Re cap of Mettā Creative Labs pt. 2 by Melanie Montanaro
I couldn’t have been happier that the Mettā Creative Labs pt. 2 event was kicked off with yoga. And not just any yoga, the practice was infused with sound healing frequencies from bowls and gongs led by Mary Gellen. I felt the vibrations running through my fingertips like a magical force building in my body. She had us put our hands on the Earth and you could feel the connection, between ourselves and “the Earth supporting us.”
Afterwards, the sweet aroma of hot chocolate (I wondered?) greeted me. I was quite mistaken. Cacao (pronounced Cack-Cow) is not to be confused with cocoa (like Coco Chanel) in the hipster community. The former I was told is a natural stimulant, while the latter is a processed form that does not have the same zing to it. Sha Golanski ladled cacao from a giant pot into cups for everyone to try. I was instantly hooked. It was a nice precursor to the next workshop of the event: Mindful Monkey Movement. While we did practice moving around like monkeys, we also played improvisation games, which was a great way to bring everyone together and have some fun.
Then, in the next room a blank canvas awaited us, welcoming. “What kind of world do we want to live in?” Eddie Cervantes asks, placing a paintbrush in each of our hands. “Clean water,” someone chimed in, as we began discussing what we really want to see in the future. It became apparent that the biggest thing, no matter small it may seem is to remain conscientious of our consumption and impact on a day by day basis. A lot of people spoke on how they had been inspired by other people, friends and family to make changes in their own lives. It’s like a ripple effect.
One of the artists talked about how all of his artwork is created from upcycled materials. In such a consumeristic culture, it is refreshing to see that others believe in the value of things that others would consider trash, and how a little ingenuity can completely transform materials. Creative Labs is living proof of that. The owner Jay had recently created a pin ball machine out of nails and other upcycled materials. There were also carnival style games throughout the building that had been created using upcycled materials.
We brought the conversation back to how we can make positive impacts on our environment in our day to day lives. We touched on the fashion industry, and the amount of waste that is created, when in fact there are already some solutions. They may seem simple, but shopping at the thrift store or online thrift stores provide an alternative by using clothes that are already in circulation. We spoke on how carrying around reusable cups, spoons, forks can all have a positive impact. These kind of conversations are not necessarily easy, even in an environmentally conscious group of people, but they are the kind of conversations that need to be had. These are the kind of creative solutions that can be used so environmental conservation doesn’t have to feel like it’s taking away from the joys of society, but adding value to it. All throughout our conversations, people had been adding to the painting of our vision for the future. It was quite impactful, especially knowing that it was a collaborative effort and we were already bringing that vision into reality.
THEN OHHHKAYY time for vegan chili cheese fries. YUP YOU HEARDD ME. Outside there was a vegan food truck and it was really great to see how the community was brought together. Mettā opens up all kinds of opportunities for entrepreneurship and environmental sustainability to work hand in hand.
Later in the evening Zach Wagner gave a workshop on lucidity and dreaming, which I found really interesting since your dreams are clues to what’s really going on in your subconscious. Zach spoke on the importance of dreams and how they allow you to become more aware of yourself, even in different states of consciousness. He showed us different herbs you could take to enhance your dreams, and even gave us samples to try. He also told us how dreaming could be used as a tool to practice things you want to get better at and increase your learning curve, since you can practice in your waking life as well as while you are sleeping.
I went back outside to check out the fire dancers, lighting up the night and providing a surrealistic atmosphere to the event. One of the dancers from last time was breathing fire into the air like a dragon. The dancers were also very welcoming of-first timers and I got to try poi! It came quite naturally and felt like I was creating force fields of energy around my body. I also met a man named Yoshi who was spinning a fire staff. You can’t help but feel like a young Jedi once you get into the world of the flow arts.
Back inside I heard Dylan calling for us to gather near the stage, which had colorful projections swirling around the speakers. “Get the cacao it’s dancing time!” He called throughout the venue and I laughed as he ran past. Cacao is some serious business around here.
