Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Creativity at Heart of Society ... An Irish Presidency Vision

Why I Should Be President ... The Irish Times recently asked the seven candidates hoping to succeed Irish President Mary McAleese to outline why they believe they would make a good president.

In a statement of a mere 700 words, Labour Party candidate Michael D. Higgins put creativity at the heart of his vision for society, citizenship and development. Higgins also is the former Irish Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht.
  • The vision I am offering is of inclusive citizenship in a creative society, as we build a real Republic that makes us proud to be Irish in the world.
  • Everyone has a contribution to make – whatever their religion, capacity, origin, orientation or income – and inclusion also means shared responsibility, to each other and to generations yet to come. As president, I would also promote a creative society, combining the best of tradition with the spark of innovation and opening up possibilities in every area of life from education to science to business.
  • I would encourage creativity in practical ways, something I did as Ireland’s first minister for the arts in the 1990s, establishing TG4 and a network of local arts venues, and helping transform Irish film from an €11 million into a €186 million industry.
  • I see the same potential today in creative industries from games development to artisan foods. However, creativity is, most importantly, a vital part of citizenship and needs to be supported from the ground up, in our communities and schools. As president, I would encourage access to art, music and self-development for every child.
Rare is a politician who truly understands -- beyond lip service -- that the creative imagination, ideas and engagement of every citizen is the raw material that builds community, develops the economy and shapes the political process. Higgins, whose self-description includes "poet,"  deeply understands that developing and expressing one's creative self in society is how one meaningfully engages in learning, work and community. He is a prime example of this personally.

Would that the 2012 United States presidential campaign season would include such a dialogue ...

What role does/should creativity play in engaging U.S. citizens in society? How does Michael D. Higgins' vision inspire you? Is there any connection between such a vision for a creative society and what is happening with #OccupyWallStreet?

Friday, September 09, 2011

Sir Ken Robinson Live Friday at 12EDT

As we celebrate our one-year anniversary this month on “Creativity in Play,” we are pleased to welcome back our very first guest – Sir Ken Robinson. Sir Ken is one of the leading thinkers on the role of creativity in education, work and society. His TED Talks have been viewed by millions and millions of people who care about making education a more-meaningful experience, as well as how creativity can engage people in purposeful learning, work and life. He is the author of The Element and Out of Our Minds. How has Sir Ken inspired your thinking about creativity and education?

Plus, we add theme music to the show today -- "Kindergarten," composed and performed by one of our previous guests, Jonathan Batiste.

Monday, September 05, 2011

The Creative Brain: Tonight on Charlie Rose

Tonight a rebroadcast of the Charlie Rose Brain Series Episode Twelve: the Creative Brain (10/28/10), a discussion about creativity with artists Richard Serra and Chuck Close, neurologist Oliver Sacks, Ann Temkin, chief curator of painting and sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art and Eric Kandel of Columbia University . [September 5 , 2011 - Charlie Rose - More]

Monday, June 13, 2011

Irish Poet in Creativity Workshops in Arts and Ideas Fest

The International Centre for Creativity and Imagination will be hosting Anne F. O'Reilly, a poet from Dublin, Ireland. O'Reilly's readings and performances will be featured in three experiential creativity workshops during the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut.

The public is invited to register now for the "Unleash Your Creativity" workshop series, which includes the themes of "Embodying Creativity: Engaging Creative Collaboration Through Movement and Play" on June 18, "Creativity in the Workplace: Engaging Creativity, Design and Innovation in Organizations" on June 21, and "Composing a Creative Life on Purpose: Engaging Meaning in Life and Work" on June 25. Details and registration information can be found online at <http://www.appliedimagination.org/artidea>.

The workshops will help participants explore their creativity, learn tools for new ways of thinking and problem solving, find alternatives, get unstuck, discover others who value creativity, and engage creativity in the workplace. O'Reilly will use her own poetry, as well as others', as a tool to help participants explore and understand the creative process and their own creativity.

In her book, Sacred Play: Soul-Journeys in Contemporary Irish Theatre, O'Reilly writes: "The truly liberating space is that of play, which can turn the world upside down, and enable a new imagining."

In the "Embodying Creativity" workshop on June 18, O'Reilly will share how play creates the space for creativity and transformation in individuals, in organizations and in communities. Participants will experience several play- and movement-based explorations of personal and group creativity with facilitators leading the Pilobolus method, InterPlay, the Alexander Technique and Developmental Transformations.

O'Reilly also is the author a book of poetry, Singing from the Belly of the Whale and a CD of her poems, "Breathsong." For more than 30 years, she has been teaching and facilitating workshops in spirituality, creative writing and sacred poetry. She was a senior lecturer in religious studies in St Patrick's College Drumcondra until 2008, when she took early retirement and began working as a performance poet, celebrating the healing and transforming power of poetry. She brings to this work many years' training with voice, poetry by heart, sacred clowning, drama and meditation. O'Reilly's participation in the Festival is supported by Imagine Ireland, an initiative of Culture Ireland celebrating a year of Irish arts in America 2011.

