Beauty In Collaboration


Collaboration: the action of working with someone to produce or create something.

It’s one of those words that I love in theory, but am sometimes challenged by in practice.  Don’t you sometimes feel like you could finish the project on your own faster, rather than having to bring in a lot of other opinions and slow down the process? I have to confess that oftentimes as a leader, I am tempted toward efficiency rather than creative cooperation. Anyone else?

Efficiency is the name of the game when you’re balancing the management of a start up non-profit, a capital campaign and a building renovation.  Or so I thought.  The reality is, when efficiency becomes my goal, I am often too busy to see the people right in front of me offering to help... to co-labor with me.  

I have to laugh at the irony that I am leading an organization encouraging creative collaboration as our mission, and yet time and time again, I try to “get things done” on my own.  We are all works in progress and I am thankful to be learning my limits and for the many co-laborers who have come alongside me to create and to make Art House Dallas beautiful. Artists of all types have used their creativity to produce everything from the Website, blog articles and featured artist profiles, to new events, graphic design and short films. The last year and a half at Art House Dallas has been one story after another of God providing incredibly gifted people at just the right moment to jump in and collaborate.

One such moment came last month at Pearl Cup Coffee, just down the street from the future Art House Dallas location. After a couple months of realizing I was in over my head trying to manage all the moving parts of this building renovation, it became clear I needed a co-laborer to manage the project. It was at Pearl Cup I first voiced that (gasp) I can’t do it all, and then 3 weeks later at the same table, I was offering Justin Nygren the offer to join us for this nine month project. His diverse background in music, church planting, and home renovations along with co-founding a local art non-profit made him the perfect provision for this renovation role. 


While the last year and a half at Art House Dallas has allowed us to connect and work alongside a multitude of artists, this new space at Munger Place presents one of our greatest opportunities yet for collaboration. Now that we have Justin on board, he’ll be able to lead the team of artists from all different creative backgrounds to collaborate on the design and building of the space. Ultimately, all of this will result in a physical setting for artists of all types to come together and co-labor in their diverse creative pursuits.

The possibilities for collaboration are endless in this new space. The musician meeting a graphic designer to create their album cover. The screenwriter connecting with a filmmaker. The fashion designer hiring a photographer to capture their newest clothing line. We’re thrilled about providing a location where connection turns to creation.

The good news is you don’t need to wait for our space to start collaborating with other artists in town.  We see these connections already occurring at the Art House Exchange, our pub gathering held on the last Thursday of every month.  I continue to be so encouraged by the stories of collaboration I hear coming from people who first met at this event and are now working on a project together. Just last week I heard about a musician composing a jingle for an author’s pitch to a publishing company for their newest book!  While social networking provides all sorts of connections, you never know whom you might meet to work with in a room full of other creative people. 

Check out some of our upcoming events below and start meeting with others who can encourage you in your creative pursuit and personal development:

  • Art House Exchange (Thursday, March 29th St. John’s Tavern)

  • Songwriter’s Dinner (Sunday March 31st, 2 Locations)

  • Catalyst Conference (Labs: May 9th/ Main Sessions: May 10th-11th) **Register by March 29th for a Special Art House Dallas rate.