It can take a lot of work to turn passions into professions. Miracle Arts is trying to help students make that leap.
Miracle’s mission is to help people of all ages take their hobbies and passions and turn them into careers. Founder Xavier Thomas said he wants to be the person and program that helps launch creators into their preferred jobs.
“I focus on the infant stages of artists, those open mics, those first exhibits and those first publications when they’re going through these hurdles,” Thomas said.
Thomas got the idea from his sister who loves fashion and wanted to help her get into the industry.
“All she really needed was the base resources such as where to go. It was going to be a social networking app to help people connect, and I realized education is way more needed,” Thomas said.
Writer Darlington Sehgbean heard about Miracle when Thomas reached out asking for support for Miracle. Sehgbean said it’s been interesting to see how the platform has grown in a short period of time.
“I think it’s very important because he’s not only promoting his own work, he’s promoting other people. I think it’s a great resource,” Sehgbean said.
Sehgbean said Miracle is a diverse, inclusive platform when it comes to showing different types of art and the creators behind them.
“Art is a broad idea, so having a platform that incorporates different pieces of art and promotes it, I think it’s amazing,” Sehgbean said.
Photographer Elizabeth Tep got involved after Thomas came to her saying the Big Ideas Challenge didn’t go his way. She said he should still pursue his dream of starting Miracle.
“Xavier and I’s vision aligned really well and having more people with the same kind of goals was a good idea, so we kept bouncing ideas off each other,” Tep said.
Thomas said he wants Miracle to be STEM for those in creative arts.
“I want to get kids at a young age learning the technical skills so when they get into middle or high school, they can actually start having these businesses,” Thomas said.
Miracle’s Instagram (miracle.arts), has two video series. One highlights what skills certain creators need and the other contains interviews with Minnesota State students. Thomas said he wants to show “there’s talent anywhere,” not just in major cities.
Later in February, a visual art event will take place with a written art event on March 22 and a performance art event on April 17.
Besides informing others on how to market their creations, it allows students to meet others. Fashion designer Jordan Moore said Miracle has been a great networking opportunity. At a Pathfinder event, he said he made six new connections.
“In Minnesota, there aren’t as many people that have the same mindset as you. It’s hard to find people who find your vision,” Moore said.
Ceramist and printmaker Liv Meinberg said Miracle has given her ideas on how to figure out what she wants to do with her art.
“The first question I get as an art major is ‘What are you going to do with that?’ and it’s usually a negative response,” Meinberg said. “Miracle gives you an opportunity to see local artists or people who are doing things you’re interested in, but just have no idea where to start.”
Tep said she wished she had a program like Miracle when she was younger as it would have made her feel comfortable embracing her artistic side.
“In middle and high school, I loved art, but I was always discouraged to go for something other than art because people would say ‘What is art going to do for you in the real world? How are you going to make money?’ Having something to nurture creativity when you’re young is a great stepping stone,” Tep said.
Meinberg said her future goal is to encourage other people to create.
“I think the coolest thing as humans is we create and explore and we just want to try different things,” Meinberg said.
One of Tep’s future goals is to bring art programs to BIPOC communities.
“I want to involve children and bring their own uniqueness and embrace their culture to put that in their communities,” Tep said.
Moore said students should get involved with Miracle to get more exposure in their field and meet others with similar interests.
“You can find people who can uplift you with your ideas. It’s a great opportunity to get yourself in a community that can accept you,” Moore said.
Thomas said all students have to do to join is to “simply reach out” through either attending events or reaching out through their socials.
Photo caption: From left, Liv Meinberg, Jordan Moore, Elizabeth Tep and Xavier Thomas have all been involved with Miracle Arts, a program that allows creators to gain more knowledge about their passions and network. (Emma Johnson/The Reporter)
Write to Emma Johnson at email@example.com