Creative 360 gardening and sustainability classes are sprouting up

Creative 360, a Midland nonprofit community arts and wellness organization, believes that creativity should be accessible for all. Their latest series of classes for families focuses on STEAM programs, combining science, the environment, and the arts.

Sprouts and STEMs started last year in the new Children’s Teaching Garden at the Creative 360 Community Garden (Bayliss Street). This year, the fun continues with seven different classes in the series, which started in late July.
 Laura Vosejpka is the executive director of Creative 360.
Creative 360 Executive Director Laura Vosejpka says Sprouts and STEMs garden program is a combination of science, sustainability and art. “We take a topic, talk about the science behind it, we do some type of arts-related activity with it, and when possible, we bring in concepts of sustainability as well,” she says.

Upgrades to the teaching garden were made possible by a grant from the Midland Area Youth Action Council. Vosejpka says those improvements have made the garden and teaching series more accessible. Sprouts and STEMs are hosted every other Wednesday night, typically at 7 p.m. So far, Creative 360 has hosted programs on chemistry and the lifecycle and fun of fireflies and other glowing creatures. The remaining programs include Bees & Pollinators on Aug. 17, Butterflies on Aug. 31, Pizza Plants and Garden Greens on Sept. 14, Sustainable Garden Art on Sept. 28, Natural Dyes on Oct. 12, and Pumpkin Carving on Oct. 26. Weather-permitting, the series is held outdoors weekly.

Creative 360's latest series of classes for families focuses on STEAM programs
Vosejpka says the free events are all family-friendly, typically run 1.5 hours, and include information interesting to all ages. “What’s nice about us combining with the American Chemical Society is that you’re going to get a hefty dose of real science, but you’re also going to have a chance to do an art project. There’s really something for everyone in the family,” she says.
The free events are all family-friendly, typically run 1.5 hours
Vosejpka says there’s not always many activities that are fun for both the kids and their parents, but this series has proved to be one of those rare instances. “What we heard was everybody felt like they learned something. The parents didn’t feel like they were just tagging along,” she says of the community response. 

This series further exemplifies the big-picture of Creative 360, says Vosejpka. “Our mission is to create environments where everybody can experience the creative process. As a scientist myself, I know that there’s a lot of creativity associated with science. Science is also responsible for a lot of the materials we use as artists to be creative. I love that there’s a combination between the two.”

Families and individuals can register for the free series online. 

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Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at