Additional facilitators in the "Unleash Your Creativity" workshop series include Renee Jaworski, Pilobolus dancer and associate artistic director; Lisa Laing, Certified InterPlay Leader; L'Ana Burton, director of CDC Creative Dance Continuum and teaching artist for the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism; Rachel Bernsen, Certified Teacher of The Alexander Technique; Carol Pollard, associate director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics; Dorie Shallcross, author of Intuition: An Inner Way of Knowing; Lisa Furman, artist and associate professor, Albertus Magnus College; Evie Lindemann, assistant professor/clinical coordinator master of arts in art therapy program, Albertus Magnus College; and Alice Forrester, executive director, Clifford Beers Child Guidance Clinic.

===

The "Unleash Your Creativity" series is curated by Steven Dahlberg, who heads the Connecticut-based International Centre for Creativity and Imagination and teaches "Creativity + Social Change" at the University of Connecticut. The centre is dedicated to applying creativity to improve the well-being of individuals, organizations and communities.

The series is presented by the International Centre for Creativity and Imagination, Albertus Magnus College, the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, AIGA Connecticut, and Connecticut Creates, in partnership with International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Additional support comes from Imagine Ireland.

The mission of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas is to create an internationally renowned festival in New Haven, Conn., of the highest quality with world-class artists, thinkers and leaders, attracting and engaging a broad and diverse audience celebrating and building community and advancing economic development.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fest Best Bets: Creativity Workshops and Yo-Yo Ma

What might happen when a designer, an educator, an arts therapist, a bioethicist, an Irish poet and a dancer come together to share their approaches to creativity? An explosion of opportunity for YOU to "Unleash Your Creativity" during this experiential workshop series -- named by The New Haven Register as one of five "Fest Best Bets," along with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.

The series is comprised of three separate-but-related workshops that will help you explore, develop and apply your creative thinking and imagination in life and work. The workshops are on June 18, 21 and 25 during the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut. People from all backgrounds and types of work are invited to come and experience these interdisciplinary sessions.

Few would dispute the importance of imagination, creativity and innovation in education, work and society. Yet, the challenge lies in how to best tap into people's creative thinking abilities and channel that creativity to learning better, working smarter and building community differently.

Creativity is a mindset that EVERYONE - not only artists - can cultivate. This series is designed to address the HOW of creativity. The workshops will provide practical, concrete tools for understanding your own creativity, as well as how to engage others' creativity. You will learn how to remove the blocks that keep you from applying your imagination, how to think in new ways, and how to put creative ideas into action.

***

Embodying Creativity: Engaging Creative Collaboration through Movement and Play
Saturday, June 18, 2011
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Albertus Magnus College

More Info | Register Now

"Movement" allows us to see things in new ways. It changes our perspective. It engages our bodies in learning and thinking. When we move with others, we are challenged to collaborate. Movement is a great metaphor for the entire process of creative thinking, which is a cyclic, moving process.

This workshop will help you deepen your creativity through facilitated movement and play experiences. It is open to everyone -- whether you routinely ignore your body's creativity or you are an experienced dancer. No previous dance experience is necessary to participate, but be prepared to move.

We will be led by:

    * Pilobolus Dancer and Associate Artistic Director Renee Jaworski on "The Pilobolus Creative Workshop"
    * InterPlay leaders Lisa Laing and L'Ana Burton on "Diving into the Deep End of the Creative Pool … or Dipping Your Toes in to Test the Waters: Exploring the Practical Tools of InterPlay to Unlock the Wisdom of Your Body"
    * Certified Alexander Technique Teacher and Artist Rachel Bernsen on "Freedom To Change: A Workshop in the Alexander Technique "
    * Clifford Beers Child Guidance Clinic Executive Director Alice Forrester on "Introduction to Developmental Transformations: Exploring the Use of Improvisation and Movement in Personal Growth"

Plus, the day will be introduced by Anne O'Reilly, poet and author of Sacred Play: Soul Journeys in Contemporary Irish Theatre. Anne joins us from Dublin, Ireland, with support from Imagine Ireland.

Sign up now! Registration includes a ticket to the International Festival of Arts & Ideas performance of Susan Marshall & Company's Adamantine.

Creativity in the Workplace: Engaging Creativity, Design and Innovation in Organizations
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
12 to 4 p.m.
Yale University School of Art

More Info | Register Now

Creativity, design thinking and innovation are among the most important tools that organizations can deploy for surviving and thriving in today's complex, global environment.

Organizations such as Google, 3M and Apple routinely are touted as the most creative workplaces. Yet EVERY organization can learn how to better tap into and unleash creativity in every individual.

This includes how to foster environments that support rather discourage creative ideas, how to enhance creative abilities in individuals across all departments, and how to apply creative processes for group collaboration and problem solving.

