I moved to Dallas in 2010 and lucked into a dream job less than a year later. During my first few months as an editor with FaithVillage.com (may the site rest in peace), we were tasked with forming relationships with Christian organizations across the nation. That’s how I first learned about one particular group that was in my proverbial backyard.
Although FaithVillage and Art House Dallas never connected, I connected with Art House Dallas rather quickly. I attended an event called the Art House Exchange, a casual pub gathering for creatives hosted in downtown Dallas. I met dozens of artists representing a broad swath of creativity: other writers, visual artists, filmmakers, songwriters, and even a chef. I felt like so many do after their first Art House Dallas experience: these are my people.
Soon thereafter, I began to lead some of the small group discussions during the Exchanges. This was simply a set-apart time for ten or so people to gather around a table and talk about the triumphs and tribulations of creating, whether they were working on a new story, a new painting, or a new song. It was fascinating to me (and still is) that despite our very different backgrounds and creative pursuits, many of our core issues (seeking validation, finding time to create, etc.) were similar.
A little over a year ago, Art House Dallas launched its first writers group. I was fortunate to be included in that group and still relish the monthly gathering of our ten or so members. About a month ago, we even had a special event to read excerpts from a collaborative short story project that our group created.
I share all of that to share this: Art House Dallas is many things to many people, but at its core it’s a community that makes you believe in yourself as a creative.
Without the support of Art House Dallas, I never would have thought myself “worthy” enough to become my own boss last year. I don’t think I would have written the books I did without their accountability. I certainly wouldn’t have met a number of talented artists and writers whom I can now call friends.
There are hundreds of very worthy causes to give to for North Texas Giving Day, and if you’re in this area, I encourage you to find a few that resonate with you and give. But if you’re a creative and you want to support other creatives doing good work in this area, consider giving $25 dollars or more to Art House Dallas on September 17th, 2015.
In doing so, you will help people find their calling, and that’s an invaluable return on investment.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Art House Dallas created a few promos about the kinds of artists they help. Kate is in my writers group, and it was pretty great to see her finish, publish, and launch her book, Holes in the Plan, over the last year (mostly because our group kept prodding her to do so).