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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

CreativeMornings "Fantasy"

CreativeMornings "Fantasy"

Tim O'Toole and Will Ritter took the fake it 'til you make it approach to turn their fantasy of better political advertising into a reality with the opening of their ad agency, Poolhouse. Choosing to be based in Richmond, they're inspired by an environment that's less political, and more creative. Less than 2 weeks after the election, they touched on the campaign advertising of both candidates, confessing their disillusionment that the most impactful, emotionally-driven, truth-based advertising lost to a poorly designed baseball cap. There's no denying that as a creative, with an outcome that defies all logic and reason, you start to question if the work really does matter. Poolhouse believes that it does. And we do too.

Venue: La Diff  |  Videography: Poolhouse  |  Photography: Olivia Walthall

CreativeMornings "Transparency"

CreativeMornings "Transparency"

Local street muralist Mickael Broth took us through his journey from young rebel to accomplished artis. In 2001, Mickael moved to Richmond with the intention of painting as much graffiti as possible, but his involvement in vandalism was halted abruptly with his arrest in 2004 and subsequent ten-month jail term for his crimes. While incarcerated, Mickael developed deeper concepts into his art which directly inspired his now distinct style. He currently has a successful and active career in the arts with nearly 100 public murals throughout Richmond and the US. He's helped curate multiple public art festivals and co-founded Welcoming Walls, a project dedicated to bringing large-scale public art to the highways and gateways of Richmond Virginia in an effort to boost civic pride, tourism, and the city’s reputation as a capital of creativity.

Venue: VCUArts Depot  |  Videography: Double Take  |  Photography: Joey Wharton

Creative Mornings "Magic"

Creative Mornings "Magic"

Jason Lefton, founder of BIG SECRET, a creative laser studio, reminded us that magic is always around us, it's remembering to see it that's the hard part. Presenting a demo of the word "Magic" engraved on a stack of pancakes, Jason showed us the simple beauty and impact his lasers have on the world. Producing a wide variety of projects for artists, designers, ad agencies, he's even done work for David Copperfield himself (yes, the magician.) He and his creative friends etch, cut and mark an array of materials including wood, paper, acrylic, glass and fabric and enjoy experimenting with non-traditional mediums as well such as leaves, shoes and food.   

Venue: The Dome  |  Videography: Max R. Schlickenmeyer & Craig Zirpolo  |  Photography: McAbbott Studios

CREATIVE MORNINGS "WEIRD"

CREATIVE MORNINGS "WEIRD"

R. Anthony Harris, co-founder and creative director of RVA Magazine, shared his wild, weird adventure on evolving an idea into reality. Not long after he graduated from VCU, he invested his savings in RVA Magazine to showcase local artists and feature short fiction, music writing and culture stories. Now entering a decade of success, he states, "RVA Magazine was founded to give movements, people and ideas a platform. My main goal was I didn't want talented artists I knew to keep leaving Richmond." The magazine was the first to use and has been credited with popularizing the term “RVA,” which is now the city’s official moniker and stands for a progressive, diverse and creative city. No question, RVA wouldn't be what it is today without R. Anthony Harris.

Venue: BES Studios  |  Videography: BES Studios  |  Photography: Nathan Mitchell