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A review: The First Change Makers' Rehearsal Dinner

On June 12th, I facilitated the first Change Maker's Rehearsal Dinner at The Pauline's Tea Bar Apothecary. In a previous blog, I wrote about the idea behind the Change Makers' Rehearsal Dinners. You can read the backstory and sign up to be on the invitation list here.


Sixteen folks gathered for the event. The tea bar provided the perfect place to gather for comfort, creativity, and inspiration. The programming included the following activities:

  • Gather, Get Teas and Sweets, optional participation in a self guided creativity prompt

  • Welcome from Sherry Waters. Theme interpretation on the power of folktales and storytelling by me.

  • Visual Artist Presentation by Shayla Locke

  • Storytelling and Embodiment by Mia McClain and Camerin Watson

  • Discussion and small group creativity session facilitated by me.

  • Thank you’s, invitation to submit to the follow up showcase, parting gifts, evaluation moment, sign up to be invited again.

There were moments of thoughtful reflection, interconnection, and meaningful pause. The event did not lend itself to completing a task or solving the problems of the world. It did serve as a catalyst, generating ideas and possibilities for the future.


As a follow up, I sent an email to the participants:


"There are more of these types of events coming. The idea of the rehearsal dinner is to present an idea and to creatively work through facets of the idea. From beginning to end, if you only participated in the rehearsal dinner, my hope is that you will have enjoyed a meaningful and inspirational event. I trust, though, because you're the creatives you are, the idea continues to grow and emerge in you and your work. If you start to see something emerge that you want to share with others, you can debut a project, idea, work in progress, or finished piece at the follow up showcase. Here's the link to apply for the showcase.

Perhaps there's a collective forming. It isn't everyday that we get to be gathered in a beautiful space with such vibrant and inspiring people. One goal of the rehearsal dinners is to begin cultivating a list of artists and creative change agents who might like to form a collective for the purpose of learning, partnership, rebel rousing, and beautiful justice making. I imagine that a collective would coalesce around the practices of art and culture bearing, rooted in communities of place, tradition or spirit. As a collective, we would call for social and economic justice and are work to dismantle all forms of oppression through our creative practices and our connection to one another. I hope that the collective will take inspiration from groups like: Highlander Center and Alternate ROOTS. If you like what you're reading, you can email me at iamhelmsie@gmail.com to let me know you'd like to stay tuned for more information on the collective that is forming.

Your feedback has been helpful. Thank you for giving your feedback by way of the check out sheets at the event, conversation, and follow up emails. I really appreciate it. One thing I wish I had done differently is I wish I had taken the time to introduce you to each other. I got swept away with my own sense of urgency around time and didn't allow for that to happen. One thing I was most grateful for was Shayla's artwork and sharing. I was blown away with the image she created, both in the visual piece and also in the story sharing. One thing I was proud of was the choice of place, people, stories, and methods we used. Though the problems all didn't get solved, the make up of people, place, purpose, and process might very well lend itself to an emergence of something powerful and change making. Sign up to get on the invitation list for the next Change Makers' Rehearsal Dinners.





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