Creative Breakfasts: Reflections on year 1
We launched Creative Breakfasts at Macrobert Arts Centre last September. They grew from an idea that – often – what we most need in order to be creative is a protected hour of time, energy, and support from like-minded people. That it’s nourishing and stimulating to hear what other creative folks are working on, and to have space and time to share our ideas, struggles, aspirations and ambitions in a relaxed, supportive space. And also, that it’s nice to drink coffee and eat breakfast together whilst we do so.
And so, Creative Breakfasts were born. They take place on the first Friday of every month (always 9-10am, so you can head off to work or get on with your day afterwards). They’re free (although we ask people to book, so that we know how much coffee to make), and they’re open to absolutely anyone. We usually invite one person to share a project or an idea that they’re working on, then we leave plenty of time for discussion, questions, chat and ‘networking’ (although in the loveliest, most informal way you could imagine).
(Image: Sharing lunch at Macrobert Arts Centre)
Since that first Creative Breakfast last September, we’ve run 10 Breakfasts, across 5 different venues, with some 115 attendees. Some people come to every Breakfast, some people only show up occasionally. We’ve held Breakfasts at Macrobert (and we still come here regularly), but we’ve also appeared in a bike workshop (Recyke-a-Bike, where we had great bacon rolls), a historic house (kudos to the awesome team at Bannockburn House), and artist studios (GOSSIP Collective and Made in Stirling). We’ve been joined by creative students, professionals, enthusiasts and those who are simply curious. Some come to make friends, or because they’re new to the area. Some come to hear from a person they admire, or learn about a topic they’re interested in. Some come simply for a moment in their week when there’s no expectation to do or be anything. Come, listen, chat (or don’t), share (or don’t). Anything goes.
Personally, I’ve always come away feeling richer, like my soul’s been a little bit nourished. I’ve been inspired by interesting people and amazed by the wealth of activity happening in my neighbourhood. I’ve discovered new projects and new spaces, developed new partnerships and drunk approximately 300 cups of coffee.
In establishing Breakfasts, we were inspired by the global network of CreativeMornings (there are Scottish events in Edinburgh and Glasgow under the CreativeMornings brand). I’d originally expected that we’d apply to be part of that network, but as time’s gone on, have rather come to appreciate the flexibility of being able to do our own thing, and whatever’s right for Stirling, rather than being influenced by a bigger network. Perhaps that’ll change again at some point in the future. We’ll certainly attract new people and new speakers, go to new places and discover new parts of Stirling. And I look forward to our Creative Breakfast community continuing to suggest speakers, nominate venues, and generally co-create Breakfasts into an event that’s right for us, and for here.
And so I’m delighted to have confirmed the programme for spring 2020, which is available for booking at https://macrobertartscentre.org/creative-learning/creative-breakfasts/. I do hope you’ll find a spot in your week to join us.