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artsy Matt Ross One River

Former School of Rock CEO Wants Making Art to Be Like Taking Guitar Lessons

On August 1st, it was announced that New York gallerists James and Jane Cohan, along with business leaders Steve Cohan and Jim Karr, would be spearheading the first Chicago franchise location of One River School of Art + Design. Founded by former School of Rock CEO Matt Ross in 2012, One River is a New Jersey-based art education corporation with an ambitious mission to transform art education in America.

Following the initial success of the School of Rock, a chain of suburban music schools that grew from five locations to 55 under Ross’s leadership, the entrepreneur set out to make art classes as accessible and desirable as music lessons, particularly among affluent families in suburban communities across the U.S. One River aims to support and inspire new generations of artists, as well as to create employment opportunities in the arts.

The organization currently exists in just two states: as two corporate-owned schools in New Jersey, and a franchise in Frisco, Texas. The schools offer a variety of classes for all ages—from Pre-K children through to adults—and covers various mediums of studio art and digital technology. Students can enroll on a month-to-month basis, or sign up for camps and attend in-house art exhibitions that the school hosts.

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