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“Creativity Will Save Us”: Cultural Resilience, Coronavirus and NYC

Artists from all over the world are united under the flag of Art. Interview with the Co-Founders Tommaso Cartia and Daniela Pavan.

Creative Pois-On
The initiative is a video, podcast series and social media campaign that gives voice to many prominent figures from the world of art, culture and entertainment. The project was conceived, written and produced by Creative Pois-On, the NYC-based storytelling platform and multimedia production boutique.

Tommaso Cartia

Creative Pois-On wanted to share with its audience the extraordinary voices of some of the artists who have enriched the pages of the platform and beyond and with their stories and creations, are reaching an entire global community. #CreativityWillSaveUs is a video/podcast series that meets the Coronavirus emergency with the superpower of creativity. Creative Pois-On is the NYC-based storytelling platform and multimedia production boutique founded by entrepreneur and Forbes contributor Daniela Pavan, as Artistic Director, and by journalist and author Tommaso Cartia as Editor in Chief.

We had the opportunity to speak with them about this innovative project.

Tommaso and Daniela, first of all, please tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Tommaso Cartia: “I’m a journalist and published author with a decade of experience in media communications, in both Italy and the U.S. I’m originally from Sicily, though I’ve lived most of my life in Milan, and my dreams as a storyteller always lead me outside my borders. In the early 2000’s I came to the U.S., and it was New York City that completely charmed me, and made me feel like I truly belonged in this country. Here I have been working extensively in the publishing and media industry, including for La Voce di New York, where I had the chance to interview some prestigious names, from writers like Erica Jong or Michael Cunningham to actresses like Gina Lollobrigida and Valeria Golino, to name just a few. I am now the mind and the pen behind Storytelier, the editorial project by Creative Pois-On, and as artistic director, I run our podcast show with Daniela, as well as our other services and storytelling productions.”

daniela pavan

daniela pavan

Daniela Pavan: “I was born and raised in Italy and now I’m based in NYC. This is one of the reasons why I feel blessed with both the Italian artistic creativity as well as NYC’s unique edge. I have 20 years of experience working in the world of digital, design and communication with big companies and agencies, as well as small start-ups, and I have a strong, long-lasting collaboration with the University of Venice, where I won a grant for research focused on understanding if and how creativity and design can be drivers for innovation. I’m the Artistic Director and the Business Mind of Creative Pois-On, I’m a natural “bridge builder”; that’s why on our podcast I run the Creative Bridge episodes.”

Now, let’s talk in more detail about your #CreativityWillSaveUs project.

Tommaso: “Our project aims to reflect on the central value that art brings to humanity, specifically during this difficult period of quarantine, and wants to be a record to transmit to posterity and the new generations, of how the creative minds of our time are living in this transitional moment, and hopefully, also giving us the tools to co-create the world of tomorrow and redesign the parameters of global innovation.”

Daniela: “Based on some research, conducted by IBM and Adobe, creativity is considered the mandatory skill for tomorrow’s leaders. And even more so now during the global pandemic crisis, where we have to face a big change that was neither planned nor wanted. To operate as we did before the COVID-19 hit, unfortunately, is not an option. What could save us really is creativity. We designed the project around the professional artists with the goal of sending a motivational and educational message to everyone who feels lost in this moment. I’m thinking about the entrepreneurs as well as the ones who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. This is the time to reinvent ourselves, to give birth to new professional models. It is complicated for sure, but I know that creativity can really serve us well right now.”

Creativity Pois-On. Photo: Youtube

What’s the idea behind Creative Pois-On and how did it also develop into this special project?

Tommaso: “When the pandemic hit, we immediately realized that we needed to go back to our essential DNA and mission. If you read the presentation of our project, we say that “more than 7 billion people today live on Planet Earth. Each one of us is like an island, a pois (polka-dot in French), seemingly disconnected from one another. Laptops, smartphones and social media provide technological bridges, but the story lines we channel are the real threads for all of the living polka-dots around the world to truly connect in this infinite maze.” Well, we thought that these words sounded so very relevant if we think of the sense of isolation that the virus has brought, but also that we are, stoically, sticking together; we are constantly connected, even if only virtually, and I feel there is an urgency to share our stories now more than ever and to fill the world with beauty and creativity.”

Grimanesa Amoros.

Let’s take a closer look at the Creative Pois-On world and your productions.

Daniela: “From the artistic and narrative point of view, we run the Creative Pois-On Podcast where Tommaso and I are not only Artistic Directors but also hosts, as for some episodes of the series we are joined by special American guests who discuss the topic of the month with us. We talk about a variety of different themes, around the subjects of art, culture, creativity and innovation, trying to channel images, connections, developments and illuminating out-of-the box ideas. And we do it also by interviewing top-notch professionals, leaders, celebrities and innovative artists and creators. The editorial line of our podcast follows and is cohesive with the editorial line of Storytelier, our atelier of written stories, as well as our video productions, of which #CreativityWilllSaveUs is sort of a spokesperson.

