Giving centre stage to London’s less well known creative communities…

You know of amazing projects happening in your own backyard, perhaps you even run one or attend a group that inspires you to reconnect with yourself after a hard day, unwind after a long week and more importantly feel a sense of connection to where you live or work…

Seeking out such groups on some of the more well hidden nooks and crannies of London has been at the heart of co-curating Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014 – and now June is finally here do take the many opportunities we have cooked up with The Dragon Cafe, Mental Fight Club, Mind and Soul Choir, Friends of Cathja, Cooltan Arts and Lambeth Addiction recovery just to name few… blink and you will have missed so many treats!

Communities programme – Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014

When thinking about what could a Communities programme look like as part of Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014

London as a body came to mind and that each of use who live, work and visit here at any given time make up that body and the roads, buildings and green spaces form the structure, the web we all co-exist in…

And what if when you as a festival goer come to a festival event you get to really challenge yourself and what you think is ‘community’ or not…

Much is written about the ‘fractured’ self or ‘split’ self and in much of my own experience of being able to come ‘home’ to myself is just as much about how I am feeling as much about where I live and  who I live with and around. And how I choose to frame this… and that community exists even if and when I say “I don’t do community” sitting hidden away in my flat…

You are invited to go into new spaces such as The Anatomy Museum and Theatre at Kings College (a hidden gem of London’s), see  supposed ‘old’ societal anxieties in new light given that many of yester year’s problems maybe seem like they have not gone away i.e. Horace Ove’s film Pressure and to see new theatre and writing that brings those real everyday anxieties such as the decline of loved ones in later life into reality through lived experience with tenderness and humour i.e. Julie McNamara’s Let Me Stay

So I hope we’ve managed to do this in our programming not just within Communities but across the whole festival – we have each played with making new collaborations with groups not usually included in festivals such as patients in locked wards, prisoners, recovery addicts and community mental health service users…

You’ll be the judges of whether it has worked… do tell me/us… @anxiety2014 #anxiety2014


How can a festival inspire you to re-examine your relationship with community and what this means to you?

East London Creative Business Women Network @ The Create Place 30.09.13

The Create Place is co-hosting #elcbwn 30.09.13 meeting

The Create Place is co-hosting #elcbwn 30.09.13 meeti

East London Creative Business Women Network

Next meeting post Summer break

Date: Monday 30th September 2013

Time: A prompt 6.30pm start

Ends: 9pm

Venue: The Create Place, 29 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PJ

Cost:  Donations – pay what you can



  • To give yourself  the time and space for you need to move your creative projects and business on.
  • For an evening of connecting with new creative contacts, hearing more about what is out there to help you grow your own ideas, confidence and  new ways of looking at your current challenges.
  • Bring along any promotional materials for your upcoming events or services you want to share.
Previous success stories are one networker taking the leap to set up their own business, new creative commissions for work on collaborative paid projects and deep connections and support networks growing across and beyond East London!!

 You can book your place for the evening networking session via

How to catch a copy of ‘To Catch a Rabbit’ by Helen Cadbury?


Very proud of Helen Cadbury’s 1st published book – the 1st of many!!

For today (18th July 2013) and tomorrow (19th July 2013)  To Catch a Rabbit is on very special offer!

Free Kindle download day!


I have known and been working with Helen since 2009 and it’s so amazing to she how her focus, determination and vision have manifested ‘To Catch A Rabbit’ – a crime novel based in the UK which has very strong chances of making it onto a TV screen near you very soon…

Check out Helen’s website

Check out Moth Publishing’s website

Open to Create… known for for igniting people’s creativity in unique, quirky and playful ways.

image by Anna B. Sexton

Creative Coaching, creative mentoring, creative play, creative thinking workshops

Open To Create… offer a creative smorgasbord of creative coaching, mentoring and playful workshop sessions.

Creative MOT sessions will re-ignite your creative process and vision.

Bag of Creative Surprises workshops take your creative ideas to a new depths.

And our magical Ignite Your Creativity Retreats will “open doors onto your imagination, heart & mind you wouldn’t know were there.”

