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Noah Kleiman: Secret Knowledge

Secret Knowledge & The Puzzle of Your Creative Life


When a creative person is born a puzzle is issued to them along with their gift of creativity. It goes like this: How can I lead the fulfilling, creative life I’m called to live and also earn enough money along the way?  

Every artist. Every musician no matter how well known. Investment bankers who secretly like to paint. Much of the food service industry. School teachers who like to rock out with their chalk out. Creative freelancers. Everyone at the hip craft fair. Stay-at-home parents. Writers who sometimes wish they were writing something else. Photographers, too. Private music instructors. Independent fashion designers. The cool cashier at the grocery store and many of the cool deli counter people. Librarians with Etsy shops. Nonprofit leader Noah Kleiman reports on the one struggle all creative people have in common and what we, in Portland, can do about it. 

Noah Kleiman has an uncanny ability to tap into the education needs of creative people. Noah’s nonprofit career started in 2003 when he launched his first arts-education nonprofit, Old Library Studio, Portland’s nonprofit music recording studio for teens. Noah’s vision of an afterschool program mixing music and mentorship quickly expanded into public school classrooms and using music-making to engage at risk teens. In 2006 Willamette Week awarded Noah the prestigious Skidmore Prize for the Arts, which recognizes inspiring young nonprofit leaders. With his new arts-education nonprofit, Secret Knowledge, Kleiman aims to help creative working people gain the technical and business skills they need to make their living working as independent artists and to provide engaging cultural experiences for Portland’s creative audiences.