CreativeMornings/AKL reflections:

Everyone is creative. Everyone is welcome.

This is the first & final line in the CreativeMornings manifesto. And one I still truly stand by since the Auckland Chapter started in 2011.

From the early days of following SwissMiss (Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of CreativeMornings) on Twitter, to the seed of an idea of bringing the CreativeMornings concept to New Zealand, pulling a makeshift team of talented volunteers together, skyping Tina & Kevin (The Original CMHQ team) and having them trust us with their baby as the 10th official chapter worldwide!

Now, 5+ years on, 180+ chapters worldwide and 60+ CreativeMornings/ Auckland (CM/AKL) events later. I’m stepping back from co-hosting & co-organising CM/AKL, but will always remain a part of this creative community. A community that is kind, that is generous, that is diverse & inclusive, that is extraordinarily creative and that, for a long time, felt like an extended family.

Over the years, there has been so many highlights and I’ve learnt so much from the speakers and the community alike, so thought I would take this time to share some key reflections:

  • Right from day one, I was constantly overwhelmed by the generosity & creativity of CM/AKL speakers, our partners, our team and of course our community!
  • If you create a safe, welcoming environment, amazing stories of failure, triumph and everything in between are shared, embraced and celebrated.
  • Hugs are a great way to greet people first thing in the morning!
  • On that note, not everyone is a morning person (even if they turn up that early) so a note to myself: respect personal space in the A.M.
  • Always humbled by the people we’ve met along the way, and their professional stories and personal perspectives shared.
  • CreativeMornings truly is a global community of interesting people who are always interested. I experienced this first hand at the  CreativeMornings Summit in 2016.
  • Trust, delegate and let go… As a self-confessed control freak, I found this particularly challenging, but it was the only way for CM/AKL to grow and flourish.
  • Last but not least, I’m immensely grateful to everyone that has trusted us and been on this creative community journey with us over the years… esp. the amazing team at CreativeMornings/HQ & esp. “mama bear” Tina.

Thanks to all the speakers that have shared their creative journeys with us, the ups, the downs and the lessons learnt along the way.

Thanks to all the partners that have generously supported us over the years, we really appreciate your financial, in-kind and in-person support.

Thanks to all the volunteers that have been part of the team over the years, we couldn’t have done it without you!

Thanks to our community of for registering so promptly, for showing up so early in the morning, for being curious, kind and no doubt creative.

And of course a huge THANK YOU to my wonderful co-host and friend Kaan Hiini. From photographer, to videographer, to co-host/organiser and every other unofficial role in between. I truly couldn’t have done it without you, and I know CM/AKL would not be the same if it wasn’t for your care, creativity and leadership. So again (without *tears* this time ;)) I would like to express my deep gratitude to you, for helping me grow, nurture and cultivate the CM/AKL community to what it is today. Thank you Kaan.

As we step back and handover the reigns and responsibilities to the new hosts of CM/AKL — Sarah Longbottom & Molly Parker, who both have a proven track record of putting on extraordinary creative experiences. I am equal parts: excited and jealous. Excited by all the amazing new ideas, energy and creativity they’ll bring to each event, and a little bit jealous about the wonderful convening of creative minds in our community who get to experience this every month.

I wish you both all the very best of luck (not that you’ll need it) but we’ll be waving from the sidelines, cheering you on as your number one cheerleaders, supporting the team as your biggest fans and creative advisors if/when you do ever need us. At the end of the day, CreativeMornings truly is a labour of love.

So this is not good-bye, more of a see-ya later with a different hat. And with that, I thought I’d leave you with the CreativeMornings manifesto:

Everyone is creative.A creative life requires bravery and action, honesty and hard work. We are here to support you, celebrate with you, and encourage you to make the things you love.We believe in the power of community. We believe in giving a damn. We believe in face-to-face connections, in learning from others, in hugs and high-fives.We bring together people who are driven by passion and purpose, confident that they will inspire one another, and inspire change in neighborhoods and cities around the world.Everyone is welcome.

Hugs & high-fives all round!
Jade Tang-Taylor :)xo
This blog was originally posted in my Medium (with a few more photos too!)