There are a number of ways to get involved at Natural Creativity, depending on your availability and interest. Here we present a few of the possibilities. Let us know which category appeals to you, or offer another idea that speaks to you.
Process partners spend extended time on a regular basis working with youths at Natural Creativity, learning and implementing our approach in partnership with youths pursuing their interests. A process partner engages in the creative process to assist youths in putting their ideas into practice. This often takes the form of a conversation about possible interests or areas of curiosity, followed by an exploration of the ideas that resonate the strongest, an activity or several, and some reflection afterward about the process. In many cases, a process partner is likely to come in to NC to a number of activities in progress, and is invited to jump in with the youths when appropriate.
Another option process partners have is to come into NC and use our creative process to explore a question or curiosity that they have, and to model how one uses the creative process to develop an idea into a possible solution. We respect the right of young people to have space to pursue their interests without adults hovering over them, and we believe there is a great amount of value in having adults demonstrate the process of engaging in their own work. You might be surprised at how often young people see an adult doing what she loves and ask to join in.
A process partner receives ongoing support in developing fluency with the creative process and non-violent communication, as well as other aspects of our approach.
Visiting artists have specific areas of content knowledge that are of interest and value to youths at NC, and offer activities and opportunities for deeper engagement in these areas at NC. A visiting artist might spend two hours on a Tuesday leading an exploration of local plants and flowers. Another visiting artist might offer instruction on sewing techniques, leading to youths making their own clothes. Still other examples include: chemistry experiments, building Rube Goldberg machines, writing and performing a play or music, exploring other cultures through cooking and history, playing chess, watercolor painting, juggling, gymnastics, and any number of other options. We routinely survey our youths and families for areas of interest and seek to match those interests with visiting artists.
A visiting artist may come to NC as often as there is mutual interest and availability (both in terms of schedules and work space). We do not require a proficiency with our creative process in order to volunteer, and we offer a planning session prior to the first visit to share our expectations and provide suggestions for getting the most out of the experience.
Often, there is interest in being a visiting artist or process partner but getting to NC during program hours may prove to be too challenging or not sustainable. In these cases, we like to explore off-site mentorships, particularly for our older youths who have developed a specific interest or skill in such a way as to want to practice it “in the field”. Examples of this may include: a teenager interested in healthcare who would like to work in a birth center or hospital, someone learning music production who would like to develop a deeper understanding of how a commercial studio operates, or a history buff who would like to learn how to a museum is run.
Because we believe our region has so many developmental opportunities to offer, and we would like to facilitate the process of opening up the city to personal and professional exploration, we invite interested mentors to contact us to discuss similar (or totally different) possibilities so we can begin to make meaningful connections between youths and opportunities.