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The Line and Creative Exchange Present "Creating Community" on September 16

“It’s good to have weird friends,” says Carl Atiya Swanson, the director of movement building at Springboard for the Arts, based in St. Paul. Amid quizzical looks, Swanson repeats this dictum, which is the theme of many workshops on creating community he delivers around the country, with tremendous enthusiasm, a sense of integrity and a glint in his eye.
When it comes to networking, collaboration and creating community, “it’s always good to look for the adjacent possible,” he explains. “In other words, if all of your friends, colleagues and collaborators are in the same sector, or field or art form, then you never experience the trepidation and creative thrill that comes from getting out of your comfort zone. And you may never discover what or who you’re truly looking for in order to innovate or launch that next, ground-breaking project.”
Celebrating innovation, creative collaboration, community building, entrepreneurship and startups in Minneapolis and St. Paul is, of course, what we do at The Line. Which is why we’ve teamed with Creative Exchange (a platform sharing artful ideas for stronger communities initiated by Springboard and Issue Media Group, The Line’s parent company) to bring MSP its first “Creative Community” event on September 16.
The dynamic, participatory event includes community builders and creative producers from fine art (Tricia Khutoretsky, Public Functionary); technology (Reed Robinson, Beta.MN); design (Shane Coen, Coen+Partners); and nonprofit organizations (Meghan Murphy, Pollen)—and you!
“In MSP, there’s tremendous energy right now around new ideas, art and culture, entrepreneurship, startups, technology, nonprofits, design and building community, all of which The Line covers so well,” Swanson says. “We’ve pulled leadership from many of these sectors based on their track records of starting new things, being open to new ideas, and staying open to new concepts, people and possibilities. We’ve also intentionally focused on disparate parts of the MSP community to structure interactions with participants that will lead to people to form new friendships, perspectives and ideas.”
Pollen, for example, is a nonprofit and social entrepreneurship organization. Coen + Partners recently won the prestigious 2015 National Design Award in Landscape Architecture from the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and is working with James Corner Field Operations on the redesign of Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. Beta.MN bills itself as a science fair for startups. Public Functionary, where “Creative Community” takes place, is an exhibition and performance space in Northeast that blends “the allure of a contemporary art gallery with an inclusivity that embraces pop ups, diverse producers of interdisciplinary art forms, and innovative concepts in art making and exhibition,” says Khutoretsky.
“Creative Community” will open with networking opportunities for participants. Short presentations from the invited guests will follow based on their definitions of community, how they engage with it, and how community has shaped their work. After a Q+A with the panelists, participants will work with the presenters on expanding their notions of community and networking with people from other disciplines.
“Weird friends is about not limiting your identity in an organization—or your personal identity,” Swanson says. “This event is embracing broad potential by putting a premium on curiosity, flexibility and connection, in order to find and manifest new and productive relationships. ‘Creating Community’ will be a singular gathering, an opportunity for participants to share their stories, successes and strategies in an open, constructive format.”
Date: Wednesday, September 16, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Public Functionary, 1400 12th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Featuring: Tricia Khutoretsky, Public Functionary; Meghan Murphy, Pollen; Reed Robinson, Beta.MN; Shane Coen, Coen+Partners
Cost: $10
Register: http://springboardforthearts.org/product/sep-16-creating-community/
“Creating Community” is supported by COCO and Greater MSP's Make It. MSP initiative.
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