Energize Your Creativity – Creative Mornings

My first encounter with Creative Mornings Cleveland was at Edgewater Park on a beautiful August Friday morning.

Find a unique local venue and add a dash of music, 2 to 3 espresso shots, 60 or so creatives and one clever topic – mix well. This is the recipe behind Creative Mornings Cleveland, a group I have become energized by and enamored with. Anyone involved with CDPUG should check out Creative Mornings. Links to specific speakers Creative Mornings presentations are in this blog as well as here.

This group came highly recommended to me by my pal, Spike Radway of Team Spike Consulting. He admits “Creative Mornings has created a monster. I attended a Creative Mornings over three years ago. Robin VanLear, Director of Parade the Circle for the Cleveland Museum of Art, talked about Parade. Robin mentioned that there are paid workshops to teach non-artists how to make their artworks for Parade. I religiously attended those workshop sessions and the result of my efforts was ‘Spikezilla, the monster that creates art.’ “

Spikezilla in person at Parade the Circle.

Spike continues, “As the Director of Programming for CDPUG, I am always on the lookout for speakers and venues and Creative Mornings is very helpful in that way. I also attend Creative Mornings because I enjoy all kinds of art and not just graphic design. I have found artistic inspirations by expanding my point of view beyond the already familiar.”

Intrigued by the venue and the hopeful promise of a beautiful weather-day in Cleveland – I finally decided to give Creative Mornings Cleveland a try. I was blown away!

A brief musical interlude to open our creative brains.

Greeted by a friendly diverse group, given a delicious breakfast, informed of local happenings, entertained by musicians, had my faith-in-the-world renewed and creativity energized. All for free. Yes, you heard me, free!!

The speaker was Phoenix coffee buyer, Christopher Feran and his topic was “justice.” Covering how beans are harvested and its impact on the farmer, it was a fascinating talk on the global economic impact of one’s choices. Truly an act locally, think globally message.

With this first dip into the Creative Mornings Cleveland world I was ready for more. But, I had to wait, meetings are held the third Friday of the month. Each meeting has a different venue, subject, speaker and live music. Did I mention live music too!!

Thomas Fox, Cleveland host of Creative Mornings Cleveland at the Bop Stop

The next meeting was at The Bop Stop. It was another great bicycling morning so I was able to ride there as well as the first meeting. Sometimes I feel like a freak wearing obnoxious neon bike-safety colors, but not with this group – other people rode again too! After breakfast, live music and “espresso-shot” pitches/info, we were regaled with tales of the artistic journey of Lisa Quine, creative consultant who specializes in lettering, murals, illustration, and graphic design.

Every Creative Mornings topic has a corresponding locally designed postcard free for the taking. These postcards were designed by Nick Hafner (left) and Lisa Quine (right).

Where was this group finding these great speakers? I found out when I received a Nomination Night invitation. Held once a year, members of Creative Mornings are invited to submit speakers for the upcoming year.

Spike and I attended armed with speaker ideas to share. We met other Creative Mornings members that ran the gamut of artists to community activist, filmmakers and economic development leaders.

Nomination Night was bubbling with good food, art, music, creative thought and dancing.
Art abounds at Nomination Night – a silent art auction and art created before our eyes.

Each monthly Creative Mornings meeting covers a topic. Next years topics: purpose, stress, nature, transit, radical, insecure, invest, identity, underdog, roots and spectrum.

We populated the individual topic boards with speaker ideas written on post-it notes.

An ornithologist specializing in bird migration for the topic of transit? A death-care industry expert for the topic of roots? We were thinking about all our connections differently.

I am looking forward to the next Creative Mornings Cleveland, held the third Friday of each month. Are you ready to be energized and invigorated? Then join us.

The next Creative Mornings theme is Flow.

Creative Mornings Cleveland is part of a worldwide network of Creative Mornings groups.
Everyone is creative…. Everyone is welcome…

Thanks again to Spike Radway for recommending Creative Mornings Cleveland!
Photography by Laura Dempsey.
Spikezilla photo courtesy of Spike Radway.

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