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CreativeMornings "Death"

CreativeMornings "Death"

Ashley Hawkins is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the amazing Studio Two Three (S23), a nonprofit workspace that provides artists the tools, space, and resources to build successful careers. From humble beginnings, Studio Two Three has grown to a 13,000 square foot facility, providing over 100 artists with 24/7 access, thousands of students with art education, a retail store featuring art by Richmond artists, and S23 To-Go, a mobile printmaking studio styled after an ice cream truck. In her heartfelt talk, Ashley shared her perspective on creativity being a fight against death and loss: "I think the bravest choice we can make is to live a creative life, and make the sacrifices that it entails."

CreativeMornings "Pioneer"

CreativeMornings "Pioneer"

In our social media obsessed and tech-driven world, we're used to being dazzled by beautifully curated Instagram feeds and glossy digital experiences. That's why it was so refreshing to have Evrim, Dogu, co-owner of Sub Rosa Bakery, speak about the humble art of baking bread. Born of Turkish parents, Evrim took a detour from a career in education to open a bakery with his sister, and is entirely self taught. Taking a traditional approach, they work directly with farmers to grow varieties of wheat, rye and corn which is stone milled in house and incorporated into their breads and pastries. We live in an age when it is rare to come across something truly real. Because real isn't perfect. It's often ugly with a lot of hard work and long hours. Thanks to pioneers like Evrim, we can hopefully continue to shape a community here of real substance.

Venue: VCUArts Depot  |  Videography: Damien Kincannon  |  Photography: Amar Talwar

CreativeMornings "Compassion"

CreativeMornings "Compassion"

Heather Winkle, VP of Design for Card at Capital One, is helping to change the face of corporate creative work. Instead of financial management being a necessary evil, she believes it can be humane, aspirational, satisfying, meaningful - maybe even transparent. Like us, Heather spent a year traveling around the world. Her experiences taught her that in a land of uncertainty, you can always find a way to connect, share common ground and move forward. By observing, aligning your perspective, and authentically caring, you can not only feel with compassion but act with compassion. Heather's wish to the audience was that, "hopefully you can harness your creative energy in a way that is sustainable and exciting and use that to do a lot of great things."

Venue: Dogtown Dance Theatre |  Videography: Off The Wire Studios  |  Photography: Jeff Wingo

CreativeMornings "Genius"

CreativeMornings "Genius"

Harmony and understanding, peace and love abides. Truly, one of the most inspiring CreativeMornings we've had here in RVA. Rodney Williams, Director of Dance at Longwood University, is a master educator, choreographer, composer, singer, and dancer. More than anything, Rodney is a performer. With hypnotic songs and hilarious tales, Rodney showed us the genius of his craft by simply being who he is. Unabashed and full of passion, he offered up his soul. A rare gift of human-ness in a time when we, as a people, seem more disconnected than ever. "This thing about living is more about giving," says Rodney. "We have to tell the story. We are the artists. We all have a purpose. We have to connect with the things that make us human. We have to connect with the things that make us love; that make us come together in unity." 

Venue: Science Museum of Virginia  |  Videography: Max Schlickenmyer, assisted by Louis Handler  |  Photography: Olivia Walthall

CreativeMornings "Equality"

CreativeMornings "Equality"

Matt Johnson of The Frontier Project took us on a journey through different stories of people’s struggles for equality. From American criminal turned country singer-songwriter, Glen Shirley, to former US Navy SEAL coming out as trans woman, Kristen Beck, each story conveyed how in a moment, life can change, deeply and profoundly. Indeed, the struggle for equality is alive and well today. To envision the world we want to live in, we must learn from these stories in the past and not only believe “we will get there some day,” but take action to ensure it does.

Venue: Main Street Station  |  Videography: Antonio Knoxx  |  Photography: Sandra Jones

CreativeMornings "Survival"

CreativeMornings "Survival"

Peter Fraser, owner of 37 Ideas, is a designer, educator, cycling fanatic and family man with "an urban heart and rural soul." He shared his interpretation of what survival has meant to him during his life's journey, from growing up on the streets of Doylestown and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to opening up his own architecture and interior design studio here in Richmond 12 years ago. Offering up some sage advice, he says to reach our true potential, we can't just survive, we have to prosper. We prosper when we're innately curious. When we're curious, it leads to vision. And in order to have that vision fully realized, we must be creative.

