People have suspected it’s something in the air, water or even something the schools are teaching that make people in Fairhope, Alabama so creative. The truth however, is that people here want to paint, dance, sew, sing and doodle on a dulcimer because we are a town based on encouragement.
The founders of our city came here with the idea of, “Why not?” “Let’s give it a try!” “This experimental city has a fair hope of success!” Based on such optimism and adventure, is it any wonder we are fearless in the pursuit of our dreams?
Quite famous and accomplished people live in Fairhope and they become regular folks we see at church or the Piggly Wiggly. We sit next to them at the children’s play and never realize they’ve had a career on TV or won Grammy’s, Doves and Oscars. Some have composed symphonies or engineered advancements in the automobile industry. A few have worked for NASA, yet to us, they’re just the people who live around the corner. Their down-to-earth attitude encourages the rest of us to explore our passions. “If this country-sounding guy can sell a million books, then why can’t I write a story?” “If this dude with a mullet can have a hit record, then I can learn to sing too, right?”
We value creativity, yet we equally value kindness. His Pulitzer Prize is pretty cool, but does he share his tomatoes? Her screenplay brought huge fame, but does she help little lost dogs?
You can’t swing a cat in Fairhope without hitting a published author or sought-after artist. Yet almost all of them are helpful and encouraging to those who are still learning. We cheer when our friends dust off that long lost hobby or try something new. We attend each other’s opening nights and applaud wildly when they dance across the stage at age 6 or 86, and we write reviews for them knowing they’d do the same for us.
Some of our retirees in town are former executives of Fortune 500 companies, yet they freely share ideas over a cup of coffee with the local educators, doctors, farmers, pirates, and writers in town. There are a few FBI agents roaming around (although we’re not sure who they are), a rocket scientist or two, professional athletes and a good number of inventors who hold patents on a variety of things.
“Oh, if we could only find a good realtor or banker around here,” said our local expert in sarcasm.
Lifting others up only makes us more successful ourselves. We know it never hurts to cheer for someone else. The City of Fairhope launches new talent into the world every day and it’s nice to know that some of that creativity always settles back here along Mobile Bay, because that’s where our creative hearts feel most at home.