Beautiful Trouble: 2018 Creative Facilitation Gathering

The third annual Creative Facilitation Gathering was held January 19-22, 2018 at the Academy for the Love of Learning, with the intention of bringing together a group of inspired change-makers to cultivate peer-to-peer community learning. This year’s gathering was focused on developing constructive feedback processes to deepen individual creative facilitation practices. Twenty-five deeply-rooted New Mexicans stood firmly on common ground, which was evoked through ritual, collective agreements, the sharing of stories connecting to place and identity, risk-taking workshops held by cohort members, engaging in constructive feedback processes and holding empathy and honor for one and other over the nourishment of eating meals together.

The overarching theme of this third Gathering was a recognition that the “work” of each respective cohort member, with the common goal of social justice and healing in the state of New Mexico and individual communities, is already happening and is activated at a deep and resilient level. By recognizing isolation, the Cohort was regenerated to emphasize the importance of community – both personal and professional. Reflection practices, prevalent in both Academy methodology and many of the Cohort members’ facilitations, offered a chance to hear one’s self and those around, sharing perspective and continually acknowledging that there are many truths to be accepted. The supporting, nurturing space of the Academy and the established Cohort allowed for an opening to feel freely into vulnerability and share personal needs in order to continue the strength to grow, deepen practices, and continue in the (sometimes) isolating rigor of change-making.

This diverse group is comprised of youth and elders, poets, story-tellers, visual artists, dancers, grassroots activists, musicians, healers and trackers of the wild imagination. We at the Academy honor and give gratitude to the wisdom and reciprocity that sits at the heart of this collective cohort and its individual members. By taking the lid off learning, we are opening the window for transformative and active positive change in our communities.