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Jun 10, 2020

In this episode of Nonprofit Architect, Travis features Dakota McMahand, the founder and executive director of Budding Artists, an art education nonprofit organization. She gives an in-depth perspective on the impact of the organization both on children and communities as a whole.

Join Dakota in this creative outlook by listening to this episode now

Conversation Highlights

[01:06] Dakota describes in detail, Budding Artists as a process-based art experience for kids, and the different programs available.

[04:35]The COVID-19 pandemic required innovative ideas which eventually enabled the group to reach more kids than before.

[09:36] Partnering with other groups that already provide similar services helped in distributing art materials.

[13:58] Takeaway #1: As the founder of a startup nonprofit organization, you have to be the driving force.

[16:27] Takeaway #2:  Being a part of Fiscal sponsorship helps to have everything laid out so you can focus on your mission while having other issues taken care of.

[19:16] Takeaway #3: Building a network is very important when you're a new nonprofit organization.

[22:51]Dakota shares that currently the goal is to develop a strategic plan that will create the path to expand their program.

[23:37]Dakota’s contact information.


Remarkable Quotes:

[13:55] As the founder of a startup nonprofit organization, "If you don't move the train, the train is not going to move".

[16:42] "Fiscal sponsorship is like the life hack for starting a nonprofit organization".

[20:25] "Whether it's for-profit or a nonprofit organization, having a mentor and unbiased opinion and feedback from experts is critical".

Dakota is a higher education professional, classical pianist, and a first-generation college graduate.  As a pianist, she took her first lessons when she was 13 years old at the Watts Towers Art Center Campus. Dakota has performed at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, Museum of Contemporary Art, and with the Southland Symphony Orchestra. She earned her Associate of Arts in Arts & Humanities from Compton College, Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Public Administration from California Baptist University and Master of Arts in Education Administration from the University of South Dakota. As a South Los Angeles native, Dakota has a heart for cultivating the creative spirit within every child, especially in under-resourced areas. She has over 10 years of education experience as an instructor and administrator which includes working at Inner-City Arts, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. Her passion areas are focused on social change and grassroots art activism, otherwise known as artivism in the field of Arts Education and Higher Education. During her rare moments of free time, you can find Dakota hunting for vinyl records, practicing tai chi, or exploring new hiking trails.