Next Denver speaker

Chip Colwell

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December 14, 8:30am • Denver Museum of Nature and Science • part of a series on Tradition

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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:

March’s theme is Taboo!     

Taboos are a social glue that makes life livable wherever we go.  We invent the reasonings that, over time, coalesce to create the societal fabric of norms, permissions, and prohibitions. Cutting in line or stealing from your neighbor is wrong, which makes a good status quo.

While many taboos keeps the world spinning, there are many rusty ones that   are delaying it from evolving. And although we’re hardwired to stand before the edge of taboo, there are others who have gone over it. This month’s global exploration of Taboo is presented by MailChimp. The theme was chosen by the Oslo chapter and illustrated by David Stenmark

Join us Friday, March 10th at Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive with artist Jared David Paul (aka JDP)!

Sound is an integral part of our lives. It’s all around us, twenty four hours a day. Every memory we have involves at least a small element of sound. Without sound, we would have difficulty communicating, avoiding danger, and learning. Sound permeates our lives, from our alarms waking us in the morning, to the radio we listen to on the way to work, to the interactions with our families and friends. Think about your Thanksgiving holidays… Do you hear children running around the house? Can you listen to the discussions around the dinner table? What about the clanking of silverware? The delicious noise of turkey being carved? The bubbling of stuffing? The oven announcing that the pumpkin pie is ready? Sounds comfort us.
Sounds scare us.
Sounds teach us.
Sounds define us.
Some days we are bombarded with a cacophony that makes us want to crawl back into bed. Other times, sounds invite us to head outside and enjoy the world. We find joy in the laughter of friends, solitude in the lapping of waves, peace in the rustling of leaves… Sounds can calm us. Cats’ purrs vibrate within the range of 20-140 Hz, a range known to be therapeutic for mental illnesses. The purrs can lower blood pressure, promote the healing of bones and soft tissue, help with infection and swelling.  
Join us as Babah Fly talks about how sound and rhythm define our communication, affect our health, and determine our person-hood.  We’ll be at Curious Theatre on Friday, December 9th.  Tickets will be available at 9am, Monday, December 5th.  

Is this the real life?  Is this just Fantasy?…

How much of our life is real? How much is fantasy? If we stop and take a moment to be truly honest with ourselves, do we really make this distinction accurately, or do we allow ourselves to believe that our fantasy is our reality? It’s not as if we actually think that we will see a dragon walking down the road (though that would be amazing!), it’s more that we allow ourselves to live in a world of fantasy where we are good at time management, great at multitasking, amazing at communication, able to handle stress, a week away from having the body we’ve always wanted, and can accomplish all of our goals.

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.  ~Iris Murdoch

Fantasy is a place where we go to escape reality. It’s a land we use to cope, to relax, to be free. Sometimes, we escape into a Neverending Story like Sebastian. Sometimes, we retreat to Middle Earth, Westeros, or to the depths of the ocean. Sometimes, our escape it simply allowing ourselves to add small elements of fantasy to our reality.

Fantasy is the birthplace of Creativity. Or, Creativity is the birthplace of Fantasy.  Perhaps, both.

They go hand in hand. They define our lives, our self image, our goals, and our reality.

To truly embrace reality, to truly success in reality, we must accept and embrace our fantasy.

Fantasy and Reality often overlap.   ~Walt Disney

Join us at the Denver Botanic Gardens as Lisa Eldred, Director of Exhibitions, Art & Interpretation, talks about her world of fantasy and wonder, Friday, November 4th, at 8:30am. Tickets available Monday, October 31st at 9am.



Merriam-Webster’s simple definition says that being transparent is being 

: able to be seen through

: easy to notice or understand

: honest and open : not secretive

It’s a quality that we say we look for in friends, family, business relations, bosses, employees, politicians, governments…  It’s something we want, and even expect, in each other.

Transparency is truly all around us, from literally our clear windshields as we drive, to the political rhetoric of today.  But how transparent is our world? Do we really have transparency in our dealings with each other? Do we have transparency with our motivations and wants?  Perhaps, most importantly, are you transparent with yourself? 

“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.” - Dalai Lama

Despite the many claims to transparency, we find ourselves often not fully trusting one and other. We not sure we can trust our government.  We see hidden agendas in our relationships. We have backroom business dealings happening in, well, … backrooms. 

Stop for a moment and think about what life would be like if we – our friends, our family, our businesses, our government, everyone we deal with (including ourselves!) – had full transparency.  Think about a world in which everything could be taken at face value. 

Is that a world you would want to live in? Or does it scare you?

Think about what your life would be like if the only person you knew for certain was being transparent was you. 

Does this make you nervous? Or scared? Does it make you feel vulnerable?

“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.” - Mother Teresa

Come join us as Chris Zacher, social entrepreneur and champion for live music for all, talks about the necessity of Transparency (aka Trust), as the objective in the public/private projects world, and gets us thinking about what happens when it’s missing… 

Tickets are available October 17th at 9am right here on our website.  

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find   ~  Roald Dahl

Magic. It’s everywhere. Look at a small child visiting Disney World for the first time, and you’ll see the face of magic. Watch the sun as it sets across the edge of the world while you sit on the beach next to your special someone, and you’ll feel magic. Take a moment to experience the small pleasures of a peaceful afternoon in the woods, watch a hummingbird feed on blossoming flower, or spend an evening looking at the vast expanse of stars – and you’ll feel the magic.

Magic. It’s everywhere. It’s in the small things. It’s in the big things. It’s in the work we do.

Or is it? Is there magic to be found in our day-to-day jobs? Is it possible to create magic in our lives and our work and help better society in the process? One man believes it is. Come listen to Paul McAleer as he talks about Repeatable Magic, about discovering how the magic happens, and then figuring out if we can make it happen again and again and again…

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” ~ J.K. Rowling

“That proves you are unusual,“ returned the Scarecrow; "and I am convinced that the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.”
― L. Frank Baum



These two words are often used to describe the same individual. The more creative-minded we are, the better the chance that someone out there will call us weird. Some would argue that the weirder we are, the more creative we are.

Weird doesn’t always work. It doesn’t always bring success or happiness or change or creativity. Being weird doesn’t mean we are destined for greatness. Being weird doesn’t mean we will be loved by the world. It doesn’t mean we will be accepted by humanity. Sometimes, it means we will be shunned, disregarded, ignored.

Sometimes it works.

Have you recently eaten at Ophelia’s? Did you notice that place might be a little… weird? A former adult bookstore turned into a gastro-brothel. Pin-up girls on the walls. Gold balls dangling from the ceilings. 4,000 Jägermeister bottles flanking the bar. And then, there’s the food…

Join us at Ophelia’s as Justin Cucci, opener of Root Down, Linger, and Ophelia’s, talks about his weird process of space design, his weird ideas on food and atmosphere, his weird way of using found items as decoration, and his weird way of having all of these become headline-making success.

Patient. Kind. Protects. Trusts. Hopes. Preserves.Not envious. Not boastful. Not self-seeking. Not easily angered. Keeps no record of wrongs.


Love is many things to many people. We’ve all experienced different forms of love. We’ve read about love in books. We’ve seen love through the eyes of Hollywood. We can remember our first crushes, our first loves, our first heartbreaks.

Love drives us. Love motivates us. Love heals us. Love keeps us going.
Some of us love what we do. Some of us wake up each morning excited to start our jobs. Some of us get to work with those we love. Some of us want to find ways to make that a reality.

Join us on Friday as Tran and Josh Wills talk about pursuing a career doing what you love, working with the one you love, and surrounding yourself with others trying to do the same thing.