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Creativity Circles Forming

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Facilitated by Margaret Blanchard

“Personal creativity is a continuous process of bringing forth a changing vision of oneself and of oneself in relation to the world.” –Jean Baker Miller

“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, ‘It might have been.’” –Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

MONTPELIER — In Vermont we joke that behind every waiter, salesperson, farmer, teacher, social worker, legislator  or organizer is a creative soul who sings, draws, tells stories, acts, sews, designs, gardens or invents. To provide more time and space for our creative selves, creativity circles will be starting soon in Montpelier at the Center for Arts and Learning and/or at the Unitarian Church.

Rather than falling into rampant pessimism as some pundits would have us do, we plan to recognize and nurture the inspiration, positive power and restorative nature of creativity, whether it focuses on long held dreams or recent inspirations. Following the consciousness-raising processes of modern liberation movements, where small groups met to share their own stories, these creativity circles will encourage support, sharing of resources, and networking within small diverse groups. Whether the process leads to personal insight or communal engagement, individual fulfillment or social solutions, sharing ideas and strategies can lead to surprising and transformational progress.

This creativity can mean anything new to the creator in the form of projects: writing, art, music, drama, crafts and gardening; educational plans and programs; social action initiatives; climate solutions; designs, organizational experiments; inventions fanciful or practical. Groups of 9 to 12 participants will choose meeting times and topics which fit participants’ needs, while making collaborative decisions about how their group functions. Guidelines for support, introductory exercises and resources will be provided. Although there is no fee, participants will be asked to donate toward rental of meeting space.

Facilitator: Dr. Margaret Blanchard, Professor Emerita of Graduate Studies at Vermont College’s Master of Arts Program in Creativity. Margaret has extensive experience working with diverse, interdisciplinary groups of adults of all ages, interests and backgrounds. She is a writer, stained-glass artisan, photographer and, as friends and colleagues assert, “an idea generator and supporter of the highest order.”

Orientation sessions will be held at the Center for Arts and Learning at 46 Barre Street, Saturday, 4 p.m., March 5 and at the Unitarian Church at 130 Main Street, Monday, March 7, 7 p.m.. As they form, groups will choose their own meeting times. If you are interested in joining a circle but cannot attend either of these meetings, please send a message with contact information and/or questions to           margaret@sover.net.

Tom Brown is contributing editor of The Bridge. ..... You can contact him at tom@montpelierbridge.com