Thursday afternoon (morning still, if you were out on the West Coast) was the first Creative Exchange Hangout – a live video conversation with the artists and creators featured on Creative Exchange. For this first conversation, we brought together three of the toolkit creators whose resources are available on the site – Nikki Hunt from Springboard for the Arts and the Artists’ Health Fair, Hunter Franks, founder of the League of Creative Interventionists and creator of Neighborhood Postcard Project, and Nora Grant, Community Programs Co-ordinator at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History and creator of the Pop Up Museum toolkit. The conversation was moderated by Creative Exchange’s Carl Atiya Swanson.
For just about an hour, the trio talked about the process of making their projects, their experiences with building partnerships to make the work happen, nuts-and-bolts offerings in the toolkits and their big picture visions for the world. All three agreed that making partnerships, whether an organizational partner like a presenting institution, a creative partner like an anarchist knitting and bike club, or a partner who you have to educate, like health care professionals, was key to the success of the projects. Their toolkits share some of their hard-won wisdom, and also offer templates and structures for easy adaptability.
The toolkits also help people – individual artists, presenting organizations, arts councils & others – find new ways to connect and share. Franks said that his work is “to get people to talk to each other, as simple as that, to talk to strangers and to realize that by talking to a stranger you never know what’s going to happen…If you never take that chance in the first place, you’ll never get a chance to take those opportunities and experience that I think make life and the world great and worth living for.” Grant shared that enthusiasm for the power of these projects in communities. The Pop-Up Museums, she said, “empower people to care about stories. These moments might not be at MoMA the Met, but they’re still valuable.”
Check out the full conversation for more insights and tips on how artists create, lift up and share value with their projects. Then go ahead, get a toolkit, and make something happen. If you have more questions, or a toolkit you want to share, or a theme you want to see discussed at the next conversation (stay tuned!) be in touch – email@example.com. Thanks for watching, and being a part of the exchange.