Next Asheville speaker

Allison Scott

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October 25, 8:30am • Asheville Masonic Temple • part of a series on Flow

Speaker Spotlight - Allison Scott

Director of Policy and Programs at the Campaign for Southern Equality 

Website

Month: October | Theme: Flow

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Lawyer

What is the best part and hardest part of your job?
Talking with and hearing the stories from people in the LGBTQ community. When people are experiencing harassment or discrimination especially with youth, it can be heartbreaking. At the same time when you see this work have a positive impact on people’s lives the joy it brings to my soul is indescribable.

What on-the-job tools do you use every day?
Humor, friendship, and love

What about your community inspires you?
Resiliency, I’m often in complete awe of how the LGBTQ community can not only rise up but also show others what love and authenticity looks like.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
Pause and reflect before taking action.

Can you name a moment of failure in your business experience that you learned from or that helped you improve your business or the way you work?
Learning to address conflict in a dignified but humble way. Being open to criticism while resisting the urge to be defensive.

If you were magically given three more hours per day, what would you do with them?
More reading time!

Who are your favorite creators and makers, local and beyond?
Street Art fascinates me as it often is boundary pushing and emotional, Bansky has always been my favorite.

Anything else you’d like to share?
Enjoy life, push yourself, and embrace fear.

Speaker Spotlight - Jaki Shelton Green

NC Poet Laureate

Website | Jacar Press | Blair (Carolina Wren) Press

Month: September | Theme: Muse


Photo by Sylvia Freeman

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your practice.
I have been writing poetry since I was very young. My practice is to show up everyday in my life in the everydayness and ordinary places where my creative intentions live and is thrive., ie. cooking, cleaning, laundry, weeding, planting, loving, mothering, daughtering, etc. I organically create natural patterns and schedules that weave in and out of all my other practices of BEING the practice. 

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an oceanographer even though I’d never been to the ocean. I was obsessed with Jacques Cousteau and his explorations of the world(s) underwater.

Can you remember when you first learned about your field of work? How did you discover what it was, and how did you know it was what you wanted to do?
I started writing poetry and stories about my rural southern culture as a child. It was my maternal grandmother who guiding me into a realm of magical creativity through her connectedness to the natural world. She loved poetry and taught me how to listen to the poetry inside hailstorms, the rustle of a snake on dry leaves, the changing color of indigo, or the simmering of boiling water.
When I started writing at six years old, my mother gave me a diary every year for Christmas through my early 20’s. Those diaries whispered back to me and I knew I could never stop the flow of “telling” or “writing.”

What is the best part and hardest part of your job?
I celebrate building community across all the imagined and real boundaries through my poetry. Currently, my challenge is balancing BEING the writer and SERVING the role of NC Poet Laureate.

What on-the-job tools do you use every day?
Computer, razor felt pens, legal pads, journals

What about your community inspires you?
The history that “I know I know” and continually discovering more about the landscape of genetic deja-vu.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
“Tell them what you’re worth. Do not bankrupt your spirit.”

Can you name a moment of failure in your business experience that you learned from or that helped you improve your business or the way you work?
I’ve encountered challenges, disappointments but nothing that I characterize as failure. I’ve miscalculated people because I have blindly trusted.

What books/resources would you recommend to someone interested in furthering their creative practice, or starting a creative business of their own?
Talk to those who have walked before you. Research. Be clear about your mission and how to curate your projects.

If you were magically given three more hours per day, what would you do with them?
WRITE. READ.

Who are your favorite creators and makers, local and beyond?
Rumi, James Baldwin, Mary Ellen Lough ( Medicine Bundles/Asheville), Abdullateef Fisher, William Moore (Sculptor) Bryant Holsenbeck (Environmental Artist)

Anything else you’d like to share?
Much gratitude for allowing me to show up in this space.

Late Morning Show with CreativeMornings Asheville
Join host Tim Scroggs of Futures Bright as he sits down with this month’s speaker Nicole Townsend after to her amazing talk on the theme of Justice.

Speaker Spotlight—Nicole Townsend, 

Community/Regional Organizer

Instagram

Month: August | Theme: Justice

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Teacher. 

What is the best part and hardest part of your job?
The best part is building relationships. The hardest part is being on the road back-to-back, weeks at a time. 

What about your community inspires you?
Black joy inspires me. 

What books/resources would you recommend to someone interested in furthering their creative practice, or starting a creative business of their own?
How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective

If you were magically given three more hours per day, what would you do with them?
If I had three more hours per day I could raise chickens. 

Speaker Spotlight—Ponkho Bermejo, Adrienne Sigmon, and Amy Cantrell, BeLoved Asheville Co-Directors

Website | Facebook | Instagram

Month: July | Theme: End

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your practice. 
We try to practice love in concrete form in our community every day.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Ponkho:  A Deep Thinker  Adrienne:  Marine Biologist  Amy: Ice Cream Truck Driver

What is the best part and hardest part of your job?
Creating community is glorious.  Witnessing people in your community crushed by oppression is deeply painful.

