When Covid-19 caused an abrupt shift in the lives of people around the world, it also shifted how we at Creative 360 approached our work. What it didn’t change is our commitment to Creative 360’s Mission:
“To create environments that allow people of all ages and abilities to experience the creative process, and to enhance physical, mental and spiritual wellness through the arts and humanities.”
Creative 360’s staff and board members immediately began to develop creative ways to continue to deliver our mission in this challenging environment.
As Marketing Director, my role is to ensure you and others in our community are aware of the resources we are making available to you, even while our doors are closed. These resources include virtual art workshops created by our talented Artshop Program Coordinator and instructors, now available at Creative 360’s You Tube Channel, which you can find here.
I’ll keep you informed of this and other offerings through Facebook and email updates (subscribe to email updates here); and through our website, currently going through a re-vamp designed to make it even more user friendly.
I know that many of you may be working from home for thefirst time, and may find it challenging. I have been doing most of my work from home since last September, so that hasn’t been a huge adjustment for me. One thing I did to support increased productivity and creativity while creating content for Creative 360 was to set up a bright and cheerful home office. If you are working from home, I encourage you to add some color or art to your environment! One thing I miss in our current situation is the opportunity to stop in and interact with the many interesting people and things that are always happening in the 360 office each day. I am looking forward to when I can get back into the routine of visiting the Creative 360 building to see the Artshop students I love and visit my “office family.” That is where I get the joy for the work I do and what I miss most.
When this pandemic hit, Creative 360 was in the midst of delivering an exciting season of activity. Workshops, painting activities, events, and exhibits that were planned had to be put on hold. Marketing plans had to be changed too. I was also personally invested in several of our workshops that responded to wellness goals I had set for myself – yoga for example. Yoga instructor Nicki Suppes and I experienced the first change of many to come when one very early March morning, our appearance on a local news program was preempted by Covid-19.
Our innovative Yes We Can! program to honor those in our region who are 80 and over was in full swing. Oh, how I enjoy hearing the stories these seniors have to tell! I am excited to continue this program so we can all hear the rest of their stories. Press releases are written and ready to go as soon as we start again. This traditionally winter program will continue as a summer program this year. Warmer weather may mean even more people can attend since our snow birds will be back in town!
As concerned as I am for the community we serve, I am also concerned about the health of Creative 360. As a non-profit, we operate on donations, memberships, grants, and revenue from our programs, events, and facility rentals. Normally, we are a hub of activity with an amazing array of people who come through our doors. We all miss that rich tapestry. Beyond that, the revenue it generates is what allows us to continue to enrich our community through our programs. We are grateful for small business programs that enable basic operations to continue and for your continued support through a variety of donations. The annual Give Local Midland program, coordinated by the Midland Area Community Foundation, is going to happen as planned on May 5. This day of online giving is a chance to help local non-profits maintain their health and vitality to hit the ground running when doors are open again. This year, we will have immediate access to your donations that normally go into our endowment fund. We are grateful, and hope you will consider donating to Creative 360 that day. Watch for more information!
When the time comes, I will relish with new enthusiasm the ability to move, stretch, meditate, learn, and experience together again. I am grateful for each of you, and am eager to stand side-by-side with my colleagues to greet you when we re-open. We are going to have a busier summer season than ever before! I hope you are as excited as I am about having all these opportunities to gather and create together once again.