Founder Spotlight: Lanette Dailey-Reese
Lanette Dailey-Reese is Executive Director of Capital Experience Lab. She is an alumna of CityBridge’s 2019 Summer Design Studio, led by Caroline Hill, and a 2020 Resident.
What was the project that brought you to CityBridge?
The CapX team was in search of an ED to lead the organization through the charter application process. CityBridge’s was our first funder and support the piloting of CapX.
Why is that project important to you?
This project is important to me because it is the school model I want for my daughter. It is an approach to learning that I wish I had as a young person. I value the disruption to inequitable approaches to learning for under represented students. The world as a classroom can not be reserved for communities with economic means to access real-world learning. At CapX we are cultivating student engagement with the world so they can make meaning and lead change in the world.
What was the most impactful or meaningful part of participating in CityBridge Programming?
CityBridge provides an open space for designers to explore what’s possible when the constraints of the world seem too large to overcome. CityBridge creates a place where designers can build supportive partnerships and friendships during the most challenging stages of the work.
How has your experience with CityBridge influenced or helped you in your life and career?
Participating in CityBridge programming expanded my understanding of the complexity of the DC education ecosystem. Being surrounded by other passionate and talented designers has been a constant motivation for my work at CapX Lab. While [our participation in] the CityBridge school incubator has come to an end, the partnership and support has not ended. The connection to CapX Lab has endured and grown.
What are you up to now?
We are currently in partnership with Friendship Public Charter School at Blow-Pierce Middle School. Students and teachers use DC museums and research and cultural centers as classrooms through community-based learning experiences. The experiences are aligned to the FPCS curriculum to deepen the connection between the classroom and the world around them. CapX Lab is preparing to launch our learning and design programming for teachers, leaders, and school teams across the city. We are committed to expanding the number of students learning in spaces beyond the classroom.
What piece of professional advice would you give CityBridge alumni and education entrepreneurs?
I would tell them to stay engaged and connected. It is very easy to keep our heads down and into the work. The support and connection to other designers will remind you that you are not alone.