Creative arts + your work team = an eye-opening retreat.
Make your next management or full-staff retreat event the most inspiring and insightful in your company's history. We will devise creative yet relevant projects that meet your retreat goals; from educational trainings on burnout to insightful, teambuilding events, or just a few hours of playful fun and relaxation.
We're pros at bringing groups of people together (whether they want to be there or not) and helping each person take away some nugget of insight, knowledge, or just plain delight.
A creative arts retreat promises a strong return on investment and a solid dose of fun.
- Enhance and inspire creative thinking
- A forum for participants to learn new things about each other and reflect on common goals.
- Improve interpersonal understanding in a manner that will impact workplace productivity.
- Increase camaraderie and team cohesion
- Get away from intensity of work to relax and “retreat” into yourself
- Boost teamwork and company morale.
- Improve communication skills
When was the last time you made something with your hands? We are probably going to ask you to do things that you do not believe you are good at. How will your team cope? What do people do when faced with something they don’t know how to do or already assume that they do badly? In a culture of instant gratification and information overload we can lose sight of the value of making something from scratch. We get messages at a young age about whether we are good at making things or drawing or using our imaginations. Between the ages of 7 and 9 years old we take the messages about our performance very seriously. We usually gravitate towards the activities at which we excel, and move away from those in which we are less skilled—even if we enjoy them.
The quiet of many lightbulbs switching on. Engaging in quiet, thought-provoking creative projects can look like nothing is happening, but we cannot see the lightbulb flicker in another person’s head. Adults value opportunities to learn about themselves without an obligation to share every personal insight, which can put them at risk of exposing vulnerability to coworkers and supervisors.
Our workshops are laboratories for creatively stumbling around until we find something new. We guarantee that every person on your team will uncover some tidbit of new information about themselves and how they work with others. We design art projects and dramatic improvisational games to uncover core truths about ourselves. The results are like a Myers-Briggs test with a highly personalized algorithm and a lot more nuance. Although many people enjoy the simplicity of concrete categories that psychological tests offer, our creative arts approach appreciates and respects the complexity of the human psyche.
Art is the great leveler.
Give your team an art project and everyone is on the same page. Literally.
Hang it on the fridge. Our primary focus is on the process of creating the artwork or engaging in dramatic play with all the inherent obstacles to get to a finished product. That said, the final result is usually pretty meaningful as well. When you bring in one of our creative arts therapists to facilitate an event, the star of the show is your team and the surprising work they create when given the support and space to be thoughtful and playful.
Getting personal . . . but not too personal. Participants are encouraged throughout the workshop to consider the relevance of any new insight resulting from their heightened, mindful awareness of how deceptively simple creative tasks, like depicting your team using metaphor and story, might translate to their everyday and work lives. Adult corporate workshops provide a structured time for facing and identifying internal obstacles, entering a playful zone to discover something new, and reflection. We create interactive, in-real-time opportunities for improving interpersonal skills that can enhance communication, increase worker empathy, and encourage taking responsibility for our role in conflict or tense work situations.
Many people don't think they are creative, but everyone can play.
We approach our creative arts workshops with some basic assumptions about what people can do and how they can live and work more effectively and joyfully:
• The moment is important, so we believe in slowing things down to be mindful and aware of what is happening in the here-and-now.
• All people have the capacity to play and discover; to get out of their own heads. Play leads to new ideas and ways of being.
• We cannot read other people's minds; when we try, we are usually wrong, and more often than not revealing something about ourselves and the way we think.
• People are different from each other. Thank goodness. How boring it would be if we all looked, thought, and believed the same things.
• Humor, gotta have it.
We don't analyze your team, they analyze themselves. Our expertise is in asking the right questions. Our questions give pause, in that moment, for the artist to consider his thoughts, feelings and especially his impulse to either accept the challenge and persevere, quit, ask for help, accept help, delegate, make excuses, adjust his expectations or myriad other responses that probably mirror his behaviors at work and in life. When someone is struggling to get their personal superhero mini-sculpture to stay together, we wonder aloud how they will solve the problem and cope with the outcome, especially if it is less than perfect. When it’s time to consider the meaning of the artwork, we start with the metaphors; writing stories and engaging your staff in a playful exploration of how the characters are like them or different from them. The artistic distance provided by the metaphor can liberate us from our rational, analytic brains and give rise to some new information about how we operate in the real world.
“This looks like a five-year-old made it, “ said the 45-year-old manager. How does it feel to work on something that was out of your area of excellence? The best managers and employees naturally gravitate toward projects and tasks that will make them look good or will highlight their skills, leading to kudos and respect. When we ask your team members to work outside of their comfort zones with an art or drama project we activate everyone's amygdalae. Get ready for a quick demonstration of the human fear responses of fight, flight, or freeze when your team is confronted with the uncomfortable task of forming an animal out of colorful clay.
Previous clients include:
• MasterCard, Management Team Workshop, Purchase, NY
• The Innocence Project, NYC
• Harlem Children's Zone (Staff Wellness)
• KIND (Kids in Need of Defense legal services)
• Small Girls PR, NYC
• Rich Relevance, NYC
• The Phelps Group, Integrated Marketing, Los Angeles, CA
• Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital , Child Life Department
• The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, NJ
• Legal Aid Society, NYC
• Brownsville Partnership/Community Solutions, Care Managers, Brooklyn,
and many others....