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My dear readers,
Greetings & Salutations! Welcome to the Military Spouse Fine Artists Network blog. Let me introduce the network- how it came to be and what to expect.
It all started with two little moments of clarity and three converging inspirations.
The little moments of clarity came in the form of a wish, and then the realization that I could probably grant my own wish with a little (barrel of) elbow grease. I wished that my military lifestyle didn’t make my work as a modern dance choreographer seem so cursing impossible. With each PCS, I wrestled with the Sisyphean challenge of where to find dancers, space, and performance opportunities. This was a real problem, but it also cast a large, scary shadow that almost ended my artistic work. I wished there was an easy way to connect with the lovely creative underbellies in the communities that I found myself landing in- a way to quickly find my artistic tribe without endless, searching cold calls and having to sell myself hard to people who already had amazing local circles and contacts locked down. I mourned for the amazing, organically formed community I was a part of in Chicago after college and grad school and then chose to leave because I’m in mad love with this dude in the Navy.
Thankfully, though, three inspiring happenings converged, cut through the self-pity, and spiked an epiphany in me. First, my dear college roommate’s hard work, talent, and foresight to surround herself with other amazing women recently paid off big time when her show, Teachers, was picked up by TV Land and turned into a legit TV show. Second, I recently had the opportunity to create a fulfilling new piece of choreography called Phoenix Nests and see it performed by talented dancers in a beautiful space. Third, I recently dedicated myself to writing daily Morning Pages, which fostered the mental clarity and space for an epiphany to emerge. And, voila, magic spell complete! I’ll write more on these three catalysts and their convergence in a future post, but for now all you need to know is that they resulted in a genuine “Ah-ha!” moment in which I realized that, duh, in this modern-day hyper-connected climate my wish for a ready-made network of artists is a wish I am perfectly capable of granting for myself and others. And tra-la, MilspoFAN was born!
And then, of course the obligatory doubt and fear bubbled up. Luckily, I have an amazing milspo friend who told me that it was genuinely a great idea and started naming off other milspo artists who might be interested in joining. She’s magical. Probably a fairy godmother, actually.
Anyway, I was delighted to find that I’m not alone as an artistically-minded military spouse. With Fairy Godmother’s help and the launch of a simple Facebook Group, I’m meeting more and more military spouse artists in many disciplines, many of whom also labor under the assumption that that we are each a rare bird. This perceived isolation is not an asset to most artists (or human beings, actually). That’s why I’ve launched the Military Spouse Fine Artists Network- so you and I can easily connect and thrive in a vibrant, inspiring creative community.
But enough about how the idea was born. Let’s get into the meat of this introduction. Everyone, meet MilspoFAN- the Military Spouse Fine Artists Network. MilspoFAN, everyone.
Who is this network for, anyway? Clearly, it’s for military spouses who are also artists, right? Here’s what I mean when I say artist: You self-identify as an artist. You see the work that you make (or that you want to make) as art. You have a basic (or elaborate) philosophy as an artist, even if it is constantly evolving. You see your work as more than craft or commercial design. You may be a visual artist, choreographer, dancer, actor, technical theatre artist, musician, poet and writer, film-maker, animator, jewelry maker, multimedia artist, digital artist, interdisciplinary artist, performance artist… who am I missing? You’re in!
Also, although right in the title I say “military spouse,” any active duty or veteran service member artists are welcome as well. Interested community members are also encouraged to keep up with us on the blog and on Facebook and comment on what they see posted.
Great, so with that clarified, let me tell you what’s next on the blog. I have a few more introductory posts coming up elaborating on my plans and vision for the group before launching into regular content.
Look for these upcoming introductory blog posts:
- Goals of the network
- Distinguishing between the Blog, the Facebook Group, and the Facebook Page
- What kind of regular content to expect on the blog
- Challenges of being an artist and a military spouse
- The importance of our artistic work
- About me
- How you can contribute and participate
- Future Dreams and Goals for the network
In the meantime, be sure to keep up with us on the Facebook Group and like the Facebook Page. I hope you are as jazzed as I am about this network and the connections to be made across the globe. Thanks for reading!