Dynamo Studios Organization Overview and Executive Summary


Within the engineering world a dynamo is a device used to generate electricity. Rather than generating electricity, Dynamo Studios acts as a resource for students and musicians to generate growth and success in the world of education as well as the music industry. Our goal is for Dynamo Studios to be the catalyst in a student's life that allows them to realize their fullest potential through innovation, collaboration, production, and STEM focused programs built around the creative industries within the music industry at large.

In other words, Dynamo Studios creates an environment where education, the arts, and technology come together as one cohesive unit with the community and innovative thinkers resulting in exponential cultural, entrepreneurial and community growth.

This isn’t just about education for these kids. This entrepreneurial and innovative mentality becomes their lifestyle.
— Kessler Cuffman - Executive Director

Dynamo Studios started off as a passion project for local public school teacher Kessler Cuffman in the fall of 2014 during his time as a world history teacher at Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts, a local magnet fine arts school. Through local support and community partnership Dynamo Studios pursued and acquired 501(c)(3) status legitimized by the IRS in December 2015.

Our high school student intern Angela (12th Grade) showing two other local middle school students various mic techniques for a drum production session.

Our high school student intern Angela (12th Grade) showing two other local middle school students various mic techniques for a drum production session.

Currently we are partnered with local community leaders offering programs for area teens, adults, and music makers. Dynamo Studios partnered with the Chattanooga Public Library to design and facilitate the build of a 1,000 sq. ft. recording studio facility located on the second floor of the Downtown Library location. Although this studio is owned by the Library, Dynamo Studios has developed, managed, and operated the educational programming run through the studio. Additionally, Dynamo Studios designed and managed the creation of the Howard Connect Academy production space. This 1,100 sqft space is equipped to give students everything they need to become the next big film makers, music producers, photographers, or any other sort of creative industry professionals. What makes this space so special is that is located in an inner city school that feeds directly into a high school that shares the campus. This means that students will have access to these resources from 6th grade till 12th grade, thus allowing them to graduate from high school with more experience than most college grads.


Furthermore, Dynamo Studios manages a professional career pipeline for our students that wish to take the next steps into the professional world of various creative industries. For example, students have the opportunity to work with major ad agencies, music venues, production studios, film/photo teams, etc. These types of professional opportunities are a cornerstone of what our mission stands for because this is what leads to rapid student growth and development. Through these unique opportunities students are able to take ownership of their success and apply their newly learned skills in a professional environment well beyond the walls of the average classroom.

The Dynamo Studios team is regularly involved with local schools in the Hamilton County Department of Education. We've partnered with several schools in the district and are currently involved with the STEM School (high school) and East Lake Academy of Fine Arts (Opportunity Zone/inner-city middle school). Through future grants and educational initiatives we plan to work with Howard High School, Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts, Dalewood Middle School, Orchard Knob Middle School, and East Brainerd High School with regular programming in each school as a component of participating students’ FREE public education. 

Our student Ben (9th Grade) shooting for local act     El Bandito     during production for their music video.

Our student Ben (9th Grade) shooting for local act El Bandito during production for their music video.

Our Mission

Dynamo Studios provides an environment and resources for students to harness their creative potential using the arts, education, and technology as a catalyst to promote cultural growth, community growth, and real world opportunities for participants at a free or reduced rate.

Local musician Mike Walker working with students from the     STEM School         on projects for our PBL program with     Songbirds Guitar Museum    .

Local musician Mike Walker working with students from the STEM School on projects for our PBL program with Songbirds Guitar Museum.


We want to see our programs inspiring and empowering the students of Chattanooga to become elite professionals in the creative industries or whatever respective career field they pursue, establishing Chattanooga as a hub for the creative industry and entrepreneurship.

Our Values

  • Collaboration

  • Scholastic Excellence

  • Innovation

  • Production Excellence

  • Citizenship

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Leadership


  • Information, Communication, and Technological Literacy

  • Flexibility and Adaptability

  • Initiative and Self-Direction

  • Social and Cross Cultural Skills

  • Productivity and Accountability

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

  • Communication

  • Collaboration and Community Partnership

  • Innovation and Creativity

  • Information Literacy

  • Media Literacy

  • Leadership and Responsibility



  • Student workforce development

  • Educational Growth within HCDE Schools

  • Cultural and Community Growth

  • Economic Growth and Entrepreneurship

  • Growth and Development within the Arts

  • Growth and Development of Socially Minded Organizations


Why Use the Music Industry As a Platform for Growth?

