Storytelling using culture is not new, but it does provide a creative way to make connections with others regarding educating about cultural differences but in the end, how we are all more alike than different.
Nancy Xiong is the guest for this episode and we talked about her work with using storytelling to achieve this and other goals.
Nancy is a Hmong American Educator, Writer, and Artist. She was named after former First Lady, Nancy Reagan, as a symbol of democracy. She drove her mother through crazy adventures and was known as "siab coob" or many hearts/ having many interests. She's a dreamer at heart with goals after another.
Moving away to college, Nancy started a journey discovering and learning/unlearning about her Hmong American identity as a child of Hmong war refugee parents. The puzzle pieces started to connect when she found herself in graduate school being challenged to look at herself as a first generation, cisgender Hmong American female. Her professors and mentors took her on board to look at the world through the lens of solidarity, diversity, and inclusion. They also emphasized the importance of knowing your family history and yourself.
Currently, Nancy is a part of a leadership team running a women and gender studies department where she plans programs and events, advises and fearlessly teaches young folks on issues of women and gender. Nancy has incorporated storytelling which has been a healing tool in her teaching and workshops as well as her community work.
Nancy holds a B.A. in International Studies and a BA in East Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.A. in Sociology from George Mason University, and a M.A. in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations from SIT Graduate Institute. Her research and academic interest include diversity and inclusion, Hmong-American Studies, Refugee Studies, Gender-based Violence, and International Marriage Migration.
During this episode, Nancy and I discuss how she got started using her cultural roots and creativity to share her story, the benefits of sharing her creative gifts through storytelling, and her advice for other creatives who would like to share their story through a similar method.
You can learn more about Nancy Xiong at http://nancyxiong.com. You can follow her on Instagram at @xiongnacyx.
Theme music for Spark Your Creative podcast was created exclusively by DC area musician and songwriter, Melvin Rodgers: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/melvinrogers.
Listen to the interview with Nancy below. The podcast can also be found on Stitcher and Google Play.
This was an interesting interview in that our original topic was topic was using internet radio and podcasts to promote creativity. However my interview unfolded, we really got into to an in depth discussion on owning our creative purpose.
Lela Young is an actress, poet, and Radio Personality. Her mission is “Inspiring U2BU through creativity, inspiration and daily challenges. She incorporates health and wellness, self-care, social media, volunteerism, and fitness to reach her audience.” She is the creator and producer of the Legacy Talk DC Radio Show where she uses her influence to express her mission through weekly posts on Meditation Mondays, Wellness Wednesdays, and Creativity Thursdays. She penned Denim Faith: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (2019).
Legacy Talk DC is a radio show produced for women and local artist in the greater Washington, DC area, that’s dedicated to advancing the Arts by any medium and platform. The program that reminds the world that artistic creative women will not "go gentle into the good night but we will boldly leave our mark on this world. "
The show can be streamed live every Sunday at 4:00 pm, ET at https://tunein.com/radio/Radio-Fairfax-s24818//.
During this episode, we talk about how Lela began her one-woman radio crusade about creativity, her own creative endeavors and projects and how she learned to identify and own her creative purpose.
In addition to the the radio links, you can find Lela on Instagram at @legacytalkdc and listen to past episodes of her show at http://mixcloud.com/legacytalkdc
Theme music for Spark Your Creative podcast was created exclusively by DC area musician and songwriter, Melvin Rodgers: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/melvinrogers.
Listen to the interview with Lela below. The podcast can also be found on Stitcher and Google Play.
Welcome to the first Podcast for Spark Your Creative...formerlly Mindfully Creative Podcast!
The name may have changed, but the mission is the same....the podcast, hosted by Sharon Burton of Spark Your Creative Coaching explores how art is being used for personal and community healing as well as tips on how creatives can break through barriers to make their own "art" whatever that might look like.
