In 2013, while pursuing my M.Ed in Educational Technology from SDSU, I decided to fulfill one of my lifelong dreams of building an e-learning platform to support 6-12 arts education. The goal was to design an LMS platform geared specifically for art teachers and creative students with "open-facing" portfolios and an online catalog of CTE-aligned (Career Technical Education) art and music courses from a variety of creative fields.
At the time I called the project "The Free Artists Network” (FAN), and I spent the two years of my master’s program simultaneously working on and developing for the platform. The same year I graduated from SDSU with my M.Ed, I was fortunate enough to have won a $10,000 grant for my work on the LMS from the "USD Social Innovation Challenge" competition in 2015 (featured in the San Diego Union-Tribune).
I utilized the award money to enter the Founders Institute program (San Diego chapter), an entrepreneurial grooming program, where I re-branded and renamed the project "Artsugi." I was additionally fortunate to have won the FI graduation night pitch competition, and I was invited to present the LMS project at the National Art Education Association conference in Chicago (2016) and again in New York City (2017).
I have since been using the remainder of the SIC grant money to build a newer, better version of the platform, which you can preview here: www.artsugi.com. My duties for this project entailed but were not limited to: managing human resources (i.e., overseeing a team of web developers, volunteers, content creators, and interns from SDSU and CSUN); overseeing product development and testing; planning and marketing; and managing a budget.