HATCHfest: Sparking Creativity

In a world of brilliant minds, art and creative fields are still underfunded, underappreciated and under-taught in public schools. HATCHfest, an annual festival held last week in Bozeman, aims to change this.

Created 10 years ago, HATCHfest is an annual festival in Bozeman that brings together some of the world’s greatest creative minds. The festival features seminars and workshops to help students (and people of all ages) share their ideas and create new ones. From filmmakers to musicians, culinary artists to writers, HATCH brought this group together to foster an environment focused on sharing and spreading creativity and encouraging different ways of thinking.

“HATCH is a community movement and a series of experiences designed to ACTIVATE CREATIVITY to HATCH a better world.” The main quote from HATCH’s web page speaks volumes, and they plan to keep it that way. This year, special guests included culinary artists Eduardo Garcia and Jeremiah Lake, musicians Nick Campell and Ava Swanson and even a performance from DJ Shiftee and CJ Culture.

Many of us have experienced an encounter with a mentor that changed our lives forever — HATCHfest intends to do just that. A testimonial by the founder Jeff Leitner said, “When you do something audacious, and the world tells you it is impossible, you must be surrounded by people who are incredibly audacious as well. That is HATCH.” Creativity is not something you wait around for; you go out and experience it.

The guest list, posted on hatchexperinces.org, catalogs people who are open to connecting with students; sharing bios of jobs and life achievements, this website should be on your watch list for next year. Personally, I connected with a man by the name of Joshua Fields-Millburn whose Bio read only “I’m a simple man.”

HATCHfest is not only a great way of getting students inspired; it’s also a great opportunity to receive internships, scholarships and meet people in the business that can give real life experience and tips for the future. The hashtag #BECAUSEOFHATCH was used this week by people who mentioned how helpful HATCHfest was in creating creative connections. One tweet mentioned, “Educator meets writer now subject of a new book on disrupting the future of learning.” Another tweet read, “CEO of nonprofit finds three board members.” As these tweets demonstrate, HATCH is focused on the future of the Bozeman creative community as well as its present form.

Since its creation, HATCH has grown into a global network of innovators (HATCH’s content has been promoted in over 150 countries) with plans to expand into a year-round collection of events.

HATCH has also recruited over 200 mentors with approximately 5,000 students in the past. Of those 5,000, 200 students have received scholarships. The organizations mission is simple, yet it applies to experienced creative minds just as much as it does to beginners: If you do not go out into the world with your creativity, you won’t go far.

HATCH takes place in Bozeman every year during the first week of October. More information on the festival and the organization can be found at hatchexperience.org.