There are some people that are too important to not include out of the gate as we present to you Sukha Artist Development Studios, as well as the incredible path that got us here. May you learn as much as I have from the process. Enjoy!
THE FATHERS AND MOTHER OF SUKHA
CONNECTING THE DOTS
- Sukha Artist Development Studios is the brain child of a tiny dancer and three musicians in 2006. Eliot James Jones, Rachel Bolan, Mark Danelles, and myself. I will give you the short version to start.
- Based off all of our experiences combined, we noticed if we all came together, if we truly connected dots, lives would grow. We noticed a gap in the arts community and wanted to fill it. The gap was that so many artists felt disconnected because, actually, we were. We were all spread out, focusing on our own work. Not even realizing there was another way.
THE OLD TOWNE CINEMA
- The fact that I was a dancer and needed music to carry out my work is why we connected in the first place, as I appeared in Jj's studio one day, needing some good sounds to work with. To add, I was in an incredible space that was once the home of Nickel and Dime Recording Studio, which enabled me to see the spaces that we use are very similar, and could accommodate us all. My time in that awesome old theatre is what gave me the awareness that led to this. It was contagious. I needed these guys. The Atlanta artists in the music scene. James Jones, Rob Hammersmith, Cleveland Willis and others, to come in and work with me at times in that old space to carry out my work. I see music. The musician hears it. We kind of need each other. I can't dance without you. When you are on that stage we can see you, so you might need someone like me to assist you on the visual side.
- We found ourselves, at this point in our careers, wanting to give back. We discovered how creating opportunities to pass on what we've learned to young developing artists created a new kind of passion for us. As we passed on our knowledge, we saw incredible things in them that added to our work as professionals.
- We need each other. We need visual artists of all kinds. Web designers, painters, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, gardeners, architects... you name it. It's difficult for us to carry out our work without you. We have needs that require all of you. We also knew that seeing other artists' creative works inspired us in doing our own work. It's as if we all truly feed each other. I think we do, and we can. And we need to. We played that tape out and saw the possibilities that could come from putting us all together underneath one roof.
ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS
- Simply sitting at a round table and having these discussions felt awesome, and led to some collaborative ideas that could not have been formed without all four of us. You'll get to experience these ideas today. I have carried this Sukha box with me for 11 years, observing the scene and the various industries taking note of what's been missing, preparing for the day that just maybe would lead to Sukha taking life. Even though all four of us live in various states now, and stay busy in our work and families, the vision has not been lost. We have our Sukha talks from state to state every so often. They have kept it alive with me, and have been cheering me on with complete support to make it happen.
THE VISION OF JOY
- We had this vision back then of us all rolling up to work with our morning cup of coffee in hand, HAPPY. Where we could be ourselves, and by being ourselves, it could reach another life, it could make more music, it could make more dance, and it could make more art. We got excited about coming up with classes and workshops where we could help young artists grow. We got excited about the belief that everyone could do what they love, and thrive in that. We thought of our friends, we even thought of the people we had not yet met who could be affected by our concept. So we brainstormed a lot, we laughed a whole lot, we connected many dots, and we found Sukha Artist Development Studios.
WHAT'S IN A NAME
- We searched for a name. And one day the name found me in a book. It made sense. The definition in the book was as follows: Sukha. Selfless in nature, connected to a greater purpose, which is why it increases through service to others. It's that inner joy that does not make you want to jump up and down, but makes you simply content in that joy. It's contagious. It fit. And it stuck, even as the years passed I tried to give it another name. But it simply seemed wrong with any other name attached to it.
- Later, I discovered that joy described is actually the result of Sukha. "Su" means good and "kha" means space. It's the good space. The space in the middle of the wheel that spins effortlessly. This made better sense of this experience that seemed to go along with preparing for Sukha. It's that empty space in between that creates the awesome flow that leads us all. You know where life just has you in the right place at the right time? Sukha is what is behind bliss. You can't see it but you can feel it. It's in all of us, and when we sit still long enough to recognize it, the good stuff in life grows. It's what creates music, movement, and visual arts. It's the space in between where we all connect.
- I've spent many years looking for the right building, and coming up with the right formula. When things do not flow, I believe that's an indicator that something is not quite right. Either there's some wrong thinking going on, it's the wrong space, or something's just plain missing. Well guess what... I think it was a little of each of these things. Timing also plays apart as it's often our biggest teacher. My Daddy's last words to me were that the things that are most important in your life take time. You don't want to rush them. You have to allow room for all of the right pieces to be prepared in the right way, and show up. I think he was correct. And I think this vision was waiting for Mike Froedge. My husband. If you know Mike, I don't need to explain this. If you don't: his relationship with music is a match for mine in how it moves me through life. The journey showed us that it required Mike and I combined, and all of the people that were a part of our experiences in preparing us for today, so that we could breathe life into this vision. The stars finally aligned.
YOU ARE MY INSPIRATION: ALL OF YOU
- I see Sukha in all of you. It's years of seeing it in all of you that's made me hold space for this vision to come to life for all of these years. I wanted to give you that "good space" to support all of your amazing gifts. I wanted you to see in yourselves what I see in you. So here we are... Thanks to you, Sukha Artist Development Studios HAS come to life. You have inspired me in so many ways, and it's time I reflect back to you what you have given to me.
- At this point I wonder: did we find Sukha or did Sukha find us? I simply believe it was meant to be.