Since joining CraftWorks in January, I’ve had some time to immerse myself in all things CraftWorks. I’ve met with scientists and naturalists and learned a few new words to describe this environmentally rich ecosystem. I’ve met with artists, who have taught me to relax, be fearless and just create something with your hands. I’ve met with community leaders who have shown me we’re all in this together. I’ve met with our dedicated board of volunteer directors, who have taught me that if you’re going to do something, do it with your whole heart. Yes, I have learned a lot in a small amount of time, thanks to the generosity and kindness of people who make up this diverse and eclectic community known as CraftWorks. As I listened to an array of interesting and talented people tell me their hopes and dreams for CraftWorks, I too had to ask myself, what are my hopes and dreams for CraftWorks? Could I sum it up in one word? The answer is yes and that word is…..VIBRANCY.
Webster’s tells us that vibrancy means “showing great life, activity, and energy”. I’ve seen other definitions that include words like colorful, thriving, enthusiasm, vitality, rich sound, and sparkle. My dream for CraftWorks is to reach a state of vibrancy that overflows into the community and reaches artists, educators, children, scientists, naturalists, writers, farmers, planners, and leaders. That it becomes a hub where people connect in an environment bursting with life. But how do you measure your success? How do you know that you have achieved a vibrant sense of place? Vibrancy isn’t something that you can count or track or monitor. It’s what you experience when you stand in a place and feel an attachment to its beauty, its rarity, its history, its creative energy, its mysteries, and its openness. It is the very soul of a place speaking to you.
I’ve listened to the rhythm of the Bull Skin Run as it makes its way through Cool Spring Farm trying to maintain its path and purity on its journey to the Chesapeake Bay. I have felt the wind on my face and enjoyed the exhilaration that comes from inhaling the crisp outdoor air. I have shared conversations along the trails that warmed my heart and will undoubtedly result in friendships and partnerships that blossom into innovative ideas and projects. I have stood next to people and watched their eyes light up the first time they visit our studio surrounded by beauty and all the little extras that immediately tell you that art lives here. I have smelled the coffee brewing that beckons you to come in and chat a while. I have listened as the sound of an undeniable laugh rises above the hum of a crowd and brings a smile to my face. Most profoundly, I have watched the expressions of gratitude that are so very human when someone shares their time, talent and knowledge with another. This is what vibrancy feels like! This is the very thing that I am committed to cultivating at CraftWorks. I hope that you will join me.