Creating Community Through Collaboration
Senior, documentary film
Interviewed by David Dunham
The Creative is a film and photography workshop that helps students to come to together and share their experiences, while creating new ones. Stephen Allcock and Tomi Kapusi are the co-founders of this unique project that seeks to bring out the artistic gifts in everyone. You can find The Creative on Facebook at DiscoverTheCreative, where they send out the event updates for each week, or on Instagram @discover_thecreative, where they feature their weekly top three submissions.
What exactly is The Creative?
Stephen: The Creative Sessions exist to build community, encourage creativity through digital media, and promote local businesses. Every Sunday, The Creative hosts a casual photo/film workshop. We facilitate group activities, provide professional input and discover new places together. This is a great way to explore your area, meet fellow creatives, and expand your craft. Every Monday, Facebook events will provide information on meet-up location, time and activity for the next event. Minimum tech requirements: you must own and be comfortable with using a smartphone/tablet with camera and microphone capability. All levels of experience welcomed.
What inspired you to start this initiative?
Stephen: The inspiration to start these sessions was a mixture of things. When I first arrived in Berrien Springs, many people told me this area was boring and had nothing to offer. But there are tons of amazing places within an hour or so from us, and my goal is to highlight these amazing places. The second inspiration was the lack of community, especially within the creative community in our area. Some people, such as myself are naturally extroverted and have no problem getting to know people in the area. Other creatives tend to be more introverted, and find it harder to make connections or build community. The idea is to get people looking at the area they live in with a different set of eyes, with people who share a passion for arts in general. You don't just have to be a photographer or a filmmaker to became a part of The Creative! Literally anyone with a smartphone can get on board, and these sessions can provide inspiration for other creatives too, such as graphic designers, painters, architects, writers, etc. Intentionally going out into your environment and looking at it differently with people of all different disciplines is a great way to recharge your creative juices and learn about some of the brilliant places in your backyard.
What is the most memorable location that The Creative has gone to?
Tomi: The most notable location so far for me has been Warren Dunes. When we arrived on location it was pouring rain and here we were wanting to shoot photos during golden hour. We ended up hiking out in the rain and wet sand but the weather cleared up by the time we got to our shooting location and we captured some of the best photos so far right there.
What is something that makes you passionate about keeping this project going?
Tomi: I love seeing people who don't know each other or have never met become friends and work together. We've seen shy people come out of their comfort zones and make friends and that is really rewarding. As a result of the collaboration we create, we get fantastic content in all kinds of different styles and approaches.