“If we all combined our talent and our resources, we’d find that there are over a thousand of us in the Twin Cities. We can make our ideas happen sooner than we think, combining our interests with the folks who are already doing similar work.”
That was the driver for Keno Evol, Executive Director of Black Table Arts, and Melanie Walby, Design Director of Pollen Midwest, to host the first “The Meetup MN” (#TheMeetupMN).
According to Walby, “We started this because about once a month, we hear from a black/brown creative in the Twin Cities who wants to start something; a lecture series, a co-working space, an agency, or an organization. Each idea has a common theme of creating space for black and brown creatives.”
Their idea was just to create an opportunity for a few creatives of color in the Twin Cities to connect; however, a few quickly turned into a few dozen, and last week some 50 or 60 people convened in Ken Fireberg’s photo studio in Minneapolis. These creatives included designers, film makers, photographers, marketing people, web developers, students, spoken word artists, painters, cartoonists, product designers, engineers, musicians and more.
They came to simply hear each other’s hopes and dreams, plans and ideas. People made connections, discussed potential collaborations and what they’d like to see happen. They asked for help with projects and offered help for others. They shared upcoming events as well as all the organizations and initiatives that the group should try to support.
This is what leadership is all about — seeing a need, creating an opportunity, and making “our ideas happen sooner than we think.”
MCAD and the Master of Arts in Sustainable Design program, represented by Holly Robbins of ThisIsFolly,helped sponsor the event along with @BlackbirdRevolt and @KenFribergPhoto, who offered their studio space.