Katy Moonan ’12 combined her interest in microfinance with her passion for the arts and sustainability by founding ArteSana, a nonprofit based in Holyoke, Massachusetts, that produces beautiful woven goods.
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The Ultimate Long Weekend
Imagine spending a long weekend in a hamlet in southern Tuscany, where you can feast on local food and wine and immerse yourself in cultural enrichment—just for the sheer pleasure of it. That is Il Magazzino, a unique arts retreat that is the brainchild of Loring and her fiancé, Italian author Pietro Grossi. The two recently started Il Magazzino, which offers weekend arts and literature workshops in the medieval village of Camporsevoli at the foothills of Mount Cetona. “The idea behind Il Magazzino is simple: to offer a beautiful location, where people can share their passion for the arts,” said Loring, who majored in Italian at Smith and spent her junior year abroad in Florence. The workshops will begin in the fall. Below, Loring describes her new business venture.
Who are the workshops designed for?
“Il Magazzino is for anyone who is excited about art and about sharing. We want to provide the opportunity and the tools for people to come together, forget the world around them and totally become lost in their interest—be it photography, writing, cinema or literature. Most of our workshops are for all levels, and, eventually, we plan to offer courses in all art forms.”
How did your new venture get started?
“The idea of bringing together travel, a beautiful location and a shared passion for the arts was initially Pietro’s. I was excited to bring his idea abroad and expand it to my roots, the United States. He is very creative. I feel I am as well, but I am also good at the practical side of business, such as managing and marketing.”
“The location of Camporsevoli makes the perfect foundation for Il Magazzino, which we hope will be a whole experience that encompasses the art of sharing, exchanging and learning. I hope we can instill the importance of this philosophy to our guests to keep the arts a vibrant element in their busy lives.”
Who is your target clientle?
“Right now we offer workshops in Italian, and many in English upon request. Since our focus will increasingly be on the American market, we hope to offer all classes in English. And we also want to tailor workshops to special interest groups.”
What do you like best about your new venture?
“The best thing about this business is its flexibility to go in many different directions, such as creating a magazine, a publishing house or a center for cultural exchange. I always want to keep expanding and learning as I work, and Il Magazzino offers many possibilities.”
When did your passion for Italy begin?
“Smith influenced my love for Italy from day one as a first–year in Italian 110. And my Smith education has instilled in me the belief that I have the tools, strength and ability to do anything I want. All I have to do is work hard and believe in myself and our idea for Il Magazzino.”