Our first official question is credited to cluegirl
"I'll be interested to see what a confluence of creative comm organizers have to say about the business of making safespace and supportive space for artists while still getting time and energy for their own artwork as well. I know that's where my community ran aground -- I found I had to spend all my time maintaining the comm, and didn't get enough back out of it to fuel my own creative process."
Does anyone have any suggestions for this particular challenge? Please feel free to post! I'll try to get us started.
Since I've never facilitated a community before, let alone a creative cluster, I hope you'll indulge my purely hypothetical suggestion. Reading Cameron's guidelines for creative clusters (which I'll continue updating here tonight), she emphasizes the idea that clusters are peer-run. As we're attempting this online, we know it can be easier said than done. The most productive and safe online forums are heavily moderated, and the worst... Well, they tend to become the electronic equivalent of a seedy or abandoned back-alley.
When I first started conceptualizing my own group, I thought a system of two or three moderators might work; one taking the lead and the others serving as understudies. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it might be more effective (and fun) to have a different leader each week. All you would need is 12 members to start! Twelve seems like a reasonable goal -- there were easily more than that on the list of this community's initial post.
Before your cluster's course begins, you could make a sign-up sheet for people to choose when the best time would be for them to take the lead. You may need to have the specific date ranges available so people could check their schedules to make sure nothing major's going on for them at that time. Example:
Chapter/Week One: Sunday 8/8/10 - Saturday 8/14/10. Lead by cluegirl
Chapter/Week Two: Sunday 8/15/10 - Saturday 8/21/10. Lead by xtremeroswellia
--and so on.
Or you could do a random draw and toss out a list that way. The schedule should be flexible, and if someone for some reason can't or won't take lead on their assigned week, another volunteer might be happy to step in.
I realize this doesn't directly address the issue of how to cultivate more personal time vs. group time, but I hope it gives us ideas towards a model that shares the burden more evenly among all members, which could in turn lead to everyone having a more rounded experience. I'm very interested in seeing what other suggestions this group has.
Thanks for posing this excellent question, cluegirl !
A Nexus of Travelers on the Artist's Way
- Personal Time vs. Administrator Time