Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Touchstone Theatre - Corporate Creativity, Non-Profits, and Moving Toward the Future

Thoreau said that we are all artists--that, "we are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones.” Well, Henry David was a very smart guy, but there seems to be this great confusion, misunderstanding, that art is for …what?  …entertainment?  Has nothing to do with business?  They tell me if you look up the word “art” in the dictionary, and you go to its earliest roots, it basically means “making things”.  That makes sense to me.  We’re all in the business of “making things” in one way or another, so at the root of it, we must all be artists.

My name’s Bill George.  I’m a Founder and Ensemble Member at Touchstone Theatre over here on the South Side of Bethlehem, and for us folks in the art business, things are changing.  Fast.  And for us, creativity, which is at the heart of the process of making, is the most important tool in our tool box to deal with this constantly changing social, technological and economic landscape.  Even we so-called “artists” are lagging behind in understanding how to make work that can effectively express this ever more rapidly emerging reality--one that is at once increasingly diverse, often dangerously contentious, yet more and more inter-connected.

The Chamber has begun a major not-for-profit initiative here in the Valley, and as we move forward, there’s a lot we profit/non-profit folks can learn from each other to deal with this change.  If we can successfully move from competing in isolation towards working together, collaborating, supporting each other, we’ll all benefit in unexpected and extraordinary ways.  That’s a very safe bet in my book.

But there's (at least) one more thing. This creativity, working together thing, this art thing, isn't just a question of learning new skills or efficiencies to allow us to better survive.  I think we all, to one degree or another, recognize it as a sort of “maturation of consciousness” that is part of our human evolution.   It’s big, it’s important, and the promise of the future, if we can just hold on to it, is bright, beyond our wildest dreams—even mine.

In our own small way, to further this “evolution”, Touchstone is holding,  September 24th from 8 to 9:30 am, a Corporate Creativity Event called Four Secrets to Effective Collaboration.  We’ll be playing with Tina Fey’s “Rules for improv…and the workplace” -- Respect. Create. Contribute. Adapt. –with plenty of room for discussion and sharing among visiting business representatives. You’re sincerely invited.  It’s hosted by Chad Paul, President and CEO of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and David Shaffer, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Just Born, Inc.  There’s free food and goodie bags for all. Please join us.

To Register, click on the following link immediately below:  

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