Q&A with Shine Founder Aaron Goldschmidt: All You Need To Know About the New Creative Arts Space for Children in The Hamptons
Shine has been the Tri-State’s leading provider of workshops, camps, pop-up classes, and events since 2004. Programming involves a unique blend of visual arts, science and nature, cooking, cultural immersion, music, and movement, geared toward ages 6 months to 12 years.
Over the years, meetings have taken place at some of the East End’s most iconic locations, like the LongHouse Reserve, Bridge Gardens, or CMEE, but Shine never really had a place to call “home base” – that is, until now!
The Shine Studio debuted to the public earlier this month. Inside, you’ll find three large studios and a café. Outside, you’ll find another café, garden space, an outdoor classroom, a stage, and direct access to the Long Pond Greenbelt trails. It’s an exciting space, designed to inspire creativity and learning.
East End parents are always looking for fun places to go. Whether you’ve experienced our programming before or this is all new to you, company founder Aaron Goldschmidt answers all your questions in this exclusive Q&A about the brand-new Shine Studio, located at 977 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, NY 11932.
Q: How did you arrive at the decision to create a physical space for Shine?
Aaron Goldschmidt, Shine Founder & Director: Shine has always been a mobile, pop-up business. That was the original idea, it has served us very well, and we will continue to offer those services. But with our popular summer camp and growing business on the East End of Long Island, it felt like the right move at the right time. Also, I am a firm believer that things happen when they are supposed to — and I found the most amazing space that just felt like home the minute I walked in. I had to take this place, even without a plan.
Q: What seasonal events are you planning for The Shine Studio that you hope people will want to come back to, year after year?
A: We are hoping to have at least one seasonal or holiday-specific event per month. We’ve only had a small Halloween party this year and are gearing up for a Family Holiday Party on Saturday, December 18th from 1-4pm. The excitement is in creating and developing events this first year that will hopefully become tradition as we continue to grow and expand!
Q: Is anything exciting coming up over winter break?
A: We will be offering Winter Break Camp at The Shine Studio from Monday, December 20th through Friday, December 31st for kids 2-11 years old. We want families to enjoy all the innovative and creative activities they love from our popular summer camp. Activities may include: music and movement, signature Shine craft projects, visits from performing and visual artists, outdoor play, and more! Families can choose from a full day session, or morning or afternoon sessions with the option to stay for lunch. And our Grand Opening Events will be mid-January.
Q: What paint palette, materials, and design aesthetic did you choose, and why?
A: I wanted to go with a clean, beach vibe. Most of our materials are wood, glass, and natural elements with a slight nod to ‘old-school meets modern.’ We also took a lot of inspiration from our new website, as you can see on our graffiti wall. The Shine Studio offers outdoor and indoor spaces for a wide range of our signature activities. The space was renovated by a team of craftsmen from Benenaula Construction, a local Hamptons construction company, who worked with us on every detail to make our space inviting, functional, beautiful, and modern. We wanted the space to act as a canvas for all the art and energy we are going to create here. It is truly a dream come true.
Q: Which is your personal favorite part of the space and why?
A: That is a hard question! It’s all so new, and I’m discovering things I love each day! The outdoor stage/classroom and The Shine Studio graffiti street art behind it are really special to me. But I also love the Craft Studio. I could spend all day in there.
Q: Give us a virtual tour: Tell us how the different rooms function at the studio.
A: Currently, Studio 1 is our multi-use room: perfect for classes, parties, and a variety of our programming. Studio 2 is our Arts & Crafts Studio that has been custom-designed for the sole purpose of making art! Studio 3 is currently being used by Our Fabulous Variety Show, the first artists-in-residence as a part of our @Shine program. Their state-of-the-art dance studio will provide a permanent space for classes, rehearsals, and boundless creativity. We are excited to partner with them on joint programming and help to foster their mission of bringing accessible and inclusive arts programming to the East End.
Q: Tell us how you started working with Our Fabulous Variety Show and why we should sign up for a class.
A: I met Anita Boyer, co-founder of OFVS, a little over a year ago when I hired her to teach some dance classes for Shine. I knew immediately if I were able to open a space out here, I wanted her to be involved. Our missions really go hand-in-hand. Kids should sign up for her classes because there is no better program for kids’ dance and theater around! She has an infectious energy and undeniable talent.
Q: Can parents rent out the space for private events? What can you offer hosts and their guests?
A: Absolutely. The Studio lends itself to being a fabulous event space for gatherings of all ages. With our outdoor space, multiple indoor venues, 1.5 kitchens, lovely bathrooms, the possibilities are really endless. While we could organize an adult craft night, we encourage grown-ups to rent the space and bring in any kind of entertainment or food they desire.
Q: Are all classes, camps, and workshops being held exclusively at the studio now, or will you continue area partnerships with places like the LongHouse Reserve?
A: That’s a very good question. The short answer is ‘no’. Part of what we do so well is show up in the most unlikely places and run our programming. We’re hoping that by having a permanent space we can actually attract more local artists, artisans, and specialists to come and run exciting programming year-round! In terms of summer camp, we would never give up a day at LongHouse, so we are planning on offering MWF here at The Studio, Tuesdays at LongHouse, and Thursdays as our pop-up field trip day!
Q: Do you have any drop-in times or classes available for people who have no experience with Shine to check out the space?
A: As an introductory offer, we are allowing one-offs and small class packs that can be used to try a variety of our current programs running. Anyone interested should contact email@example.com to inquire.
Q: How does the new studio better help Shine deliver on its mission?
A: Our mission has always been to help all children shine the light they have inside. We have been fortunate enough not to need a permanent space for that – and, in many ways, being mobile has afforded us the opportunity to inspire even more children. But setting down roots on the East End and having a space to create, collaborate, and congregate helps to solidify us as a brand and a part of the community. We can now be a destination for anyone who wants to shine their light!
Q: What’s next?
A: If only I knew. If you would have told me, four months ago, I would be sitting in my own process and creative arts studio in the Hamptons, I never would have believed you. I love the adventure that life provides if you follow your passion, work hard, and trust your instincts. We are hoping to begin filming more videos out of The Studio, so kids all over the country can have access to our content. We are also interested in showing local artists in our gallery space, developing branded curricula for a variety of programs, and throwing some pretty awesome parties!
Well, there you have it! All are welcome to check out our new space, we’ve got a few exciting events coming up, and everything you loved about Shine is still available. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.414.5427 to plan your next visit.