MT. COMFORT — Artrageous with Nate, a burgeoning television project created and led by Mt. Vernon art teacher Nate Heck, is moving forward in its quest to make learning about art fun and interesting for kids.
Heck has joined Kickstarter, a website that will help the project obtain donations until Tuesday, Feb. 19. The fundraising goal is $15,000, which will help create new episodes of the show.
“I feel like we are just so close now. I am extremely excited to see where we go this year.”
Heck has partnered with WFYI in Indianapolis, which is assisting in grantwriting efforts and getting the episodes aired on PBS.
The first episode of Artrageous focused on the works of George Seurat. American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly was featured in the show’s second episode, “Shattering the Mold: Chihuly and the Science of Glass Blowing.
Heck wants to center the third episode on artist Jackson Pollock and the fourth on Georgia O’Keefe.
“We finished filming that second episode months ago,” Heck said. “It took awhile but I think we learned a whole lot. We finished it and we’ve kind of been waiting to release it alongside of a new website.”
The project began coming together in 2011, and a few episodes later, Heck is hoping that the next step will be the big one. Kickstarter and its ability to accept donations could be an important piece of the puzzle.
“We did the Kickstarter for a couple of reasons,” Heck said. “I’m trying to film two episodes by the end of school.”
Heck and his crew will travel to New York to film portions of the
third and fourth episodes in the Museum of Art and the Pollock/Krasner home in East Hampton.
The fourth episode will focus on artist Georgia O’Keefe, who lived and was active in New York as well, allowing the team to film some portions of episode four while they are there.
“Our hope, really, is that the Kickstarter will just really help get a big boost in getting the first four episodes done. And then we’re really working well and almost perfectly blended in with WFYI and their production and their grant writer,” Heck said.
“We’re really trying to hone in on production assets, just refining everything so that we can submit all of this to PBS. Even if we don’t, we still want it to be as good as we can get it.”
The success so far has come from some unusual places. A group of parents in Maine who home-school their children found Heck’s video on the web, and began passing it along and increasing viewership. In just two days, the second episode had received 300 views.
“It’s pretty obvious that social media is the way to get the word
out,” Heck said.
The Kickstarter portion of that outreach could become the show’s defining moment.
“We set a goal of $15,000, and that would basically help fund the whole episode on Pollock,” Heck said.
Those who have seen the videos will usually lend support.
“I have lots of old art videos that I still will use sometimes, (but the videos) cannot keep the kids’ attention,” Heck said.
With the Artrageous program, it’s a different story.
“I showed it to a class and they were just glued to what was going on. From day one, I’ve wanted to treat it like an interactive classroom, so when they’re responding to me on the screen, they are engaged in it and not just passively watching it. I love when that stuff happens,” Heck said.
Episodes are available for viewing at www.artrageouswithnate.com.
Heck is working alongside the Indianapolis Children’s Museum to publicize not only the episode, but also the Kickstarter project available at www.kickstarter.com by searching for Artrageous.
Right now, the Artrageous project has the support of universities and museums, and even some beginning financial support from the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Foundation.
But to take the show to the next level, Heck said he will need continued community support.