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:
This episode of The Mindfully Creative Podcast spotlights creativity and the aging process with guest, Wendy L. Miller, Ph.D., co-author of the book, Sky Above Clouds: Finding Our Way Through Creativity, Aging and Illness (Oxford University Press, 2016). In this interview, we talk about key concepts from the book and specifically how creativity can benefit all of us as we age.
About the Book:
"Through their scientific research, clinical practice, and a remarkable life together, husband and wife team Gene Cohen and Wendy Miller uncover new clues about how the aging mind can expand awareness, build resilience, and continue growth, even during times of grave illness, upending long-held assumptions about the aging brain. Cohen, considered one of the founding fathers of geriatric psychiatry, shares from decades of research and personal journals detailing his exploration of the aging brain and the vast potential that is often overlooked. Miller, an expressive arts therapist and educator, highlights stories of creative growth in the midst of illness and loss encountered through her personal life and her clinical practice. Together, Cohen and Miller show how resources that naturally reside within us remain our most valuable tools as we navigate the uncharted territory of aging and illness.
Sky Above Clouds traces the path that Cohen and Miller traveled together as the foremost expert on creativity and aging confronted his own aging process and a metastatic disease that threatened to cut his life short. Cohen’s distinguished work led to breakthroughs in science and society as, for more than a decade, despite his illness, he continued to pioneer geriatric research and advance the public conversation about aging well.
Sky Above Clouds draws deeply from the couple’s merged wisdom and new lessons learned in a struggle through illness and loss within their extended family, eventually including Cohen’s own untimely death. The book blends both authors’ perspectives and voices, incorporating journal entries they wrote together in the years before Cohen’s death.
What happens when the expert on aging is confronted with his own in the context of a grave illness? What happens when the therapist who helps others cope with illness and loss is forced to confront her own responses to these experiences? With Miller’s insights and expressive psychological writing, Sky Above Clouds shows how attitude, community, creativity, and love shape a life through health, illness, and even death. The result is a richly informative and emotional journey of growth."
-Source: Oxford University Press
About Wendy L. Miller, Ph.D.
Wendy Miller, Ph.D. ATR-BC, LCPAT, REAT, LPC, BCPC is an expressive arts therapist, writer, sculptor, and educator. She taught for over fifteen years in various universities throughout the country, including JFK University, San Francisco State University, Southwestern College, Lesley College, California Institute of Integral Studies, and The George Washington University. She is the co-founder of Create Therapy Institute, which offers clinical services in arts-based psychotherapy and trainings in the expressive arts. She is a founding member, and first elected (past) executive co-chair of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association, where she continues to be on their Advisory Council. Her current work is evolving as she continues the legacy of her late husband’s work, pioneer of creative aging, Gene Cohen, and his Washington DC Center on Aging, where she is guiding it into projects on intergenerational communication. She continues to research the relationships among the arts, creativity and health, and recently published her book from the writings she and Gene did together, entitled: Sky Above Clouds: Finding our way through creativity, aging and illness, released in March 2016 from Oxford University Press.During this episode we discuss:
And we’re back! After a brief hiatus, the Mindfully Creative Podcast is back and looking forward to some great episodes this Fall.
The Mindfully Creative podcast explores how art is being used for personal and community healing as well as some tips on how creatives can break through barriers to make their “art” whatever that might look like. Powered by SJB Creative Ventures and Spark Your Creative.
Episode 8 focuses on the fine balance between maintaining your creative goals while parenting. Khadijah Ali-Coleman is our guest and she is sharing some great nuggets about how she has maintained and expanded her creativity while being a parent to a teenage creative!
About Khadijah Ali-Coleman
Khadijah “Moon” Ali-Coleman is founding Director of Liberated Muse Arts Group, a theater company and multi-media arts organization specializing in entertainment and educational products and services. Khadijah Ali-Coleman started Liberated Muse in 2008 as a digital community for artists of all genres to fellowship and engage with one another. Through Liberated Muse Arts group, Khadijah has edited book anthologies, produced plays and music soundtracks. She is also an emerging visual artist, her photography published in several publications and her film and video work gaining attention as she has completed commissioned projects for various clients. Her bylines and photography work have appeared in numerous publications such as SoulTrain.com, Ebony.com and The Washington City Paper.
A solo artist in her own right since the late 1990’s, Khadijah, using the stage name Khadijah Moon, has had her music, written and performance poetry work featured on PBS, Pacifica Radio, FOX News, the television show Showtime at the Apollo and other media programs. She was awarded a 2015 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Non-Classical Music Solo Performance, debuting her first CD, titled Song of a Space Cadet in 2016, presenting music from the CD in a one-woman show presented by Artscape.
Khadijah is actively performing as both solo artist Khadijah Moon and as a member of Liberated Muse Arts Group. She also works a creativity consultant for aspiring writers and performers, sharing her expertise weekly on the “Living Unbound” segment on WEAA 88.9FM on the show First Edition with Sean Yoes. She also hosts the alternating monthly artist mixer series C3: Creative Creatives Creating that takes place at the rl hotel inner harbor in Baltimore, Md. Currently, she is a doctoral student at Morgan State University, pursuing a doctor of education (Ed.D) degree in higher education/community college leadership.
She is a home-schooling mother to her teen-aged daughter, Khari, a 9th grade published writer and film/theater director.
Where to connect with Khadijah:
Instagram: @khadijahonline @LiberatedMuse and khadijah_moon
Websites: BirthYourCreativity.com or TheCreativeMidwife.com (Creativity Coaching)
LiberatedMuse.com (Liberated Muse Arts Group)
Watch videos by The Creative MidwifeListen to the podcast below: