One River School | Randex Communications

One River School

One River School


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Matt Ross, Founder + CEO
Katie Enna, VP of Strategy + Development


The One River Story

Our story is about passion for art and today's digital media possibilities. In 2011, Founder Matt Ross began research into art programs across the United States and a pattern emerged. In most metropolitan areas, there was an abundance of art schools in the city centers but virtually none in the nearby suburbs. When Ross chose Englewood, NJ to open One River School, he was completely convinced that the location would be perfect for a pilot school that would test the notion that cool art schools can thrive outside the city center. Matt says: "we believe that people in New Jersey and in suburbs across America want access to the same amazing creative experiences that exist in our cities." To fulfill this mission, Matt developed a new method for teaching art that created the most compelling and fun recreational / art education experiences. We focus on "flattening the experience" and reducing the "over-intellectualization" of art. We simply created a cool, interactive experience that is current in its practice and standards. We have recognized the most important artists and themes of the last 50 years and purpose-built a proprietary curriculum that has enabled us to deliver an experience that is changing people's lives. "One River" is not only the name of our school but a metaphor for 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.

Our Mission:

Lifelong Creative Learning is at the center of our mission. We strongly believe that creativity is at the center of what makes us human and that ongoing growth in this area is an essential component in quality of life and future success in the 21st century. Body, Mind and Soul... eat right, exercise and develop the creative potential by engaging in new, thoughtful educational experiences - this is what makes people whole.

Changing arts education in America is the personal mission for One River Founder Matt Ross. Matt was the Founding CEO of School of Rock, the world leader in music education for kids, where he built a platform that revolutionized music education. This experience of changing kids' lives through music education had a profound, life-altering effect on Matt, and serves as a wonderful backdrop for the One River Story.

MATT ROSS, Founder

Music and Art seem to run together for a lot of people and this is clearly the case for One River School of Art + Design Founder Matt Ross. After 20 years as an executive in the radio industry, Matt became an investor and the Founding CEO for the School of Rock. At that time in 2005, School of Rock was a fledgling startup with a handful of schools. Five years later, when Ross left, School of Rock was the largest network of music schools in the world.

After leaving School of Rock, Ross compared the state of art education to the state of music education prior to the expansion of School of Rock. It appeared that the two were virtually the same: there were very few innovative art schools near his home in New Jersey and throughout suburbs across America. Thus began the start of a personal mission that Matt has been on since the fall of 2011. Matt says: "It seems to me that the most relevant and important thing I can do is to help people grow creatively. I love the challenge of inspiring people through compelling art education while making it fun at the same time. This is my calling ... it is my mission and it is the purpose of One River School."

Ross also plays an active role in the community and as a patron to young artists across the world. Matt is on the Board of Trustees at the Bergen Performing Arts Center. The "Bergen PAC" is northern New Jersey's most important non-profit performing arts center and provides dance and theatrical education programs for thousands of students every year.

In addition, Matt has embarked on a personal creative project: developing an important collection of contemporary art that currently features over 200 objects. "When I was getting started with One River, it dawned on me that if I was going to teach people contemporary art I needed to jump in and self educate beyond the classroom. Committing to building an art collection turned out to be the best way for me to develop a personal point of view around what art I thought was well done and potentially important. Almost all of the artwork that I own is from young artists; most often I support them during their first or second solo exhibitions. This project has required me to obsessively visit studios, galleries, museums and art fairs around the world in search of art that challenges my senses. Along the way, I have been blessed to help change some artist's lives by providing measurable support and I consider this to be one of the most important things I have done in my life."

When it comes to enjoying art, Ross has a unique perspective. "I believe that we see art through our eyes but we feel it physically in a different way. It is hard to describe, but when I am engaged with something that moves me, it creates a physical response that is much more than purely visual. It's like the feeling in your heart from a solid drum beat or guitar... those enter through your ears but the feeling you get is much deeper and more complex."

