A couple of weeks ago I saw several posts about the Charlotte League of Creative Interventionists on Facebook and Twitter but couldn’t figure out what the heck it was. Turns out that’s kind of intentional.
What’s the Charlotte League of Creative Interventionists?
“Basically the concept is to get creative people together in a community and have them actually do stuff to make the city a better place,” Wakefield said.
— Johnny Wakefield (@firstwardjohnny) July 31, 2015
Wakefield and Varian Shrum, another of the group’s members, found out about the league in June while in Canada as a part of the K880 Emerging City Champions project. Hunter Franks founded the league in February 2014 in San Francisco. Franks was in Canada with Wakefield and Shrum and encouraged them to start a Charlotte chapter.
“We’re creative ninjas in Charlotte,” Stronach said. They want to do “something that sneaks up on you so you notice it and kind of are stopped in your stride to say, ‘Wow, I never noticed that before.’ And then it will hopefully go on to spreading more good stuff.”
This is where the secrecy — and the ninja thing — comes in. Stronach and Wakefield wouldn’t go into specifics about what they’re planning in Charlotte.
Did we mention we’ve got our first open meeting in ten days? We do. RSVP & a mysterious lack of details on Facebook: https://t.co/m3Q1DleSlk
— CLTs Creative Ninjas (@CLTcreatives) August 10, 2015
Here are a couple of interventions from other cities:
– The Philadelphia League created a “slow lane” to encourage passersby to slow down and notice their surroundings.
The Philly chapter’s first meeting! We created a slow lane complete with hopscotch, dance station, and signs encouraging stopping to smell the roses and take photos of the sunset. All with three roles of duct tape, some paper and scissors. #createphilly
A photo posted by Creative Interventionists (@theleagueofci) on
– The same League also sent out cards to residents inviting them to participate in a “crowdsourced mural.”
These cards will be sent out randomly to West Philly residents inviting them to come to the Belmont neighborhood to participate in Philadelphia’s first entirely crowdsourced mural. Creating shared space through art. #createphilly A photo posted by Creative Interventionists (@theleagueofci) on
“We want it to be these more secretive, like, interactive things … (to) prove a point creatively,” Wakefield said. They hope to “stop people from their norm and say, ‘Wait a second, look at this. This is nice. This is something to be valued and appreciated. Harnessing creativity for good.”
How can someone get involved?
The Charlotte League will have its first meeting after the Aug. 20 WeLoveCLT event at 809 W. Hill St. The meeting will start at about 7:30 and is open to everyone, even if you don’t have an RSVP to the WeLoveCLT speaker series.
“You don’t have to be an artist, you don’t have to be in any sort of creative business,” said Stronach, who is an artist. Wakefield is a stay-at-home dad. “You could come from Bank of America and meet us and help do whatever we’re doing. … There’s just so many different things that we could do.”
Photos: Courtesy of the Charlotte League of Creative Interventionists Facebook page, Cece Stronach and Johnny Wakefield. Skyline photo taken by James Willamor.
Corey Inscoe watches “American Ninja Warrior” and still has a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” T-shirt. He’s also editor of CharlotteFive. Follow him on Twitter @CoreyInscoe.