Project Create

the biography of a nonprofit

It Started As An Idea

My name is Jordan, and I am just a guy working in the corporate world. I get up, go to work, sit at a desk, go home and repeat. The only creative decision I make in my day is what to buy for lunch.

What separates us from animals is our ability to create. We can create tools. We can create clothing, television, and wine!  Most importantly, we can create art. But so many of us don’t.

Somewhere along the way, we separated creativity from our daily lives. Art has become a luxury that too many people don’t think they can afford. Last year, government funding for the arts at the state level was reduced by 6%, and even worse, reduced by 8% at both the local and national levels. This is surprising, considering that countless studies have shown that art education has a positive impact on cognitive development, academic performance, and workplace creativity.

I have been lucky enough to teach a few painting classes at Arts N Spirits in Chicago. Most of the artists that take these classes are not professionals. They are people who rarely have the chance to be creative, not because they don’t want to, but because they are not encouraged to express their creativity or the resources to do so are not readily available. Why buy a set of paints if you were never taught to paint?

After each class my students left with smiles on their faces and artwork they created. Their creativity found expression. And just like that it hit me – the world would be a better place if everybody could express their creativity. Make art not war, right? Okay that might be a little too idealistic, but the point is, someone needs to bring creativity back to the masses.

Armed with this realization, I am volunteering to be that person. In July, I am moving to New Orleans, Louisiana. I am going to leave the corporate world behind to start Project Create, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing people back to their creative centers.

This blog is a (semi) transparent look into the creation and life of a nonprofit organization. This is where Project Create’s story begins. Here I will share with you my journey from zero to (hopefully!) hero. I will keep you updated on the development of Project Create as it grows from just another day-dreamed idea into reality.

So join me in this adventure. Experience the highs and lows of starting a company and enjoy. And if nothing else, I hope you are inspired to create something.

If you are interested in becoming a part of Project Create, or you have any suggestions, please leave a comment.

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8 thoughts on “It Started As An Idea

  1. Gretchen Broman on said:

    I think this is great! I wish I could be more creative, but never got the chance or had the time! Can’t wait to see more. Good luck, and let me know how I can help.

    • Thanks! The whole point of Project Create is to show you that you can be creative, and that the only thing stopping you is yourself. Stay tuned for ways that you can add a little creativity to your busy schedule. For example, I find that any time you can make something new in your daily routine adds a little bit of creativity to your life. Try this: next time you are at the grocery store, buy an herb you think smells nice (i.e. lavender or rosemary). When your doing your laundry and you find an old sock that doesn’t have a match, put a bit of the herb in it, roll it up and put a rubberband around it to keep it closed. Now you have great smelling potpourri for your sock drawer that you made yourself!

  2. The fact that you are willing to take the risk to make the world a more creative and artful place makes you my hero already! I look forward to following your blog!

    • Thank you for the follow. I am glad Project Create is a source of encouragement for you! I took a look at your blog, and I think you have a great thing going. A large portion of Project Create is aimed towards promoting art education in students, and I think your blog will be an amazing source for ideas. Keep it up!

  3. This is a great idea, Jordan! I can’t wait to follow along with the process and your success!

  4. Hello..my name is Lynne and I’m a poet
    last spring I (on a whim) noticed a lack of poetry available to people. Free poetry that is. Long story short, I put out a call to my FB peeps asking for poetry submissions. Within 3 days I had over 200 poems and now over 30 volumes of poetry, 600 writers and 35 artists later, take-it-to-the-street-poetry is driving along the highways of literary expression.

    I am clapping for you because I think you are my artistic cousin. So as not to fill up your comment box too much, I invite you to check out my homebase (www.takeittothestreetpoetry.com) and my current adventure (invadingnola.wordpress.com)..

    I would love to support you in any way I can…I’ll be living in NOLA next summer so until then..

    This is wonderful what you are doing!!!
    Lynne

    • Hi, Lynne. Thanks for the encouraging words! Kudos to you, “cousin”, for take-it. That is admirable and inspiring, and I am so happy there are other people like us out there. Art should not be a luxury, and it’s great to see that you have taken it upon yourself to bring it back to the masses.

      I will definitely be following your blogs. Please stay in touch as your move to NOLA gets closer. I would love any help/feedback/support you could give to Project Create!

      Do you have a twitter account? Let me know if you do – you can follow us at @PrjCreate_NOLA. I would love of tweet some of your poetry…

      Best,
      Jordan

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