OpEdNews visited with Jacob Nordby, co-creator of the Gathering of the Creatives conference, held in Santa Fe in 2018 and 2019. This year, it is being held online, Dec 4-6.
MAB: Thanks for visiting with OpEdNews, Jacob. Your annual Gathering of Creatives conference, sounds exciting. I was intrigued when I first heard about it a couple of years ago - I love Santa Fe, and I know that attending your conference in such a beautiful place would be inspiring - but it's great that offering it online means it will be more accessible. How did this annual conference get started??
JN: In 2018, the event producer, Randy Davila (president of Insight Events USA and Hierophant Publishing) and I identified a major need. We have produced events for years that focus on personal transformation, healing, and growth. These include immersive experiences with such notable teachers as don Miguel Ruiz, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Byron Katie, and many others.
As my area of teaching and research is creativity, we noticed that many people longed for greater creative expression but didn't understand its connection to other avenues of development. In other words, creativity is often placed in a box labeled, "That would be nice," and not seen as a crucial path to healing and transformation.
MAB: That is so true! I started offering workshops on creativity at Edgar Cayce's ARE in the mid 1980's, and we couldn't even use the word "creativity" in the title, then, because it would scare people away! So I solved that by crafting a cagey title. Of course once the participants were in the workshop, they loved it, but many told me that they would have been too afraid to sign up for it if they had known it was going to be about creativity and then they thanked me for fooling them! I'm so glad that has changed over the last couple of decades, and I'm happy to see that you are able to use the word "creativity" now to attract people. What happened next?
JN: That is when we formed the intention to offer a unique, experiential event that would bring focus to the place where creativity and transformation meet. We flew to Santa Fe and met with Julia Cameron. Over lunch, we presented our idea for this event and asked her to consider being the headline teacher. She agreed and The Gathering of the Creatives was born!
From there, we assembled a group of teachers that included painters, writers, psychologists, art teachers, and thought leaders in the female empowerment movement.
The first year grew into an international gathering in Santa Fe with people coming in from around the world! That's when we knew that this would become an annual event.
When we do this event in Santa Fe, we include hands-on work with painting, music, dance, yoga, writing, breath work, and other modalities. We also invite the attendees to join us for the mind- and heart-expanding experiences of a firewalk and arrow break. Those who come to the Gathering of the Creatives return home with new eyes through which to see themselves and the world -- they rediscover and restore the connection to their inner creative selves that has the power to heal and transform our lives.
MAB: The pandemic itself has inspired lots of creativity in so many areas of our lives, including how we offer workshops and events, and I've noticed that lots of folks in the arts seem to be riding the crest of that wave of creativity. How are you all navigating your way through the pandemic environment with this event?
JN: This year presents extraordinary challenges as we cannot gather in-person and experience the familiar magic of connecting in the usual ways.
We are so excited to say that we are reproducing the most important elements of the experience virtually! It doesn't require finding room in the budget for travel, lodging, and meals. People can join us from anywhere in the world without leaving their homes.
MAB: That's great, who will be presenting this year?
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