For 22 years, Creative 360 has been a vital and unique destination within the Great Lakes Bay Region. Every class, event and outreach program has at its core a focus to provide wellness through experience, expression and expansion of the creative self. The mission, written in 1994 when cofounders Cynthia Keefe and Linda Z. Smith were Alden B. Dow Creativity Fellows at Northwood University remains essentially the same.
Creative 360’s mission is to create environments that allow people of all ages and abilities to experience the creative process, and to enhance physical, mental and spiritual wellness through the arts and humanities.
Since its inception, Creative 360 has offered a wide variety of classes, workshops and events for all ages and populations. Our offerings have grown to include those with special needs, individuals with disabilities, older adults, people in recovery, veterans, at-risk teens, and gifted and talented youth. Through collaboration with local schools, universities, assisted care facilities, youth groups, service clubs, human-services agencies and other nonprofits we tailor programs that give students and residents greater exposure to the creative arts and humanities.
Express Yourself Artshop is the result of such collaboration. Creative 360 worked with several local agencies to open Express Yourself Artshop, a crucial inclusive arts program for people with varying abilities. Express Yourself Artshop offers over 35 different art, music, drama, dance and wellness classes for more than 175 participants, many of whom have Community Living Support (CLS funding from CMHCM). Our full time coordinator and art therapist, Rachel Gaffney, directs 12 outstanding art instructors and numerous volunteers.
A six-minute video on our website tells the story best as the students explain their Express Yourself Artshop experiences through broad smiles.
Creative 360 offers a year round schedule of workshops and classes, a speakers’ forum, concerts, Shakespeare performances, dinner theatre, improvisation/comedy, movie screenings, poetry readings, and children’s summer interrelated arts camps. Our art gallery is open free to the public and was enjoyed by more than 8,700 visitors last year. It is one of the most visible galleries in the area and was voted Greatest Art Gallery in the Great Lakes Bay by readers of Great Lakes Bay Magazine.
John Pratt Mosaic House: As we support a full schedule of activity, Creative 360 board members and numerous community leaders and volunteers are developing a plan to preserve the art on the John Pratt Mosaic House we have owned for over 17 years. Through tours, teaching opportunities, workshops and seminars, more than 75,000 people have experienced the art and message of creativity for all people including those with mental illness. With a generous donation from the Charles Strosacker Foundation, we have been able to do a preliminary study to determine the best way to preserve, move and use the mosaic art at our 1517 Bayliss site. This effort requires great creativity, fortitude and a well-planned campaign. Everyone involved sees this as an important project for the Great Lakes Bay Region. It is sure to be a popular destination that features folk/outsider art and the important message of creative expression and well-being for all people.
Activities at Creative 360 are supported in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, Midland Area Community Foundation and the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.
Experience. Express. Expand your creativity.
We envision a world in which creativity is integral to every life and its value is recognized.
To create environments that allow people of all ages and abilities to experience the creative process, and to enhance physical, mental and spiritual wellness through the arts and humanities.
Inclusiveness – No matter your age, gender, race, beliefs, skills or life circumstances, you are welcome at Creative 360 and are free to be yourself.
Creativity – We believe that imagination and free expression are essential to any person’s life. We see creativity not as a finished product, but a journey of discovery, so we provide a non-judgmental atmosphere where all work is treasured.
Respect – We respect not only people, but also ideas. We are open to new and non-traditional programming. We believe in the power of saying “yes”.
Community – We believe that unity and compassion are components of a strong society. We work to bring people together.