Matt is married for over 20 years to his wife Susan and is the father of two boys. His oldest son Alex has severe Autism and Matt has played an important role as an advocate for people with Autism, helping to raise millions of dollars through a variety of non-profits. "My son Alex has taught me more about life than anyone or anything. When you raise a child who cannot speak, it taps into a different skill ... a different sensibility that teaches you things that you never knew you had. It probably also gave me a strong appreciation for childhood development and the blessing of helping others learn to grow via music and art." Matt's youngest son Jason is an accomplished musician who has benefited first hand from Matt's passion for music education. Matt remains a partner / investor in School of Rock and owns three franchise locations in New Jersey - Tenafly, Chatham and Clark.

Press Releases

July 18, 2017
World-renown award-winning filmmaker Raul Barcelona, shown here working with students at One River School's filmmaking camp.

Nine-month, three-course series at both New Jersey locations to culminate in One River School regional film festival

Enrollment is open now!

ENGLEWOOD, NJ (July 18, 2017) - One River School of Art + Design moves its mission to transform art education into the fall by introducing one of the most ambitious curriculum additions in its innovative five-year history - an extensive Teen Documentary Filmmaking class that will culminate in One River School's very own New Jersey film festival next summer.

Enrollment is now open at One River School's Bergen County NJ locations, in Englewood and Allendale, for this unique nine-month, three-course series, which provides teen students with an immersive experience into the fundamentals of filmmaking and storytelling. The young filmmakers ultimately will screen their individual short documentary films in both a local movie theater, and globally in a branded online environment. The first session, "Pre-Production," starts in October.

World-renown award-winning filmmaker Raul Barcelona will lead a team of fellow documentary filmmakers in teaching students aged 12-18 the entire step-by-step process, from discovering how to identify a compelling subject for their documentary, through production and editing. Teen Documentary Filmmaking is an extension of the documentary film class Barcelona launched with One River School at its first summer camp in 2012. Barcelona is recognized for a vigorous and entertaining filmmaking style that exhibits his keen appreciation for political, cultural and social diversity.

"Documentary filmmaking is about observing the world, about looking at reality and sharing our experience of it. In this way, it is very much rooted in what is like to be human," says Barcelona. "Our Teen Documentary Filmmaking program is designed to sharpen students' perceptions of their surrounding world and I am incredibly excited to work with them as they discover their voice and express their unique worldview through the medium of film."

One River School's Teen Documentary Filmmaking is a deeply engaging experience across production, editing and screening. By the time the first session ends, students already will have created their own movie trailers for the films they plan to produce during the following production course. The second session, "Production," begins in January, 2018 and the third and final installment, "Post Production," starts the following April. The first annual One River School film festival premieres in July 2018.

Enrollment is open now at or by directly contacting the Englewood (201-266-5244) and Allendale locations (201-466-1372).

One River School of Art + Design, a company designed to transform art education across America while building the first national network of contemporary art schools. With franchise locations in New Jersey and Texas and more expansion scheduled across the country for 2018, One River School is developing what the New York Times recently called "the next generation of Basquiats and Warhols" through a new direction in art education for kids, teens and adults, providing exceptional, creative learning experiences accessible to all ages and abilities. Using proprietary teaching methods, world-class instructors and interactive processes, the schools deliver an experience that "changes people's lives," according to One River School founder and CEO Matt Ross.

As part of its commitment to being the voice of contemporary art in its communities, each One River School celebrates contemporary artists through exhibits, while providing great jobs for working artists and educating the next generation of artists.

For all info about One River School of Art + Design, visit, or at Facebook

PHOTO CAPTION: World-renown award-winning filmmaker Raul Barcelona, shown here working with students at One River School's filmmaking camp, will be leading a team of fellow documentary filmmakers in teaching "Teen Documentary Filmmaking." The ambitious, three-part series will culminate in One River School's very own NJ film festival next summer. Photo credit: One River School.

