I imagine you, like me, have a host of stories from the holidays. I traveled to the mid-west to visit family for a week. As always, I had a raucously joyous time playing with my little nephews and nieces, and loved visiting with my mom, siblings and in-laws. However, I must confess that I initiated a “loud debate” with my brother that had everyone holding their breath hoping we weren’t planning to ruin the holidays.
We were “discussing” creativity, and now that I replay the moment I can’t even remember where the conflict was. I only remember the common ground. We agreed on the importance of creativity in every individual’s life. We agreed that many people think that creativity is the sole purview of artists, and that this stereotype is far from true…Artists may spend more time focused on mastery of a specific creative art form, but imagination, creativity, and innovation (three intricately linked muses) are also employed by scientists, cooks, students, parents, educators, business men and women, farmers, government leaders, philanthropists, service workers…everyone. We agreed that children are innately creative and that superintendents, principals, and teachers have a unique opportunity and responsibility to nurture this creativity. We even agreed that our society would be stronger and happier if everybody recognized and followed their creative instincts every day.
I think my brother is especially skilled at working me into a lather! This time I have to thank him because he primed me to introduce the Dodge Foundation’s special January blog series celebrating International Creativity Month. All month, individuals and organizations around the globe will be honoring the power of creativity, and seizing the opportunity to take a fresh approach to problem-solving and tapping into our collective creative capabilities. In New Jersey, 2013 offers great hope, but we are also keenly aware that we have a lot of work ahead of us to recover from Hurricane Sandy. Creativity and creative problem-solving are needed now, more than ever, as individuals, organizations, government entities and communities work together to turn challenges into opportunities.
Throughout January, our regular bloggers along with guest contributors will discuss how creativity shows up in their work and lives. We hope that it will inspire you to take the time to share with us how creativity is expressed in your life, what you do to stoke the creative fires, and what you think we can collectively do to ensure that creativity plays a larger part in business, government, education, and culture.
If you would like to dig deeper into the creativity conversations occurring around our country and in our state, you should check out a few interesting websites:
- The Creativity Post will keep you apprised of all the most up-to-date articles and research on Creativity.
- The National Creativity Network works to share information about and support creativity efforts across our country, sends out a weekly creativity newsletter and hosts a monthly informational webinar series.
- Creative New Jersey is our statewide movement dedicated to fostering creativity, innovation and sustainability through cross-sector collaboration.
- And if you have made a resolution to lead a more creative life this year you might want to check out the work of Noah Scalin creator of Skull-A-Day. He wrote a book several years back that challenged people to use their creativity everyday and make something.
Throughout this month, our Dodge Blog will be dedicated to exploring how creativity intersects with the environment, the arts, education, philanthropy and more. We hope that you will be inspired by the work that is happening around our state and, again, please share your personal stories and reflections on your own creativity with us. Happy creating!
Oh, and P.S. for those of you who were worried about my family dynamics…my brother just wrote me a heartfelt apology email and I plan on writing back with equal sincerity and regret. So all is right with the Liscow clan.