Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Institute for Innovation

It has been nearly two weeks and I am still buzzing from the amazing 2-day workshop I attended at RAFT. Two full days of creativity and the wonderful ziggity zag that comes from playing in your "creative mind state."

It was a hands-on program with multiple instructors leading a variety of "experiences" to generate and harness creative energy. We brainstormed and scampered. We mastered Leonardo's bridge and the Nail Puzzle. We even talked our way through the various hues of a color. But most of all we spoke about the future and education and how we can make a difference.

We do not realize it, but hands on learning has lost its place in our education system. The days of auto shop, sewing and wood shop are long past and kids are stuck in lectures and textbooks to learn about all the wonders of the world. Through the Institute of Innovation, I was reminded that you learn what you love and most often you can't know if you love something until you have applied it... tried it on... taken it for a spin. Through creativity we can reach our kids on a personal level and spark their passion to learn.

The other participants of this workshop came from many backgrounds with varied experiences. Combined with the fantastic curriculum and the infectious enthusiasm of the instructors, I left with a greater understanding of how I want to affect others with my art. I have always known that through the process of artistic creation we can access the magical world of our imagination. For many however, imagination is an inaccessible oasis in the midst of turbulent schedules and overwhelming "to-do lists." Many people need a little help to enter this place of innovation and invention. I want to be the person that provides that help. The hostess that opens the door. I want to share the key with others so they can tap into their possibilities. And guess what? I get to.

This Fall, I will be teaching my summer art class as an enrichment program at St. Timothy's School. While I have been doing this for 4 years now, I have new clarity about my objectives. I have also applied for a Fellowship through the Institute of Innovation which would compliment my classes in the most incredible ways. Besides the increased access to programming and resources, the generous stipend would allow me to offer scholarships and subsidies to families on a tighter budget. There were a lot of amazing individuals interested in the opportunity. I will find out if I have been selected next week...(fingers and toes crossed.) Until then, I am busy putting together the curriculum and working through the logistics.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck on your Fellowship!

    Did you read the article that came out recently about how America is in the midst of a Creativity Crisis? It was fascinating (although depressing). One of the things it mentioned was that while we are heading towards a Japanese system of rote memorization and standardized testing (and away from hands-on learning that fosters creative thinking), Japan is doing exactly the opposite! And they think we're crazy for going to their old system since our hands-on approach is clearly superior! Sigh. Here's to creativity!!