We are excited. We signed on to support the world’s largest face-to-face creative community, CreativeMornings. We are long time, 3rd or 4th Friday of every month, show up early and stay late, community members, but now we get to call ourselves “proud sponsors” of the RDU Chapter. [We are also working to jumpstart a chapter in Va. Beach’s Vibe District!]

CreativeMornings is a free event, open to everyone. It includes breakfast, networking, and an inspiring talk from a creative person in the community. CM celebrates local creative talent and promotes an open space to connect and share. It occurs every month, on the same topic, in 229 cities, in 67 countries. [Here is co-President, Danny Rosin’s presentation on Collaboration.]

Anyhoo, as one of our sponsor perks, we get to say a few words to the audience before the speaker. We choose not to pitch our creative merch and services in infomercial, make them yawn, fashion. [Did we mention this event goes down at 8:30 AM?] Rather, we showcase some of our values: caring, kindness, community building and fun. And this month we tried a social experiment. Here’s how it shook out…

“Good morning, creatives! We are Brand Fuel, a B Corporation that is a branded merchandising agency, and we’re proud sponsors of CreativeMornings.

We want to take a moment to talk about the opposite of corruption (which was the theme). Can anyone give us a word that describes the opposite of corruption? (We heard words from the audience like “honesty,” “generosity” and “moral.”)

Anyone willing to take a risk and show kindness?

We think anti-corruption can show up as taking action and having the guts to be transparent, accountable, and acting in the best interest of those around you. Our team members who led the social experiment charge were: Mel, Khaliha, Renee, and “the other” Danny. Each of them had something slightly off about their appearance – toilet paper on the shoe, open backpack, a sticky note on the back, for example.

“the other” Danny

Now raise your hand if you noticed any of those things as you were networking.

Now keep your hand up if you spoke up and told any of them they had toilet paper on their shoe, an open pack, a sticky note on their back, etc.

Thank YOU!!! We want to party with you all.

Social experiments aside, we want this activity to remind you that little acts of honesty and selflessness can make a big difference. And that standing up for what’s right, even in small ways, can lead to significant change.

So, next time you see someone with a boogie on their nose or chive in their teeth, be that generous person to risk a little and point it out. Who knows? That type of helpfulness could be the start of a beautiful friendship, business engagement, or heck, even a future marriage story. So, let’s all do our part to spread positivity and make the world a better place, one embarrassing moment at a time!”

Maya Brooks is The NC Museum of Art’s Curator of Contemporary Arts, and her mission is to provide equitable museum experiences for diverse populations. She is striving to restore access, inclusion, and agency in the museum field for historically marginalized communities.

Maya Brooks – thank you for blowing us away with your talk that morning. And thank you, Joel Pominville, for “volunteer leading” the CMRDU charge with vision.

With that, we hope to see you at the next CreativeMornings. And if we do, we hope you will graciously point out everything you see wrong with our appearances.

CreativeMornings Manifesto

Everyone is creative.

A creative life requires bravery and action, honesty and hard work.

We are here to support you, celebrate with you, and encourage you to make the things you love.

We believe in the power of community. We believe in giving a damn. We believe in face-to-face connections, in learning from others, in hugs and high fives.

We bring together people who are driven by passion and purpose, confident that they will inspire one another, and inspire change in neighborhoods and cities around the world.

Everyone is welcome.