Eagan Business Owner Starting Arts Nonprofit

From the Eagan Patch

Color Me Mine owner Julie Schroeder has seen the impact that art–even in small doses—can have.

For three years, Schroeder has run her do-it-yourself ceramics studio out of the Eagan Promenade. In that time, she’s worked with veterans, sex trafficking victims and hospital patients. No matter the difficulties her clients face outside of an art studio, when they are working with the ceramics, she said, they begin to relax and unwind.

Schroeder hopes to bring those benefits to a wider range of people this year with the creation of a new nonprofit organization: Art for Everyone. The goal of the nonprofit, Schroeder said, is to collect private donations and grants from the community, then use that funding to pay for scholarships that would allow more people to take art camps or workshops offered by Schroeder.

Schroeder’s desire to start the nonprofit was fueled in part by the requests she routinely receives from local families looking for scholarships so that their children can attend one of Schroeder’s art classes.

Equally important was art therapy—the idea that participating in art can have a healing effect on a person. Schroeder routinely works with young adults from the Minneapolis VA Health Care System and Breaking Free, a nonprofit organization that supports women who were involved in prostitution. She would love to use her nonprofit to offer classes through her business for free or at a reduced cost for both groups.

Schroeder, who recently obtained 501(c)(3) status for her organization, is looking for community members interested in volunteering with Arts for Everyone, or donors willing to contribute. Schroeder will not accept a salary through the nonprofit, and plans to to spend all the money she receives on art scholarships and marketing.

Later this year, she hopes to set up a website and office for the nonprofit in Eagan.

“I have not for one second regretted my decision to go into business on my own, but I did know right from the beginning that this would not be the final stepping stone,” Schroeder wrote on the recently created Art for Everyone Tumblr page. “I knew that I would eventually use my love of art and my business to give back in some way.”