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June 12, 2017

Oversees expansion of first nationwide network of contemporary art schools

Katie Enna

ENGLEWOOD, NEW JERSEY: Katie Enna has joined One River School of Art + Design, a company built to transform art education, as Vice President of Strategy and Development. She is based at the school's headquarters in Englewood and reports to Founder and CEO Matt Ross.

In this new position, Enna leads development and strategy promoting One River School's unique franchise concept that provides an innovative business ownership opportunity in the arts to professionals across America. Launched in 2012, One River School of Art + Design opened its second company-owned school in Allendale, NJ and its first franchised school in Frisco, Texas earlier this year. The company plans to open 100 schools nationwide within the next five years.

Enna brings extensive experience driving fast-paced growth in both nonprofit and for-profit sectors. As Executive Director of Gallim Dance in Brooklyn 2014-2016, Enna enabled the young dance company to double its educational revenue and grants income, and expanded its Board of Directors. She also developed the company's first interdisciplinary arts partnerships by collaborating with visual arts titans such as the Frieze Art Fair and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Previously, she oversaw strategic investments for the entertainment and restaurant industries at American Express in New York City.

After receiving a B.A. in Art History from Columbia University in 2005, Enna joined Christie's Old Master Paintings department, where she managed global client relations, logistics, and legal affairs, and optimized operations to enable a record-breaking $75 million sale. She then earned her MBA at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where she was also an adjunct faculty member in the school's Strategic Leadership course.

Enna, a native of Kansas City, Missouri who currently lives in Manhattan, said her interest in the intersection of the arts, business and entrepreneurship has culminated at One River School, where she returns to her roots in the visual arts.

"Katie has the perfect blend of art and business sensibility, and she is well-positioned to advise our partners on how to open and scale a One River School in their communities," said Ross.

"I'm excited to partner with Matt Ross on our growth strategy because I'm inspired by his leadership and genuine commitment to the arts and artists," she says. "With the model and culture he has developed for One River School, we are building a network that is sustainable - and most importantly, a creative home for hundreds of thousands of students to develop their own artistic voices."

Since 2012, One River School of Art + Design has offered a new direction in art education for suburban kids, teens and adults, providing the kind of exceptional, creative learning experiences previously only available in major cities. Using proprietary teaching methods, world-class instructors and interactive processes, the schools deliver experiences that "change people's lives," according to Ross. Each school also presents exhibitions from emerging artists as part of its commitment to be the voice of contemporary art in its community.

More about One River School can be found at

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December 5, 2016

100 New Locations Targeted in Next Five Years

ENGLEWOOD, NEW JERSEY: One River School of Art + Design, the nation's first national network of contemporary art schools, has officially launched with new locations in Allendale, New Jersey and Frisco, Texas. These schools, scheduled to open in early 2017, join the flagship operation, established here in 2012, with the mission to develop what the New York Times called "the next generation of Basquiats and Warhols."

One River School of Art + Design signals a new direction in art education for suburban kids, teens and adults, providing the kind of exceptional, creative learning experiences previously only available in major cities. Using proprietary teaching methods, world-class instructors and interactive processes, the schools deliver an experience that "changes people's lives," according to One River School founder and CEO Matt Ross. Each school also presents exhibitions from emerging artists as part of its commitment to be the voice of contemporary art in its community.

One River School also offers such one-of-a-kind opportunities as the pop-up Art Effect exhibit, which this fall has brought artwork by 11 of its teen students to Boston and Philadelphia and will arrive at BravinLee programs gallery in New York City (526 W. 26th St.) on Saturday, December 10.

Ross, recently called a "creative visionary" by Parade Magazine, brings a deep background in creative education and the national franchise business model to One River School as the former founding CEO of School of Rock. Ross has signed agreements for more franchised schools to open in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, with a goal of opening 100 new locations over the next five years.

