Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wanna get your creative on? (Yes, you have one...)

Through six degrees of separation I have stumbled upon some amazing people and opportunities here in Peoria lately.

One of those people is Amy Lambert and the opportunity is ci|creative.

ci|creative is a grassroots non-profit organization working to strengthen the creative community within Central Illinois.

Before you click away because you don't consider yourself creative, just give me a minute here.

ci|creative's mission is to cultivate resources, opportunity, connections and education to attract and retain the creatives in our community. In addition, they strive to assist those who pursue all things creative by connecting them with other people and organizations who could provide mutually beneficial resources to each other and to the community.

So even if you don't consider yourself a creative person (and we all are in some way, shape or form), you can still be a part of it. As a resource. As a mentor. As an event participant.

Amy Lambert is the driving force behind this venture which was launched just this past March. I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting with Amy on several occasions at the ci|creative(space) in the Shoppes at Grand Prairie. For those of you who haven't been out there lately, it's where the old Kirkland's used to be across from the Holocaust Memorial.

It's called the ci|creative(space) because it is - literally - a space. Artwork, photography, sculptures, wearables and more by local creatives adorn the walls, floor and furniture - artists pay a one-time fee to display their works for a period of time. The space is set up to be mobile - workshops on everything from writing and social networking to open painting and even a "show-and-tell" offer something for every creative, and even those who may not consider themselves one.

At first, I wasn't sure I quite fit in with this group. I can't paint, sculpt, knit, draw, sew, play an instrument or decorate to save my life. But I can write. And that's creative. Plus I've found a little niche - helping the organization get the word out and heading up their new newsletter ci|stories, which will debut in January. Much more to come on this later as I will be soliciting ideas and inspiration for articles, as well as looking for writers.

I encourage everyone who reads this blog to learn more about ci|creative by visiting their website (still a work in progress) at www.cicreative.org or their Facebook page. Make sure you check out their upcoming exhibits, workshops and other events - they truly have a variety of unique offerings and opportunities.

The Board Members and volunteers who are making ci|creative happen are local people that have day jobs, significant others, children and other commitments, yet they see the need for such an organization and are working together to "bring back the creative" to Central Illinois. To have a place - and a (space) like this in Peoria is really quite a coup.

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