Debbie Dent, owner and creative director of marketing firm Aim Straight Up and event space Venue 222, has a vision for creatives in Cincinnati. After her own company, Willow Group, folded in 2009, Dent bounced back a year later and opened Aim Straight Up after working with her husband Wade to convert their building on 14th Street in Over-the-Rhine into an event and meeting space.
As a sidearm of Aim Straight Up, Debbie decided to help establish a forum for the rapidly growing number of people in the Cincinnati area who are passionate about new ideas and want to contribute, even and especially those who are underutilized in the job market. Thus the Creative Society was born.
“With the economy in the crapper, people losing their jobs, closing or downsizing their businesses and getting paid less for the work we all do, we can become discouraged and stop thinking and acting creatively,” Dent explained. “We lose track of people we enjoyed being with, drop the groups we belonged to and activities that we participated in. And often we lose track of our creative selves.”
Dent noted that in the Cincinnati community there is a flux of passionate people with lots of new ideas to share. “The creative spirit is alive and growing rapidly in Cincinnati,” Debbie shared. “There is an infectious new energy all around. We are lucky, for a community of our size, that have all types of creative people and talent represented. We have a Creative Society.”
Debbie’s motive behind the Creative Society was a way to informally gather people who enjoy being creative and wish to be around and connect with others who value creativity. Currently the club has over 200 members on its Facebook page, with 110 of them scheduled to attend a lunch catered by nearby MOTR this coming Wednesday to make connections and share ideas about what the group can accomplish as a vibrant and passionate collective. The lunch will take place at Venue222 (map).
The goals will be determined by the group as a whole, but the assumption is that members of the group can meet anytime online and physically every other month at a different location to get to know each other, swap ideas, help make connections for each other and create. “Collectively we become a creative think tank that can help be an agent of positive change for Cincinnati,” said Dent.
This month’s lunch will include a creative exercise to “Express your vision for a Creative Cincinnati in 2011,” with plenty of art materials and canvass space for attendees to get out their ideas in an innovative manner.
It’s not just visual artists of graphic designers that have exclusive access to the Creative Society, though. According to Dent, anyone with passion and an idea is as good as a card carrying member.
“Everyone is creative. It’s through our creativity that we make a difference in our lives, the lives of others and our city. It’s in times like these that creative thinking and action is needed even more. “