My name is Rob Casillas and I've been blessed to have made a career out of using my creativity. I will say, the road to where I am now wasn't easy. I grew up poor. My four siblings and I lived with my mom in a rough part of town in Long Beach, California. If there was some type of low income living assistance program, we were on it. Everything from Section 8, food stamps, the occasional holiday handouts, and so on. And to top it off, the education system at the time wasn't great and I had nothing but negative influences in the streets around me. I felt lost and without a North Star. All I knew is that I loved to draw, paint, and use my imagination. Luckily for me, I had an art teacher (thank you Ms. Charvet) who believed in me. I was able to land a full scholarship at The Art Institute and the rest is history. Now, I'm an Executive Creative Director working for some of the biggest brands in the world. Some days I look around at my coworkers and think, I'm not supposed to be here.
I decided it's time to give back. The birth of Coffee for the Arts is the combination of two of my passions. The purpose of CFTA is to roast the freshest, artisanal specialty grade coffee while funding art education programs for inner city youth. 10% OF EACH SALE goes to programs like inner-cityarts.org or Los Angeles County School of Arts. Studies have shown that arts education levels the learning field across socio-economic boundaries, improves student retention, and reduces the achievement gap. The problem is, students who attend schools with high levels of poverty have the least access to arts instruction and education.
Together, we can make an impact on these kids' lives and all we have to do is drink some good quality coffee.