If only every high school was like School Of Doodle, a "peer-to-peer, self-directed learning lab dedicated to activating girls' imaginations through entertainment, education and community," which launched a Kickstarter campaign this week. Should it reach its goal of $75,000 by August 23, the free, online school for girls will be open by late 2014.
In only three days, the campaign is already more than halfway to meeting its goal—it's already raised almost $40,000! Donations start at $1, which gives funders a thank you on the website, and those born before 1996 can sign up to the site's test phase. Those who donate $50 will receive a "coloring book" of doodles made by the aforementioned arts teachers along with artists/musicians like Yoko Ono and Courtney Love, actresses like Natasha Lyonne, filmmakers, comedians and more.
While it's called a school, the campaign explains that it's more of an "endless obstacle course for the imagination." It's also not like regular school in that participants will have access to lessons whenever they want; it's an arts-focused extracurricular that expounds on formal education.
The idea for the school came to co-founder Molly Logan, three years ago. She wanted to make art and culture more accessible by pushing the arts outside of institutions.
"I became obsessed with why there was no Khan Academy for Creativity. At the same time, I was working with the brilliant artist, Doug Aitken, on a project called 'Station to Station' that involved some pretty extraordinary creative brains from art, music, design and technology," she wrote via email. "The privilege of having access to those people struck me as unfair and technology could provide the perfect way to make them available to a global audience. So two plus two and Doodle began to evolve. Teen girls... well, I think they are our future."
Logan and her business partner Elise van Middelem began recruiting some of their favorite women to join their team. There are also male teachers and mentors, and Logan says anyone can join.
"While this is built [for and with] teen girls, and the participatory component of girls teaching lessons will be for teens only, everyone will be welcome to take and share," Logan says. "All of us at Doodle dork out watching the different lessons over and over. Everyone can use some inspiration!"
The school's lesson plans will cover a range of arts as well. "The curriculum will be made up of anything that inspires imagination," explains Logan. "We are very specific in using the word Imagination and not Creativity. We find that people interpret creativity as tied to art or learned skills while they all agree that imagination is something everyone has and takes many forms. Some of the most creative and imaginative people I know are not artists in the traditional sense. So yes, lessons will not be restricted to art and the development of the curriculum will be driven by our Doodle community and our teen board of directors."
To learn more and/or donate to School Of Doodle, check out their Kickstarter page.