A group of high school students and some very dedicated advisors are working on developing a 3,200 square foot arts and technology center on the second floor of the Riverview Office Center in DeWitt.
“We were talking about the possibilities of locating a creative area where students could express their creativity and also try to get some space for them to start a business after they’ve gone through high school,” says Jason LaFay, faculty advisor for the DeWitt Creativity Group (DCG).
The DCG was created to connect creative high school students to the community and entrepreneurship. The group was founded last year. Although the group currently only occupies a portion of the 3,200 square foot space, it has big plans to use it all.
“It will be a multi-use space,” LaFay says. “We’d like to put a little café in there that’s sort of like a student-run business.”
He also wants to include a general study area, performance space and smaller areas where students can launch business ideas.
Not only does the 240 S. Bridge St. facility offer space for a group that engages the community, it also gives the community a better impression of what LaFay says is building that is a bit more modern looking than other DeWitt buildings.
“It has as spectacular view of the Looking Glass River in downtown DeWitt,” LaFay says. “It has that industrial feel that you get in cities like Chicago and New York.”
Right now the DCG is leasing a smaller space in the building, but is in the middle of a campaign to raise $50,000 to build out the rest of the space. LaFay and Jeff Croley, who is the DCG director and also a faculty member at DeWitt High School, want to be able to hold meetings and events in the space as well as offer a place where students can display their creative work.
The DWC has hosted several events and has worked closely with community members to build a bridge between students, community, business and the arts.
Nov. 12, they will host a discussion about the city after an "Our Town" performance. For more information, email LaFay here.
Source: Jason LaFay, DeWitt Creativity Group
Ivy Hughes is the managing editor of Capital Gains and can be reached here.