For this episode, I talk with Jeﬀreen M. Hayes, Ph.D., Executive Director of Three Walls, a nonprofit arts organization in Chicago and independent curator about the role of artists as a neighborhood catalyst for positive community interaction and growth. As the Executive Director of Threewalls, a position she has held since 2015, Jeffreen provides strategic vision for the artistic direction and impact of the organization in Chicago. Jeﬀreen, a trained art historian and curator, merges administrative, curatorial and academic practices into her cultural practice of supporting artists and community development. As an advocate for racial inclusion, equity and access, Jeffreen has developed a curatorial and leadership approach that invites community participation, particularly those in marginalized communities.
Her curatorial projects include SILOS (2016), Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman (2018), and Process (2019. Additionally, she was the guest curator for Artpace San Antonio’s International Artist-in-Residence program from May 2018-August 2018.
Jeffreen earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, a MA in Art History from Howard University, and a BA from Florida International University in Humanities. She has worked several museums and cultural institutions including Birmingham Museum of Art, Hampton University Museum, Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art. Jeffreen is a Chief Executive Community and Culture Fellow alum, a program facilitated by National Arts Strategies.
This discussion focused on the interaction of the artist as a resident of diverse communities through the work of Three Walls, a 501(c)3 non-profit that fosters contemporary art practices that respond to lived experiences, encouraging connections beyond art. Specifically, we explore how Three Walls programs help serve as a model for how artists work and contribute to their nerighborhoods as a catalyst between the intersections of art, social justice, and community.
We also talk a little about self-care and the creative through Jeffreen's own practice as curator.
Visit and learn more about the work of Three Walls at:
Learn more about Spark Your Creative Coaching at
Podcast intro music by Melvin Rogers (store.cdbaby.com/Artist/MelvinRogers)
Listen to the podcast discussion below.
Essential oils have become quite popular as a means of self-care and aromatheraphy. They also can help you with creative blocks as well! This podcast will explore how essential oils can help with creativity and our guest is Aurora Remember.
After years of feeling “too much” (too intense, too sensitive, too emotional, too scattered and too exhausted), Aurora finally realized that intensity, in the form of excitability, is the source of her greatest power. Now instead of beating herself up about not measuring up to her own self-imposed standards, she is on a mission to help gifted and creative women and teens use their fire without getting burned through her Embracing Intensity Podcast, coaching, educational assessment, energy healing and self-led retreats.
During this podcast we talk about:
-What are essential oils? What are they used for?
-What is the benefit of using essential oils for creatives? How can they enhance their creativity?
-What do you recommend that creatives use?
You can learn more about and follow Aurora at
Essential Oils: www.auroraremember.com/essential-oil-education/
Patreon Community: www.patreon.com/embracingintensity
The Mindfully Creative Podcast can be found on SoundCloud, Stitcher and Google Play. Listen to this episode below.
Being resilient is the only way to get through the challenges of living a creative life. There are strategies of course, but the main one is a positive mindset. Enter this episode's guest, Shana Tucker. Shana Tucker is a cellist and singer-songwriter who credits her genre-bending "ChamberSoul" journey to the influences of her jazz and classical roots interwoven with 80's & 90's pop music, movie soundtracks, and worldbeat. Touted by JazzTimes Magazine as “a jazz talent...whose imprint and vitality has already been quite visible in North Carolina,” Shana’s style and sound as been described as a mash-up of Dianne Reeves, Joni Mitchell, and Tracy Chapman, with an efficient complexity that is reminiscent of Bill Withers. ChamberSoul best describes what the listener should expect when experiencing Shana's music.
A 2011 NPR interview about Shana's debut CD, "SHiNE" and her ChamberSoul style prompted an invitation from Cirque du Soleil to join the company as cellist/vocalist for their show, KÀ in Las Vegas. She performed toured for the Cirque until relocating back to the Triangle area of North Carolina in 2017 to pursue a full-time performance/touring/recording/teaching schedule.
With collaborations as the cornerstone, Shana currently performs with jazz saxophonist/composer Bennie Maupin; Grammy-nominated collective, The Foreign Exchange; Paperhand Puppet Intervention, a North Carolina-based, socially conscious theatrical organization; and her newest project, Women's Work, an ensemble of jazz/soul/pop artists representing east/west coasts. With her own band, Shana has opened for Norah Jones, Lisa Fischer, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Javon Jackson, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and Indigo Girls.
