Crayola Imagine Arts Academy: Fostering Creative Spirits Amongst Children

Shafik Mina

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The educational sector has been constantly transforming millions of lives. There have been numerous vital changes in the educational sector that have helped in its immense growth. Furthermore, the arrival of digital transformation has extended its reach and availability to a wide number of students. Today, creativity and critical thinking are the core values that need to be introduced to children as they enhance curiosity and reinforce the problem-solving ability in them.

Creativity and artistic expression are considered to be extremely vital amongst all children.  Nevertheless, art can be extremely diverse and therapeutic for people of all ages—kids and adults alike. It is beneficial to develop the creativity and critical thinking of all. Founded in 2016, Crayola ® Imagine Arts AcademyTM  promotes creativity by inspiring children through art.

A Set of Comprehensive and Creative Services

Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy offers a diverse set of creative programs for children. The brand provides after-school programs, birthday parties, and summer/vacation camps. With the help of their creative programming, children are introduced to the world that they live in –with art projects that focus on cultural diversity, design careers, and animal conservation, delivered in an extremely child-friendly manner. The classes teach children unique and exciting foundational art techniques which later help them in art projects. All programs offered can be conducted virtually or in-person during COVID-19. Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy believes its programming instills a sense of empathy and understanding amongst children.

Building a Trustworthy Brand via Franchising

With the pioneering idea of educating children on efficacious values, Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy gained recognition. Three years later, in 2019, Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy started offering franchising opportunities due to the increase in demand and the desire to reach more communities and kids. Expanding gradually, the brand has grown to include more than 20 locations across North America.

Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy is a franchisor that helps in creating a sense of community amongst all its franchise owners. The company offers 3 main benefits to the franchise owners,

  • Exclusive services: Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy emphasizes building a community among its franchisees to encourage collaboration and a family atmosphere.
  • Investing in vital tools: Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy provides the franchisees with exclusive tools that are user-friendly and easy-to-operate. These tools make daily processes less time-consuming and are cost-effective as well – which keeps the brand running smoothly and consistently.
  • Proactive Planning: 2inspire – the parent company of Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy and Mad Science – is a brand that encourages children to embrace their curiosity. The size and scale of 2inspire have proved beneficial for the brand as it is provided with more resources and can be proactive for future planning.

The “Chief Wheel Greaser”

Shafik Mina (Founder and CEO of Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy) is at the helm of the company’s operations. Being the CEO, he has undertaken several new initiatives for maintaining an ideal franchisor-franchisee relationship.  Shafik’s primary responsibilities include making sure he has the best people to fill specific roles within the organization and providing them with the tools needed to achieve their goals.

During his tenure, Shafik has been instrumental in leading the company towards unprecedented growth. He refers to himself as the “chief wheel greaser” as he ensures work is carried out smoothly and mentors the team whenever a challenge arises. Shafik, along with his team, have worked hard on the accomplishments that have catapulted the Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy brand forward.

Overcoming the COVID-19 Pandemic

Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy had its share of obstacles during the COVID-19 pandemic. Until remote working was in effect, the entire education community was working competently. The pandemic turned a new page when the teachers and the students had to adapt to the on-going change. The transition from studying in a classroom to attending online lectures was a drastic one.

While the transition seemed challenging for most organizations in the industry, Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy managed to thrive during the shift. The company pivoted its business model to teach children virtually amidst the global crisis. In order to maintain the same hands-on experience provided during in-person programming, class sizes were kept small for maximum child engagement. In addition, art supplies were delivered to children’s homes to ensure they had all that was needed to complete their projects, while providing parents with an all-inclusive service. Thus, the kids were safe and could also utilize their free time in learning new conceptions. The research & development team of Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy modified programming so that all classes could be taught virtually and easily.

Upcoming Maneuvers to Look Forward  

Pivoting to the virtual world was a challenge, however, the team gradually adapted to the new way of operating, succesfully.  Experiential lessons lie at the core of the brand in order to help children try, fail and then try again. Shafik envisions lifting the boundaries and limitations that are implied on the children via the hands-on sessions offered by Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy.

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Read Full Issue: The 10 Influential Education Leaders, 2023

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