Listen: Oftentimes, when I have a good question to ask, it's not 'answers' that are the problem, but rather knowing where to look for those answers. I could ask the question on Twitter or Facebook (and I frequently do) but when I need sound, this doesn't do me a ton of good. I could ask around the office, but I want more of a "man on the street" response. So how do I solve this problem?
I keep my eyes peeled for events and locations that attract interesting groups of people who might have some interesting ideas to share. Then, I go there and ask strangers to answer questions — it's actually quite fun. Of course, there is a certain degree of arbitrariness to this approach, but honestly, it tends to do the trick.
The first event I checked out for this year's Make Milwaukee campaign was perfect — Ex Fabula, an outfit providing a stage and a microphone to live storytellers in Milwaukee (check them out here). I picked members of the crowd at random and asked them to answer the question "What is creativity in Milwaukee?"
First, Denise compares being a creative working in Milwaukee to larger cities:
Jackie answers with an idea — creativity in Milwaukee is "the smaller events, items, and people in the city…"
Pam sees us as a melting pot, informed by the tolerance of our differences:
It's a classic topic of conversation around these parts — Rick explains where his Chicago-bias against Milwaukee originated and how he got past it:
Ex Fabula is actually a great example of creativity in Milwaukee — at every event I attend, I'm always amazed at the phenomenal storytellers that come out of the woodworks to share with an audience. These are regular Milwaukee people, like the ones we all see everyday, that throw themselves onto a stage — awesome!
So, if you like creativity, live storytelling, or relish the prospect of being interviewed by me, check out the next Ex Fabula event!