Friday, March 26, 2010

The Creative Moment

I had the pleasure to attend Katie Ludwig's, also known as Lady Pajama, super fun Creative Moment class at the Zootown Arts & Community Center.  As a typical artists I showed up late and got distracted by all the the great art and artists at the ZACC.  Nonetheless, as I made it into the classroom I found Katie and piles of supplies on the table.  This class is about opening up to art where a synthesis of writing, drawing, object exploration, and works on paper will boost your creative potential.  The only thing you need to bring is a sketch book and yourself as Katie and the ZACC provide all the other materials.  After a brief warm up, we moved into the main project of the night.  The project took up 3 pages of your sketchbook and started with creating a horizon line on each of the pages.  Then we broke off into pairs and began interviewing our partners while drawing their portrait and writing words from the interview.  It was really amazing watching each person get to know the other while seeing a drawing emerge from the page.  Katie instructed us that this drawing is not about making the person look correct, but is more based on feeling, having fun and being in the moment with your mark making device. After everyone had interviewed each other, filling up their three pages we finished by drawing, stamping or transferring the name of the person onto the portrait. Katie then ended the class by reading to us... alls I needed was my onsie, some milk and I would have been a kid again.

The people who have been going regularly to the class have already filled up a large portion of their sketchbooks.  For example, Bruce who does not call himself an artists, especially not a drawer, has a great looking sketchbook.  When asked what his inspiration was for attending this class he responded by saying that " as a woodworker he was often told that his work was creative, so he thought that this class would be a great opportunity to further develop his creativeness."

If you want to attend this class show up to the ZACC at 6pm on the LAST thursday of the month.  And don't worry if you haven't been to one yet, as this was my first time and with the warmth and acceptance of Katie and the ZACC you'll fit right into "The Creative Moment".

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A letter from ZACC founder, Hanna Hannan

Hanna Hannan

Zootown Arts Community Center 501(c)(3)
Northside Neighborhood Revitalization in Missoula through Arts and Culture
Statistics Provided by the City of Missoula

The ZACC is really excited about Missoula Cultural Council taking a leading role in organizing all of us for a voice in the Downtown Master Plan and the Cultural Plan as a group. I was asked to submit about the ZACC and tell the story of our growing neighborhood. There are so many artists living on or near the North First Street area that last year we decided to make our (often times confusing) location known to the rest of Missoula. We called it the Northside Revitalization Project. The Montana Community Development Corporation and the City of Missoula have both taken note of the revitalized energy emerging in the past years. It’s quaint older houses, diversity of people, and the anchor of the Kettlehouse local watering hole helps!

Continues after the jump

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


If you're interested in working on a Missoula Art and Culture Alliance, Cultural planning, arts districts, live-work spaces, etc... You are invited to an informational meeting at the Missoula Public Library on Tuesday, April 6th at 6:30 pm. I will present information about what cultural planning is, and how a long-term plan will help our arts communities, create economic development opportunities for Missoula, and create jobs. The presentation portion will be about 20-25 minutes, and then I will pose some questions for discussion. This first portion of the meeting will be helpful for anyone that is simply curious about this topic and wants to know more. The latter half of the meeting will be more about volunteering and serving on a committee. We'll keep time for each topic, and end the meeting at 7:30.

At around 7:15, I will propose a timeline for the next couple months, to give you an idea of what kind of work is needed right now, so you can ascertain your ability to volunteer or serve on the committee or other work group. I will stay until 8pm to answer further questions about the committee, which is now officially a part of the Missoula Cultural Council! I will also have links and handouts galore.

See you there,

Debby Florence

Monday, March 8, 2010

First Friday, March 5th

This month's First Friday was much more varied than usual.. and it was impossible to go see everything. Each venue was packed with people, the streets were lively, and I daresay it was almost too crowded to get to see much art. The whole thing starts with Mark Heyka looking at the First Friday Gallery Walking Guide I created and distributed all over, and wraps up with Charles Martin and I having a shoot-out. My favorite thing--- every environment I went into was different from the last: I listened to Irish music, then on to Gamelon music, and then to a rock band. Then out onto the streets to meet lobbyists, protestors and petition holders. All taking place almost simultaneously. My final stop was the Ceretana, where you'll see Jonathan's work in the photos.

Note that First Friday was packed, but its NOT tourist season. Thus we can deduce that the experience is meaningful for residents, and lots of them. This is very heartening. I'm no photographer, so trying to whisk my camera around while also participating was a challange to say the least. I feel that these are (blurry) pinpoint references to a (kind of blurry) 360-degree landscape. And you're missing out on a whole ton of interesting jibberjabber.

Anyway, on with the pictures.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Austin's Cultural Plan

I'm reading this today: Create Austin, The City of Austin's Cultural Plan, and thought I would share it. The level of detail is fantastic for those trying to get a more clear understanding about cultural planning. Check out their work plan.  Looking forward to First Friday tonight, and plan to make a post about it!  Take my survey!  :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cultural Plan Update:

Take My Cultural Plan Survey Here!

Read about the Cultural Plan and the Downtown Master Plan here

Since February 13th, I have spoken with over 40 arts and cultural leaders in Missoula about this issue. When I say leaders, I mean people who run community arts projects, people who show their art, people who perform often in our community, people who organize arts events, promote bands, run businesses. Also those who teach young people, use the arts to heal , and those who raise cultural awareness. Some are members of large organizations that contribute a ton to our city, some are involved with city government, some work at the University. Within about 2 weeks, I've talked directly with at least 40 people who play impactful roles in our community. And I have appointments with more. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has taken their time to give me feedback! Your encouragement and thoughtful input has been invaluable to me!

Speaking of which, I would like to get some of that on paper, so I can start to build a strong case. That's why I just created a survey-- It will take you 3 minutes + to fill out. The only reason it will take you more than 3 minutes is because I created optional spaces for comments. And I would LOVE your comments. But you dont have to. At least say if you agree with the idea of a cultural plan. Take the survey here. Its so short and it WILL matter. I need a pile of stuff to plop on people's desks! ---WOOSH! --If you're into this idea, I cant make a difference without you behind me. You are my supporting evidence.

Also, I am planning a meeting for those who want to get more involved. If you're interested in attending, email me. It is tentativly going to be Tuesday March 23, in the evening, so save the date!

Spread the word! Thanks!