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A VISIT WITH COLLEEN REED, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, GALLERY CURATOR

In response to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus and the stay-at-home order from Governor Whitmer, we at Creative 360 are doing just that. As we work from home, we are looking for ways to continue to help foster your creativity as we foster our own. In an effort to stay in touch with all of you, we will run a series of stories about our staff members and their work from home experiences. We are working hard to ensure we’re ready to hit the ground running when our doors open again. To begin, let’s enjoy a virtual visit with our Program Director and Gallery Curator Colleen Reed who is doing much of her work from her kitchen table.

Colleen is working hard now on our May through August programming. This is the normal time frame for our spring and summer schedule that comes out in April. This year, scheduling has additional challenges to allow room for winter programs that were postponed.

Kitchen Table Programming

Kitchen table programming

Colleen not only puts the schedule together, but also designs the layout of the print schedule that is inserted into the Midland Daily News! Any change to the schedule requires additional layout time. How do you begin layout early? You can’t. Colleen has pushed the publishing date to April 25 which allows a week to see how things will unfold at the end of time at home. An additional challenge is that she and Artshop Program Coordinator Allise Noble rely on a lot of in-office interaction to ensure the Artshop schedule and Creative 360 general scheduling work in harmony. Now that coordination is being done via phone and email.

“I am eager to see how many people come out for the Yes We Can! luncheons and tributes when there is no snow on the ground and our snow birds have returned,” said Colleen. “Who knows? We may decide to make this timing a permanent change. “

This additional work for Colleen pales in comparison to what she says is her greatest hurdle working from home – communication with performers and instructors. She feels a great loss in efficiency as Creative 360’s email system doesn’t work as well remotely as it does on site. “It’s more difficult to keep things running smoothly and ensuring there are no cracks,” she said.

Dogs Gromit and Remy are always ready to help out … outside that is! Cat Fiddles enjoys a day-long lap to sleep in.

Colleen is grateful to have the ability to work from home. In the beginning she had fantasies of being able to better juggle things that needed to be done around the house with work projects. The reality is, she’s still working eight hours a day and is creating more home projects like a messy kitchen table. “My kitchen table has become my desk and is covered with programming papers. I may need to move it into my painting area so we can return to having meals at the table.”

Colleen misses her co-workers. “It is wonderful to be able to turn to each other in the office to ask a quick opinion, check how the day is going, and be part of the community,” she explained.

She also misses seeing the people who stop by each day. “It is my favorite part of Creative 360,” she said. “You never know who is going to walk or roll through those red doors. I love taking the time to talk to people and welcome them to our crazy, creative, and empowering wonderland. You never know what connections you make and interesting things you learn by taking the time to talk to people.”

How Can We Help You?
We’d like to hear from you as well. What are the ways we can help foster your creativity as you wait? Do you enjoy the painting tutorials Allise is offering on Facebook? What else would you like to see? What are you looking forward to when you can return to Creative 360 again? Respond to this email or send your answers to dcull@becreative360.org so we can do our best to meet your needs and expectations.  We miss each and every one of you and hope to see your smiling faces at our programs and events again soon. In the meantime, stay safe, stay happy and stay well.

September is Karma Month! Check out the programs & events planned for you! Read more