Most recently, Shana shared the stage with flutist Nicole Mitchell and pianist Jason Moran at NYC Winter Jazz Fest 2018 for Mitchell’s composition, “Gwendolyn Brooks: New Art & Anthem”. She was also chosen to perform alongside musical tradition-bearers Laura Windley, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons, and NEA Heritage Award Fellows Phil Wiggins and John Dee Holman in for “The Artist’s Role”, a multi-faceted look into the origins of jazz and blues through music, dance, narrative, and visual art.
A front-line advocate for arts education, Shana is a teaching artist with United Arts Council, The Smith Center for Performing Arts, and NC Wolf Trap. She also devotes a considerable amount of her time to outreach activities throughout the year as part of her mission to promote arts education programming for students of all ages.
During this interview, we talk about how Shana defines resilience, how she has handled downturns in her music career and the resources she uses to keep going.
You can find out more and follow Shana at:
You can find this podcast on SoundCloud, Google Play or Stitcher. Listen to this episode below.
During turbulent and intense times such as these, many people are searching for ways to reduce stress, anxiety and maintain a sense of well being. Expressive arts is one way to help not only people who may need a healthy outlet to express themselves but also creatives who may find themselves blocked in otherwise unleashing their creative gifts. This episode focuses on expressive arts and how it can benefit you as a unique, theraputic and meditative practice for self care.
Kara Ashley-Gilmore is our guest for this podcast episode. Kara a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, Art Therapist, and mixed-media artist. Through her counseling practice Mountain Creative Arts, , based in Hendersonville, North Carolina,, Kara helps people learn to cope with their anxiety symptoms and deal with overwhelming and stressful situations through combining her knowledge of art with techniques from CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), Mindfulness-Based practices, ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), Somatic practices, and Trauma and Resiliency models to provide trauma-focused counseling and art therapy. She holds a Master’s in Art Therapy and Creativity Development from Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, NY, a Certification in Traumatic Stress Studies from The Trauma Center at JRI in Boston, MA and has been Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in North Carolina since 2014.
During this episode we explore what is expressive arts and how can this practice serve as a tool for self care for anyone.
Learn more about Kara and Mountain Creative Arts below:
You find the Mindfully Creative Podcast on Stitcher, Google Play or Sound Cloud. Listen to this episode below.
How does one's culture or ethnicity play in the creativity process? How can we educate others about who we are and where we come from through our creative gifts? This episode's guest is Carolina Mayorga, a visual and performance artist who is based in the Washington, DC area. Carolina will talk about how she infuses her Columbian roots into the art performances that she shares across the country and around the world.
Carolina is a Colombian-born and naturalized American citizen and is a visual and performance artist who has exhibited her work nationally and internationally for the last 18 years. Her work is part of national and international collections and has been reviewed in publications in South America, Europe and the US. Mayorga’s artwork addresses issues of social and political content. Comments on migration, war, identity, translate into video, performance, site-specific installations, and Two-dimensional media in the form of photography and drawing. Future projects include her first solo museum show at the Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States in February of 2019.
You can learn and follow Mayorga by visiting her website at carolinamayorga.com, on Instagram and Twitter at @camayorga1120.
The Mindfully Creative Podcast can be found on SoundCloud, Google Play and Stitcher. You can listen to the latest episode below.
This edition of the Mindfully Creative podcast focuses on the concept of the "Artist Citizen" and how one artist shows up to serve her community. Amy Jackson, a multi-media artist and creative based in Nashville, Tennessee is our guest.
Amy creates in the following art media: painting, photography, writing, and music. Her painting began in 1993, as a way to express herself, because she was experiencing chronic facial and jaw pain at the time. As the physical pain healed, her paintings became a way to explore emotions over the years, both the sublime and excruciating. Amy also holds a Bachelor of Arts, Spanish from Agnes Scott College, in Decatur, Georgia,
Jackson knows that all artists seek to respond to the way they feel about the world around them. Amy was hugely inspired and intrigued by the subtropical natural world around her growing up in northwest Georgia. However, she also saw the blight of increasing development before she left home for college, and then in college learned of worldwide environmental threats as part of her studies in International Relations. For these reasons, she relates strongly to wild places on the Earth and seeks them out in her paintings and photographs, in the abstract and the representational.
