Half an hour before Lexington’s first CreativeMornings event kicked off, the coffee was gone. Yet as the lively chatter proved, not even low caffeine levels could dampen the energy at 21c Museum Hotel.
Jan. 20’s talk marked the first meeting of the city’s newly established chapter of CreativeMornings, a free breakfast lecture series. From Stockholm to Seoul, its 157 chapters from cities around the globe invite monthly speakers united in common purpose: to inspire creativity.
With one talk in the can, CreativeMornings organizers are looking ahead to February’s talk by world-renowned papier-mache artist Mark Francis, who credits his art for helping him survive 27 years in prison. Joining him will be Bob Morgan and Matt Collinsworth, director of the Kentucky Folk Art Museum. Tickets will be available Feb. 13.
During her introduction at last month’s meeting, Celeste Lewis, director at Downtown Arts Center, described CreativeMornings as “an open space to connect” and a way “to gather doers and dreamers.”
Some 225 people were in attendance; a whopping 200 remained on the online waiting list. Registration closed a mere 45 minutes after opening the Monday prior.
With nearby chapters in Louisville and Cincinnati, many already were familiar with the CreativeMornings movement, but local organizers had a few surprises up their sleeves to amp up the excitement for Lexington’s inaugural event. The first 100 attendees to arrive were given a free commemorative print poster designed by Cornett. The venue also sponsored a social media contest with an enviable reward: a one night’s hotel stay, a $50 gift certificate to its Lockbox restaurant and one of their signature blue penguin statuettes.
To unpack “Mystery,” January’s global theme, organizers invited Drura Parrish, the CEO of forward-thinking MakeTime firm and third generation manufacturer from Western Kentucky.
Parrish offered an eclectic mix of philosophy, art, religion and history aimed at exploring the mystery of why and how people create things. His musings were well-suited for an audience that seated 3D modelers, lawyers, and photographers side by side.
Describing the link between thought, creation and scale, Parrish stated, “It’s the proposition of greatness in creating things that you create worlds.”
Parrish briefly discussed his own company, which connects machines through technology, as an example of the “democratization of production.” He hailed the power of collective action, emphasizing that together, different types of creatives can accomplish more than ever before.
“You, as the creator, and the populations that you represent … can put things in the world that changes it in a way that nothing from the top-down can,” said Parrish.
Aside from minor audio issues, organizers called the event a huge success.
“I for one am not a morning person but I am so glad I get to hear these inspiring talks and connect with these energized people,” said Lewis. “It truly started my day off in a whole new positive light and I know everyone I talked to felt the same way.”
The vibe of each event will vary greatly based on the venue and speaker. February’s talk will take place at ArtsPlace on Mill St. The speaker is Mark Francis, a world-famous papier mache artist who credits art for helping him to survive 27 years in prison. Joining him will be Bob Morgan and Matt Collinsworth, Director of the Kentucky Folk Art Museum. Tickets go on sale February 13th.