Wild Goose Creative was born among friends, took shape in a living room, moved to a North Campus studio and has since spread across Columbus.
People around town actually know what it is, and that makes Nick Dekker very happy.
Dekker is the most visible of Wild Goose's six founding members, who met at Calvin College in Michigan and eventually relocated to Columbus to start aiding the arts. Together, three couples man headquarters, plan events, rally the community and map the group's peculiar vision.
"All of us practice some sort of art, whether it's writing, performance, music," said Dekker, who emcees most events and often acts as group spokesman. "But we had almost a stronger desire to help others foster their own art. More often than not, we're not the ones on stage."
Viewed in shorthand, the Goose is an art collective, but it's been far more since the first events at the Dekkers' house early in 2007. Showcases of fine art and music have always appeared alongside cooking demonstrations, beer tastings, comedy festivals, knitting circles or storytelling nights.
The current Summit Street space could host an indie-rock show one night, followed by an evening of local comedy, then a screening of a movie about asparagus 24 hours later. Wild Goose events are getting bigger and better - and drawing more people together than ever.
"We liked the community aspect of working on a project together - everyone using their different skills," Dekker said. "We really want people to connect with each other to create that full audience experience. But then we hope that there's something that will really take you back a step."
Stuffiness is completely absent at Wild Goose, but a sense of humor never trivializes the work. Case in point: Dekker's current personal pursuit is Breakfast With Nick, a blog about the best places for morning food.
This year, Wild Goose plans to continue hosting events at their space and around town, branching into new areas and greeting new audiences. Bacon Camp, for example, will be held Saturday, Sept. 4, at the North Market.
"We're just hitting a point now," Dekker explained, "where we feel like we've established our presence and our brand identity well enough that we can do events outside of our space that are still recognizable as having the Wild Goose flair."