feedback in order to continually improve and provide the most efficacious and dynamic learning experience for participants of all ages. Here’s a few one-on-one interviews with individuals involved in the success of Art Way Alliance and Escape Velocity!


Nakeisha Rowland - Parent

Ms. Rowland attended our Stop Motion Animation workshop. 

Ms. Rowland and her son participating in the stop motion workshop. You can see our own Donny Smoot in the background! 

Ms. Rowland and her son participating in the stop motion workshop. You can see our own Donny Smoot in the background! 

As a first time attendee to an AWA class, Nakeisha Rowland really appreciated the background knowledge and history on Stop Motion Animation that Jake Heagy and Jimmy Horner provided at the beginning of their workshop.  A middle school science and engineering teacher in Montgomery County, Ms. Rowland enjoyed how interactive the experience was, especially for someone like herself who is a very tactile learner.

Sharing how beneficial the class was for her son, who loves making stop motion, she chose the animation workshop to help him create better videos. As a teacher and parent, Nakeisha understands the importance of fostering the environment for her son’s creativity to grow and learn things in art. She’s really excited for future Art Way Alliance opportunities for him to experience. “Schools don’t teach art as much nowadays.” She said, emphasizing art programs. “One cause is the big push towards more standardized testing in the core STEM subjects. I think lawmakers forget a lot of these creative minds come from being able to learn and express themselves artistically; often these STEM subjects are aided the arts. I think that people are starting to understand that since we’ve gone so far away the arts. I’m hoping to help bring the importance of it back into my school!”


Brittany Pate AKA Scribble Neatly

Brittany taught our Super Villain workshop

Why Do You Choose To Work With Art Way Alliance?

Brittany Pate showing the features of a villain with Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty as an example. 

Brittany Pate showing the features of a villain with Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty as an example. 

"AWA allows me to do what I love while teaching. I like teaching and I love working with kids. We had a discussion earlier where I said, ‘I wish Art Way Alliance was around when I was a kid.’ [It’s] a place where I can sit down and have someone to teach me to draw, while learning about subjects like Science, Technology, or Engineering; incorporating that into everything.”

What’s A Difference You See With Art Way Alliance And STEM Education?

“I like how it’s not just sitting down in a boring classroom kind of structure. We have instructors and teachers giving the students' an interactive experience with learning these subjects.”

What’s Most Interesting To See From The Participants?

 “It’s fun to see what they [the students] come up with. Whenever I’m drawing up on the board, I’ll walk around and they’re already trailing off doing their own thing, and that’s what true creativity is.”

How Important Is Art To The Success Of Education? 

“I think art is important in general because it’s a creative outlet. Everyone has some type of outlet whether it’s sports, music, or performance art. It feels good to be artistic and let all your creativity out.”


Andrew Smart of Call That Art

Andrew taught our Manga Paneling workshop. 

Andrew Smart speaking to burgeoning artists after his workshop.

Andrew Smart speaking to burgeoning artists after his workshop.

What Was Your Favorite Part of Teaching Class? 

"Inspir[ing] the students to continue pursuing art or to get into doing art. I’m a fan of art and comics myself, so I love seeing people grow into better artists. It’s always a treat to see people coming to that realization."

What’s Something Art Way Alliance Provides That STEM-Common Core Education Doesn’t?

“I think just pure art in itself. Not just art for fun, but actually showing kids that [...] you can make a living out of it doing it, [and] it’s OK to enjoy creating art. I feel you should never stifle a child’s creativity, especially in something where you can make money and a living from pursuing it . Everybody should be passionate about something in life, you don’t want somebody just going through the motions, I think that’s something they provide really well. Fostering that passion.”

What’s Something You See Students Take Away From The Classes?

“Confidence in their choices and their abilities. The inspiration to continue pursuing their creativity.”

Any additional comments?

“In anything if you want to obtain greatness in doing it, it takes time, practice, and the commitment that I really want to do this and that I can be the best in doing this.”