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Idea Cafe's Ray Ward Creative Spirit Grant Winner


And the Winner Is... Janie York of Janie Lynn Textiles, Ithaca, Nebraska!


Take a minute to watch the short videos of Janie receiving her grant in person from Idea Cafe CEO Francie Ward.  Click to view videos.

Janie plans to use Idea Cafe's Grant to create and market a series of workshops titled ?The Creative Family? to give families a venue in which they can slow down and connect with one another by creating art together, while both preserving and creating family stories.


Here's Janie's cash award from Idea Cafe:


Ray Ward Creative Spirit Grant to Janie York


Although all the terrific applications we received made it very, very, very difficult to pick just one, Janie York won us over.


Janie received her grant from Idea Cafe's Francie Ward at two events in Nebraska:
The Center for Rural Affairs' MarketPlace on February 28, 2007 in Kearney, NE, and The Reading Grounds (bookstore and more) on February 27, 2007 in Omaha, NE

Here's what Janie told us about what her business does:


"I am a textile artist. I conduct residencies in schools and community organizations teaching children about textile art. My residencies and workshops are unique in that I combine textile art with personal storytelling. For example, last year in a residency with 100 students K-12, I provided quilted banners that I designed for each student. The banners have a caption at the top that reads ?I Make the World a Better Place? The students use fabric crayons and paper to create a piece of visual art that tells how they make their world a better place. This art is then iron-transferred to the fabric, where they write the story of their art with fabric pens. At the end of the workshop each student comes away with a tangible piece of art that shows his/her contribution to the world.


I am now at the end of a six month residency conducted at the Omaha Children?s Museum, teaching children and their families about the many facets of textile arts. The visitors were excited about the many projects offered and I was thrilled to see how the art transformed families!


During my time there I saw families come together to create art while they truly connected with one another during the process. Too often families exist in a ?side by side? relationship seldom making a true connection. Art is one way that families can slow down and make that connection. My products all are created to give families and individuals creative ways to tell and record their life stories and experiences."


We were particularly impressed by Janie's ideas to "pay the grant forward"...
          Here's what she about her plan: "As a teaching artist I see the positive effects the arts have on individuals with each residency I conduct. Exposure to the arts teaches creative problem solving, critical thinking and how to plan a project from start to finish. All these skills contribute to both academic and life success. Students from low income homes have little if any exposure to the arts and art materials. My plan to pay it forward is this? I will provide a basic art kit for one student of each grade level K-6 who is enrolled in a local community learning center program. I will work with the learning center director to equip each kit with age appropriate materials to foster art exploration and appreciation.  In addition, I will provide a scholarship to one Creative Families workshop for each kit recipient."


Congrats, Janie!



Read Janie's reports:
           Janie sends a monthly update on what she and her business have been and will be doing, so you can learn from her challenges and biz lessons learned.

Plus, to learn more about Janie and her business, check out her Biz Profile on Idea Cafe and visit her website at


And what about you?
If you're one of the extremely talented applicants who didn't win this grant, we're sorry, but you'll have another chance. Here at Idea Cafe, we aim to make more grants available as often as we can, so keep tabs on Idea Cafe or watch our newsletter for current information on the next Idea Cafe Small Business Grant!


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"We Make Small Business Fun"(sm)

For grant options check Grants du Jour and other offerings in Idea Cafe's Biz Grant Center.


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