After leaving School of Rock in 2010, Matt spent a year taking art related courses at his alma mater NYU (MBA 1991). The courses, which largely focused on Contemporary Art, specialized in curating and collecting give Matt a strong perspective of what was relevant and important in today’s art world. This helped to trigger a personal passion for Contemporary Art education and Ross began work on the One River project in the Fall of 2011.
The idea was to develop a new method for teaching art that created the most compelling and fun recreational / art education experience. Matt wanted to flatten the over intellectualizing of art and to simply create a cool, interactive experience that recognized the most important artists and themes of the last 50 years. He commissioned curriculum development from a team of compelling experts and decided to begin a search for a location.
Matt found himself thinking about the abundance of world-class schools that existed in New York City and the relative lack of innovative art schools that existed in suburbia. When Ross chose Englewood, NJ, he felt completely convinced that the location would be the perfect one for a pilot school and would test the notion that cool art schools can exist outside the city center. “One River” is not only the name of the school but a metaphor for from the cultural gap that exists in suburbs across America and it is Matt’s ambition to address this challenge by growing One River into a national network of schools.