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What are some of your experiences of combining the art, music, theatre, poetry, story telling, music, painting with the World Cafe and other methods? What have you tried? What would you like to try? What can you imagine? 

I can imagine examples such as as: 

- a theatre audience engaging in a World Cafe process straight after a performance to make new meaning of the content of the play, or during an intermission to decide what direction the second half of the performance will take
- music and sounds in place of words cafe converations
- harvesting conversations via poetry or dance 
- story telling with multiple threads at different tables

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Dear world cafe people,

As visual recorders we have drawn our images at several world cafe`s over the years, and shown them to the participants afterwards in a slide show. So we came across several ways to practice your concept.

I love the basic idea of world cafe, and am glad that drawing or scribbling on the table cloth is a part of it (I believe that Nancy Margulies has influenced this a lot, thank you Nancy!). Only this idea is realized in very different ways. Some facilitators ask people very carefully to use this possibility to express their ideas in pictures, some rarely mention it. Some hang the table cloths on wires afterwards like a little exposition, others destroy them after each round without comment.

The participants often only write, seldomly put energy into scribbling. Once in Vienna I saw a girl producing phantastic drawings, the whole cloth was a piece of art, but this was just once. May be that the pure size of the cloths makes people a bit shy.

My idea thinking about the possibilities of visualizing the ideas, feelings, results, and making all the little images seen and honored afterwards:

Perhaps you could propose, that people draw on little cards which lay on the tables. Just one idea per card, and adding a few words to it. Afterwards one can gather all the cards and hang them on a prepared picture wall. If it goes well and there is time and energy for that, the participants also can cluster the cards, and come to a broad view of the day.

The idea of the small cards of course is taken from our way of visualizing, I am using these little cards since 16 years now, you can see this method on our website (below). Only so far we seldomly asked people to use them, so this would be an innovation.

I would love to discuss these possibilities with you!
Hello Jasmine,

In direct response to your suggestions for the possibilities of using theatre and story-telling with the world cafe, I have prototyped this in a participatory community project this year. I shared my experience in this forum here

I also worked with the creative arts as an entry to a profound cafe dialogue around Education in the 21st century (with participants engaged in creating their talking pieces), and closed the dialogue with creative art making ( harvesting through sculpture). The experience was shared in a blog on the Presencing Institute here.

It is all possible and one insight that I share from all those experiences, is that the use of the creative arts takes us to the heart level in our dialogues and interactions; and by engaging at this level, a sense of ownership and belonging are seeded for the next move ....

All the best in the exploration,
Kindly,
Hala

Hi, Jasmine et al

If you want to listen to a taped radio blog interview in which I describe my lifelong work with creative processes, please go to my website and find the audio section.  Suffice it to say, as a multi-arts person, I focus on two main areas right now:  1.  Second Life-I design educational experiments combining arts processes with psychology, self-awareness, community building, coaching,  using the tech tools (like building, digital painting, role playing etc) available in that virtual 3d online world.  It is free to join and the World Cafe has a presence there albeit dormant right now. I am hoping it will revive and we can experiment with arts processes, particularly builds symbolizing problems, feeling states, novel solutions, etc. at the break-out tables.  I have a lot of other ideas too long to write about here.   2. I coach people who work with people (coaches, therapists, group leaders, educators et al) how to use arts-based processes to enhance what they already do. I have a manual called Being Alive! Creative & Emotional Intelligence Tools for People Professionals which I make available in conjunction with this work or as a separate product.

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