You know when you are corresponding with someone via email and you just know that they are a great person? This is the feeling I got with Jackie Krasuski. I have never spoken to Jackie over the phone, nor have I ever met her in person. From my first email correspondence with Jackie Krasuski, I could just tell that I was speaking to a really great person. She exuded such kindness through the computer screen.
So it was no surprise when I started reading her “Customer of the Week” interview. Jackie is the Executive Director of Spintronix Color Guard, which you will learn more about in this interview. Jackie has introduced the arts to a community that might of never had the opportunity to connect with a program like Spintronix Color Guard.
The/Studio: Introduce yourself. Tell our readers a little bit about who you are!
Jackie: My name is Jackie Krasuski and I am the executive director of Spintronix Color Guard. We are a non-profit performing arts company that currently focuses on dance and color guard. We have a competitive team, incredible instructors, and host camps for young men and women every year. In addition, we have an incredibly successful YouTube channel, and a major presence on all types of social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr (just to name a few).
The/Studio: What does your organization do?
Jackie: We operate in a small town in one of the poorest areas of the United States. We create opportunities for our students to grow above the status quo and become more incredible citizens through the performing arts.
The/Studio: What have you learned since you started Spintronix?
Jackie: I have learned so much since I started Spintronix at the age of 21. My biggest lesson, however, has probably been to appreciate and take care of what I’ve got. A lot of what we have is donated, and if it isn’t donated by community members then I end up having to donate out of my personal funds. As I would like this to be my full-time job someday, that’s the opposite of what I need to be doing! So I learn to appreciate all of the little things, such as when a student learns a new toss, or gets excited about being accepted into an honor ensemble. It can be very exhausting work, so I always find ways to remember why I started in the first place and go from there to rekindle my passion!
The/Studio: What about Spintronix are you most proud of?
Jackie: I am most proud of my students who have grown and gone on to do incredible things with their lives. They might go to college, join the work force, or spend time traveling, and not all of them continue in the performing arts, but they use the lessons they have learned as performers in their day to day lives.
The/Studio: What are some of the greatest challenges you face with your organization?
Jackie: Our biggest challenges come in the form of finances. We decided to become a 501(c)3 non-profit rather than a for-profit business because I had a lot of advice about getting grants. And as I’ve mentioned before, our area is one of the poorest in the entire United States (third poorest, to be exact). This means that I can’t shoulder the financial burdens of the company onto the students in any way. They do pay a small fee, but they can work it off through fundraising and other activities. Unfortunately, the grants that we had been promised just aren’t there. We have been trying to expand our business through small donations, but it’s basically barely enough to keep our company running – it would take a miracle to make any expansion on that right now.
The/Studio: Where do you see Spintronix in 10 years?
Jackie: My hope is that we have expanded our organization to include a dance studio that offers regular weekly classes, and a dormitory where students can stay during special camps and events. My hope is that I can find a way to make enough money doing this so that I can quit my regular job and focus more on the growth and development of our students at Spintronix eventually.
The/Studio: What type of legacy do you want to leave?
Jackie: I want to be remembered as the woman who was passionate about her students’ success. I want the Spintronix organization to be known as a company who believes everyone can find there own success as long as they go out and make it themselves.
The/Studio: What is the story behind the custom product that you produced with The/Studio?
Jackie: The patches that we ordered from The/Studio represent an incredible milestone for our competitive team this year. We have been competing for six years now, and this year was somewhat of turning over a new leaf – we had a new type of show to perform, we added new staff, we even earned a sponsorship from a company that we had never had before. The season was far more exhausting than any season prior, but our students made it truly worthwhile. Our patches from The/Studio make something of a badge for our members to wear and remind them of this season; and that hard work will pay off in the end.
The/Studio: How are you going to use the custom patches?
Jackie: Members have jackets with their names on the front and our company logo on the back. Throughout their membership with us, they add various patches to remind them of the places they have gone, the shows they have performed, and the hard work that they put in to each and every experience to make it good. This patch is the first we have ordered from The/Studio and we plan to create many more with your company!
The/Studio: Do you have any upcoming events that our community members can attend?
Jackie: Each October, we hold auditions for our competitive team, and each April we host our annual Weekend Camp in Mountain View, Missouri, USA. They are both fantastic experiences and we welcome anyone interested to come check us out. We are also always giving instructional lessons on how to do color guard on our YouTube channel, SpintronixGuard
The/Studio: If you are a charity is there anything our community members can do to help?
Jackie: There is absolutely a way for people to help! On our website, www.spintronixguard.org we have a page called “Current Projects” and you will see things like our competitive team, the Weekend Camp and especially our dance studio project. There are PayPal buttons for each project and anyone can donate! If someone doesn’t have PayPal then they can easily use the “Contact Us” form and get in touch with other forms of payment.