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My night with Bloom Creative Collective at “Never Sent”

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.  First, let me ask you one question: Did you sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star when you read all the letters just now? Don’t worry, I did too. And not just once, but every time I have proofed this blog. *Insert frustrated eye-roll emoji*

OK back to the point. A B C D E F G… you get the idea. These 26 letters are the building blocks of our language. The DNA, or ultimate code for our communication. With these letters, we shape and create narratives that boggle the human mind, mess with emotions, ensnare your senses, and most importantly transport you to alternate realities. People have made lifetime careers off these 26 letters.

Take for example Kevin Durant. Newly added to the Golden State Warriors in 2016. For a career of putting a ball in a basket, his net worth is up to about $60.6 million and that’s not counting the 10-year endorsement contract with Nike that is worth as much as $300 million. Now let’s compare him to J.K. Rowling, whose estimated net worth from the Harry Potter Franchise is just shy of $1 billion — which is a fraction of the $15 billion brand she created.

The picture I am trying to paint is that words are powerful. We combine and rearrange these 26 little letters to create infinite combinations of words, phrases, and sentences that invoke our greatest emotions. This is exactly what Bloom Creative Collective did with their event Never Sent: an evening of words, art, nostalgia.”

Bloom is a female-based creative collective started by four friends (Briana Anello, Ashley Bethard, Morgan Bush, and Jenna Black). Their goal is to create a safe space for artists to come together, explore their creativity, and embrace the messiness of this process through workshops, experiences and collaborative projects. They believe that being creative is about learning to be vulnerable. Their space is one of support, not competition.

Never Sent is the first event Bloom has put on, with many more to come. Held within the offices of Catapult Creative in downtown Dayton, Never Sent’s ambiance was that of home. From the moment you walked in, you were welcomed with a calming spirit and an energy that couldn’t be explained. Hand-made refreshments coupled with a spread of light hors d’oeuvres cleansed your physical palate as well as prepared your mental palate.

With a backdrop of roses falling into a sea of twinkle lights, Bloom set the stage perfectly for its speakers. The best way I can describe the feeling of the background for the speakers; it was as if a warm blanket was wrapped within a hug to protect each speaker.  Almost like armor or some sort of supportive coat of protection.

The Speakers

Jessica Warner – “My friend Tina once said to me, ‘You were basically a Marxist feminist Tasmanian devil with fashion sense,’ and I can’t think of any better way to describe myself.”

Karen Maner – A native Daytonian, Karen Maner earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Eastern Washington University, where she served as the Assistant Coordinator of the Get Lit literary festival. Since returning to Dayton, she’s dedicated herself to organizations that unite the community through storytelling and the arts, serving as a board member for UpDayton and Friends of the Dayton Metro Library and working as the Communications and Project Manager for Culture Works. Her writing has appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading and Colorado Review and made the Notable Essays list in Best American Essays 2014.

Stephanie Coates – Mom of three little humans. Clumsy tree climber. Traveler. Purveyor of words and baked goods. Love Poets are the worst. I’m alright though.

Ashley Bethard – “A note on my poetic sensibilities: if it’s got rust, dust, or a deep and troubled history, I will fall in love. This explains every good and terrible decision I’ve ever made.”

Natalie Sanders – Actress at Dare to Defy productions, writer, artist.

Bridget Flaherty – Corporate Powerhouse turned Gypsy: In 2016, Bridget walked away from a corporate leadership position, sold her house and everything in it and took to the road. She hiked the Grand Canyon, drove the Pacific Coast Highway, went to the top of the Space Needle in Seattle, jumped off a cliff into Crater Lake in Oregon and witnessed Old Faithful blow in Yellowstone. She now writes and shares stories and leads workshops for both business and personal development.

Much like my cholesterol, this event was filled with emotional highs and lows. With readings about “Conversations I Have With You When I Am High,” extremely descriptive narratives of Jeff Goldblum’s intimacy scenes in the movie “The Fly,” playing truth or dare of the heart, an admission of how one cannot authentically process grief, and a heartfelt poem-letter to one’s daughter. “Never Sent” promised an evening of memories, but delivered a night of emotions from the past.

This event wasn’t out to make money, or gain a foothold in the artistic community. You won’t see the evening news do a five-minute piece on what lives the event saved. Never Sent’s mission was to strengthen those who needed the emotional endurance training that they have been unable to find. To help build upon a foundation, some that were fractured, and to create something so unbelievable, that hearing it only did it fractional justice.

Mission Accomplished.

You can follow Bloom: a creative collective on Facebook and Instagram.


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