This workshop will engage you in the creative process through design thinking, poetry and applied imagination. It will help inspire personal creativity for organizational innovation in everyday work. You will learn practical techniques for real-world application.

Facilitators include:

    * International Centre for Creativity and Imagination Director Steven Dahlberg
    * Poet and Author Anne O'Reilly
    * AIGA Connecticut President Rich Hollant

People from business, education, nonprofits, government and other sectors are welcome to participate.

Sign up now! Registration includes a ticket to the International Festival of Arts & Ideas "Ideas: How Pleasure Works" lecture by Paul Bloom and performance of Jack Hitt's Making Up the Truth.

Composing a Creative Life on Purpose: Engaging Meaning in Life and Work
Saturday, June 25, 2011
9 a.m. to 4 p.m
Albertus Magnus College

More Info | Register Now

    "We have to realize that a creative being lives within ourselves, whether we like it or not, and that we must get out of its way, for it will give us no peace until we do." -- M. C. Richards

Creativity is a pathway into connecting our talents, passions and motivations to do what we love and what we are good at. Creativity helps us IMAGINE new possibilities, CONNECT with our purpose, and ENGAGE with others to make that purpose real.

Creativity is part of what makes us fundamentally human. When we have opportunities to discover and express that part of ourselves that makes us unique, we find joy and happiness and fulfillment. Sometimes we lose touch with this capacity. But it's not lost. It's still there - waiting for us to engage it again.

This workshop includes several hands-on/mind-on experiences for exploring your personal creativity, discovering meaning and purpose, and applying creativity to link your purpose to your life and work.

Facilitators include:

    * Albertus Magnus College Associate Professor and Artist Lisa Furman on "Community Weaving: Transforming Space with Hanging Art"
    * Albertus Magnus College Assistant Professor Evie Lindemann on "SoulCollage®: A Process for Exploring Purpose" and "The Mandala and the MARI"
    * Author of Intuition: An Inner Way of Knowing, Doris J. Shallcross on "Creativity, Intuition and Spirituality"
    * Yale University's Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics Associate Director Carol Pollard on "The Language of Drawing"
    * International Centre for Creativity and Imagination Director Steven Dahlberg on "Composing a Creative Life on Purpose"
    * Author and Poet Anne O'Reilly on "Freeing What Waits Within"

Sign up now! Registration includes a ticket to the International Festival of Arts & Ideas performance of David T. Little's Soldier Songs.

***

Help us spread the word about this exciting creativity series! Please forward this email, share the details on Facebook and Twitter, post the link <http://appliedimagination.org/artidea/> on your websites, and include it in your enewsletters. Thanks for your interest and support - and we hope to see YOU on June 18, 21 and 25! Don't forget to register now!

The Unleash Your Creativity series is presented by the International Centre for Creativity and Imagination, Albertus Magnus College, Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, AIGA Connecticut, and Connecticut Creates, in partnership with the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Additional support provided by Imagine Ireland.

Is Creativity a Bad Trait for a Senior Leader?

Thinking outside the box could keep you out of top management, this paper warns. Because of conflicting stereotypes about creativity and leadership, supporters of the status quo -- not the creative types -- are seen as more effective. [10 June 2011 - strategy+business - More]

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Creativity, Play, Engagement, Learning and Games ... with Aaron Dignan

Just had a really great interview with Undercurrent's Aaron Dignan, author of Game Frame. Lots of important implications for how we create/design engaging learning and work. We explored why we are so attracted to things like games, what a "game-like mindset" is, the difference between liking something and wanting something, the connection between boredom and flow, the importance of storytelling and narratives, how play is different (similar to!) addiction, and why engagement and gaming approaches are so important (and mostly lacking) in education. Check out the interview and let us know how you are applying game and mindsets to your learning efforts and work design.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dahlberg to Moderate Teachers College Imagination Conversation

Teachers College Presents an Imagination Conversation, a Project of the Lincoln Center Institute, during its "Creativity, Play and the Imagination Across Disciplines" Conference

Imagination First: Unlocking the Power of PossibilityJoin invited guests - including the creator of Imagination Conversations, Scott Noppe-Brandon - and explore with us the importance of imagination and creativity in education, gaming, design and the arts. Bring YOUR "imagination story," too! Now more than ever, we must nurture imagination in our schools, create environments for innovation in workplaces, and build cultures for creativity in our communities. Lincoln Center Institute is fueling the development of imaginative thinking through the Imagination Conversations, a series of moderated public panels being held in all 50 states. These bring together leaders from an array of fields to explore the importance of imagination in their professional lives and society. The Conversations are leading to a national gathering, America's Imagination Summit, at Lincoln Center in July. Learn more about Imagination Conversations at www.imaginationconversation.com.