What on-the-job tools do you use every day?
Community, passion, imagination, commitment, learning names, conversations, circles of chairs, laughter, hammer, paint brushes, cooking pots, camera, blow torch, guitar,  power drill, megaphone, pallet wood, community altar, drums, seeds.

What about your community inspires you?
Our community’s stories flow like medicine.  The every day experiences and actions of people inspire us.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
You have to fail often to figure out how something wants to be.  

If you were magically given three more hours per day, what would you do with them?
Spend an hour with a child.  Spend an hour with an elder.  Spend an hour more creating change.

Join host Tim Scroggs of Futures Bright as he sits down with the amazing folks at BeLoved Asheville after their amazing talk on this month’s theme of End.

Learn More about BeLoved Asheville:
https://belovedasheville.com/

Download a free Conversation Toolkit at www.conversationsworthhaving.today. Kit includes a short video, executive summary of the book, list of questions to engage kids, list of questions to foster great conversations with your children’s teachers, and a sample set of generative questions.

Speaker Spotlight – Cheri Torres

Lead Catalyst, Collaborative by DesignConversations Worth Having  |  LinkedIn  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  TwitterMonth: June  |  Theme: Wonder


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your practice. 
I believe we have the potential to co-create communities and organizations that truly work for everyone, that allow us to even surpass our most positive dreams for the future. As Lead Catalyst at Collaborative by Design, I partner with people to catalyze positive change in their workplaces and communities. The two simple practices I introduce give leaders and teams the power to strengthen relationships, expand possibilities, and increase productivity and engagement through everyday conversation. These practices are grounded in neuroscience, positive psychology, and Appreciative Inquiry, one of the most widely used approaches for systems change.


What did you want to be when you grew up?
A lawyer. Not even close!


Can you remember when you first learned about your field of work? How did you discover what it was, and how did you know it was what you wanted to do?
I have always been both a possibilities person as well as insatiably curious. Sometime in my early career I saw how many people limited themselves and others unnecessarily (including myself!). I could see we could be and do so much more but for limiting beliefs, instilled by the culture and our environment. I had no clue how to turn that into a profession, but I knew I wanted to be in the business of expanding potential and possibility in the world. The world of outdoor experiential education was a perfect profession for doing that. For 15 years, I facilitated teamwork and leadership. Early on I recognized that people were not learning it, they were discovering what was inherent for them. Eventually I made the correlation that it was the structure of the activities that brought out those inherent capacities. What needed to transform was not the people, it was the structures and systems that are reinforcing individualism. People and the planet can flourish if we redesign our systems to bring out the best in human beings and then give people plenty of opportunities to talk and work together. To do that, we need to be changing our conversations. So now, I am all about fostering those kinds of conversations.

What is the best part and hardest part of your job?
The best part of my job is watching people come alive, fully engage, and bring their best and most creative self to complex challenges. I love it when people at all levels of an organization bring their diverse knowledge and perspectives to a problem and together innovate amazing solutions. I enjoy seeing people discover what they are capable of when given the chance to freely contribute. The hardest part of my job is working with organizations to clarify the focus of whole system conversations and then design great questions: questions that disrupt the status quo, surface the positive core, and generate possibilities. 


What on-the-job tools do you use every day?
First and foremost, believing in the inherent brilliance of every human being. Then, listening, empathy, curiosity, positive framing, story, Appreciative Inquiry, and staying present.


What about your community inspires you?
We have all the makings in this community for radical transformation. With the passion, commitment, knowledge, skill level, and resources in the community, we could co-create a model for a community that genuinely works for everyone and then live into it. There are lots of people working on that already. We have the potential to accelerate that.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
Do what makes you come alive!


Can you name a moment of failure in your business experience that you learned from or that helped you improve your business or the way you work?
I had a sales job for a tuition budgeting company that allowed me to travel the southeast. That was fun and it brought in okay pay, but it was not inspiring. During my second year in that job, I began to put together an idea for a non-profit child care resource and referral service, which would support children, parents, and child care providers in our community. That was enlivening! I’d decided to do the sales job for one more year, just to be financially secure through the transition. Before I started the third year, I was fired for not meeting my quota the second year. That stung; I’d never been fired from anything. And, it reinforced the message to do what makes you come alive! I went on to found the organization, ran it for 10 years, and passed it along to someone who tripled its reach over the next 10 years. I have never stopped doing what makes me come alive!


What books/resources would you recommend to someone interested in furthering their creative practice, or starting a creative business of their own?
I Am Her Tribe (Danielle Doby), Outrageous Openness (Tasha Silver), Conversations Worth Having (Stavros and Torres)


If you were magically given three more hours per day, what would you do with them?
I would like to think that I would do the things that renew and replenish me: Play, hike, spend time in the forest, sit by water ways and meditate, read, write, and commune with nature. I’m afraid I would probably continue working for whole systems change.


Who are your favorite creators and makers, local and beyond? 
Lissa Friedman, Cheri Bracket, Nan Davis, Kat Williams, Steebo

Join host Tim Scroggs as he sits down with this month’s speaker Rae Geoffrey for a post-talk chat on the theme of Preserve.

Join guest host Rachel Zink as she discusses the theme of Inclusive with this months speaker Marta Alcala-Williams.

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