2020 has proven to be one of the toughest years for many of us, and we are exhausted. I can't even begin to fathom the impact of what this year has had on us as we continue to struggle out of it.
However, I've learned that even as I struggle, I still carry a light. Board member and dear friend, Eugene Wong, once gave me a print with the quote: 'There is Nothing Little about the Light that You Shine'. It reminds me daily that no matter how small, the light I have lights the way in through the darkness.
In the past year, I felt more like a smouldering wick, rather than a flame of any size. When I had to juggle 3 jobs plus homeschooling and come to terms with stage 4 lockdown with elderly parents whom we were not allowed to visit, I felt like this light was getting snuffed out. But the truth is... it hasn't. I still have a light, and you still have it too.
I am writing this message to let you know that your light hasn't gone out. It may be dimmer, but it is still there.... because you have a purpose and you have the ability to create. Here are a few tips on how to keep burning:
1. Re-ignite the flame. Revisit your purpose, vision, passion... anything that makes your heart sing and lights your fire once again!
2. Find others with the same light. When you need a light, it's time to connect with your tribe and burn brightly together.
3. Check and see if your wick needs a trim. Sometimes we need to clean out things that keep us from burning like old mindsets, toxic relationships, misconceptions, etc.
4. Get more oil. To keep burning, we need to fill our lamps with oil. These are the lessons we learn, the knowledge we acquire or the skill we are committed to developing.
As an arts organisation, we too had to do all the above to keep our fire burning. Despite not being successful in getting funding for any projects this year and resources were quickly running dry, we knew that we needed to still keep shining. Having this community, learning how to adapt, and creating with you have filled our hearts and fuelled our lamps. We would like to thank you for connecting and creating with us. Here are some of what we accomplished this past year:
• Established 'Made to Create@Home' - a safe and encouraging online community as a place for people to share their stories, artwork and inspiration
• Initiated 'Letters of Hope' - a project delivering messages of hope to the community from the community
• Conducted a community survey - a way to find out how can we best provide support to creatives in our community. The highest responses were art-making and connection.
• On-boarded new creative arts facilitators - to help us offer opportunities for people to create and connect with one another
• Launched 'Creative Sessions' - we ran 6 creative programs from August to December and achieved our objectives in keeping our community safe, connected and supported
We will continue to keep the fire burning in 2021. While art-making has been a focus in the last few months, we feel that it is important for us to recover and rebuild our creative lives. So we are kicking off 2021 with a series of online workshops to help you build a 'recovery toolkit' with tools for creative strategy and wellbeing. See below for more information.
For the rest of the year, we are planning to have a mix of in-person and online creative sessions that will help you connect, create and care for your wellbeing. We hope that we will continue to burn our light together in the coming year.
For now, we wish you a wonderful and safe Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Glenda and the Made to Create Team x
Founder of Made to Create