1:30-3 p.m., Friday, May 27, 2011 – Teachers College, Columbia University

Guests Include:
  • Scott Noppe-Brandon, Executive Director, Lincoln Center Institute; Co-Author, "Imagination First"
  • Jonathan Batiste, Jazz Musician; Music Curator, National Jazz Museum in Harlem; Actor, HBO's "Treme"
  • Donald Brinkman, Program Manager, Games for Learning, Digital Humanities, Digital Heritage; Microsoft Research
  • Suzanne Enser-Ryan, Interim Education Director/Head of School, Teacher and Docent Programs, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
  • Magdalena Gomez, Co-founder and Artistic Director, Teatro V!da
  • Michael Lofton, Education Director, Pilobolus
  • MODERATOR: Steven Dahlberg, Director, International Centre for Creativity and Imagination; Vice President of Innovation, Future Workplace; Faculty, University of Connecticut

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Experiential Creativity Workshop Series at Arts & Ideas Festival - June in New Haven, Conn.

The International Festival of Arts and Ideas will feature “Unleash Your Creativity,” a series of three, experiential creativity workshops. The Festival runs from June 11 to 25, 2011, in New Haven, Conn. The workshops are June 18, 21 and 25.
The workshops will help participants explore their creativity, learn tools for new ways of thinking, find alternatives, get unstuck, discover others who value creativity, and engage creativity in the workplace. This series links the creativity of others with an in-depth opportunity to (re)discover and engage one’s own creativity and its applications to organizations and society. Full details about each workshop and its facilitators, along with registration information, can be found online (register here) or by email. The three workshops include:
  • At Albertus Magnus College: “Embodying Creativity: Engaging Creative Collaboration Through Movement and Play,” 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat., June 18. This workshop features facilitators from Pilobolus Dance Theatre, InterPlay Connecticut, Clifford Beers Child Guidance Clinic, and the Alexander Technique, as well as Irish poet Anne O’Reilly who will explore how play creates the space for creativity and transformation. No previous dance experience is necessary to participate in this day, but be prepared to move. This workshop is $99 and includes the all-day workshop, lunch and a ticket to Susan Marshall Dance Company’s “Adamantine” at 5 p.m. on June 18. MORE
  • At Yale University School of Art: “Creativity in the Workplace: Engaging Creativity, Design and Innovation in Organizations,” 12 to 4 p.m. on Tues., June 21. This workshop features AIGA Connecticut President Rich Hollant, International Centre for Creativity and Imagination Director Steven Dahlberg, and Irish poet Anne O’Reilly. This workshop is $99 and includes the half-day workshop, a reception, Paul Bloom’s “Ideas: How Pleasure Works” lecture at 5:30 p.m., and a ticket to Jack Hitt’s “Making Up the Truth” at 8 p.m. on June 21. MORE
  • At Albertus Magnus College: “Composing a Creative Life on Purpose: Engaging Meaning in Life and Work,” 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat., June 25. This workshop features facilitators who will lead hands-on experiences – in arts therapy, education, creativity, art, spirituality and intuition – that will help participants engage their creativity on purpose and for purpose. This workshop is $99 and includes the all-day workshop, lunch and a ticket to David T. Little’s “Soldier Songs” at 5 p.m. on June 25.  MORE
O’Reilly is a special guest from Dublin, Ireland, whose readings and performances will be uniquely featured in all three workshops. Her participation is supported by Imagine Ireland. O’Reilly is the author of the book, Sacred Play: Soul Journeys in Contemporary Irish Theatre; a book of poetry, Singing from the Belly of the Whale; and a CD of her poems, Breathsong.

Additional facilitators include Renee Jaworski, Pilobolus dancer and associate artistic director; Lisa Laing, Certified InterPlay Leader; L'Ana Burton, director of CDC Creative Dance Continuum and teaching artist for the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism; Rachel Bernsen, Certified Teacher of The Alexander Technique; Carol Pollard, associate director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics; Dorie Shallcross, author of Intuition: An Inner Way of Knowing; Lisa Furman, artist and associate professor, Albertus Magnus College; Evie Lindemann, assistant professor/clinical coordinator master of arts in art therapy program, Albertus Magnus College; and Alice Forrester, executive director, Clifford Beers Child Guidance Clinic.

The “Unleashing Your Creativity” Series is curated by Steven Dahlberg, who heads the Connecticut-based International Centre for Creativity and Imagination and teaches “Creativity + Social Change” at the University of Connecticut. The centre is dedicated to applying creativity to improve the well-being of individuals, organizations and communities.

The series is presented by the International Centre for Creativity and Imagination, Albertus Magnus College, the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, and Connecticut Creates, in partnership with International Festival of Arts & Ideas.

The mission of the International Festival of Arts and Ideas is to create an internationally renowned festival in New Haven, Conn., of the highest quality with world-class artists, thinkers and leaders, attracting and engaging a broad and diverse audience celebrating and building community and advancing economic development.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Reinvesting in Arts Education: Streaming Live May 6

Arts Education Partnership announces the live stream of the "Reinvesting in Arts Education" session at its annual forum this week.
Through the generosity of the National Endowment for the Arts and The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, we are excited to announce that we will be able to offer a live webcast of the plenary session at the AEP Spring 2011 National Forum.

