A team of students in Western’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation program are putting on a virtual collaboration event, “Creators Collide,” to show that you can still connect and meet new people while learning remotely.
Creators Collide is an online event that will have a variety of different guest creators. From musical performances by local Bellingham rock band, Akrasia, to many different informational discussions and art shows, the event gives a variety of entertainment for everyone to look forward to.
Creators Collide will be held from noon to midnight on Friday, May 22, and Saturday, May 23. People are able to come and go as they please during the event and will feature entrepreneurs and creators from around the globe. Registration is free but required to join the events.
“What’s cool about this event is that once you RSVP you will receive the schedule with the links to every single one of these presentations,” said Victoria Corkum, a Visual Journalism major and Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor who is part of the outreach team putting the event together. “You don’t have to attend the entire event, you can click on the links for the people or presentations you specifically want to see. Even if somebody is unsure about attending they can always sign up and just check us out. We don't do anything with that information, it's completely safe.”
With over 25 creators, events will feature a variety of performances in music, dance, makeup tutorials, art, vegan cooking classes, podcasts and informational speakers. All events will be held on Zoom and Discord; for a full schedule, visit their website.
“We have some presentations that are music performances where you can just sit and vibe and enjoy what’s happening and you can comment and encourage the musicians,” Corkum said. “But we also have some presentations that are going to be open discussions with business owners so you can ask questions and learn from their experiences. Because we have all been impacted by the virus we are all needing someplace to heal and someplace to grow, our event is one of those places.”
Inspiration for this event came to the group when life moved online and social distancing policies were put in place.
“Once school was moved online we knew that we would also have to shift our event online too,” Corkum said. “All of us on the team of 11 students, we’re sitting at home feeling alone and confused. We wanted to do something that would bring the community together even if it is through a screen. So we jumped at the chance to host an online event where we bring together musicians, artists, small business owners and storytellers.”
Corkum says they titled the event Creators Collide because they have a wide range of amazing people who banded together to make this happen. The team is also raising funds for the ‘Emerging Entrepreneurial Leadership Fellowship Fund’ which helps students within the minor to apply for funds to assist with their future businesses. Corkum says that even though the event is free, they are hoping people will donate to help young entrepreneurs.
The first $10,000 in gifts donated will be matched dollar for dollar by alumnus David Cole, '84 as an investment in future entrepreneurs.
Through the E&I program, the team has been able to receive a lot of help in many different ways.
“The E&I program gave us a budget to work with so we can send out strong ads to promote our event as well as create merchandise,” Corkum said. “We honestly wouldn’t even be doing this event if it wasn’t for the passion and persistence that this program provides us with.”
Healani Nendel, an International Business major and E&I minor from Spokane who is a leader for the group, said program faculty and staff have been coaching them and helping with pieces of the event that they might not have thought of.
“I cannot express how much blood, sweat, and tears have gone into the making of this event,” Nendel said. “We are a small group of students looking to make change in the world during a time of pandemic to bring people joy and hope.”
With Creators Collide, the team hopes to bring people together and help make new connections while also supporting great artists and performers.
“Human interaction is a gift and because of everything that’s been happening in our world we haven’t had that in so long,” Corkum said. “I’ve already felt such an impact just from getting to book performers and seeing how excited they are that somebody cares enough about what they’re doing to support it. I hope that people who attend our event and participate go away feeling like they want more.”
For those interested in attending the event, the Creators Collide team is encouraging people to register on their website and donate if you can to help support the Emerging Entrepreneurial Leadership Fellowship Fund.
“We encourage everyone to register on our website and encourage their friends to join as well,” said Megan Shomaker, a Design major and E&I minor from Issaquah who is part of the team putting this together. “We’ve got two awesome days of presenters that are so excited to share their passions through Creators Collide, and we hope all of our presenters have as many viewers as possible!”
I cannot express how much blood, sweat, and tears have gone into the making of this event. We are a small group of students looking to make change in the world during a time of pandemic to bring people joy and hope.
Even during times of social distancing, having fun and making meaningful and deeper connections is what the Creators Collide team is hoping people can take away from this event, said Shomaker.
For more information about Creators Collide, visit their website or their Instagram @CreatorsCollide. To find out more about the Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, visit wp.wwu.edu/ideastoimpact.
Corkum said being able to bring a community together through the event is what the Creators Collide team is working hard to do, and are hopeful for what’s ahead.
“Whether we have five people attend or 500, I’m going to be so proud of how we brought together members of our community. I want this event to be something that makes people feel joyful, hopeful and encouraged to keep moving forward,” Corkum said.