Thursday, October 2, 2014, 11:45 am
By the Midland Daily News
Creative 360 has named Bill and Nancy Barker honorary chairpersons for its inagural fundraiser luncheon, Creating Together Piece by Piece.
The event will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, at Dow Diamond in Midland. Lunch is complimentary. Many local businesses are sponsoring the event. Those who would like to attend the fundraiser can call Creative 360 at (989) 837-1885 to reserve a space.
“We hope that friends, both old and new, will join us for this one special hour,” said Nancy Barker. “There are people who have supported the Creative Spirit Center, now Creative 360, since it began as a dream of dancer Linda Z. Smith and artist Cynthia Keefe, and was incubated as a summer fellowship at the Alden B. Dow Creativity Center. There are also new friends who want to learn more about Creative 360’s emerging innovations and sensitive preservation of Midland’s past. We think you will be touched and perhaps even amazed.”
“Nancy and I are happy to support Creative 360. From its early beginnings, this group has had a mission to bring creativity and uplifting activity into the lives of people of all ages and abilities and at every stage of life,” said Bill Barker. “The extensive program offerings, many of which are free, beautifully complement the other outstanding events and classes offered in the Midland community by such arts partners as the (Midland) Center for the Arts and the (Midland) Community Center.”
Nancy Barker has long been associated with arts, cultural and education programs in the area. She served on the founding committees for the Midland Center for the Arts and Matrix:Midland and is a retired vice president of Northwood University. Today she serves on the state boards of Creative Many Michigan (formerly ArtServe) and the Michigan ACE Network for Women in Higher Education. R.W. (Bill) Barker is retired from The Dow Chemical Co., where he enjoyed a long career in law and international finance and business development. He was later associated with the law firm Riecker, VanDam, Barker & Black. The Barkers have a large family of active adult children who live coast to coast and are, according to Nancy, “considerably more talented than their parents.”
Creative 360 offers regular classes and events that include yoga, a dance program, music concerts, Shakespeare performances, dinner theaters, changing art exhibitions and openings, poetry readings, art classes and workshops, art lectures, Tuesday teas, children’s summer arts camps, writing classes, a six-week science and art program for Delta College Possible Dream middle and high school students and more.
In 2013, Creative 360 expanded its offerings to include Express Yourself Artshop, a program designed to meet the needs of people with physical, mental and intellectual challenges. Since its beginning, Express Yourself Artshop has offered over 30 different art, music, dance and wellness classes for 125 participants many of whom have Community Living Support (CLS funding from Community Mental Health of Central Michigan. The program continues to grow as it expands to youth from Midland County ESA, Cancer Services, Very Special Arts), and Veterans Affairs.
“In addition to this full and diverse programming schedule, we’re in the midst of two special programs, each with its own series of activities and events,” said Creative 360 Executive Director Carol Rumba. “Yes We Can! celebrates the creative legacy of artists and community leaders who are 80 and older, and Vision Quest is a program designed to educate and stimulate discussion about folk, outsider and visionary art and how it differs from fine art.”
Vision Quest is the first installment of a year-long program called Creating Together Piece by Piece, which also supports the preservation and movement of the art on the John Pratt Mosaic House. Creating Together Piece by Piece is being supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Midland Area Community Foundation, Mary Thomas Unrestricted Endowment Fund, and the Dow Corning Donor Advised Endowment Fund.
All donations received by Creative 360 between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 this year and next will be matched dollar for dollar by the Herbert H. and Grace A Dow Foundation.