Reinvesting in Arts Education
Introduction: Melody Barnes, Domestic Policy Adviser to President Obama and Director, White House Domestic Policy Council
Overview: Mary Schmidt Campbell, Vice Chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Dean of NYU Tisch School of the Arts
Panelists:
  • Kaya Henderson, Chancellor, DC Public Schools
  • Forest Whitaker, Actor and Member, The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities
  • Ted Leonsis, Founder, AOL, and Entrepreneur
Moderator: Gene Wilhoit, Executive Director, Council of Chief State School Officers

As a part of fulfilling President Obama's Arts Policy Platform, at this session the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) will announce and publicly release its report Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools . The culmination of 18 months of research, meetings with stakeholders, and site visits all over the country, this report represents an in-depth review of the current condition of arts education, including an update of the current research base about arts education outcomes, and an analysis of the challenges and opportunities in the field that have emerged over the past decade. It also includes a set of recommendations to federal, state and local policymakers.  Drawing from the findings in the report, the panel will discuss from various perspectives how to build new allies for arts education and how to link arts education outcomes to the larger educational and economic debates that are occurring around the country.

For more information about the AEP Spring 2011 National Forum, please visit www.aep-arts.org/forums/DC2011.htm

To watch the webcast live at your computer simply follow the link below:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/reinvesting-in-arts-education
 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chinese universities' effort in promoting creativity

For more on the Tsinghua university's anniversary, we're now joined in the studio by our Current Affairs Commentator, Professor Teng Jimeng from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Q1: A university has three core functions -- generating new knowledge, educating students and contributing to society. And they all involve "creativity". China has put creativity as at the heart of the nation's future. Chinese universities, including Tsinghua, are making great efforts to promote creativity in science and technology. What more can we do in this field? [24 April 2011 - Xinhuanet - More]

Creative Environments: Best Cities for Young Artists

Where have all the young artists gone? Well, they've been priced out of Melbourne, New York, Barcelona, and all of those other city enclaves that promised low-rent and lots of encouragement. But new art communities are popping up every day on unexpected parts of the globe. Creative hubs, city-funded projects, and lots of public works are just some of the perks these locations offer to young artists who seek refuge. [22 April 2011 - Flavorwire - More]

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dahlberg to Moderate Lincoln Center Imagination Conversation in Massachusetts

I'm looking forward to moderating another Imagination Conversation this Tuesday in Springfield, Massachusetts, at the Bing Arts Center!
Lincoln Center Imagination Conversation at Bing

The “X” Main Street Corporation will host an Imagination Conversation at the Bing Arts Center, 716 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, Mass., on Tuesday, April 26. This event, Envisioning A Vital Springfield, will connect Springfield with the nationwide effort to engage communities in proactive, creative consideration of our future possibilities. It is intended to begin an ongoing series to encourage the development of imagination and creativity as tools to prepare Springfield for an increasingly competitive future.

The Imagination Conversations, a project of Lincoln Center Institute and a part of the Lincoln Center 50 Years celebration, run from the fall of 2009 to the spring of 2011. The panel discussion is listed on the Lincoln Center Institute’s website:
http://www.imaginationconversation.org

Many of the Conversations are hosted by state governments, businesses, and cultural leaders. They feature diverse groups of panelists with distinctive perspectives and draw a wide range of audience members from the public and private sectors. Moderators facilitate the conversations, some of which reach viewers nationwide via live and archived streaming video. This two-year initiative will culminate in America’s Imagination Summit, to be held at Lincoln Center, New York, in July 2011.

Imagination, the ability to visualize new possibilities, is a prerequisite for success in the 21st-century global economy. America has long been at the vanguard of creation and innovation, but an economic downturn and increased worldwide competition mean that we cannot take our position for granted. Now more than ever, we must teach imagination in our schools and nurture it in our communities.

The Imagination Conversations respond to this need and prepare us for the future by:
  • Building national awareness of imagination as a vital tool in work and in life.
  • Sparking dialogue about imagination across the professional spectrum.
  • Leading to the creation of an action plan to make imagination an integral part of American education.
The Bing Arts Center will record the conversation, which also will be available for live viewing online: 
http://www.lvestream.com/bingartscenter

The moderator is Steven Dahlberg of the International Centre for Creativity and Imagination. The panelists are: Ron Ancrum, President of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts; Josh Bogin, Director of Springfield’s Magnet Schools; Magdalena Gomez, Executive Director of Teatro Vida; Michael Jonnes, Executive Director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra; John Judge, Director of Development for the City of Springfield; and Robert McCollum, former member of the Springfield School Committee and community activist.

