April’s theme is Inclusive When different people come into our lives, they bring gifts. We can blend the best of our wisdom with the best of theirs. We can teach and learn from each other to produce closer circles that foster community and commit to diversity. People who include with intention, raise their hand to do the work of embracing what is unfamiliar. Inclusion is an attitude to consciously be open to ideas that come from outside of our settled ways of thinking or feeling. It’s about making a decision that comes from a place of love, of caring for others. When you place inclusivity at the center of how you live, it has great power to heal, elevate new voices, and change the narrative of who belongs. As diversity advocate Vernā Myers once said, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” Our Grand Rapids chapter chose this month’s exploration of Inclusive, Libby VanderPloeg illustrated the theme, and WordPress.com is presenting the theme globally.

Anel Flores spoke on the magic of WATER.

Hosted at Confluence Park by the San Antonio River Foundation on Friday, 3/29.

Cheers to our coffee partner Estate Coffee Company!

And thanks to TEKsystems for our taco fix!

March’s theme is WATER It’s the main source of all life. The lifeblood element that makes up 60% of our bodies. It’s the liquid that we don’t drink enough of, yet waste effortlessly. It’s home to millions of species, mysteries, and undiscovered knowledge. We know more about the stars in the sky than the depths of our oceans. We can use it to save lives. If used foolishly, it can take lives. We think there is an abundance, yet only one percent can be touched. If we don’t protect our waters, then what will happen to life? Our Perth chapter chose this month’s exploration of Water and Sofia Varano illustrated the theme.

William Dickey spoke to the global theme of SYMMETRY.

Hosted at The Impact Guild on Friday, 2/22.

Cheers to our dedicated coffee partner Estate Coffee Company!

And thanks to TEKsystems for tacos!

February’s theme is SYMMETRY What do a planet, an attractive face, and a snowflake have in a common? Symmetry. Symmetry is prevalent throughout life. You can fold a sunflower in half, stories have an arc, and the human body can bend and create mesmerizing shapes. There are also irregularities that enhances life; it adds beauty and complexity. If there’s symmetry in nature, then there must be a kind of symmetry in the way we lead our lives. Symmetry cannot be possible without asymmetry, the same way sadness magnifies joy. Alan Lightman wrote in The Accidental Universe, “I would claim that symmetry represents order, and we crave order in this strange universe we find ourselves in.” But chaos will happen whether we like it or not, it’s how we respond to it that either creates order or more chaos. When in chaos, create your symmetry. Our Saint Petersburg chapter chose this month’s exploration of Symmetry, Anna Fadeeva illustrated the theme, and Mailchimp is the presenting partner.

Belinda Medellin spoke to the global theme of SURREAL.

Hosted at CAST Tech High School on Friday, 1/25.

Cheers to our coffee partner Estate Coffee Company!

And special thanks to USAA for donuts!

January’s global theme is SURREAL

When you look at the artwork of Frida Kahlo or Salvador Dalí, there’s an element of surprise. Why does it feel familiar yet also otherworldly?

Surrealists sought to break free from the shackles of the rational mind and dive into the deep end of the unconscious. The canvas, then, became a mirror for what emerged out of that process. This movement was inspired by events in the 1920s on the heels of the first world war and continues to influence artists, writers, photographers, and filmmakers. This cultural and artistic movement ushered in new techniques that helped humans expand their minds.

Today, we recognize a sense of the surreal in unexpected moments in daily life. Art exhibits like Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Room are becoming readily available, encouraging people to immerse themselves in experiences that break reality. A ballet performance or a silent meditation retreat can be a dreamlike experience.

Whether we experience a surreal moment or dabble in processes like drawing without thinking or writing without self-editing, there’s something to be learned about ourselves and what lingers under the hood of our desires to keep life orderly and controlled.

Happy New Year! Our Brussels chapter chose this month’s exploration of Surreal and Charlotte Dumortier illustrated the theme. SURREAL is presented globally this month by WordPress.com.

Mark Menjivar spoke to the global theme of TRADITION.

Hosted at Artpace on Friday, 12/14.

Cheers to our coffee partner Estate Coffee Company.

And special thanks to Sarah Harte for breakfast.

December’s theme is TRADITION 

Traditions are sacred because they cultivate consistency and a sense of belonging. It’s the bread and butter for fostering connection and community.

We’re in a time where traditions are being challenged and remixed. We question how they came to be and the context in how (or if) they fit into the future. 

“This is just the way it is” is a statement of fear, not possibility. It undermines the human capacity to adapt and create change. Traditions are made by us, for us, so therefore they can be reinvented with intention and imagination. 

You may not start the next national holiday, but you can bring to the table your generosity, your kindness, your vision and heart to create a more welcoming future. 

Our last 2018 global theme TRADITION was chosen Barranquilla chapter and Andrés M. Felfle illustrated the theme.

Elizabeth Johnson spoke to the global theme of RESTART.

Hosted at Pharm Table on Friday, 11/16.

Special thanks to Pharm Table and Lone Star Capital Bank for their support.

And cheers to our coffee partner Brown Coffee Company.

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