After my experience that fateful Friday evening, most major life decisions were filtered through the lens of working towards bringing art to the low-income population. It was about this same time that was hired on as the Director of Student Ministry at my church. I did this for about 4 years, after which I felt distinctly called out of the position. I felt God tell me that the season of vocational student ministry was over.
I pursued a couple careers: firefighting, teaching. I even entertained ideas of entrepreneurship. But, behind each idea and pursuit was the sense that it would eventually be a means to an end - another step on the journey towards launching an art academy.
And so, I entered the summer of 2015 unemployed, knowing where I wanted to get to, but unsure of how to get there. Did I just find a random job and begin saving? Did I try to launch a business, with intent of having it one day fund the academy? Did I just launch the thing and build the bridge as I walked across it?
These are the questions that churned in my brain as I sought to answer the question: "What next?" It was about this time that my wife, who was far from a passive spectator in all this, stumbled upon an after-school program. They were serving low-income students. They were "arts-based." Could this be the perfect fit? I would soon find out.