The event is by invitation only due to space and seating constraints.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Join Creative Protest: 1,001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei

PROTEST: A Chair a Day to Free Ai Weiwei! Build a miniature chair at The Aldrich or create one at home; post it here.
 
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum invites you to join an international movement to encourage the release of Ai Weiwei, the Chinese conceptual artist who was taken into police custody in Beijing this month on suspicion of "economic crimes." The miniature chairs and posted photographs will be incorporated into an installation which will be on view in the Museum's Atrium until Ai’s release. The call coincides with sit-ins scheduled for Chinese embassies and consulates around the world this Sunday. Participants in the protest will bring chairs and sit down outside Chinese government buildings -- referencing an installation titled Fairytale: 1001 Qing Dynasty Wooden Chairs, which Ai made in 2007 at Documenta in Kassel, Germany. There, 1,001 late Ming and Qing Dynasty wooden chairs were arranged around the exhibition and 1,001 Chinese citizens were recruited on the Internet to volunteer to live in Kassel during the show.

MORE:
<http://www.aldrichart.org/education/aiweiwei.php>
<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/world/asia/04china.html?_r=1>
<http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/?s=Ai+Wei+Wei>

POST YOUR CHAIR TO ALDRICH FACEBOOK PAGE:
<http://www.facebook.com/#!/Aldrichart>

Thursday, April 14, 2011

McKinsey on Sparking Creativity in Teams: An Executive's Guide

Senior managers can apply practical insights from neuroscience to make themselves -- and their teams -- more creative. ... Although creativity is often considered a trait of the privileged few, any individual or team can become more creative—better able to generate the breakthroughs that stimulate growth and performance. In fact, our experience with hundreds of corporate teams, ranging from experienced C-level executives to entry-level customer service reps, suggests that companies can use relatively simple techniques to boost the creative output of employees at any level. The key is to focus on perception, which leading neuroscientists, such as Emory University’s Gregory Berns, find is intrinsically linked to creativity in the human brain. To perceive things differently, Berns maintains, we must bombard our brains with things it has never encountered. [April 2011 - McKinsey Quarterly - More]

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Myth as 'what if?'

"It is a mistake to regard myth as an inferior mode of thought, which can be cast aside when human beings have attained the age of reason. Mythology is not an early attempt at history, and does not claim that its tales are objective fact. Like a novel, an opera or a ballet, myth is make-believe; it is a game that transfigures our fragmented, tragic world, and helps us to glimpse new possibilities by asking 'what if?' - a question which has also provoked some of our most important discoveries in philoso­phy, science and technology." -  Karen Armstrong (h/t MINemergent)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Write a Haiku on How We Can Improve Education - Edutopia

April is National Poetry Month and Edutopia magazine is having a contest, asking people to "write a haiku on how we can improve education." A reminder: Haiku poetry type is a Japanese poem composed of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables. A couple of my submissions:
Creativity.
It's where it's at, yo!
Let's think about it.

move move move move move
multiple intelligence
imagine, what if

Imagination.
It's where it all starts, you know?
Nurture it and thrive.
What's your haiku on how we can improve education?

Want Innovative Thinking? Hire from the Humanities

Tony Golsby-Smith writes in a Harvard Business Review blog post, "Want Innovative Thinking? Hire from the Humanities," that
our educational systems focus on teaching science and business students to control, predict, verify, guarantee, and test data. It doesn't teach how to navigate "what if" questions or unknown futures.
He suggests that:
People trained in the humanities who study Shakespeare's poetry, or Cezanne's paintings, say, have learned to play with big concepts, and to apply new ways of thinking to difficult problems that can't be analyzed in conventional ways.
he says humanities people bring can help with the following workplace challenges: complexity and ambiguity, innovation, communication and presentation, and customer and employee satisfaction.

Part of the challenge of creativity and innovation in organizations is that people say that creativity and innovation matter, but then get stuck with how to practically engage current employees in developing, unleashing and applying their imagination, creativity and ideas for innovation. We've done the convincing that creativity and innovation are important; the gap we need to close is how to put such beliefs into practice. This certainly can include hiring people with broader, creativity, humanities-based education. AND it can include developing creative thinking skills in individuals, assessing the climate for creativity and innovation in organizations, helping people understand what creative products and outcomes look like (and how to get there), and applying individual and group processes for creative thinking and problem solving. Business says its wants this. Educators are ready to run with this. Now we need to make space in both arenas for people to (re)discover and constantly apply this part of themselves.

What do you think about the role of humanities-trained people in the workplace? How else can we tap into humanities-based skills, talents and knowledge?

