The Creatives Project @ Ponce City Market

The old City Hall building and surrounding lot are being renovated and turned into loft apartments/small business shops on Ponce De Leon. The majority of this new ‘Ponce City Market’ site is still a large scale WIP, but a small area on the back side of the block – a.k.a. North Avenue – is up and running. Tonight, the hubby and I got to check out the soon-to-be hot spot, courtesy of The Creatives Project; with a little Art, Education, and Community Involvement thrown in free of charge!

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The basic concept of tonight’s Capturing Community event was a grand finale exhibition that both capped off TCP’s summer youth program and launched their month-long residency at the PCM Gallery. Neda Abghari, the founder and main photographer with The Creatives Project, spent the entire summer partnering with Big Bethel AME Church to provide photography lessons and educational outreach to a group of Atlanta Public School students in collaboration with Operation P.E.A.C.E. Then, TCP sent those students out into the streets of their own neighborhood – Auburn and Edgewood Avenues to be precise – with a mission to interview and photograph the interesting community members they met along the way.

Tonight’s exhibition showcased the talent of those budding photographers and shone a light on the citizens of a long neglected neighborhood. I was most impressed by the ages of the students ranging from 12 to 15 years old!

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My favorite picture/interview of the evening was taken by 13 year old Anton Cousins – A candid photo of Ms. Wanda Little. I immediately connected with Ms. Little because we share a bond in our mutual fight against Lupus, and Anton captured perfectly the strength in her eyes despite a debilitating illness which has placed her in a wheelchair. I write often about Lupus advocacy and it made me smile to know that I happened to be wearing my Lupus butterfly ring tonight. It’s not purple like the butterfly in our logo, but I was feeling the sisterhood anyway. Thank you, Anton for capturing just the right community member to make my day and thank you Ms. Little for being willing to share some of your story with your young photographer.

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I won’t show you all of the pictures from the exhibition because I want to leave you with something to go see for yourselves, but here are a few of the many photos that jumped out at me tonight. The Creatives Project is doing great things in Atlanta and you won’t want to miss it! #TCPatPCM ~ cS, Constance SHERESE

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Where The Rabbits Have Been Hiding…

I started this blog over a year ago as an invite for all of you to follow along on my journey to create CultStatus. An inside connection to all things Culture, Art, Literature, Dance, Music, and general Inspiration for the masses. I wanted it to feel like a “Welcome to Your World” for all us creative types out there looking for a home. I created a Facebook Page, Twitter Account, Website, and more.

But then Life happened. And it started feeling like too much too soon. Too much good and bad and busy and running and… Suddenly the million and one “bunny rabbit” creative ideas running around in my head seemed like more of a burden than a blessing.

Bottom line, I wasn’t ready. Wasn’t committed enough. I failed.

The good news is that everyone fails. Unless, of course, you’re Thomas Edison, who said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10, 000 ways that will not work.” (You can thank the nerdy fiancé for that quote).

But for the rest of us, there’s no escaping the inevitability of failure. Or at the very least, finding 10, 000 “ways” of our own to learn what Edison already knew. That pushing on through the struggle is the only way to succeed. All the greats have done it. But just like them, the ups and downs of life have fueled me and better inspired me to start again. So what have the rabbits been up to?

Well, I fell in love. And juggled a long-distance relationship. And traveled. And fell in and out and back into touch with artistic friends across the world. And managed a full time job – “Life” at its finest. And went to plays and art exhibits and film festivals and workshops and book festivals and Goat Farm interpretive dance shows and so much more across this beautiful city of Atlanta that I call home.

And lost my sister in death. And got engaged to my best friend. And found out I have Lupus, one week after I found my dream dress. And started planning an out-of-state wedding on a six month timeline. And reading Lean In along with the rest of the world (It’s Amazing, go get it!). And now, 35 days before my wedding. Now, when I’m just trying not to lose my mind from all the rabbits. Now. I decide to start again.

Why? Because in spite of all the good moments that should have motivated me to keep going; it’s been the times of greatest struggle and pain and fears about the future that have inspired me the most. I have thrived on those feelings. And it doesn’t hurt that I’ve got an amazing support system in my fiancé, family, and friends.

So here I am starting over.

My first two initiatives? Making Lupus awareness, education, and fund raising an ongoing part of the CultStatus mission.

And giving you the creative goodness I know you’ve been craving. The nugget of inspiration that keeps jumping out at me: Finding beauty in the struggle. I think I’ll start with that theme.

Are you ready? Let’s see where this goes…

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