Nashville’s budding creative sector will take center stage and celebrate maker culture and creative entrepreneurship on the weekend of Feb. 9 -10 with the Nashville Creativity Summit, a city-wide conference presented by The Skillery.
At its essence, The Skillery is an online marketplace for offline classes and workshops, which are taught by experts from the community. One of its chief goals is to be a community or entity where individuals can broaden their skills and knowledge with neighbors.
‘It started with our founder Matt Dudley. He'd spent a decade teaching middle school, and over that time, a two-pronged feeling started growing. One, that formal education was often mired in things that people didn't necessarily need to learn or want to learn; and two, that adults often have a hard time accessing opportunities to learn new concepts and skills, even though it's really rewarding to do so. The Skillery was founded in 2011 to offer a chance for adults to keep learning, to learn things they wanted to learn, and, if they choose, to share the skills they've already developed by teaching, too,” Katie Vance said about the origin of The Skillery.
“It began with four classes. Right now we have a stocked and broad line-up of classes and Nashville Creativity Summit, focused on creative entrepreneurs and makers of all kinds. It's our first undertaking of this kind, and a really exciting new challenge,” Vance added.
Over the weekend, classes and workshops range in categories from letterpress, hand bound journals, freelance writing all the way to starting a green business with your kids.
In the same manner, speakers that will be on hand include Dave Owens, Matt Cheuvront, and Cynthia Price among others.
“We have high hopes, and lots of excitement. All of the speakers and teachers we've rounded up are massively knowledgeable and talented. We hope attendees will leave Saturday's conference fired up about growing their business and armed with new tools to make that happen faster. And from Sunday's classes, we hope folks will stumble across their new favorite thing to do, or at least have a really fun time broadening their brain,” Vance said about her expectations for the summit.
Although there was a one-day event a year ago under the title, The Skillery EXPO, this is the first time around for the Nashville Creativity Summit and the weekend event. Saturday’s focus mainly concentrates on the speakers, while Sunday features several a la carte classes that take place throughout the city.
“Saturday's conference is focused on creative entrepreneurs, and as creative types and entrepreneurs ourselves, we think it'll be really fun and really valuable. Experts will be talking about branding, problem solving, amping up creativity, growing a social media audience and lots of other things -- things that we think are the bedrock of building up your own creative business in 2013. It's, purposefully, really broad. We hope it'll offer something interesting to all the folks in The Skillery community. And we hope to do more of this kind of thing.” Vance added.
This event, like others of its kind, helps foster the creative spirit and sense of community that is found in Nashville and surrounding areas. There’s a reason the city has received much praise and admiration of late, and the Nashville Creativity Summit is one of the many pieces in this framework.
“Nashvillians by and large want to support other Nashvillians' work and creativity. And that's inspiring on all fronts, because it doesn't just make for an impressive display of local talent, it builds and strengthens community. You're proud to create in Nashville because the talent is vibrant and the community is real. Not every city has that. We're incredibly lucky, and it's worthwhile to be aware of that, because it's something we need to cultivate and foster, Vance said.
To learn more about The Skillery, visit thskillery.com, while the Nashville Creativity Summit can be found on the web at creativitysummit.theskillery.com.