Friday, April 01, 2011

UN Creative Economy Report 2010

Creative Economy: A Feasible Development Option
A new development paradigm is emerging that links the economy and culture, embracing economic, cultural, technological and social aspects of development at both the macro and micro levels. Central to the new paradigm is the fact that creativity, knowledge and access to information are increasingly recognized as powerful engines driving economic growth and promoting development in a globalizing world. The emerging creative economy has become a leading component of economic growth, employment, trade and innovation, and social cohesion in most advanced economies. Unfortunately, however, the large majority of developing countries are not yet able to harness their creative capacity for development. This is a reflection of weaknesses both in domestic policy and in the business environment, and global systemic biases. Nevertheless, the creative economy offers to developing countries a feasible option and new opportunities to leapfrog into emerging high-growth areas of the world economy. This report presents an updated perspective of the United Nations as a whole on this exciting new topic. It provides empirical evidence that the creative industries are among the most dynamic emerging sectors in world trade. It also shows that the interface among creativity, culture, economics and technology, as expressed in the ability to create and circulate intellectual capital, has the potential to generate income, jobs and export earnings while at the same time contributing to social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development. This report addresses the challenge of assessing the creative economy with a view to informed policy-making by outlining the conceptual, institutional and policy frameworks in which this economy can flourish. [15 December 2010 - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development - More | Full Report]
 

Monday, March 28, 2011

What Creative Education Could Look Like ...

Check this out - The Independent Project!

Watch it ...


And read the New York Times piece about it ...

Listen to John Seely Brown on Cultivating the Imagination, Learning and Innovation - Creativity in Play - 3/29 at 3EDT

Our guest on Creativity in Play will John Seely Brown, co-author of A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. We'll explore the role of creativity and imagination in change, learning, work and innovation, as well as the importance of play. John is a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California and the independent co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge. He is the author of The Power of Pull and The Social Life of Information. Previously, John was the chief scientist of Xerox and director of Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).

A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant ChangeThe Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in MotionThe Social Life of Information

Friday, March 18, 2011

Creativity in Pi(-ku)

Check out several pi-inspired, modified haikus about creativity, written by members of my "Creativity + Social Change" course at the University of Connecticut this week -- in celebration of Pi Day. And don't forget to leave YOUR creativity in pi-ku in the comments below! [18 March 2011 - Creativity + Social Change]

Pi Pi T-shirt, LargeLife of PiPi Symbol Ice Cube TrayMen's PI to The 50th Decimal Silk Tie by Wild Ties in Green

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A-Ha! The Neural Mechanisms Of Insight

Although it is quite common for a brief, unique experience to become part of our long-term memory, the underlying brain mechanisms associated with this type of learning are not well understood. Now, a new brain-imaging study looks at the neural activity associated with a specific type of rapid learning, insight. The research, published by Cell Press in the March 10 issue of the journal Neuron, reveals specific brain activity that occurs during an "A-ha!" moment that may help encode the new information in long-term memory. "In daily life, information that results from moments of insight is, almost by definition, incorporated in long-term memory: once we have realized a new way to solve a problem, or to perform a task better and faster, we are not likely to forget that insight easily," explains senior study author, Dr. Nava Rubin, from the Center for Neural Science at New York University. "We were interested in determining the neural basis of this long-lasting nature of insight." [9 March 2011 - Neuron/Cell Press via redOrbit - More]

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Berenice "Bee" Bleedorn -- Celebrating and Remembering a Great Educator, Philosopher, Humanist, Artist

To my fellow creative dreamers,

This morning I received word that we have lost one of The Great Ones in the creativity field. My dear friend -- our dear friend -- Berenice "Bee" D. Bahr Bleedorn has died. She was my friend and mentor and inspiration and colleague and teacher who got me into the creativity field 20 years ago this fall at the University of St. Thomas. Her passing leaves a (w)hole in the world. When Bee's 2005 book came out, the "book warming" invitation had a poem on it that was written for her by a Metropolitan State University student in the early 1970s. It really states the impact of Bee on us, and the way we should continue to always see the creative potential in others:

SEED WOMAN
By Kathleen Kuehnast

Seed Woman
Sower of human potentials,
Like a chemist
You experiment with possibilities
And mix together the unordinary
Until it becomes extraordinary.

We will always need in this world
Flowers and roots, seeds and ground,
and a sower -- whether it be the wind
Or you.

For those of you on Facebook, several comments have been left. Please add your thoughts, if you would like.

It looks like the funeral will be Tuesday afternoon at St. Joan of Arc in Richfield, Minnesota. Bee's daughters will confirm this on Friday. A full obituary will be in the papers on Sunday. You can also add comments to the online legacy in the Star Tribune obituary listing.

FRIENDS, please plan to come and join us to celebrate Bee's life with us ... most likely after the funeral on Tuesday. Please share this information and invitation with others, and we will update you with the specifics in the next day or so.

With a heavy heart, filled with gratitude for the 20 years of knowing Bee ...

