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The Community



  
The Future - drawing by Phil Robinson      

The Vision.

When future Roomful of Sky founder Phil Robinson moved to New York in 2003 to pursue his music career, he immediately began searching for the kind of supportive, collaborative and creative community that he imagined might help make the long journey seem a little bit more... accomplishable.

Phil imagined a place where he could try out a new song, maybe show some old drawings, become inspired by other people's creativity, and have respectful and intelligent discussions about nuanced matters of creativity, faith and spirit. In general, he wanted to be understood and respected for what he was-- an earnest, work-in-progress traveller on a unique path... as we all are.

In return, Phil was happy to try and lend that same nurturing presence to others he would meet. Symbiosis. The whole 'life of a creative person' thing could be done with a sense of play, couldn't it? Shouldn't it? Surrounded by warm community, with respect at it's core, acknowledging and appreciating everyone's unique perspective.

 
 

Emergence.

It wasn't long before Phil soon met many fellow travellers who revealed that they longed for similar things. Very quickly, Phil accumulated so many talented and generous allies that before he knew it, the dream had become a shared dream and the effort to manifest such an idealistic community had become a truly collective effort.

In a swirl of shared inspiration, Culture Circles happened, Musician networking events happened, performances, Mythology discussion groups, workshops, collaborations, bands formed, record labels became successful, tribes came together, old Turkish Carpet stores became modern day salons, and a thousand and one nights took place, gathered around the campfire with fellow soul travellers, around the twin rallying cries of 'strength in numbers' and 'follow your bliss'.

The circles grew larger and larger, rippling out and intersecting and resonating with ripples from other circles. The Roomful of Sky community was born.

      The Artist - drawing by Phil Robinson
 
 
I Am The Effect, I Am The Cause - drawing by Phil Robinson      

Flowering.

We're a loose community and there are many ways to participate. We keep the lines intentionally blurry between audience and performer, reader and author, 'consumer' and 'producer'. We are, all of us, each of these things at different points in time-- so we simply use the word, 'participant'.

Members of our community take initiative to mount projects that they feel passionate about. We quickly find that getting the word out into a sympathetic community helps nudge things toward realization. We barter our skills: 'Rock band needs a graphic designer but has no money', 'graphic designer wants to build portfolio of rock album art', put two and two together... Synergy. Strength in numbers. One person calls up a venue to hold a certain type of event and gets shut down... but what would happen if he called back, with a hundred people backing him up?

Roomful of Sky is just that little bit of organizational energy introduced into the energetic, multi-headed swirl of an inspired community. Things suggest the shape they want to become; people gravitate towards roles that seem a natural fit for them-- one just has to listen... and experiment. A thousand people may pull in a thousand different directions... But imagine what might become possible should some of those people start pulling in the same direction...!