It’s Dangerous to Go Alone. Read This.

BUILDING CONNECTIONS HUG BY HUG

Connection can’t be bought.
Connection must be built.

Connection is not C.O.D.
Connection is D.I.Y.

We can’t do this without each other. Building a creative career in any city is a task that few have the stomach and the drive to see through to the end. Betting on yourself, leaning into your passion, trusting in your talent and jumping off that cliff to create … and then share … a piece of yourself with the world is scary.

But, as the wise wizard in Legend of Zelda (the OG from 1986, kids) said: “It’s dangerous to go alone.”

We creatives often work alone. But, that doesn’t mean we are alone. On the whole, local artists are collaborative and supportive. We share what we know. We bring others along for the journey. We champion those around us. It’s kind of our creative community’s superpower.

But, that doesn’t just happen. And, it can’t be bought. It happens interaction by interaction. Conversation by conversation. Hug by hug.

CONNECTIONS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

Earlier this year, through a survey of local creatives we conducted with UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute, 56% of respondents said they were extremely satisfied as a creative here. And, 24% said they were somewhat or extremely dissatisfied.

The difference between being happy and being frustrated wasn’t money, space or jobs. It was whether or not respondents felt connected to other creatives in the Charlotte area.

WIDEN YOUR CIRCLE

And, it’s not just here. A recent national study ** revealed that connecting with others – especially those from different socioeconomic groups  – is the key to success for everyone. An article in the New York Times about the findings states:

“These cross-class friendships — what the researchers called economic connectedness — had a stronger impact than school quality, family structure, job availability or a community’s racial composition. The people you know, the study suggests, open up opportunities, and the growing class divide in the United States closes them off.”

So, the good news is, all of us can be part of building success and happiness for our artistic community here. The bad news is, it takes time, effort and commitment. No matter how much capital we invest, it can’t be bought. It must be built.

7 YEARS AGO, WE STARTED CONNECTING

That’s what we’ve been working on since we first gathered creatives together to hear Jen Band, founder of Playing for Others, speak at CreativeMornings/Charlotte on Nov. 6, 2015. That drive to bring people together to share, encourage and champion our city’s creative prowess is behind everything we do. Please read more about two of our programs below. We hope you take part.

You don’t have to start an event or a nonprofit to connect with others. Just act. If you see a creative who inspires you, reach out. DM them. Have coffee. Share an encouraging word. Collaborate with them. Hire them.

After all, who are we to argue with a video game wizard? It’s dangerous out there. Don’t go alone. 

All good things,

Tim Miner & Matt Olin
Charlotte Is Creative

** New York Times: “Vast New Study Shows a Key to Reducing Poverty: More Friendships Between Rich and Poor” – by Claire Cain Miller, Josh Katz, Francesca Paris and Aatish Bhatia – Aug. 1, 2022

IMAGE ABOVE: Based on original screen from Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda.