Welcome back, Creative Squirrels!
Has this ever happened to you? You’re a couple of months away from a PCS move when you meet a lovely human being. Someone who would make an inspiring artistic collaborator and friend. Oh, the things you could do and create, if only you weren’t moving! You daydream wistfully (or pissed-fully?) about the paintings, music, or choreography that will never be. You imagine working long-distance with this new muse, but know that it won’t be the same. The worst part is that this person has been right under your nose the whole time you’ve lived at your current duty station. You just never happened to meet until now.
It’s frustrating! It’s stupid! It happens every time!
It’s one of the reasons I’m asking for your help today. Let’s work together to build up the Military Spouse Fine Artists Network, so that we can meet each other more quickly and get to work (and play!). There are tons of little things that you can do to help. Because of the nature of the beast, your participation and contributions, however small they may feel, are absolutely crucial to the success and power of the network. In addition, I am looking for some extra help this summer (because we are having a baby and PCS-ing cross-country), if you’re interested in something that requires a little more of a time investment.
Amazing artistic friendships, international conferences, MilspoFAN artistic grants- remember all those crazy dreams I talked about last week? All of that is only possible if you help me get this bird off the ground. Starting with some baby steps. So scan through the list below and see what you can do to help a mother out.
Here are some ideas of how you can contribute to the cause:
- Spread the word! This is by far the most important task, and it’s so easy! Just talk this network up.
- Participate in the Facebook group– this couldn’t be easier! Just a few little comments can spark a storm of inspiring activity because of algorithms and stuff. Contributions don’t have to be long, a sentence or two will do. Here are some ideas of what to post:
- Tell what you do
- Respond to one of the blog posts
- Tell us why MilspoFAN matters to you and what you hope to gain by joining us
- Tell us something you saw today that was beautiful or made you laugh
- What project are you currently working on?
- What’s happening in your local art scene?
- Describe your daily creative ritual
- Vent about challenges in your creative process
- Comment on the blog posts!– Super simple, right there below the text. You got it!
- Write a guest post for the blog– Blog posts can range from a couple paragraphs to a few page in length with images, video, or other media. Here is our chance to go into more depth about some of the topics mentioned above. Other ideas include:
- Celebrate your work or the work of another member
- Tell us about your creative process in more detail
- Describe a current or past project
- Offer tips and advice: What have you learned as a military spouse artist that you wish you’d known years ago?
- Spread inspiration and encouragement
- Share relevant news stories
- Write an arts organization profile- is there an artist or arts organization in your area that you love working with?
- Donate some images, illustrations, or other media to spice up the blog and Facebook page
- Volunteer to help me out this summer– I will NEED some help with the blog, social media, outreach, and organization, especially in July, August, and September.
- Host a meetup! (This might be the one I’m looking forward to the most.) I can’t wait to meet some of your shining faces! Meetups can be formal or casual. Some ideas:
- Your event (art opening, dance concert, open mic, art party, class) – you’re doing it anyway, so invite us!
- A workshop specifically for MilspoFAN- teach us a little tiny bit about what you love, whether it’s flamenco dance, creative writing, or portrait painting
- A small networking event- bring those business cards!
- Field trip! -visit a museum or see a performance and then grab drinks and reflect on it afterwards
- Purely social – organize a family-friendly picnic on the beach (watch out for seagulls!) or dinner a favorite local restaurant
- Write an email or letter to an arts organization you have worked with telling them about MilspoFAN
- Collaborate with another MilspoFAN member on a creative project and mention us when you present your work
- Send me chocolates or words of encouragement!
See, pretty painless and there’s a wide range of effort and commitment requirements to choose from. Remember, and I cannot stress this enough, that EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS! You can connect with me through a Facebook private message or via the contact page [here] to get involved.
Start right now with a single share on Facebook or a comment on this blog post. Right now… the blog post is over….ready…. go! (and thank you!)
[Up next: A bit about me… who is this “Jessica” character, anyway? And why did she call me a Squirrel?!]