When more than a dozen fully equipped Mac Book Pro student laptops were stolen last week from a Dogpatch nonprofit that serves as a digital arts center for underserved youth, the organization stepped up with an online campaign.
Last Thursday, an overnight burglary left BAYCAT, based in a warehouse at 2415 Third St. in the American Industrial Center, without 15 laptops that held weeks worth of student work for an upcoming video showcase, BAYCAT CEO and founder Villy Wang said.
“It’s pretty devastating,” Wang said. However, the students who lost edits on videos, graphic design and entire comic books are taking the loss in stride.
She said six artists have started completely from scratch, while some video footage and edits were recovered, sparing students from tediously reworking their projects.
An online campaign, “The Show Must Go On,” hopes to raise $50,000 in 50 days. So far nearly $10,000 has been contributed.
“This is expensive stuff,” Wang said.
The neighborhood and tech community has also stepped in with animation film studio Pixar donating supplies and neighbors bringing in monitors and other supplies.
San Francisco-based social media giant Twitter invited the group to visit the new Mid-Market headquarters on Monday, Wang said.
The “Zoom In” video presentation scheduled for July 26 at the center, which opened in 2004 as Wang’s vision for nearby Bayview and Hunters Point youth to learn new skills that will make them employable, is continuing as planned.
The students who lost their work just two weeks prior to the summer showcase are busy prepping, according to Wang.
Wang said the stolen laptops had been locked up last Wednesday night but when staff came in that Thursday morning the space was in disarray and a rope was hanging from the roof.
The thieves appeared to have come in through the roof and then made their escape through windows that face Illinois Street. No other companies in the AIC building were affected by the break-in, Wang said.
The CEO mentioned smaller items going missing over the years and that in the digital arts academy’s first year a large chunk of supplies were taken.
But for Wang last week’s burglary was particularly frustrating with the upcoming presentation and the weeks of preparation lost.
To contribute to the fundraising campaign, visit http://www.indiegogo.com/BAYCATShowMustGoOn.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News