May 7, 2019

Arts and Culture Advocacy Series: Miranda Aisling

by cns2020

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The Arts and Culture Advocacy Series features voices in the community who are actively working to promote arts and culture as an essential and valuable part of business, community, and daily life. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and what role you play in the creative community?

My name is Miranda Aisling (ash-leen), I’m an artist, community organizer, and entrepreneur. My personal mission is to reconnect art to daily life. I do this through my own artistic practice as an abstract oil painter and through my work as the founder of a non-profit called Miranda’s Hearth.

At Miranda’s Hearth, we build community through creativity that is approachable, affordable, and accessible. We offer creative community events that help people get in touch with their innate creativity. Additionally, we provide the infrastructure that supports professional artists as small businesses.

Why do you feel the arts, culture, and creativity are important?

Creativity is an innate human skill. Some people develop it and others suppress it, but everyone has it. When every person is encouraged to reconnect with their innate creativity, our society as a whole flourishes. We become better members of our community, better keepers of our planet, better participants in our relationships, and more intentional about our own lives.

Making art, either as a professional artist or as an amateur, teaches us how to engage with the world in a positive, constructive way. The skills that we learn from making art include expression, patience, focus, empathy, reflection, communication, and perseverance. By developing these skills, we learn how to live well.

How do you feel arts, culture, and creativity most profoundly impact your personal and/or business life?

My entire life is shaped around the arts. I went to college to study painting when I was 14 and never looked back. Having a regular artistic practice has taught me skills that I apply throughout all areas of my life. It has given me a place to focus and a community to thrive in. Because of the strong impact art has had on me, I’ve spent my professional career as a community arts organizer, developing opportunities for other people to engage with their own creativity. 

As artists, we need to reclaim our ability to make good, meaningful work while making a real living. As creative business owners, we need to work to change the narrative that arts and business are inherently opposed.

Miranda Aisling

Share with us one event or initiative that falls under the arts, culture, creativity umbrella that you are really excited about and want to share with readers?

Since I moved to Boston for graduate school in 2011, I’ve wanted to be part of a creative community. When I couldn’t find one, I decided to start hosting my own events and see what happened. Now, eight years later, I’ve learned that consistency builds community. That’s why, every Monday in Somerville and every Thursday in Beverly, I host the Hearth Community Night.

These evenings provide an informal space for people to work on projects, meet each other, and enjoy a welcoming creative atmosphere. I’ve loved hosting these events and finally being part of the community that I wish I had walked into eight years ago.

What would be one thing you would like to relay/request of future creative thinking business owners and leaders?

I always remind artists that business and art are not opposites. That, until the Industrial Revolution, every artist was making things to make a living. Michelangelo was working on a commission when he created the Sistine Chapel, as were many of the most respected artists throughout history.

In the past 150 years, we’ve created a harmful narrative of the struggling artist who works only from direct inspiration. As artists, we need to reclaim our ability to make good, meaningful work while making a real living. As creative business owners, we need to work to change the narrative that arts and business are inherently opposed.

How do you feel that being a member/partner of Creative Collective gives you the tools and support to reach your hopes and aspirations for the creative community?

As a creative community builder, the majority of my work is meeting and collaborating with people who share my mission of building community through creativity.

Being part of Creative Collective has been an incredibly important resource for me as I moved my business focus to the North Shore. Everyone who I’ve met through the Creative Collective has been an enthusiastic supporter of the arts and has also spoken my language as a community arts organizer. It’s incredibly important that we remember to work together and to support each other, and the Creative Collective has made an infrastructure to do just that!