Magin Schantz Finds Inspiration in Her Neighborhood

 

Growing Roots in New Ground

“The genesis of Supermoon was a combination of the neighborhood, timing, my skills and experience, and my willingness to try and not always know.” Raised in a family of artists, Magin began her career as an experimental theater maker, touring and working with other artists. She later became a teaching artist, carrying bins of supplies to public schools across New York City. While there were elements of her jobs she found rewarding, Magin still felt like something was missing: she wanted to create something impactful of her own. For a while, Magin struggled to envision what that something was, until she and her husband moved to Ridgewood, Queens.

 

“The vision started with the neighborhood. I loved being here and wanted to figure out how to make roots here.” Supermoon Art Space became more than just an idea during a conversation Magin had with a mother in the neighborhood. “She told me she wished there was a childcare space where she could send her child. I told her that I was thinking of starting something and she said “well, why don’t you just do it?” It was this moment of “I will do that.”

 

A Space for Everyone

Supermoon Art Space is a community art space focused on early childhood programming. To make the space inclusive for all residents, Magin accepts a range of alternate tuition payments, including work trades. “I’m really conscious of how starting a business can push for positive change and bring people together.” Magin has 9 employees, many originally from the neighborhood. She also rents out the space on weekends. “We often have local families use the space for birthdays. It feels good to know that everyone has access to this space.”

 

Looking to continue expanding, Magin knew she needed extra financial support. She discovered Accion through the Small Business Solutions Center in Queens, and with the loan she received, she was able to purchase additional games and books for the children as well as equipment for adult classes such as painting and dancing. While Magin’s loan enabled her to increase enrollment, the application process also helped her build a strong business plan. “Getting the proposal together for Accion was a big part of how it all came together – it really helped give me a sense of where I was going.”

 

After seeing such a positive response to the space from the neighborhood, Magin feels confident and excited about continuing to expand Supermoon and grow her own roots. “It’s nice to know there’s room to grow in a way that makes sense.” With the daycare program already at full capacity and providing a steady income for Magin and her staff, Magin is able to focus more on experimenting with the space’s purpose during the weekends. “There’s endless possibilities and since I now feel less financial pressure, I can really make it more about the community. I’m constantly grateful that I have so many people here helping me. It’s been a huge collaboration between everyone.”