Join in the creative action via Open To Create… Facebook page

Please contact Anna B Sexton, Director to find out more about how we can support you to be more open to creating a thriving and super successful creative business.

We work with people with ideas for start up businesses through to those with more established enterprises who want to take it to the next level.

Your interest in Open To Create… matters as do any questions, ideas & feedback you have.

Drop us a line now using the form below or call 07941 655 856 or 020 7515 9451

Open To Create… new business cards!


Excitingly unpacked new Open To Create… business cards fresh off the press from Moo. Thanks to Alex Beeching for all your support and creative input in getting us this far!

Grow your creative business and the rest will follow?

What does it take to grow your creative business?

And what follows once you start that process?

And who else benefits or doesn’t as you grow yourself and your business grows?

Growing your own businesses starts having a seed of a vision to do something only you can bring into the world, mixed together with your own particular view of the world, built up over the years and a culmination of all your experiences to date.

These questions become particularly pertinent when you allow yourselves to re-remember you don’t and your businesses don’t just exist within the space between your ears i.e. your heads.
These thoughts need to become actions to grow your dream into a reality.

So where then do your businesses live once they are out of your heads and in the world?

They live in the communities we live and work in. Be they local, regional, nationally and more increasingly globally spaces thanks to social media etc.

So even if you stay sitting behind the door of your office, beavering away in your head and on your laptops simply stating ‘I don’t do community.’

The truth is you do and we do community, whether we like or not. But what does this mean when you are growing yourselves and your business? How do you/we do this in a way which sustains us and others?

Definitions of community are personal, public and variously wide ranging – the Oxford Dictionary’s version is;

“The people that live in one locality; a group of people having cultural, religious, ethnic,
or other characteristics in common; the public in general; society. Ecology – a group of interdependent animals & plants inhabiting the same region and interacting with each
other through food & relationship.”

Every community has its own unique set of ingredients which gives the flavour to experiences we have when we live, work or visit there.

Communities have a big place in my heart given over the last 20 years I have lived and worked in over 8 deprived inner London boroughs, regenerating Liverpool & Manchester with a stop off in rural Wiltshire to give me another angle on what living in community might mean. I have worked to get myself into the different mindsets and space of the people, organisations and businesses that make up these individual villages, market towns, London Boroughs and re-blossoming regional cities.

I am currently growing my 3rd business and this has really got me into the process of deeply questioning what I want to grow, how and why.

Like gardening people, business and places grow organically with that certain mixture of elements required for them to bloom.

I am more and more drawn to metaphor of how we grow the people, businesses and places in our communities being similar to that of gardening; having recently successfully co-founded Greening Brownfield, an award winning community garden space in Poplar, East London, UK ,

The essential ingredients in the mix

Plenty of light – both our own ability to be light and let our lights shine. And access to sustainable forms of energy to light our offices etc.
Plenty of water – fresh, clean and available to all
Plenty of non-polluted air i.e. the right mixture to grow healthy people
Plenty of healthy earth upon and within which to grow healthy roots/foundations
Plenty of plant food without use of chemicals, pesticides and other pollutants (see air)
Plenty of time to nurture, enjoy the fruits of your labour and share the harvest
Plenty of attention to cut away the dead wood, weed away any sources of potential threat

Seeing it written down makes is seem obvious, and of course it is. Yet how we do & be this on a day to day basis is another thing.

And in the context of setting up and running your business these questions of what and how you will grow the seeds of your mission is more imperative day by day.

“When we place our own individual needs ahead of the broader community we lose our perspective and become ethnocentric. The result is the Three Musketeers mantra in reserve: “All for one and none for all.” Avoiding this deadly pattern requires that we prioritize community as a whole, rather than just ourselves. In doing so we all end up better off.”
Bob Doppelt, The Power of Sustainable Thinking

So how can you grow and sustain your own business yet at the same time grow your own and others communities locally and globally?

Some inspiring examples I have either been part of co-creating or discovering of late are listed below;


Anna Sexton
Open To Create…
Growing people and communities
07941 655 856