"Art education is broken in America," says Ross. "We want to provide the coolest place near home to learn to be creative, stretch one's pure potential and have fun. We believe people are desperately looking for new ways to grow, and we have found that art making is a rewarding and personal way to improve quality of life. When people have art in their lives, they simply become better people. It's my goal to achieve that coast to coast."

"I love the challenge of inspiring people through compelling art education while making it fun at the same time," he said. "This is my calling, my mission and the purpose of One River."

For more information about One River School of Art + Design, visit For available franchise opportunities, visit

February 25, 2016
ONE RIVER SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN PRESENTS: SIEBREN VERSTEEG VIDEO / WALLPAPER; 28-Foot Digital Painting Mural Installation Will Be Artist's Largest Exhibited Work to Date

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 5, 1-5PM
Artist Talk: Saturday, March 5, 2:30PM

Changing Art Education in America ... One Kid at a Time

ENGLEWOOD, NJ (Feb. 25, 2016) - ONE RIVER SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN is pleased to present "Video/Wallpaper," an installation by artist Siebren Versteeg, opening Saturday, March 5, and continuing through Sunday, April 17. Versteeg will give an "artist talk" during the Opening Reception. The title of the exhibition comes from an outmoded term sometimes used to denigrate video works of uninstructive content. Versteeg's project however makes this idea literal, undertaking today's digital landscape as an opportunity to interrogate an age-old concern in the field of painterly abstraction - the negotiation between process and form.

"Video/Wallpaper" will feature a 28-ft. digital painting mural - Versteeg's largest exhibited work of this type to date - generated entirely by computer algorithms of his own design. The code Versteeg writes exemplifies his interest in notions of chance by steering a nearly infinite number of variables to explore the widest possibility of compositional outcomes. Juxtaposed with this printed work, "Decoy (1R)" 2016, a real-time screen based work based on identical algorithms, will act as a kind of stand in for the mural's immaterial maker; tirelessly generating a new composition on a 24-hour cycle for the run of the exhibition.

The works in "Video/Wallpaper" question the potential of aesthetic resolution through an ongoing conflict between automated process and articulated desire. Rather than embracing the deterministic processes promoted by out of the box imaging platforms, Versteeg identifies with the value of creative labor as it migrates towards digital ephemera. He writes: "My programs spin in unwieldy ways ensuring an ongoing struggle with incidents and accidents. I favor curiosity and visual complexity over prejudicial belief and execution. A very small percentage of the work that I create are then printed and stretched to hang as inconsequential artifacts of the true struggle that takes place; to find space for creative idiosyncrasy within the terrible certainty and finitude of the grid."

Siebren Versteeg’s multimedia installations critically engage the systems used for creating and disseminating images within our culture. He mines the digital realm for content, manipulating computer code to meticuloulsly interrogate the relationship between instructed choice and consequential chance.

Siebren Versteeg was born in 1971 in New Haven, Connecticut. He has had solo exhibitions at the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, Kansas; the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; the Museum of Art at Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; the Art Institute of Boston; Bellwether Gallery, New York; Ten in One Gallery, New York; Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; and Max Protetch, New York. His work has been exhibited in group shows at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, Maryland; the Krannert Art Museum, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois; the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia; and the National Museum of Art, Prague; among many others. Versteeg was a recipient of the Illinois Arts Council, Fellowship in 2005, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Merit Fellowship in 2004, and received the Stone Fellowship for Graduate Study from the University of Illinois, Chicago, where he received his Masters degree in 2004. Currently, he is an artist in residence at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. He lives and works in Queens, New York.,/


Founded by Matt Ross in September of 2012 "one river" west of New York City, One River School of Art and Design has embarked on a mission to change art education in America. In a short window of time, our innovative art school in Englewood, NJ has taught thousands of students and established "a new direction in art education." One River School's exhibition program is dedicated to presenting contemporary artwork from some of the most compelling emerging artists in the world.

One River School

Randy Alexander

President & CEO
906 Jonathan Lane
Marlton, NJ 08053