The Christian Cultural Center’s Cultural Arts Academy Charter School – a charter school of the arts- hosted a homecoming event at their Brooklyn location recently. What was so special about that event was an element that served to raise awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship for those who pursue the arts – especially for children at the primary school level.
The event coordinator, Mrs. Joy Spruill, a Fine Arts graduate herself, who gained first hand experience on how difficult it is for creative people to successfully follow their bliss through entrepreneurship, was right on target with this vision. “Far too many African Americans lack the knowledge or financial soundness to even consider this as an option. It is my intention to surround our students with familiar faces that have accomplished the challenge of owning their own business. It is my hope that through exposure that entrepreneurship will no longer seem so foreign to our scholars.” Mrs. Spruill said of the motivation behind this event.
Worthy of note and a great delight, is the fact that a kindergarten vendor participated as a seller of lemonade – which not surprisingly – sold out before long. “She exemplified one who demonstrated to her peers, that regardless of age, one can acquire an understanding and an interest at all different levels that can lead to a successful experience.” Mrs. Spruill added.
I was quite flattered when asked to participate as the featured vendor of an event that would serve to plant the seeds of entrepreneurship in the minds of our children. Kudos to Principal Laurie Midgette for working with Mrs. Spruill to bring this vision alive! It was a delight to be able to engage in meaningful conversations that were initiated by these young and curious minds. I was told that I had been selected as a featured artist/ entrepreneur, not only because of my “beautiful works of art” but because of my “willingness to give back to causes such as the arts, cancer, children, etc.”
“Character development is one of the main missions of our school. Thank you, Madona Cole Lacy for your example of good character.” -Joy Spruill-
It is fitting for me to end by saying it was indeed a pleasure to execute my duty as a “Good Villager” and join the church, school, home and community as a whole, to creatively empower our future leaders. The Cultural Arts Academy Charter School can count on me to collaborate with their creatively supportive spirit in the future. The warm embrace I received from Principal Midgette, Mrs. Spruill and her husband Ron Spruill, and others I encountered, will forever remain with me, and serve as a catalyst that adds to fueling the connection of the dots of my creativity!
I believe that much encouragement should be given to community-generated initiatives aimed at encouraging self-sufficiency that can be realized by practitioners of the arts. This is a start to acquainting our children with the many elements that make for successful entrepreneurship.
What innovative ways to embrace and steer young minds toward success have you entertained or implemented? Please share.
This lovely display by the Joy Spruill team of an almost life-like photo and bio was as humbling as it was amazing! My husband, James Lacy, and I extend our gratitude to everyone who made this a special experience for us.
Saturday’s event echoed my words, “Come dance with me and I will make you
Fishers of Men.”
I saw them wonder.
I saw their flicker of anticipation.
I saw their shadows fade.
Their opened minds,
Freedom of speech.
I saw them – comfortable within themselves,
Relaxed in their huddles.
They spoke of the “who” they could become.
They focused on self, their awakening.
And wowed themselves by discovering
That yes, there were gifts sealed within.
Yes, they could ignite the spark,
Yes, they could take flight,
Yes, they could become……………….
F. Bell (4/22/13)
I told someone about himself the other day, and my husband who was standing right beside me was in agreement with what I had done. I told a salesperson about himself when I said to him, ” You are such a pleasant person; keep on smiling.” His modest, if not bashful response was, “That’s all I can do.” Yes, I have gotten into the habit of “telling people about themselves” and I am really enjoying it. What I wanted that man to know was, that his personable demeanor had a calming effect on random strangers, including me! He needed to be acknowledged for sharing that God-given gift of his with people he encountered while on the job. I wondered whether he had ever been presented with the opportunity to celebrate his exemplary interpersonal skills which made him so perfect for the job. For the record, I knew nothing about this man besides the fact that he worked at the store I was visiting.
As much as I know this subject goes way beyond monetary compensation, I must admit that I walked away hoping that salesperson was being adequately compensated for a job he was so perfect for. Of great importance to me was the hope that my acknowledgement of the way he handled himself served as fuel for him to continue to use his ‘gift’ in such a positive and effortless way to touch lives. I somehow had no doubt he would connect the proverbial dots after having fully recovered from my unorthodox response to what he must have thought came to him quite naturally.
All too often, we are placed in the unfortunate position of responding to unruly service providers and/or their staff as we resort to lodging complaints, taking legal actions in extreme cases, or boycotting businesses. My thinking is that as consumers, we have the ability to create a “new culture” that calls for diligently rewarding good and pleasant behavior of the deserving, at every opportunity we get. + A kind word, a smile, a nod or even a note to management will work wonders! I can just see the scale tipping all the way to the other side as potentially unpleasant workers feel motivated by those who receive an abundance of positive reinforcement for ” good behavior” from customers. This fail-proof motivational tool will not only serve as a high self-esteem booster, for service providers, it will ultimately create a wonderful atmosphere we will have all subscribed to — a great feeling for all concerned! When was the last time you told a salesperson or even a waiter “about themselves”? Give it a try, you might just like it!
” Communicate unto the other person that which you would want him (her) to communicate unto you if your positions were reversed.” – Aaron Goldman –
Madona Cole-Lacy M.A. Ed.
Founder: Your Creative Empowerment, Inc. http://www.yourtime4liny.org
Program Director: My Time Has Come www.mytimehascome.org http:www.twitter.com/MyTimeHasCome1
Creative Director: Madona Cole Originals. www.madonacoleoriginals.com https://twitter.com/MColeOriginals