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Happy Hour at Improper City

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October 23, 4:30pm • Improper City • part of a series on Honesty


There is a space between the joy of starting something new and actually making it happen that can make or break any endeavor. It’s not pretty. Unlike joy and elation, this place is the exact opposite.

This space is known by many names: Writer’s block. Creative slowdown. Seth Godin calls it, “the dip.” Steven Pressfield’s name is, “The Resistance.” Here, in the mental murk, is uncertainty and the air is filled with self-doubt. Failure seems to lurk in every shadow.

In between the joy of starting and the elation of success is the treachery and risk. Risk of reputation. Risk of security and safety. Risk of ever being asked to make your work again. There is no map to navigate through this space. The path through is unique to each person. It’s easy to feel lost and unsure. But the guiding star is intention.

Intention is what pushes a writer through writer’s block.

Intention is what causes a musician to keep composing music.

Intention is what drives a designer through the umpteenth version of a logo.

Intention is what stokes the fire within us to make what’s important to us.

Intention is a shape-shifter. At the beginning of the journey, intention is the idea and the destination in mind. It can be anything from a new project to a new career. But when we’ve moved past the joy and curiosity of starting, we’ve entered that in-between space. We start to despair and feel the impossible closing in on us. Intention then transforms into the resolve to get to the other side. The end of the creative process may–and probably will–look different than what we first envisioned. But intention is what guided us to the result.

Following intention is not for the faint of heart. It is risky. You might lose your job. Or your parent’s faith in you. You may lose your sanity. But if you’re willing to always follow your intention, the reward is the fulfillment of purpose.

This. Is. Cider!!!

This month we’re inviting you to join us at Stem Ciders, 2811 Walnut St., Denver, on Tuesday, June 26th, from 4:30 pm - 7 pm.  We’re so thrilled to host our June CRAFT happy hour with Stem Ciders at their fantastic new taproom in RiNo. They are offering some exclusive happy hour specials just for us (YAY!!).  How does a Super Berry Slushie, using Patagonia Super Berry herbal tea from craft tea producer Rishi, sound??  Or how about some of Stem’s own Craft Cider ($7)??  Yummo!!Wait, there’s more…we’re also planning some fun events:

  • Show your love for Denver, with our fun CreativeMornings/Denver photo booth!
  • Also, be sure to come by early, we’ll be giving out some special CRAFT stickers!
  • And we have a fun craft for you!!

Registration opens at 9am on Tuesday, June 19th on our website!  We can’t wait to see your smiling faces!

Your buddies,

The CreativeMornings/Denver Team

Mondays can suck—but we have a remedy for your Tuesday evening…

We’re starting a monthly happy hour series in addition to our breakfast events and we want you to join us! Why? Because we’re so passionate about getting to know our great community in Denver—and we want to share that with you.We’re going to be hosting a monthly happy hour at a local bar or restaurant to give you the opportunity to get to know each other better and talk about this month’s topic and lecture (even if you weren’t able to make it)— all while hanging out at cool spots around the city.On Tuesday, March 20th, our good friends at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox (1215 20th St., Denver CO 80202) are hosting us from 5pm - 8pm. Ophelia’s will extend their special happy hour food and drink pricing, and also will be creating a special drink and appetizer around this month’s global theme of COURAGE… just for all you CreativeMornings/Denver fans! Registration opens March 13th at 9am on our website. Space is limited, so don’t forget to set your alarm clock and reserve your spot!

Your buddies,

The CreativeMornings/Denver Team

When we hear ​the word “courage​“,​ we may think of superheroes, warriors, humanitarians, great leaders, soldiers, police, firefighters—​people who are quick to act when life is truly on the line, or where the stakes ​between​ wrong and right are ​highest.

But courage​ is more than that. Courage is something we all harness daily simply because we are human beings. We are each faced with our own medley of​ ​challenges, goals, uncertainties, hopes and dreams, resources, real and perceived limitations, skills, and priorities. Courage ​can help us fuel our ​drive to accomplish the improbable and the significant, even when we don’t have it all figured out.