An industry built around the creation of music...

  • Naturally lends itself to 21st Century Skill building

  • Allows for students to access the MANY creative industries within the music industry itself and pursue opportunities that support their own unique learning styles and interests.

  • Naturally engages students

  • Can easily apply to core content classes

  • Encompasses every component of the professional creative industries and it opens a career pipeline for students.

But most importantly, music is a universal language that breaks down economic, racial, and cultural barriers.

It doesn't matter who you are, everyone likes music and building off that common ground sets the stage for sustainable, tangible, long term growth for EVERYONE involved.


Who We've Worked With

We've had the pleasure of working with some of the best musicians in the music industry ranging from local, regional, and national acts. Even platinum record selling artists and Grammy winners.

Our students have done it all with these artists: Collaborations on student projects, recording singles and full length records, and even cinematography!

Local Sponsors, Partners, and Endorsers

  • UNUM

  • Community Foundation Chattanooga

  • Various major and indie record labels

  • Chattanooga Girls Rock!

  • A wide variety of freelance cinematographers and photographers

  • Songbirds Guitar Museum

  • Sound Corps

  • Times Free Press

  • The Signal

  • Hamilton County Department of Education

  • The Howard Connect Academy

  • East Lake Academy

  • Opportunity Zone Schools

  • STEM School Chattanooga

  • Chattanooga 2.0

  • McKenzie Foundation

  • Benwood Foundation

  • Lyndhurst Foundation (Library Studio Project)

  • Chattanooga Public Education Foundation

Industry Sponsors, Partners, and Endorsers

  • Ernie Ball

  • LR Baggs

  • Walrus Audio

  • JHS Pedals 

  • Curb Records

  • Guitar Center Pro

  • Universal Audio

  • Heartbeat Percussion

  • 64 Audio

  • Keeley Electronics

Major Projects

East Lake Production Programs (grant writing, provision of equipment, curriculum development, career pipeline for students)

Howard Connect Academy (grant support, project development, design, curriculum development, program management, project management, sponsorship acquisition, teacher training, career pipeline for students)

Switchfoot Music Videos (we shot the last two music videos released by Switchfoot that were used to support their live EP recorded in Atlanta, GA)

Chattanooga Public Library Studio (grant writing support, design/architecture, sponsorship acquisition, project co-management, lead on all programming, provision of equipment)


Who Have We Impacted?

  • White - 35%

  • African American - 33%

  • Hispanic - 30%

  • Other - 2%

  • Students - 2,000 +

  • Music Industry Professionals - 45 +

  • Females - 60%

  • Males - 40%

Programming Mediums of Production Focus:

These are the areas of production we focus on in our educational programs and where our programming will be heading in the future as we continue to grow and scale up our operations. 

Phase One - Spring 2016 - Fall 2019

  • Music Production in a Studio Environment

  • Marketing

  • Live Sound Engineering

  • Production Management

  • Basic Film Production

Phase Two - Fall 2019 - Fall 2020

  • All Previous Mediums

  • Film Production

  • Foley Production

  • Sound Design for Film

  • Publications, Journalism, and Communications

  • Photography for Live Performances, Branding, Promotional, and Lifestyle Shots

Phase Three - Fall 2021 - Onwards

  • Continue developing in school programs and partner teachers

  • All Previous Mediums

  • Branding

  • Graphic Design

  • Brand Management

  • Brand Development

What Has It Taken To Get This Far? (2016-2018)

  • Volunteers - 6

  • Board Members - 6

  • Dynamo Unpaid Staff - 1

  • Contracted Instructors - 2

  • Number of Programs Operated - 265+ since July 1 (Programming and Program Facilitation)


Please follow the links below to find out about the different projects and initiatives we are currently seeking funding for. Please consider joining our family by donating to our cause.

YOU can be the person that makes the life changing difference in a student's life!