So, how DO we build community?

As a service to the Triangle Creative Community, ArtWorks follows hundreds of creative information sources to find information relevant to this community and aggregates them on Twitter, Facebook and the Website.  We must be doing something right, as our followers are growing in numbers daily.

But every once in a while, I find an article in my research that makes me want to scream “Yes!  Exactly! That’s just what we are trying to do!”.  Recently, I found an article in the Trenton Times, of all places, that got me thinking.  In the article, the writer, Meir Rinde, talks about the abundance of arts groups in the Trenton area, saying:

So many groups, educational programs and individual artists call the city home, but in fact,…..they don’t know about each other, despite their proximity, arts boosters say.  As a result, these groups don’t collaborate as much as they could, and they have not fulfilled their potential as an economic engine for the city. …What Trenton needs to do …… is build the connection between these initiatives and other things that are going on in the city,” said Leonardo Vazquez, an urban planner at Rutgers University.

It was a similar frustration amongst members of  the creative community in the Triangle that led to the launch of Triangle ArtWorks.  What can we do to change this?

ArtWorks was begun, in part, on a belief that if the creative community itself was able to connect to EACH OTHER better, for networking, collaboration, services, support, brainstorming, WHATEVER…then they would be able to do what they do better and, hopefully, as a result, be more successful.  In his article, Rinde speaks of recent networking events in Trenton bringing together  “art worlds” that ” had not previously collided”.  I love this idea of “collisions” causing increased creativity.

Rinde suggests that in Trenton “One unanswered question is where the long-term leadership and organization to coordinate and market the art scene should come from” Not in the Triangle….we have ArtWorks!

Over the next several months, ArtWorks will begin several new efforts, including working toward some networking events to give you opportunities to “collide” with other creative people in the Triangle.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could meet others in the Triangle that do what you do, so you could hear about they addressed certain issues, how they got started, or who they use for certain services?  Or maybe meet the people that provide services you didn’t know existed?  Or perhaps meet JUST the person/group that can fill a need in a project you are working on?

But we struggle with what format to start such efforts.  Should we start a series of “ArtWorks after Hours” like Springboard for the Arts in St. Paul?  Should we have a more formal “creative summit” like in Trenton? Or perhaps something in-between, like short talks, followed by mingling?

Should we try to hold them centrally, or move them around the Triangle?  Any ideas for venues?

We need your ideas and input!  Lets start colliding!


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Susan says:

Your house!
Empty condos downtown (I have some contacts with realtors)
At galleries during First Friday
Private room during sympony or play intermissions, or after performance

Melinda McKee says:

Love the idea of “ArtWorks After Hours,” as there are so many local artists who have a different full-time job or who have to work weekends (meaning weekday or weekend gatherings might be hard to attend).

But just because it’s in a laid-back environment doesn’t mean there can’t be short talks; I also think that’s a great idea, if there’s a demand for experts on a certain subject. Mingling can still happen/before after the topic!

Jesse A. Lowe says:

Will this solution only be open to visual artists…or would it include writers or artists in other mediums like music & Performance? If it doesn’t maybe there should be a meet-up option for those folks

admin says:

ArtWorks’ mission is to support, connect and provide resources for the entire creative community in the Triangle, so that would include all disciplines, even people outside the “traditional” arts and culture industries, but who are doing creative work. So, it would be our aim to create networking opportunites for the entire community, but also see the value in bringing people together within various disciplines. What we are looking at now is where to start? What is your best idea for getting this community together? What do you want to see?