Steve Dahlberg
International Centre for Creativity and Imagination
http://www.appliedimagination.org/

# # #

Never Too LateEducation is Everybody's Business: A Wake-Up Call to Advocates of Educational ChangeThe Creativity Force in Education, Business, and Beyond: An Urgent MessageAn Education Track for Creativity and Other Quality Thinking Processes

Monday, February 21, 2011

On Purpose, Learning and Strengths

Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being
The Will to Meaning: Foundations and Applications of Logotherapy (Meridian)“(Teaching) children is vastly more than fixing what is wrong with them. It is about identifying and nurturing their strongest qualities, what they own and are best at, and helping them find niches in which they can best live out their strengths.” -- Martin E.P. Seligman

“If you don’t recognize a young man’s will for meaning, you make him worse, you make him dull, you make him frustrated, you still add and contribute to his frustration … there must be a spark, a search for meaning. Let’s recognize this, let’s presuppose it and then you will elicit it from him and make him become in principle what he is capable of becoming.” “If you take man as he really is, you make him worse. But if we seem to be idealists in our overestimating, overrating man and looking at him that high … you know what happens? We promote him to what he really can be.” -- Victor Frankl

(h/t David A. Weisberg)

Creativity Book - Cult-ure: Ideas Can Be Dangerous

CULT - URE: Ideas Can Be DangerousCheck out this new book by Rian Hughes ... visually appealing ... imagination provoking ... creativity inspiring. Read it and view it to challenge yourself and learn something new.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Seven Deadly Sins That Choke Out Innovation

Even companies serious about innovation can fall victim to their own, well-meaning creative process.In most companies, there's a profound tension between the right-brainers (for lack of a better term) espousing design, design thinking and user-centered approaches to innovation and the left-brained, more spreadsheet-minded among us. Most C-suites are dominated by the latter, all of whom are big fans of nice neat processes and who pay good money to get them implemented rigorously. So often, the innovation process is treated as a simple, neat little machine. Put in a little cash and install the right process, and six months later, out pops your new game-changing innovation -- just like toast, right from the toaster. But that, of course, is wrong. [9 February 2011 - Co.Design - More]

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Oliver Sacks says: This Year, Change Your Mind

The Mind's Eye... One does not have to be blind or deaf to tap into the brain’s mysterious and extraordinary power to learn, adapt and grow. I have seen hundreds of patients with various deficits -- strokes, Parkinson’s and even dementia -- learn to do things in new ways, whether consciously or unconsciously, to work around those deficits. That the brain is capable of such radical adaptation raises deep questions. To what extent are we shaped by, and to what degree do we shape, our own brains? And can the brain’s ability to change be harnessed to give us greater cognitive powers? The experiences of many people suggest that it can. ... Neuroplasticity — the brain’s capacity to create new pathways — is a crucial part of recovery for anyone who loses a sense or a cognitive or motor ability. But it can also be part of everyday life for all of us. While it is often true that learning is easier in childhood, neuroscientists now know that the brain does not stop growing, even in our later years. Every time we practice an old skill or learn a new one, existing neural connections are strengthened and, over time, neurons create more connections to other neurons. Even new nerve cells can be generated. ... Whether it is by learning a new language, traveling to a new place, developing a passion for beekeeping or simply thinking about an old problem in a new way, all of us can find ways to stimulate our brains to grow, in the coming year and those to follow. Just as physical activity is essential to maintaining a healthy body, challenging one’s brain, keeping it active, engaged, flexible and playful, is not only fun. It is essential to cognitive fitness. [31 December 2010 - New York Times - By Oliver Sacks - More]

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

How Aha! Really Happens

Strategic Intuition: The Creative Spark in Human AchievementThe theory of intelligent memory suggests that companies relying on conventional creativity tools -- such as brainstorming, where people are encouraged to turn off their analytical left brain and turn on their creative right brain to produce new ideas -- are getting shortchanged. [4 January 2011 - strategy+business - By William Duggan - More]

The Role of Beauty in Community Satisfaction - Richard Florida

"Beautiful Places: The Role of Perceived Aesthetic Beauty in Community
Satisfaction"
Richard Florida, Charlotta Mellander and Kevin Stolarick
This research uses a large survey sample of individuals across United States locations to examine the effects of beauty and aesthetics on community satisfaction. The paper conducts these estimations by ordinary least-squares, ordered logit, and multinomial logit. The findings confirm that beauty is significantly associated with community satisfaction. Other significant factors include economic security, schools, and social interaction. Further, community-level factors are significantly more important than individual demographic characteristics in explaining community satisfaction. [3 January 2011 - Creative Class - More]

11 of the Best Innovation 2010 Essays - Fast Company

Here at Co.Design, we pride ourselves on being a house of many mansions. To that end, we’ve spent the past several months sharing the perspectives of some of the finest experts working in design, from Bruce Nussbaum on the dangers of design imperialism to Gadi Amit on what’s wrong with American design schools (hint: everything). We might not agree with all the opinions, but we’re totally convinced that the dialogue about design is richer because of them. What follows is a collection of the most popular -- and occasionally controversial -- columns of 2010. [4 January 2011 - Fast Company's Co.Design - More]