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An Afternoon of Creativity: My First Visit at Creative Plains Foundation

By Carolyn Griffith

The cold October wind blew the door open as we shuffled into the building and down the stairs. Inside, a warm light invited us to the basement where we were greeted by an inviting art studio, setup with tables and paint supplies. Creativity hung in the air like bread baking. This was a place where imagination roamed free and created greatness.

What is art?

Why do we love it?

Where does it fit in our lives?

These are questions we encounter throughout our lives. As a child, creativity is encouraged with simple projects as a way to develop mentally. In school it is taught as a subject, with grades, rules, and expectations. For many this is their first exposure to the world of art. It opens a door to an exciting new world that inspires creativity and individual expression. However, outside of school, this door is often closed tightly. The world of art is often ridiculed or set aside because it is not perceived as profitable or worthwhile. While countless money and time is put into other pursuits, art is often ignored.

That is why we have created a space for creativity and imagination to have free reign. We believe art is an integral part of our society and life. Art is the expression of human creativity. It adds depth, meaning, and beauty to our existence on this earth. Without it there would be no beautiful paintings in museums, statues in parks, or even colorful advertisements in shop windows. Those majestic paintings or sculptures were done by a human being who let their imagination guide their hand to create something beautiful. We at the Creative Plains Foundation believe this imagination needs a place to grow.

Each of us has our own unique connection and story of how art influences our lives. If you have not met us, allow me to introduce the team and let me tell you in their own words what art means to us.

From Christine Jaeger – Founder/Executive Director

My family and I started Creative Plains Foundation because we felt that there was a need in our community to provide free art and reading opportunities for kids. While Fargo Moorhead is a vibrant community that is full of talented artists and creative people, there are a lot of kids that don’t get to experience art and kids that don’t have books at home. There is so much research on the importance of literacy and providing art opportunities for kids – they perform better in school and in life in general. Knowing that some kids don’t have access to these opportunities was something that we wanted to change. What does creativity mean to me? It is a way to express myself – my experiences as a person and it has provided me with a way to heal.

From Eleonora Morgillo – Community Outreach Director

Working with Creative Plains Foundation has allowed me to expand my views on art and literacy education. It has exposed me to the many ways that art can benefit children and has helped me tremendously on a personal level. I have spent more time exposing my children to art at home and to community art classes which has allowed them to creatively express themselves in ways they wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to do. I am so humbled by this experience and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be working with the Creative Plains Foundation. It has truly opened up both my family and I up to the beautiful world of art.

From Artist Nichole Rae – Creative Director

I remember saying to myself If I choose to expand and do work outside my own creative practice I want to do something that inspires creativity and then just a few months later I was given an opportunity to be part of the Creative Plains Foundation as the Creative Director, a role that would allow me to lead the art events and creative projects. All I could do was smile and say YES! I AM honored to be part of this foundation that Sparks creativity through art, reading and education. Having the Creative Plains Foundation in my life has inspired my life in more ways than I count and has helped me SEE how it has played a vital role in cultivating who I am as a person.

Art for me is a path I was able to create and find what I most needed along the way. It has allowed me to be all that I AM and has given me a foundation to rise into my purpose, express my feelings, collect and document my personal journey day by day. Art has carried this heart of mine through the up’s and down’s in my life and allowed me to be brave.

From Rachel Jaeger – Educational Director

I am honored to be part of the Creative Plains Foundation team that provides opportunities for children and parents to foster the creative process. Creativity is an essential element of students in their day-to-day lives. On a regular basis, children are asked to work with others, ask probing questions, think critically, share knowledge and understanding and pursue areas of personal interest through intrinsic motivation. Working with the arts is an excellent way to promote creativity and I am honored to support the children in our community as they develop these essential skills.

As we took our place at the table, my excitement grew. A childlike excitement bubbled up in me and for a moment the stresses life faded away, replaced by a singular focus on my imagination and the brush on the canvas. My first stroke was joined by others and soon a bright orange pumpkin set against a blue autumn sky took shape on the white surface. It relaxed me and exercised a part of my brain and being that had not been used in a long time.

-Carolyn Griffith

An Afternoon of Creativity: My First Visit at Creative Plains Foundation
Oct 21, 2017

We hope that you will join us on our journey to inspire creativity in the Fargo/Moorhead area and look forward to inspiring you to live a creative life.