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. Dynamo Studios will continue running twenty-five hours of programming per week through the studio in an effort to support our partnership with the library and local learners. 


Aside from library-based programming, Dynamo Studios also manages a professional career pipeline for our students that wish to take the next steps into the professional world of the creative industries. For example, students have the opportunity to work with major ad agencies, music venues, production studios, film/photo agencies, 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.

Additionally, 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 each 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

  • Quality Work & Craftsmanship

  • Production Excellence

  • Citizenship

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Leadership

  • Integrity


  • 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



  • Educational Growth within local inner-city 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

  • 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. 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 or contributing to full length records, and even cinematography!

Local Sponsors, Partners, and Endorsers

  • Flock Artist Management

  • Community Foundation Chattanooga

  • Various major and indie record labels

  • Chattanooga Girls Rock!

  • A wide variety of freelance cinematographers and photographers

  • Sound Corps

  • Times Free Press

  • The Signal

  • Benwood Foundation

  • Hamilton County Department of Education

  • Opportunity Zone Schools

  • STEM School Chattanooga

  • Songbirds Guitar Museum

  • Chattanooga 2.0

  • McKenzie Foundation

  • Lyndhurst Foundation (Library Studio Project)

  • Chattanooga Public Education Foundation

Industry Sponsors, Partners, and Endorsers

  • Ernie Ball

  • LR Baggs

  • Universal Audio

  • Printed Threads

  • Universal Music Group

  • Capitol Records

  • Guitar Center Pro

  • Heartbeat Percussion

  • 64 Audio

  • Walrus Audio

  • JHS Pedals

  • Roark Bailey Productions

  • Sony (pending)


Who Have We Impacted?

  • White - 40%

  • African American - 30%

  • Hispanic - 28%

  • Other - 2%

  • Students - 2,000 +

  • Music Industry Professionals - 45 +

  • Females - 55%

  • Males - 45%

Programming Areas of 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 (Music and Audio Production) - Spring 2017 - Fall 2018 // COMPLETE ***

  • Music Production in a Studio Environment

  • Marketing

  • Live Sound Engineering

  • Production Management

  • Basic Film Production

Phase Two - Fall 2018 - Fall 2019 // FUNDRAISING IN PROGRESS

  • All Previous Areas of Focus

  • Film and Cinematography

  • Photography

  • Foley Production

  • Sound Design for Film

  • Publications, Journalism and Communications

  • Photography and film for Live Performances, Branding, Promotional and Lifestyle Shoots

  • Social Media Curation

Phase Three - Fall 2019 - Onwards

  • All Previous Mediums

  • Branding

  • Graphic Design

  • Brand Management

  • Brand Development

What Has It Taken To Get This Far?

  • Volunteers - 10

  • Board Members - 6

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

Funding Received to Directly Support Dynamo Studios Programs and Operations:

Most people would assume that this was funded by an astronomical amount of money, but in reality we made this happen as a labor of love. Countless hours of work on top of full time classroom teaching jobs and an incredible team of volunteers has allowed us to run Dynamo Studios like a full scale, full time business, while keeping our costs at a whopping $0.

We are now, for the first time ever, pursuing our first round of project funding to begin launching Dynamo Studios on a much larger scale to sustain our work in the community.

At the moment, we have secured $25,000 of our $50,000 current programming initiative.

Total expenses thus far:

  • Operations - $0 (Yes, we did all of this for free because we believe in these programs and we wanted to show people that we know what we’re talking about before asking anyone for financial support.)

  • Programs - $0

Previous Micro Grant Info:

  • $5,000 micro grant from PEF for equipment (2016 Teacherpreneur Grant and People’s Choice Award)

  • Personal Volunteer Time Running Programs FIVE Days a Week and Developing Our Organization - Countless hours over the course of two years. And we’ve loved every second of it!