October 16, 2014

CreativeMornings, not a movement

Tina Roth Eisenberg, Founder, CreativeMornings, Chicago chapter’s debut, 2011

CreativeMornings is a breakfast lecture series held monthly for the creative community. Founded in Brooklyn, 2008, by Tina Roth Eisenberg of design journal Swissmiss, CreativeMornings has now grown to 99 cities worldwide. It’s easy to label CreativeMornings as a “movement.” But it’s not. Broadly speaking, movement is a newsy word. Movements are typically associated with political and religious upheavals: the agenda subversive, the rhetoric polemical, the tone aggressive, the duration short-lived.

A regular attendee of gatherings held by my local CreativeMornings chapter in Chicago, I find the ambiance comfortable, evident by social ease and anticipation, visibly marked by conversations and smiles. This is due to people who come together at a given event, enticed by the topic or speaker, and who seek stimulation for their intellect, their craft. In many instances, the same people keep coming to subsequent events to reinforce existing connections, within their shared creative discipline, and to potentially expand their circle through introductions to new people, representing other creative fields. Each takes the time to listen to a speaker elaborating on an attitude toward creativity and how it is realized. All these actions of attending, meeting, listening—experiencing a personal viewpoint about creativity and making it happen—are not tactically driven by ideology, a prime mover of movements. It’s driven by another human tendency that does not sound forced or dogmatic (as portrayed by a movement), but open and common like creativity itself: curiosity.

The original premise, of CreativeMornings, was to provide a place for a local creative community of artists, craftspeople, designers, founders—everyone with creative aspirations and ambitions—to gather and communally raise their consciousness. This enduring reception of CreativeMornings’ premise lies in its essential nature, rooted in generation to generation, era to era.

People who want to experience creativity—what it feels like and what it can achieve—don’t wait for information and inspiration. They seek it, as many bits that can be received and cultivated, whether in the moment or at an appointed time. This is not a “movement” that suddenly garners a spike of attention. It is a quality felt and observed daily, historically, because it is a native aspect of the human condition. It characterizes our living and working. It is reality.

CreativeMornings is part of something that is inherent in the human species: to be courageous in making what one desires to make, and to be a vessel open to such an influence. To help persist this effort, input is welcomed: lessons learned when faced, and stories told when unfolded. These constitute proof behind the mouthpiece of making. If the proof of experience is a body of work, creativity is its basis.

So no occupying, no reforming, no uprooting, no dismantling, no shutdown, no take down. No movement.

Waking up, feeling creative, and acting on this natural impulse. These are fundamental to being human. CreativeMornings is their mirror.

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Photo of Tina Roth Eisenberg introducing the first CreativeMornings gathering in Chicago, with speaker Jim Coudal, during the summer of 2011. View more.

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The First CreativeMornings Summit was held on October 2–3, 2014, in Brooklyn, New York. Read this article by Carly Ayres, Chief Content Officer at CreativeMornings. View interviews with ten volunteer hosts, from around the globe, of CreativeMornings chapters in this video by Bas Berkhout, Filmmaker and Co-Founder of Like Knows Like.

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See my write-ups and photos of CreativeMornings/Chicago gatherings since their debut in 2011, plus my posts at the CreativeMornings Blog.

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

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