Notes from the Creative Edge - Apr 2018

 
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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,

Recently, I was recently talking with a board member of a local non-profit about our new mission statement “Community Through Creativity” and where that could take ValleyArts. He asked if we were still an arts organization. I replied yes, but creativity is so much larger than that.
“How so?” was his next question.
I replied, “Creativity opens so many more doors.”
Take, for instance, the creative food movement and inventive ways to grow food – on sculptures, in hay bales, attached to walls, in milk crates and all sorts of containers. Creativity is not owned just by those who paint and draw.
Creativity and health: what does that relationship look like? How can we creatively promote health? We all need food to survive, be successful in daily lives, and accomplish our goals. No one can be creative if they aren’t healthy, and staying healthy sometimes requires creative solutions. Busy lives make convenience food attractive because of its ease. Unfortunately, convenience food is often loaded with ingredients that are not body friendly – high fructose corn syrup and trans fatty acids are two that spring to mind.
ValleyArts wants to challenge the notion that eating healthy fresh food is too expensive or time consuming – and challenge ourselves and the community to find creative solutions to eating healthier. Growing your own food might seem intimidating to some, but it doesn’t have to be and it has many positive outcomes - it’s cheaper, fresher, and healthier.
For our first exploration into food as a creative movement, we are hosting an urban farming workshop with two local food creatives, Bushie and Shujaa, on Saturday May 19th from 2pm to 4pm. They will walk through what urban farming can bring to an individual, family and community. Self-sustainability, farming methods in an urban setting, crop selection, and community building will all be discussed. Plus, the first 15 people to RSVP will leave with a pot, soil, and something to grow.
We hope this is the first in a series of community workshops which will combine health and creativity.
So, back to that conversation with my board member colleague:
“But how does that all relate to the arts and ValleyArts?”, he queried.
“It relates to creativity; for if you are healthy, you will be able to be creative, cooking for health takes creativity, growing your own food and finding ways to do it can be creative”.
My inquisitor left with plenty of ‘food’ for thought. I am hoping I got him thinking creatively about our conversation.
Creatively Yours,
Jeremy Moss