You Are a Maker

“I’m not creative.”

Chances are you’ve heard someone say this before. Maybe you’ve even uttered those words yourself. But creativity means many different things, and it can strike anyone, anywhere. Maybe inspiration struck you standing in front of the pantry wondering how to get dinner on the table tonight. Or in a moment of sudden insight you think of the perfect words to explain a concept in a new way, one that unlocks your child’s understanding of today’s homework. Or maybe, through your work with a local nonprofit, you find needs that aren’t being addressed and help create a solution.

Is it strange for a performing arts organization to be talking about creativity this way? Maybe—but that’s the point. We want to take down some of the walls around who gets to be creative and who doesn’t: creativity and ideas don’t belong only to those on a stage or in a studio. Individuals and communities create all the time. Maybe the idea just needs a little reframing.

A crowd of children celebrate in their homemade robot costumes

You might already know about our 2018/19 theme, You Are Everything, and that we’ll be exploring facets of community life throughout the year. One such facet is the idea of co-creation, aimed at revealing the many ways any person can take part in creativity.

In September, we invite you to visit the Plastic Bag Store in the Studio at CURRENT. It’s almost an ordinary convenience store: except everything in it is made of discarded plastic—much of it collected right here in the Triangle. These items tell an imaginative, funny, and relevant story about our dependence on plastic and its effects. And you can return for evening performances and see the installation through the eyes of live performers and puppets telling their own tales.

At their performance in February, the music collective wild Up will be inviting audience members to join them in marching, chanting, and even singing, until it becomes impossible to distinguish visiting artist from ticketholder. In the week following, they’ll work with local community members and students to create a new piece of music that will be debuted at a second performance at their residency’s end.

And at the end of our season, we’ll celebrate everything that’s happened in 2018/19 with DJ Kid Koala. At Satellite, he’ll make amateur DJs out of everyone in the audience, leading them with lighting cues to play their own turntables. Then, at his Robot Dance Party, kids of all ages are invited to make robot costumes out of cardboard boxes and other flair and then take to the dance floor to shake it only as a tiny robot can.

These artists all offer wildly different experiences with one important thing in common: no part of what they’ll do here in Chapel Hill could be done without you. We hope you’ll join us for one or all of their visits. In the meantime, we invite you to tell us a little something about yourself for our #YouAreEverythingatCPA project. Maybe now, yours could say, “I am…creative.”

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