A creative hub is a place, either physical or virtual, which brings creative people together.
It is a convenor, providing space and support for networking, business development and community engagement within the creative, cultural and tech sectors.
Creative hubs come in all different shapes and sizes, and can be described in many different ways – collectives, co-operatives, labs, incubators and can be static, mobile or online.
Equipping hub leaders with capacity building skills translates into a transfer of skills and resources into the community influenced by the hub which is one of the reasons British Council along with Hivos and Nesta lauched the Creative Hubs Academy and the pilot three part Connect.Hubs programme, which our hub Afrobloggers has been part of.
The Coaching Retreat is the final part of this programme and mostly a reflection and mapping the way forward for the hubs that were in the project.
The two day retreat was packed with activities, discussions and exercises designed to stimulate collaborations, exchange of ideas, problem solving and learning through shared experiences.
One of my favourite activities was the listening exercise from which I learnt how to be deliberate in the message/story I am putting across; to narrow down the gap between what I want to say, what I am actually saying and what is being heard by actively listening, instead of simply waiting for my turn to speak.
Our stories make more impact when they engage both sides of the brain i.e. appeals to logic, reason and emotion.
We even dabbled in the art of storyboards as a way communicating and visualizing our ideas and the steps needed to realise this process which I felt was a stimulating exercise in being able to convert an idea into an executionable project.
Group problem solving was also an interesting activity with surprising results where one person would share a problem and others try to not just offer suggestions/solutions but to understand/define the problem and what has been attempted to solve it.
This exercise was a great groundwork for future collaborative efforts between different hubs and some of the solutions being offered catered to much more than the problem initially stated with almost everyone picking up something to take home from the task.
To aid in collaborations and support we learnt the importance of having values that are explicitly articulated in our spaces to not only keep us in check but so others can quickly identify if we have aligning interests.
I high key had an anxiety attack while presenting a group project we did (using the following materials)
My group had hub leaders whose common goal is to challenge social norms, from culture, equality to mental health. While other groups made elaborate projects ours seemed simple but we spent a lot of time and thought on what should be in it and how it made you feel than how it looked.
The Social Norm Leaf which could represent turning over a new leaf or a new page to tell a story….
…..because paper always listens.
It was not all serious business but fun was had connections were made and remade.
During some downtime with fellow hubsters we had an interesting discussion on how a progamme such as this would possibly be harvesting us for research data or ideas and such, then ended up concluding much as they will learn from us, we learnt from each other…
Shout out to: Indigo Saint from Cottage 47, Tawanda from AfroTokyo, Elliot Moyo from Early Entertainment, Tawanda from Mabvazuva Creative hub, Morset Billie from Page Poetry Alive, Tinashe from Shinga Innovation Hub, Doc Vikela from Simuka Comedy, Bukhosibenkosi Moyo from The Municipal Review, Mandla from Umahlekisa Comedy Club, Robbie from Multimedia Box, Arlington from Amagugu International Heritage Centre, Michael from Umotto Centre of Culture, Berinaba from Faded Equi Green Hub, Deborah from Creative Menace, Wezi of Mzuzu Fashion Week, Hellen from Girls Loud Rock Camp, Yamiko from Zaluso Arts; and of course Ellen O’hara, Imogen Lawry, Genevieve Pace and TEAM ENTHUSE AFRIKA!!!!♥♥♥