Podcast: Everyone is creative, everyone is welcome at CreativeMornings Charlotte

I went to my first CreativeMornings/Charlotte event earlier this month. I’d heard about it, but I had no idea what to expect. Someone described it to me as “creative church.” That’s probably the best way to describe it.

There’s the chance to meet people while eating free breakfast and drinking free coffee. There’s music. There are games. (OK, maybe church doesn’t have games … but maybe it should!). And then there’s the sermon — a 20-minute talk based around the theme of the month. The Charlotte meetings are the first Friday of each month.

CreativeMornings is a global phenomenon with 141 chapters around the world, but Matt Olin and Tim Miner have put their own spin on things since starting the Charlotte chapter last year.

“What I think distinguishes CreativeMornings is the spirit,” Miner said. “People are there to get invigorated, not necessarily to swap business cards. … They’re there to really just be fed and energized and there’s just a positivity in that room around being there, about being creative, and really what’s holding it all together … is a love of city.”

On this week’s The Good News Is podcast, we talked to Olin and Miner about CreativeMornings, what it means to be creative and what to expect at the next meeting. (It’s 8:30 a.m. May 6, the theme is “Reality,” the guest is Dr. Susan Cernyak-Spatz and the RSVPs open 9 a.m. Monday, May 2. Hurry, because they’ll be gone quickly.)

CreativeMornings/Charlotte is a different, fresh take on your standard speaker series, which is why Katie Toussaint and I were excited to partner with them for the CreativeMornings After Party series, where we dive deeper with the guest each month.

“We have this manifesto. It begins with everyone is creative, it ends with everyone is welcome,” Olin said. “There’s lots of great juicy bits in between, too, but that’s king of the bookends of our manifesto. You’re going to find a gathering of just wonderful, heart-centered Charlotteans whose connector happens to be their love of creativity.”

Cooper Lambla, the speaker at April's CreativeMornings/Charlotte event.

On the podcast, we also talked to the pair — who have known each other since high school at Charlotte Catholic — about a new series they have coming: Queen City Quiz Show, which recently won a Knight Cities Challenge grant.

“On the surface what it’s going to be is a traveling game show about Charlotte,” Miner said. “We try to … wrap a serious topic or a serious endeavor in fun. … It’s like if Jeopardy and The Daily Show had a baby. In Charlotte. On wheels. And can we do that, where some trivial and fun and silly information about Charlotte is mixed in with some really interesting and important information.”

Other things we talked about on the podcast:

Lucky Dog Bark and Brew, where I took my pup this weekend.

– What Charlotte will be like in 50 years, based on this fascinating article by Ely Portillo about what city leaders thought downtown would be like 50 years ago.

– What we should be doing this weekend. (Hint: It involves sandwiches.)

The Good News Is — presented by The Charlotte Observer and powered by OrthoCarolina — is a weekly podcast with a similar mission to what we do here at C5: To get you CharlotteSmart, fast with fun, interesting and useful news about the city. It’s hosted by Corey Inscoe and Sarah Crosland.

As always, you can find our episodes on SoundcloudiTunes and now Stitcher. You can follow us on Twitter @TheGoodNewsCLT, on Instagram @TheGoodNewsCLT, on Facebook and you can shoot us an email to

Photos: Wiley Stewart Photography