Creative communities

           What does the creative process look like in a collaborative setting? In some ways, it may resemble the creative process in an individual setting that is brainstorming, writing, painting, building, or doing whatever else it is you or your organization does to express itself.

            But what does it mean to collaborate in a community setting? How does it differ from collaborating as an individual? It means, first of all, utilizing a group process of creativity that includes all types of feedback from multiple stakeholders. We have to seek out the voices that speak to us. These voices may not all be good, but their voices matter because we all have influence on one another.

            The collaborative process differs, sometimes, in a collaborative setting individual dialogue in that we are not always interested in coming up with a material project. While we may be working on a product or project, when we work collaboratively, we are also very concerned with the human side. That is to say, we are as interested in promoting a human relationship as we are with building something that is tangible. It is important to continue to focus on both because if we fail to do so, we simply make an idol of the product or project itself, thus directing our attention to the product/project instead of letting our energy flow to what is really important.

            Utilizing a dialogue, we might be able to let some ideas come from our stakeholders. Some ideas will be planted in an ideology which may not be correct. On the other hand, perhaps some of us do believe in this particular ideology and wish to defend it. Dialogue helps us to critically examine our values, deciding which ones are productive, and provides us a way to move forward and/or to know that we are on the right path.

            We also consider, in this, that many people, not just ourselves, have a stake in our process. What we do has the potential for impact. In fact, if what we do does not have some type of impact, it probably is not worth doing. Our work, therefore, seeks to help people with their physical, intellectual, or spiritual needs or perhaps a combination of all three. This is also true of the individual creative process, but in the collaborative creative process, there are raised stakes because there are more stakeholders. Our collaborative creative community is meant to reach a broad audience, not just a privileged few.

            Are there other creative collaborative measures you have undertaken?


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