In the arts we are taught to focus on what we don’t do well. We spend our entire careers developing our creativity being critiqued and told to do better if we want to reach the top. While I am sure that others in their professional development experience the same thing too, in the arts, rarely, do we stop and celebrate the bright spots of our journey. Our learned behavior is to focus on what’s wrong not what’s right. Seeing what’s right comes far less naturally to us.
And for most of us when we do focus on what’s right, thanks to all our not so positive learned behavior, we struggle to be “shameless self promoters” and share it with others. And yet, it is when we truly express the joy of what we value- by giving praise to our own work, as well as those around us that are excelling and making us and our world better- that others will learn about not just what we do, but what we truly believe in. This will give newcomers the insight they need to more quickly choose to join us and/or support us.
So today is a day to celebrate the bright spots for the IAE. By the end of today IAE will have completed its 1st year of school! Way to go Nicole Pfeifer, Stacie Randall, Nancy Plummer, Osiris Khepera, Lance Brett Hall, Candis Robinson, Sam Kirk, Brenda Starr Woods, Susan Barahia, Steve Sowinski, Jaime Reda, T’wanna Walker, Josephine McEntee!
And by the end of today my IAE chief collaborator Joyce Thomas and I will have also successfully completed teaching our first year of curriculum and gained immeasurable insights into how to sharpen, refine and deepen our students experience of their learning for next year.
And even more remarkably, our students birthed, on April 22nd, a new IAE body part- the IAEOU– a co-creation shared maker space- and it has resulted, already, in the leasing of a 4000 square foot space and our build-out is already underway. IAE students have taken the lead in finding and developing the space, recruiting new members, writing the by-laws, and managing the cash flow for the project. We are on track to open on August 1st- less than 4 months after our “idea” was conceived in class. Pretty amazing, really.
I am so proud of the work we are doing and we have a few more bright spots too. Princess Taghrid’s Institute for Arts and Handicrafts Development in Amman Jordan is developing an academic partnership with us, with Balqa University extending accreditation. And we have an almost finalize U.S. university accreditation partner too. (Can’t quite tell you who just yet- but will be able to soon.)
So celebrate your bright spots. Make sure to let your great work, passions and values hang out for everyone to see. It’s a lot easier to attract more of what you want when you focus on what’s working, valued and “right” instead of what’s not.