Creation exploration is a blast!

Boy howdy, this creation exploration is a hoot! The Alliance of Artists Communities conference was illuminating. Lacy Katherine Campbell’s showis inspiring. The Creators Salon is filling up with some of my favorite people. Heidi and I are taking folks to Costa Rica for a retreat in February. We’re on an incredible journey.

Last week, I wandered for four glorious days in the forest of artist communities. Thanks to a scholarship from the Illinois Arts Council, I attended the Alliance for Artists Communities conference in Kansas City. What a group of beguiling, devoted, pioneering, and gloriously bizarre people! I sat myself down at a different table at every session, stuck out my hand, and said,“I’m Jonny Stax, and I want to know what you do and how you do it.” People were not just open about their models but curious about ours. One woman said, “Wow! In two years, your program is going to be really interesting to hear about!”

Here are some highlights, though there is so much more I have only just begun to digest:

  • Grand Arts in Kansas City supported an artist to erect a huge IOU using 150 shipping crates across the street from the Federal Reserve Bank.
  • McColl Center for Visual Art has a training program for corporate executives that sets artists up as the experts for innovation and transformation. 
  • There is a group of us working on a paper that will present new business structures outside the traditional non-profit and for-profit models for supporting and producing art. 
  • Eames Demetrius has an international story-telling project that transcends cultures and languages called Kcymarxphaere that is weird and beautiful. 

I finally got to attend Lacy Katherine Campbell’s show THEN, ONE NIGHT: A Tabletop Spectacle. I could not be more proud of supporting a project. It is beautiful, innovative, important, and captivating. Lacy has really grown this piece, and people are taking to it. There are only two more performances left at Luna Central, and then we will have a closing night gala at Park Schrek Gallery. Next week, I am hosting an evening of cross-pollinated celebration of creation. From 6-7:45pm, I will break bread and share drink with creators from different sectors as we explore where we are in the creation process and how our journeys intersect. So far, I have a playwright, entrepreneur, social justice worker, musician, and clown coming. Tell me that’s not going to be awesome. There is still room in the Creators Salon for you!

Finally, I am gearing up for my first two lab retreats. The first will be close by as I take staff from Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health on a two-day retreat just outside Chicago to dream, vision, and connect. The second will be an eight-day excursion into the forest of Costa Rica with my dear friend Heidi Dietrich. She leads yoga. I lead intentional process. Together, we make magic. There are still slots available, but the deadline for money-saving early enrollment is December 1. Wanna come?