For those of you who live in Ft. Collins, sometimes the air can be thick with smells of agriculture and hops. It is a good reminder though of all the different things going on in and around our great little city. We are a great mix of biologists, brewers, professors, engineers, artists, students, inventors, farmers, retailers, doctors, and entertainers and on and on. To me though, it feels like I am living in a community of big thinkers who value a high quality of life where success is measured in unconventional ways.
For the past year, I have been volunteering for an organization made up of people who are willing to think outside the box and work hard to create a community that stretches far beyond Ft. Collins’s city limits. AIR-Arts Incubator of the Rockies is already creating a collaborative community that not only celebrates one’s strengths, but also educates by bringing other perspectives to the table. They have already created a fantastic website that I encourage you to take some time to look over. Click here to take a tour of AIR. It is a place where not only artists/creatives can share their talents and careers but all are welcome; not just individuals but companies as well. AIR wants to create a place for conversations to start. A place where artists can learn the value of good business skills and others can embrace what a creative mind might offer to a project or company. With the knowledge center, opportunity page, regional calendar and air share, AIR is a great resource for ideas, brainstorming and expansion. But, luckily for us, the AIR website is just the beginning. With SHIFT weekend workshops and EVOLVE classes that offer skills, planning, coaching and networking, I have already seen ideas, projects and careers make great strides as a result. The goal is to get these serving a ten state region along the Rockies. Eventually, the Carnegie building here will be renovated to host classrooms with streaming capabilities, meeting space, gallery space and a black box theater. I can only begin to imagine the energy and ideas that will generate there.
|From one of the brainstorm easels at the AIR pilot workshop.|
Over the past year, I have met some incredible individuals through AIR. They are passionate, smart, and progressive thinkers who want to make our community and region stronger through collaboration. I so enjoyed my time as part of the curriculum committee and pilot weekends. I sat at a table of people from all sorts of backgrounds and professions. We had piles of ideas surface and debated the pros and cons. It was really interesting. I hope that those conversations will continue out into the community and eventually ramp up again at the AIR building once it opens. I have learned a tremendous amount this past year across a wide range of topics but mostly a lot about myself. For that I am grateful. I can feel my own SHIFT happening and it is exciting.