David Leonnig

Golden Road Arts: Ready, set, pivot

After months of preparation Golden Road Arts, a Hillsboro-based arts education non-profit, was ready to launch in March 2020. Things didn't go exactly as planned.

Barbara Mason was ready. In the summer of 2019, she began working in earnest on Golden Road Arts, a long-envisioned free arts education resource for teachers, parents, and students. She secured grants, solicited donations, and gained the enthusiastic partnership of the Hillsboro School district. By March of 2020, she had purchased equipment – cameras and fancy computers – and was about to film the site’s first demonstration, on printmaking in Japan, in an elementary school classroom. She went into the school on Tuesday with the her collaborator and videographer, David Leonnig (who also happens to be Mason’s brother), to plan things out – lighting, supplies, flow. They were ready to shoot on Thursday. The school shut on Wednesday. It’s still closed.

THE ART OF LEARNING: An Occasional Series

The printmaking-in-Japan demo, like pretty much everything else in March of 2020, was cancelled. Mason, however, was undeterred. Students weren’t going to have printmaking supplies at home. They probably weren’t going to have paint or any other specialist supplies, either. So Mason started filming videos with what she knew they would have: printer paper, pencils, and crayons. Mason and Leonnig got to work, and the first demonstration video at Golden Road Arts was put up in June.