As we kick off another day of quarantine, let’s express some gratitude for the internet. For FaceTime, texting, online shopping to support local businesses, and all the lovely stories of selfless acts you read via the Nextdoor App — thankfully, isolation doesn’t have to feel so disconnected.
Another boon of the internet: streaming. In addition to some top-notch binge watches, you can expect to see some of the most popular Dallas gyms bring their classes to some sort of video platform. Spots like Class Studios and Session Pilates are working hard to get those online options available this week.
But one local business already has their streaming platform up and running. On Thursday morning of last week, the creative collective at Oak Cliff’s beloved Oil and Cotton ordered a camera, determined to find a way to host their spring break camps for kids. The team spent Friday and Saturday making kits they could deliver to campers and rewrote the curriculum to work in an at-home setting. On Sunday, they finished deliveries, set up their virtual classroom, and taught themselves how to run the online, conference-style workshops. This Monday morning, they held their first class.
“It’s pretty amazing. It feels like our classroom. The kids get to interact with one another and share their artwork,” says Shannon Driscoll, who co-founded Oil and Cotton with Kayli House in 2010. “This is something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time, so this has kind of pushed us to do it. We had to do it in order to survive and pay our teachers.”
Supplies for Oil and Cotton’s spring “Camp in a Box” programs are limited, so Driscoll and House are asking that people call ahead so they can get the kit prepared for them and available for curbside pick-up (or delivery if they’re in the neighborhood). A link is sent via email for campers to access the live stream.
Driscoll and House are currently working on their plan for the rest of the semester, and are hoping to offer a weekly live-streamed class that kids will be able to join. “We have an amazing eight-week curriculum that we could share with people who are interested in doing a live-streamed class,” adds Driscoll. “People have been contacting us to let us know they’re interested.”