Venue: Dogtown Dance Theatre  |  Videography: Philip Barry  |  Photography: Laura Gould

CreativeMornings "Serendipity"

CreativeMornings "Serendipity"

Dave Gau is a true jack of all trades. Working as a motion graphics artist, animator, improviser, facilitator, director and cartoonist, the one constant that brings it all together is laughter. His goal is to connect, whenever possible, through the power of humor. Dave took us through serendipitous moments that created the life he has now - from his first college roommate becoming his best friend, to getting cast in a play where he met his wife to landing an improv gig that launched his passion for stand-up comedy. He encouraged us to give improv a try in our own lives to make our own possibilities for serendipity.

Venue:  VCUArts Depot  |  Videography: Tobi Oluwo, The Boy In Time  |  Photography: Shawn Stone

CreativeMornings "Beyond"

CreativeMornings "Beyond"

Rupa Singh, owner of Love This, believes in goods that do good. In a vintage Airstream trailer, she inspires us to make ethical shopping choices. Her shop highlights brands that place equal value in the design of their products as they do their social, environmental and economic impact. She believes we all have huge purchasing power and can make a difference with every dollar. As a zero waste amma (mom) to two little girls and an organizational wife to an altruistic architect, she is 100% committed to encouraging thoughtful consumption. In her words, "If each of us were given a choice to make a positive impact or a negative impact with our purchases, we’d always choose the positive impact."

Venue: The Hofheimer  |  Videography: The Herrintons  |  Photography: Caroline Martin Photography

CreativeMornings "Taboo"

CreativeMornings "Taboo"

Duran Chavis is engaged in coordinating innovative and dynamic initiatives around the topics of urban agriculture and local food systems in a culturally relevant way. In 2012, his first community garden led to the development of urban farms, urban orchards, urban vineyards and work in poverty mitigation, workforce development, health and racial equity. Currently serving as Community Engagement Coordinator for Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, he is responsible for helping empower individuals to create the change they see fit for their communities. As Duron challenged us with truths about drugs, child poverty and food deserts in RVA, he stated that the only thing more frightening than speaking the truth, is not speaking at all.

Venue: Virginia Repertory Theatre  |  Videography: Double Take |  Photography: Michael Grayson Photography

CreativeMornings "Moments"

CreativeMornings "Moments"

Kristen Ziegler is a professional organizer and owner of her own company, Minima. With over ten years of combined experience in the organization and design fields, she delivers spaces that are both functional and beautiful. In her talk, she explained that minimalism isn't necessarily an aesthetic (though she does subscribe to the "less is more" philosophy), but rather, a holistic approach to life. At the heart of it, Kristen taught us that minimalism is really about "living a mindful, intentional life - giving a great deal of thought to every single object, person and commitment you make space for." In that sense, we have the opportunity to maximize each and every moment that makes up our lives.  

Venue: Art Works  |  Videography: Philip Barry |  Photography: Amber Parker

CreativeMornings "Mystery"

CreativeMornings "Mystery"

Kelli Lemon, Social Entrepreneur and RVA Enthusiast, inspires us to go around the question mark to get to the “why” of what we’re doing. With tales from her early days as a VCU sports correspondent and Business Manager of Mama J's restaurant, to her current gigs as on air radio personality and host of the original weekly podcast, "Coffee with Strangers," Kelli talked about the importance of solving the mystery of "The Why" - as in why we do what we do. Ask questions. Go around the question mark. Say "yes" to what you want and "nah" to what you don't. Because the main reason to discover "The Why" is to check in with yourself and make sure you're doing what you want to do so you can be who you want to be. 

Venue: Byrd Theatre |  Videography: Matt Pochily of Coffee with Strangers with assistance from Philip Barry |  Photography: Jenny McQueen of Capture Photography

CreativeMornings "Sound"

CreativeMornings "Sound"

Joe Alexander, Chief Creative Officer of The Martin Agency, discusses how sound touches you in ways that images can't, elevating work beyond the ordinary. Sharing commercials from Oreo, Geico and Purina among others, Joe demonstrates the importance of sound in storytelling - how it connects emotionally with an audience whether by music, voice or sound design. Whatever the execution, when done right, sound goes directly to the heart. It has the power to surprise and take you to places you didn't think you could go. 

Venue: VCUArts Depot  |  Videography: Glossy  |  Photography: Diego ValdezOlivia Walthall