We take leaps of courage daily to expand our potential, and we take calculated risks ​to help us build our futures or serve our communities. We ​also ​leverage courage when we invest in ourselves or other people. Courage helps us ​dance with uncertainty, rather than letting the unknown distract us from the dreams of our intuition.  

Courage ​lets us be audacious with our pursuits and our creativity, even when we are smothered in doubt or hesitation. Courage allows those with even the tiniest voice to be heard, and we call on courage when we speak the truth in the face of wild adversity.

Courage calls on our values and our heart​s​, and is at the foundation of freedom, creativity, and the human soul.

Perhaps courage is the ultimate tool of those who seek to change and create the world?

Come find out and learn more about courage from designer Margaret Cyphers—Creative Director for Google G Suite and Head of UX for Google Drive—this coming Friday, March 9th, at 8:30am at the Denver Art Mus​eu​m.

Can curiosity change the world? Can it help us to be more creative? How does curiosity propel us? Why is curiosity so fundamental to the human experience? February’s global CreativeMornings theme implicitly and explicitly asks these questions and eludes to some of our best collective answers and anecdotes surrounding the value and power of curiosity.

As humans, we have had a strong desire to learn and gather knowledge since it all began! It seems to be in our blood to synthesize our experiences, and skills and passions, and knowledge, and even our inherent human needs, and then ask deep meaningful questions that expand our potential, our understanding, and help us to address important challenges and objectives. We do this individually and collective in all sorts of ways. This affects culture, business, politics, and our very experience as humans.  Our ability to ask, both reactively and proactively, big questions has equipped us to test perceived limits, perceived systems and rules, to expand or deepen our lives and our contributions, to enlighten us spiritually, economically, and politically, to build incredible infrastructure and societies, and to connect and bond with other humans and the world around us.  

We’re just wondering, how does curiosity show up in your world? In your work? In your life?

Join CreativeMornings/Denver on February 6th at RedLine Contemporary Art Center and hear from Derek Friday about how curiosity relates to his personal life and his profession as an Environmental Designer.

Last month we asked you, the audience, to get ready to take the stage in December. We asked for submissions for audience members who wanted to give brief talks on how the theme of CONTEXT has shaped their lives, perspectives, and creative journeys, and wow did you ever respond.

After a rigorous review process our judges have selected the following five speakers to present:

Head on over to the event page for more information (coming soon) about each of our speakers and what they’ll present about.

Thank you SO much to all of the amazing applicants who submitted ideas for this event. Choosing just five of you was an impossibly hard task given the breadth of amazingly creative and talented folks in our community who submitted to speak. We’ll definitely do this again and hope to see you all up on stage one day soon!

To celebrate the end of another fantastic CreativeMornings year, we would like to turn the mic to our audience. We’re inviting anyone interested to apply to be a speaker at our December event.

Our theme for December is CONTEXT, so we’re looking for people to speak about anything related to the topic—how it applies to your work, how it’s changed your career, or how you use it to fuel your creative fire.

To apply, record a short video and submit it via this form. We’re looking for something raw, think “speaking into the web cam” feel. Your video should be on why you think you would make a good speaker and what you would speak about (this should be related somehow to Context). From these submissions, a few will be chosen to give a five minute talk on Friday December 15th at CreativeMornings/DEN at Art Gym Denver.

The application deadline is November 22nd, 5pm MST, and we will announce the chosen speakers on November 26th.

The stage is calling…

Good morning CreativeMornings Denver!

You are reading this post from a device, amongst a slew of other content that has your (partial?) attention, in between a multitude of never-ending, ongoing, but seemingly essential digital conversations, and all of it comes amongst a day filled with key deliverables, more tasks, and bigger demands on you and your time.