From the business point of view, we offer branded podcasts for brands and individuals; we construct virtual cultural salons and different varieties of video/audio productions, from entertainment to educational, always following the guiding thread of storytelling, which is our nature both artistically and professionally. We deeply believe in the power of generating and sharing ideas across multidimensional platforms that can go even further beyond the digital world we live in, to build a really empathetic connection with the listener or the reader.”

What are the goals of #CreativityWillSaveUs?

Tommaso: “We aim to support the global community of artists who are seeing all of their venues temporarily shutting down in order to prevent the spreading of the Coronavirus. Together they raise a voice that can break through these walls of isolation, sending a positive message that #CreativityWillSaveUs, and that we can spend this time making the most of our creative powers. We launched our Creative Pois-On maze to try to circle the world with creativity, and we are receiving contributions from all around the world. We feel humbled and honored by how both the audience and the community of artists are responding to the project, and we would like to turn it into a documentary or a docu-series to run on big networks to reach an even broader audience. We are already in the works for that.”

Chantal Balestri

Chantal Balestri

Who are the protagonists of the project?

Lorenzo Quinn.

Daniela: “We have been gifted by such a profusion of talented artists! Among them we have international artist and leading figurative sculptor Lorenzo Quinn; principal dancer of The American Ballet Theatre, Herman Cornejo, who pays tribute to Wilhelm Burmann, master teacher of ballet who recently passed away as a result of COVID-19 complications; singer, actress, and Broadway sensation Kayla Davion who plays Tina Turner in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical; international singer-songwriter Alessandra Salerno whose song ‘Faith Within Your Hands’, produced by Fabrizio Sotti (Tupac, Cassandra Wilson), is the official soundtrack of #CreativityWillSaveUs; Grimanesa Amoròs, Master of Light, the Peruvian-born, New York-based American interdisciplinary artist who circles the world with her large-scale light installations; Iranian-American actress, writer, and transgender activist Pooya Mohseni; David James Parr, the award-winning American writer, playwright, screenwriter and editor, reflects on the isolating quarantine with a poem from his collection “Personal Training: Poetry & Exercise Tips” performed by actor James Wells;   Anthony Michael Martinez, the NYC-based actor who accepted the NYC’s Public Theater BRAVE NEW SHAKESPEARE challenge, performing a “Quarantined Romeo” from Romeo & Juliet – Balcony Scene act 2.2; Julie McKay, American actress, Audie-nominated and SOVAS award-winning audio book narrator.”

Tommaso: “And many other illustrious Italian names of the contemporary art scene, such as:

Marco Calvani, a NYC-based writer, director and Broadway screenwriter who recently worked on The Rose Tattoo with the Roundabout Theatre Company Production on Broadway with Oscar-Winning actress Marisa Tomei; Peppe Voltarelli, Ambassador of the Mediterranean folk music tradition that he takes all over the world with his successful concerts; Leda Battisti, Italian singer-songwriter and guitarist who rose to fame by participating two times in the Sanremo Music Festival; Jacopo Rampini, the NYC-based Italian-American actor, son of Italian journalist Federico Rampini; Annalaura di Luggo, international multimedia artist; Cristiana Pegoraro, the NYC-based international pianist and Artistic Director of the Narnia Festival; Alessandro Martire, pianist and composer; Rachele Buriassi, the principal dancer of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, with her partner and drummer Andrea Belfiore, performing an ode to art.

Also featuring NYC-based artist Elena Berriolo; the eMPathia Jazz Duo, the World Music duo consisting of international singer-songwriter Mafalda Minnozzi and American guitarist Paul Ricci, who are regulars among NYC’s jazz clubs, including Birdland; Marco Gallotta, NYC-based Italian artist (we talked about him HERE); Chantal Balestri , concert pianist, President of the NY World Piano Teachers Association and Artistic Director of the Lunigiana International Music Festival (we talked about her HERE); Stefano Imbert, NYC-based illustrator; and many others to come. Our series is ongoing!   “

Annalaura di Luggo.

To conclude, Daniela Pavan adds: “I want to share with you also some exciting news! #CreativityWillSaveUs was nominated by the United Nations for the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Impact Awards which showcases and recognizes creative and impactful solutions for education, the environment, culture, etc. etc. We are truly honored by this nomination and I invite you all to vote for us at the link here!”.”

#CreativityWillSaveUs, is basically a virtual space to share and discuss ideas, a space for intellectual growth. You can find the full episodes on the Official Creative Pois-On Youtube Channel HERE.

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