By Shelby Toth:
It was 3 a.m. when Vincent Croce decided to plan, market and coordinate an event that aimed to bring together different Rochester-based creatives on a large scale. He instantly began working on a flyer. He finished it in an hour and fell asleep right after.
Croce, a computer science major at The College at Brockport, developed #585create to connect photographers, models, stylists and other artistic people. While the conception of a Rochester-based artists meet-up can be credited to Croce, he got his inspiration from a bigger, similar event.
Croce attended PhillyCreate in Philadelphia, Pa. with his then-girlfriend at the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester. There, he was able to network with people and be creative in a way that was completely new to him
“I met so many people from Philly who were like-minded, creative and had so many of the same aspirations as I did,” Croce said. “…I thought, ‘This should be everywhere.’”
He described the event as a “conglomerate” of creatives with the intention of building their portfolios. Even though Rochester is much smaller than Philadelphia, Croce hoped to foster the same opportunity and atmosphere. After creating the flyers in February he spent the next week brainstorming locations for #585create.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park ended up being the final location for the first create event. Croce discovered it while out shooting pictures with friends. He realized it was the perfect distance for students from Brockport, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology and Nazareth College to meet. With the location decided, the marketing work could begin.
Croce printed off flyers about the event and posted them at local colleges and cafés. Two weeks later, he returned to all the same locations and hung papers advertising the actual day and time. Croce also created an Instagram for the project, promoting it on his own social media as well.
Unfortunately for Croce, the first #585create on Sunday, April 14 was all but rained out. Many people who had expressed interest in going cancelled due to the weather or due to feeling overwhelmed by schoolwork. Six people went, two from Brockport and four from the University of Rochester.
Despite the poor outcome, Croce believes he gained valuable knowledge from the experience.
“I definitely learned a lot from never marketing something this big,” Croce said. “I work in marketing, but it’s usually to a concentrated area such as the school or a specific club. This was very much so a larger scale.”
As he still has one more semester left at Brockport, Croce plans on taking the lessons learned from his first installation of #585create to improve attendance and get closer to his vision in the fall.
“I know what I can and cannot do now, what I should and shouldn’t do to hopefully make [#585create] grow,” Croce said. “Hopefully we’ll have two different events next semester during times when people don’t have as much work.”
Marios Argitis, a sophomore Environmental Science and Ecology major at Brockport, was unable to make it to the first #585create due to workload, but is looking forward to going another time.
“Art brings people together, so I think it’s a really cool opportunity to be a part of,” Argitis said.
Argitis also explained that bringing a create event to Rochester will help to make the artistic seminar a nation-wide event. With more experiences similar to create, Argitis is looking forward to the potential for growth.
“I want to get to know what people are capable of in terms of their creative capabilities but also allow me to expand my ways of [taking photos],” Argitis said.
For those interested in future events, they can follow updates on the event’s Instagram, #585create.