Black Girls Embrace Creative Mornings?

Dictionary.com defines creative as resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.; imaginative. How can this short definition do this majestic adjective any justice?

It can’t, especially after spending time at Creative Mornings CLE a few Fridays ago.

Creative Mornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative. All are welcome because everyone is a creative, the Creative Morning team declares in their manifesto.

One Friday a month, chapters around the world gather for breakfast and a short talk on a theme wrapped in creativity. So far, I’ve attended two Cleveland talks. The first one back in December 2016 featured Annie Zaleski, whose talk, Waiting for the Gift of Sound and Vision based on the theme of Sound, captivated me because I never considered how difficult it must be for a music writer to describe songs “without sounding too abstract.”

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I became a Creative Morning convert after that, even though there weren’t many people of color there. Unfortunately, I never found an opportunity to attend another one until a year later. But after hearing Mr. Soul216, aka Kevin Harp, talk about Context, I realized I was supposed to be there again, despite the fact there weren’t many of us there either.

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He shared numerous examples of when he was supposed to be where he was, including back in Cleveland after living in Atlanta for 20 years. Making his name as a graphic artist affiliated with hip-hop recording artists, Mr. Soul talked “that shit ‘we’ represent” - refreshing words I didn’t expect to hear from a fellow Lee-Harvard brother.

Raw, unapologetic, and insightful, his delivery to a majority white audience didn’t disappoint me one bit.

He spoke about context and why he was supposed to be at Worthington Yards that morning: 

  • The death of his father and why he really had to return home

  • The presence of politics in art in Cleveland

  • His involvement with the Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Planning Team in support of local artists and creative people

  • Art as a means to break down barriers and unite people, in our case the Eastside and Westside (It's crazy we still talking about this.)

  • Advice for young artists to be around other artists and for their elders to engage and expose them to all kinds of art

  • The untapped opportunity for young artists in Cleveland and the sad truth that the artistic community in our beloved city lacks diversity in age and race

  • The thin line graffiti presents between what’s okay and what’s not in the artistic community and the process to go from horrible to masterful artistry

I can’t say this enough. I was supposed to be at Creative Mornings one year later. As a creative soul and someone who appreciates art, I need to nourish creativity in me every opportunity I get.

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So yeah, I embrace Creative Mornings and encourage you to embrace it too. Be sure to check out their event schedule of upcoming talks. Even if you don’t consider yourself creative per se, you might change your mind after one of these talks.