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Stories From The Studio: Celebrating At The Studio – Family Style! by Gabrielle Dearman

Sunday, August 26th was an important evening for the River Oaks studio. We officially opened our doors to the public and had our tremendously fun Reveal party that included wonderful conversation, introductions of the team and vision of River Oaks, cool music (thanks to a progressive blue grass band named The Vespers), and a whole lot of amazing food. I would like to spend a little time talking about the atmosphere that was present during the evening.

As soon as I pulled into the parking lot of the River Oaks property, I was greeted by people I loved! When I entered the River Oaks building with a handful of pies in tow, I knew I was walking into a supportive, celebratory space where I belonged. There were recognizable faces and new faces, yet nobody was a stranger. How could it be that so many people in the same room could be so familiar?

To answer that question, we must bring up an important word that describes something special that has become intentionally cultivated in events associated with the organization behind River Oaks – The Worship Studio. The important word is, “community.” Many of us have discussed the fact that going to events such as The Reveal feel a lot like family reunions. To have that warm, personable characteristic of community, we make an effort to see to it that every person who connects with us would be welcomed, supported, encouraged and inspired.

I, personally, have seen and experienced for myself how artists can find themselves in very lonely and discouraging places when a strong healthy community is not present in their lives. Having unique gifts not always supported or understood by society it makes it difficult to find healthy community-based relationships. This is why so many artists get stuck in unhealthy, dark habits and subcultures of society in an effort to try to belong somewhere and escape the reality of their loneliness. My friends and teammates at The Worship Studio have made it possible for strong, supportive relationships to form inside and outside the River Oaks building. It is in these core communities we create that long-lasting friendships, creative business relationships, and supportive connections are built. Community is in the very DNA of our organization.

While being in the middle of the community I love so much and enjoying the familiar family atmosphere at the Reveal party, I couldn’t help but be ecstatically giddy and thrilled, knowing the doors are now open for so many other creatives to walk through and discover community like they have longed for is not only possible but a reality!


“Stories from the Studio” is our weekly series by Gabrielle Dearman where she will be sharing about the happenings at River Oaks – The Worship Studio’s local creative community here in Asheville. Check it out each week as Gabrielle shares highlights from our local artist group meetings, community days, workshops, and all the other great things happening in our creative community.