One day every quarter, we close the office so the whole agency can spend time together through hands-on learning opportunities designed to help us create, connect, refresh, give back and thrive. We call them Creative Academy Days. It might seem counter-intuitive, but taking this short break only makes our work, and working relationships, stronger.
The third Creative Academy Day of 2019 took us to The Union for Contemporary Art. The Union is a local nonprofit that supports the North Omaha community surrounding it through arts classes, an artist residency program, exhibits, social justice programming and a community garden. We spent the whole day enjoying their beautiful new facility and stepping out of our artistic comfort zones.
In the morning, we split up into small groups for art classes. Everybody got to try two kinds of art offered at The Union, like screen printing, sewing a DIY fanny pack, movement, throwing pottery, cyanotype printing and more. It was messy, exciting and lots of fun making art with our hands and bodies instead of on-screen.
In the afternoon, we spent time outdoors picking up trash and weeding the community garden. Getting some fresh air on a sunny day was pretty great, but getting the chance to connect with each other on a new level was even better. Out here, we really had to work together and get our hands dirty to make a difference.
We end every Creative Academy Day by reflecting on what we learned from the experience. Our day at The Union brought many of us back to the love of creativity and artistic freedom we’ve always had. We also learned about new activities and programs going on that we could come back to enjoy with our friends and families.
For many of us, The Union embodies what we mean when we say “Create Things That Matter.” Every day, we can work together to find opportunities no one else sees. We can give our clients something that makes a difference for their business, their communities, their customers’ lives, or even just something that makes them smile. Gaining a new perspective like this is exactly what makes Creative Academy Days worth a day away from the office.