Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Creative Café as a Networking Space



If we think back to one of the most fundamental ideas behind the Creative Café Project, the replication of the Viennese coffee houses, one of the project’s greatest benefits becomes immediately visible; the Creative Café offers a space where creative practitioners can network.
Accidental meetings
You get quite a good feeling when you go to your favourite café and are open to the idea that someone else just like you might turn up and be willing to talk. Or maybe one of your readers will.  You go there perhaps without too much expectation. Maybe you have your laptop, your notepad or a physical note-book with you.  Maybe you are reading via your e-reader or looking at a newspaper or a piece of flash diction delivered via an app on your Smartphone.  Maybe while you’re there some opportunity will present itself. Of course, staying tuned into Twitter may have the same effect but once in a while it’s good to get out of your garret into the real world. Besides, as both Bach and Balzac discovered, the smell of fresh ground coffee can enhance creativity. Not to mention the cake.
A place for prearranged meetings
Do you need to meet a writing buddy to get feedback on your work? Or do you have a show or an event to engineer?  Maybe you just want to share the woes and joys of the creative life with people who know that life. Sure, you could meet in each other’s homes, or the pub – and remember some pubs can be classed as creative cafés – but meeting in a café is likely to leave you clearer-headed and keeps you on neutral ground. Maybe it’s the coffee / cake combination that provides the lift. The café owners / managers are happy too. The creative process often uses a lot of energy and increases the appetite!
Can we make this happen?
Does this seem a possibility for you? Consider instigating one of the following activities:
·         Sit and read or write in a café.
·         Meet a writing buddy to discuss your work.
·         Invite a group of your fellow creative practitioners for a good old chinwag about all things creative.
·         Organise a meeting about your group project in a café.
·         Arrange with your favourite creative café’s manager to let other creative practitioners, perhaps less experienced ones than yourself,  know that you are there for a half day to give out one-to-one advice about the creative life.
And then let us know how it goes and perhaps be a guest on our blog.       
     

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