Notes from the Creative Edge - Mar 2018

Each month, our Executive Director, Jeremy Moss, writes a note to you, our supporters, sharing stories about his view from the creative edge here at ValleyArts. If you have thoughts to share with him, drop him a message at jeremymoss@valleyartsnj.com. Meanwhile, enjoy this month's...
notes from the creative edge
Friends of ValleyArts,

artfullbean one ear celebrationAs I sit here pondering the artfullbean cafe's first anniversary celebrations, I began to reflect on ValleyArts, the organization, and the fact it will be celebrating its tenth year in 2018.
In ten years, a lot has happened, each of the previous executive directors brought something unique to the organization, and now it is my turn. In recent months ValleyArts has shifted its focus from being an arts organization to being a creative community organization. We have combined our tagline and mission statement into these three words: "Community Through Creativity".
Steve Jones acoustic guitarWhile art brings together people from different walks of life, creativity has the ability to bring together even greater numbers of people from all walks of life. The epiphany happened when I was attending a careers day at the Orange High School. Speaking to students in an art class, it became apparent that many students did not see their future having anything to do with art. With interest waning, I asked the student closest to People meeting in cafeme, “what are you thinking of as a career?” “A police detective”, he replied. I answered him, “ah, the art of detection”. I went around the whole class asking the same question: to the girl who wanted to be a nurse, “the art of healing”, to the boy who wanted to be an architect, “the art of building.” You get the picture.
After the last student answered, I addressed the class with these words: “You can be creative in whichever career you choose, therefore you will be creatives”. That was the moment when "Community Through Creativity" was born.
At ten years old, ValleyArts feels like an organization approaching adulthood. We have the Community Gallery, a beautiful space hosting all kinds of events and art shows. We rent studio spaces to creative entrepreneurs, have an internet radio station called ValleyD Radio, and have our amazing boutique cafe, the artfullbean. The ‘bean is home to delicious coffees and teas, all sourced from small independent and creative companies, delicious baked goods from a creative local bakery, and bespoke gifts from our creative member artists in our boutique. Our spaces have become a meeting place for creatives to talk, propose and plan the next exciting thing in the Valley Arts District!
Join us at the many events we produce, partner and collaborate with, and add more creativity to your daily life.
Creatively Yours,
Jeremy Moss