Last week in The Collective, we got down to the exciting task of making art in collaboration with others. Our meeting time until now has been spent getting to know each other, and sharing our unique outlooks and personal histories.

Through the act of telling our stories, each of us has taken the group on a guided tour of our personal world. These tours took us to some difficult places, and to some joyous ones. The process of sharing was not always easy. But that time spent breaking down barriers and building trust within the group has really payed off. Now the process of collaboration is truly informed and nourished with an empathetic knowledge of each other.

As a bassist, I’ve always viewed my role in the musical process as a supportive one.

My goal in the music game is to create a pattern that invites the other musicians’ creativity. I get a thrill when I create a framework that helps other people feel comfortable expressing themselves.

Making music in a room where there truly are no strangers is an amazing feeling. Having that type of collaboration, after taking the time to truly get to know each other, is an inexpressible experience. I know that The Collective has only scratched the surface of it’s creative potential.

And I am truly excited to see what we can create as a unit.


Jon Schwartz is a member of The Collective at The Sanctuaries, a diverse arts community with soul in Washington, DC.

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