Jim Shaffer Small.jpg

Jim Shaffer is co-founder and current Chairman of the Board of the 402 Arts Collective. Since his junior high days, Jim has been involved in public school music programs and worship settings. Having experienced the power of positive mentorship as a youth, Jim sees The 402 as a place for young people to develop important life skills such as self confidence, discipline and a passion for excellence.

Jim is also kind of a geek with degrees that include Mathematics, Physics, and an MBA. Prior to his involvement with The 402, Jim enjoyed a 25-year career in Information Technology, Electronic Banking, and Information Security.  Jim is also Owner and CEO of Counterparts, a provider of concierge services and property management.


Dear friends of The 402 Arts Collective,

Welcome back to the fall semester! I want to share the excitement of our continued growth and keep you informed of our plans for next year.

We’re experiencing our biggest registration season ever. We’re on track to serve over 400 students this semester, with over fifty Artist Instructors. From our humble beginnings in 2011 with less than 10 students, we’ve averaged a 35% growth year on year. In 2018, we provided over 8,000 individual lessons and launched our first satellite location at 156th and Center Street. Such rapid growth would not have been possible without the passion and vision of our Board of Directors and our Executive Director, Ben Shafer.

The growth continues this year as we are working on several projects:

  • A new “Technology Studio” for Audio Engineering and Video Production classes

  • A dedicated Visual Arts studio in our West location

  • Expansion into Bellevue, NE

  • Our first formal fundraising event

Why do we do this? We’ve settled on a simple mission statement: “Impacting culture through the arts” . We have found that combining the Arts with mentoring can powerfully impact the lives of young people one at a time. If an Artist Instructor inspires a student to make a “two degree course correction”, that trajectory follows them into adulthood. Changed lives lead to a changed community, changed communities lead to a changed culture.

Why the arts? Music, acting, and visual arts create powerful opportunities for the development of life skills. Confidence is built when performing in front of an audience; collaboration is learned when performing in an ensemble; self discipline is learned through hours of practice; and appreciation for excellence is developed by learning from the masters. Add these life skills together with a positive role model and you have a powerful influence in the life of a student.

One of the biggest joys of being on the leadership team is watching students “find their spark” in life. In our culture today, many students struggle with finding their identity and inspiration in life. We’ve watched kids “come alive” through music and art and the encouragement of our Artist Instructors. Click here for some of the awesome stories of changed lives —>

See some of our great stories here —> https://www.402artscollective.org/story

I would like to close with a heartfelt “Thank you” for supporting our organization. These success stories would not have happened without you and our community of generous supporters. Last year, you made it possible to raise, and distribute nearly $15,000 to over 40 students who didn't have the ability to pay for art/music lessons. This year we plan to increase our community outreach and hope to double our financial assistance program. Please consider a donation to The 402 Arts Collective’s Financial Assistance Program and help us reach kids who may not have the opportunity to experience their own life change. Click here if you’d like to explore how you can help financially.

Enjoy your fall semester,


Chairman of the Board
402 Arts Collective