2016 Grantee Profile: Kut x Sew

In 2016, Kut x Sew, a project developed by Jason Burke and supported by ArtStarts, was awarded $10,000 from ArtReach. The project provides the opportunity for underserved youth from Lawrence Heights to gain skills and experience in both the business and creative sides of fashion arts.

During the creation of Jason’s company Rep Clothing, young people began asking questions about construction techniques and showed a genuine interest in the fashion industry. A majority of these questions generally derived from wanting to understand how to turn a clothing idea into a physical garment, and a lot of inquisitive youth believed the only required element to the fashion industry was constructing a garment and were unaware of the business operations that play a vital role. From this, Kut x Sew was born.

The purpose of Kut x Sew is to establish an inclusive and diverse learning environment that combines the social, ethnic, cultural and business art aspects involved in the fashion industry. Kut x Sew also seeks to provide young fashion entrepreneurs with the necessary information in an attempt to eliminate the trial and error process by providing sustainable knowledge and advice.

As an artist himself, Jason wanted to develop a workshop program that could introduce youth to the fashion industry as well as provide him with professional experience. The end goal of the project, Jason says, is to open a store where these creations could be sold to support the artists and make their creative practice legitimate.

“I wanted this project to help youth navigate the business,” Jason says of their project. The youth were “100% involved” and he describes Kut x Sew as an ongoing project (although workshops ended in December 2016), as those involved are still engaged in the work.

“Kut x Sew showed them what they could achieve” and it inspired them to apply for another round of funding.

In partnership with Art Starts, the Kut x Sew program graduates were able to put on a final graduation event to showcase the work of those involved in the project.

Author: Ally Nohos