Which begs the question; Is the value of thoughtful, intimate face-to-face conversation between humans now DEAD? How do we make time, have the courage, or know the “right” way to connect deeply with the people in our lives?

Join the Denver CreativeMornings community on November 10th at RMCAD, as we explore the death of communication, and learn from Debra Fine specific skills to develop and cultivate outstanding conversations so we can enjoy creative, connected, and bold lives.

This month’s global exploration of Death is chosen by the Miami chapter and illustrated by Syd Weiler.

This month’s theme of “Pioneer” was chosen by yours truly, the Denver chapter! That means this is the 59th month of CreativeMornings as the order in which we joined the global community is also the order in which chapters get to select topics.  Accordingly, this is a special month for us being our 4 year anniversary as well!  Props and gratitude to everyone who has contributed to the Denver chapter’s success!  Thank you to the community who attends and shares their interests and passions, the speakers who have invested their time and wisdom, all the venues that have supported us, all the delicious partners who have supplied coffee and breakfast treats, and our sponsors!

Pioneer is fitting theme for Colorado, historically, but also holds true for the big ideas and brave leaps that our state affords going forward, in terms of culture, business, innovation, and adventure.  This beautiful state of ours seems to be in a constant state of pioneering, as we continue to reinvent our capitol city, expand our clout on the international scale, and attract some of the nation’s greatest talent and organizations.

We wanted to select a theme that embraced the overall spirit of our community and also where we are headed.  We hoped to prompt both the local creative community and the worldwide community to explore the idea of “Pioneer.”  We are also eager to learn from others around the world what it means to be pioneering in their lives, business, and cultures. We found the idea of pioneer to be resonant for businesses, for communities, and for the individual. It involves notions of courage, forging into the unknown in pursuit of big dreams, it involves coordination and planning, and it can require both wild gusto and humble grace.  And it evokes a sense of generating possibility, growth, or progress.

The Pioneer illustration ( was created by local Denver designer John Vogl who lets his creativity run wild via The Bungalow (

Join us at the History Colorado Center on October 20th as this month’s speaker is Cathey McClain Finlon, who’s immersed in the future of Colorado creatives and was named to the prestigious Colorado Business Hall of Fame, helps us look forward to what’s possible in our creative lives through the lens of #CMPioneer.

When you think of equality, where does your mind go? Race, gender, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities? Maybe clean water, food, housing, work opportunities, health care? What effective actions have you seen people take to fight for equality? What actions have you taken—or can you take—to challenge persisting inequitie?

Human creativity has a way of rising to the top in times of injustice—to drive awareness and stimulate new cultural perceptions and change. In 1964, the legendary African-American soul singer Nina Simone released “Mississippi Goddamn,” one of the most well-known protest songs written during the Civil Rights Movement, demanding equality for African Americans. Between 1973 and 1975, feminist artists Margaret Harrison, Kay Hunt, and Mary Kelly conducted a detailed study on women’s work in a metal box factory in London, which resulted in a conceptual installation, Women and Work: A Document on the Division of Labour in Industry—taking a sociological approach, this work told the stories of more than 150 working women who, despite the implementation of England’s Equal Pay Act during this time, were still experiencing inequality in the workplace.

 More recently, in 2012, the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis song, “Same Love” not only promotes acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ community but also reminds us that we need to fight for equality for everyone.

 Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Each of us has unique talents we can leverage to promote equality in our communities, to serve those we love and foster compassion in others. So, how will you use your talents? How will you rouse a new story of equality?

 Join us on July 14th to hear Damon McLeese, the Executive Director of Access Gallery/VSA Colorado discuss how the theme of equality plays into his personal and professional missions, 8:30am at Gensler. For a preview, check out Damon's TEDxMileHigh talk from last year. Tickets for July’s event will be available beginning Monday, July 10th at 9am.


 Thank you again to those of you who attended the June talk with Rachel Trignano of the Colorado Symphony. If you haven’t had a chance to complete our quick survey, we invite you to share your feedback with us: