The Art Effect was born on January 1, 2018, as a result of the merger of Spark Media Project and Mill Street Loft, two impactful arts nonprofits based in Poughkeepsie, NY. With this merger, The Art Effect became a single, powerful arts education and youth development agency serving youth across the Hudson Valley.

Spark Media Project was founded in 1994 (originally named Children’s Media Project) by Maria Marewski. Spark Media Project, a media art, technology, and education organization, served young people, artists, schools and organizations in the Hudson Valley, with a focus on using media as a tool for creative expression, critical thinking, and skills development.

Mill Street Loft was founded in 1984 by Carole Wolf. Mill Street Loft delivered arts-based programming that has transformed the lives of thousands of residents and their families. Through visual arts courses, camps, and outreach programs, Mill Street Loft was committed to supporting personal growth, fostering self-expression, and enhancing human services through the arts in order to rebuild a shared sense of community.