The hanging lyra hoop was waiting for me as I got to the stage. I began swinging around on it with my friends and it was beautiful to watch them. I love when the people around you become almost like a mirror so you can see what you must look like to them. It’s gorgeous because watching other people can be just as mesmerizing as performing yourself. I got to photograph the performing artists, Shrub Squad. They all wear green wigs and hazmat suits. The music was bangin and I loved dancing with everyone.
I cannot even begin to describe how much these events mean to myself and the community. It is a next level of engagement in which saving the environment becomes fun and creative. I’ve worked with the Sierra club in the past, and they stressed to me how it is so inspiring to see that young adults really do care about the Earth and are making big impacts in their community. I’m really excited to see what Mettā x Creative Labs pt. 3 has to offer!
🖤 Mettā Creative & 🎨 Creative Labs are collaborating again, creating an event series designed to create deeper connections through art and strengthen the creative community in Baltimore, all while inspiring collaboration and sustainability in a fun way #partywithpurpose
♻️ 15% of Mettā Creative's proceeds will go towards helping Creative Labs make energy repairs to increase energy efficiency of their building and start constructing plans for a green roof & community garden! 🙏🏽
🌿 Plant-Based Food Truck: DCAC Eatz
☕️ Tea & CBD - Hemp Kettle Tea Company
🔊 Live DJ Performances
🌌 Flow Friendly (🔥 outside only)
🖌 Live Artists & Creative Labs' Resident Artists Displays
🎨 Collaborative Arts & Community Mural
🌀 Sound Bath & Meditation
💆🏽♀️ Massage & Reiki Sirens Zen Massage and Wellness
🔭 Visual Projections Brandon Decker & Brady Welch
👁 Creative Workshops
5:00PM: Tarot - Charlotte Boyer
6:00PM: Sonic Yoga - Mary Gellen
7:00PM: Mindful Monkey Movement - Sha Golanski
8:00PM: Sustainable Creative Spaces - Michael Metcalf & Eddie Cervantes
9:00PM: Lucidity & Dreaming - Zach Wagner
10:00PM: Reiki Sound Bath - Mary Gellen & Kayla Renee
11:00PM: Tantric Partner Workshop - Asha Benoit Bawles
9:00PM: MANDATORY Fire Safety - Sha
9:15PM: Fire Flow Circle - Sha
8:00 - 9:45 PM: Dastan
10:00 - 10:45 PM: Moco (B&E inc)
11:00 - 11:45 PM: Đæd Dïgitaĺ
12:00 - 12:45 AM - Dj Kitana
1:00 - 1:45 AM: Shrub Squad
🕰WHEN: May 24, 2019 - May 25, 2019
(5:00PM - 2:00AM)
📍WHERE: Creative Labs , Baltimore
🙏🏽WHY: We are asking for an energy exchange of $20. This money is to raise funds for Mettā Creative and Creative Labs, to continue facilitating, connecting, facilitating and inspiring a mindful community. These funds go directly to necessary event costs such as tents, the artists, art supplies and food. Without your support, this would not be possible. Thank you 🥑
🚇TRANSPORTATION: Woodberry lightrail stop is SO CLOSE! Only a 5 min walk. Bus line 21 also takes you within 5 mins walking (Clipper Rd & Union Av. )
RIDE SHARE!! Maybe meet your new best friend? Save gas? $? Save the Earth!
From dc, marc train to baltimore and then public transport access, just check out waze or google maps or use this ride share <3
🛴 🚲 We also encourage the new solar powered scooters & bikes (JUMP, LYFT, LIME, BIRD... there's so many!) Just download the app and enjoy a $2 solar power-assisted ride here! If you are driving, please consider sharing an Über, Lyft or park in the back parking lot if you can👍🏽
✨Feel free to reach out with any questions, comments or concerns✨