Our featured Hudson Valley Current Member for October is the Circle Creative Collective. Learn more about their crafting workshops and connection to the Current in our Q&A below.
- Please describe the work you do at Circle Creative Collective.
We are a nonprofit organization rooted in the Hudson Valley with a mission of preserving and sharing the wisdom and healing of traditional crafts and skills. We offer events and hands-on classes both in-person and online. We gather in Circle to weave the fabric of community, inspiring people of diverse cultures and backgrounds to remember the lessons and skills of our ancestors, and embrace the wisdom of each of our unique traditions and own expression. And we have a LOT of fun!
- What is your background and how did you start the collective?
Our Circle was formed because each of our founders separately recognized the healing power of true community and the wisdom of traditional crafts. Each member of our core team is very creative; we gratefully come from creative, close families, and see how urgently others are longing to connect, express, get out of their heads, and reduce anxiety. The simple combination of craft and open-hearted connection is so extraordinary. Fibers and other mediums, making and learning things, playing and exploring creatively…it’s a magical brew.
- How do you choose the programs you offer? What is special about them to you?
We are personally curious and willing to explore many different mediums. We offer classes in processes we either fell in love with ourselves and became adept at, would like to know more about, or, if we have crossed paths with another passionate maker who holds specific wisdom that they are excited to share, they will come in as a teacher. Finally, sometimes, someone may reach out who is interested in learning a specific thing, so we might organize a class. We also want to mention that we are currently in our third year of operation, and our ever-evolving programming (for adults, teens, and children) is offered on a pay-what-you-can basis to ensure equitable access. What do you want to learn? 😉
- Can you share any exciting projects you have coming up?
Throughout this fall, we have all kinds of inspiring programming but as part of our Sankofa series, many are focused on traditional crafts, fibers, and creative practices from multiple regions of Africa, with a focus on West Africa. Our crowning jewel is on October 2, 2-5pm How the Gourds Got Their Voices, a life-affirming story written and told by Caru Thompson and brought to life with the visionary puppets of Rosendale’s Redwing Blackbird Theater and our community. Members of Good Gourd, a local singing and percussion group celebrating African-American heritage and culture, will also be an essential part of the ceremony. Join us for this unforgettable musical performance with handmade life-sized puppets and masks, crafts, and a healing ceremony for the waters! And to add, through all our various offerings, we gently remind others of the importance of creating and living with a reverence for the earth, and an awareness about our collective impact on communities and individuals near and far.
- How did you get involved with Hudson Valley Current?
Truth be told, in our case, it’s all in the family! Two of our co-founders, Melissa Hewitt and Mirabai Trent, are the sister and niece respectively of the Current’s Founder, Chris Hewitt. Melissa has also been a part of the design team for the Current’s paper currency, Mirabai has been a part of the design of Livelihood’s publication, and Circle’s team has played a role in Tilda’s decor and some events.
- Why do you use Currents?
We use Currents because we are passionate about contributing and engaging in the local economy. Currents ensure that our money is staying local and enriching the community of the Hudson Valley. One of our values and missions at Circle is localizing production, and the Current is such an integral key in making that happen. When we keep our money local we know who we’re supporting, what our money is contributing to, and how this impacts not only the community but the land as well.
- How can people learn more about you and your offerings?
Please explore our site, which features our calendar and much more: circlecreativecollective.org. You can also find us on Instagram and Facebook @circlecreativecollective. We hope you’ll join our Circle!