Oak Creek- Communication

The Story

It’s unexpected to find a creek with such peaceful power in Arizona, but there it is, running through beautiful,art-filled, Sedona.  Oak Creek is a place for reflection, inspiration, and creative connections.  Sitting in the shade of an oak, watching people splash around Slide Rock, is an invitation to communicate.  ~ Mike

Collaborative art

Your Experience

Our goal with Oak Creek is to get your entire team on the same page- listening to, speaking with, one another- so we start with a blank canvas.  We begin slowly, like stepping into a cool stream, Celebrating who you are as individuals, then creating profound art…together.    Art that is like a conversation.  Giving, taking, leaving everyone feeling rewarded and ‘heard’ even though they created in silence.  Silence so loud it speaks volumes.

Best held off-site.  2.5- 4 hours depending on desired outcomes.  Teams of less than 50peopl have the best results.   Pair Oak Creek with “Don’t Drop the Dough” for increased effectiveness.  

Art based team building

Your Art

Rock Creek art is often a blur.  The initial elements are gone.  Chaos of change gives way to words and splatters that represent the team.  Participants will tell you what was on the canvas before the change, and the strongest teams will be proud of their art, and the survival it represents to them.  Rock Creek participants often hug at the end of the process, and they always face change with a new resolve that together they can do anything.

Case Study

The Team – Head Start -Yellowstone County

This group came to us because they were suffering through and continuing to have big changes.  Leadership, process, facility, staff, and as always, saying hello and goodbye to clients, each year.   The changes brought the team to a boiling point, tensions were high and trust was scarce as a new school year dawned.

The Process

Canvas Creek led the team through a trust walk exercise, the end of which brought the team of 125 people to an outdoor art studio.  The temperature was nearing 100*, and many of the staff were, to say the least, reluctant to participate in a team building project.

As often happens, the enthusiastic team members led the charge of ”we can do this’ and everyone started to paint.  That is when the magic of the process took over.  Small elements became bolder, teams began to cheer each other, laughter filled the park, and when the moment was just right we unleashed dance music and DRAMATIC change.  There was more laughter, much disgruntlement, and, as we knew would happen, a coming together of the teams.

Because of the heat debriefing was minimal, but the conversations carried into training the next day.  The staff determined to be nicer to each other, they aired concerns and made plans for effective communication and healing.


Jennifer Owen, the Executive Director, used the paintings as a talking point in all staff meetings, reminding the team what they learned and agreed to during this process.  Change continued to reign, but without the drama, with more acceptance, and stronger friendships during the following year.

Canvas Creek felt privileged to be part of this process and continues to work with the team for yearly training programs.