February 27, 2014

I like CreativeMornings—a lot

CreativeMornings inventor Tina Roth Eisenberg at debut gathering in Chicago (Summer, 2011). View more.

CreativeMornings is a monthly breakfast lecture series, for the creative community, started by Tina Roth Eisenberg of Swissmiss. What originated in Brooklyn, New York, has evolved into a platform with kindred chapters established throughout the world.

It’s no secret that I’m an avid CreativeMornings enthusiast through my write-ups. Based on my experience of going to past events and what I’ve taken away from them, I feel that CreativeMornings is one of a rare few of high-quality meet-ups worth returning to.

While reading “The Rise of the Creative Class and how it’s transforming work, leisure, community and everyday life” (2002) by urban studies theorist Richard Florida, CreativeMornings came to mind. I paired the following quotes from the book with observations from CreativeMornings to bring the two together, and to further demonstrate how this is an activity that matters.

“Creativity comes from people.” (1)

CreativeMornings is run entirely by volunteers who organize monthly events with speakers, find and persuade hosts and sponsors, manage the recording of each event, and keep the communication flowing about their respective chapter’s news. You can easily sign up online to attend, the Chicago chapter in my case. Registration for upcoming talks transpires quickly, most times, rapidly.

The urbanist Jane Jacobs said, “Design is people.” CreativeMornings is composed of people, by design. This is obvious, but it’s a fact that can be easily taken for granted.

“Members of the Creative Class endeavor to create individualistic identities that reflect their creative identity. This can entail a mixing of multiple creative identities.” (1)

Though the major part of each CreativeMornings is the featured talk, there is designated time to interact with other attendees (coinciding with breakfast-treat indulgence) beforehand. I’ve met jewelry designers, knitters, copywriters, project managers, software developers and a physical therapist. You may find the last role as an outlier, but this is what makes CreativeMornings work, where eclectic diversity prevails. The range of “creative identities” is complemented by out-of-towners. I’ve been introduced to attendees at the Chicago chapter of CreativeMornings from outside the city as well.

Whatever the creative discipline—wherever home is—the collective identity, of those signing up and attending CreativeMornings, is that makers are curious about other makers. This collective sense of curiosity is energized by both CreativeMornings’ global themes, that address aspects of humanity, and its regular rotation of venues that take advantage of a city’s cultural portfolio.

“The Creative Class favors hard work, challenge and stimulation.” (2)

I’ve been attending and reporting on CreativeMornings/Chicago since their debut in 2011. Listening to speakers sharing their challenges and efforts in making what she or he considers fulfilling work is a comfort, and one that many of us seek, in order to be nudged.

Stimulation quickly gets scarce. I’m thankful that CreativeMornings reliably provides it, in person and via video, on a monthly basis.

(1) Page 5 of hardcover edition, 2002
(2) Page 78 of hardcover edition, 2002

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See related posts: Infographics inspired by Richard Florida’s Book “The Rise of the Creative Class” / Speaking tips gleaned from CreativeMornings / The people who make the Chicago chapter of CreativeMornings possible / Wisdom at CreativeMornings: Maira Kalman, George Lois, Milton Glaser

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For more conferences/summits/camps/meet-ups related to art, business, design, storytelling, technology, and more, see this list.

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