She believes that all forms of matter contain some form of life, a typical perspective for a Buddhist such as herself. Her studies of Buddhism, creative visualization and meditation deepen this exploration of wonder and fascination, and she seeks a contemplative arts approach to all of her work, as a way of centering, editing, and transforming herself and her art.
It is these beliefs that guides her work in her Nashville communitiy by volunteering to bring art and creativity to local schools and community based organizations. We talk about her involvement in various endeavors to improve her neighborhood and her advice about how other artists and creatives can make a difference in their communities with their gifts as well.
You can learn more about Amy at www.amyjackson.cc. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @amyjacksoncc. Listen to this episode below. The Mindfully Creative podcast can be heard on Google Play, Sound Cloud and Stitcher.
MINDFULLY CREATIVE PODCAST EPISODE 12: BRINGING AWARENESS OF MENTAL HEALTH & DISABILITY THROUGH CREATIVITY
iving with mental health issues and physical disabilities can be a challenge in a world that does not often show compassion or understanding for one or other (or both). Jenny C, is using her own creativity through the use of Zines to do just that.
Jenny C is a librarian in Washington, DC who writes about her experience growing up with rheumatoid arthritis in the zine series Tributaries. She also compiles the zine Collide, featuring stories on the intersection of physical and mental illness. When she’s feeling chatty, she hosts the podcast Participation, where she talks with friends about their creative work and the beauty of vulnerability.
During this podcast we discussed how she started using writing to convey her health challenges and how she included mental health in the mix. We discuss how this format of creative expression provides a rich potential for communicating the day to day challenges of these and similar issues to help bring education, awareness and understanding to the public. She also shares how you can get started writing a zine to communicate and explore your own self-expression creatively.
Jenny C can be found on twitter @jcnotstacy and her zines can be found at tributaries.storenvy.com.
You can find this podcast on Stitcher, Google Play or Sound Cloud.
Listen to this episode below.
The Mindfully Creative Podcast is back with the latest episode and the first one for 2018. This time we are talking about making career changes into a creative career later in life. Lisa Vogt and I had a great discussion about how those of us over 40 can make some career changes to fuel our creative interests.
Lisa Conners Vogt, MBA, APR helps others to see their experiences as stepping stones to an exhilarating future. Lisa is a life coach, speaker, podcast producer, author, and corporate marketing professional whose mission is to help people realize their talents and skills and take action to use them for a larger purpose.
Through her Ever Better Podcast, she shares inspiring discussions with people who are living extraordinary lives and making a difference in their communities. Ever Better is a highly-rated iTunes podcast that debuted in the New and Noteworthy Top 10 and was featured on NPR’s The Big Listen. Lisa has been a guest on podcasts such as Maturepreneurial, Working Women Entrepreneur, Simple Change, and Financial Karma.
Lisa has ridden the roller-coaster of multiple professional and personal transitions and her speaking is infused with stories of these experiences. She also draws on wisdom that dozens of innovative entrepreneurs, coaches, and authors have shared with her through in-depth podcast interviews. Through using humor to share these lessons, she opens a path for others to see possibilities.
Her career has included roles as corporate communications professional, business owner, consultant, non-profit executive, and digital expert. She is a wife, mother, sister, daughter, breast cancer survivor, and volunteer who is deeply involved with multiple communities.
Her formal education and training includes an M.B.A. from University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business and a B.A. from Colgate University. She holds the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Lisa lives in Bethesda, MD with her husband and teenage son and enjoys spending time with her extended family, preferably near a beach or lake.
During this discussion, we talk about how to plan and prepare for making a career change into a creative field, including networking, unique ways to get experience, education and training, and other cool stuff.
Where to find Lisa:
You can find the podcast on Stitcher, Google Play or Sound Cloud.
Listen to the episode here: