For far too long, the practice of creativity has been solely linked to artists and the process of making art. Not only has this limited definition excluded generations of makers, thinkers and problem solvers from identifying as creative, it has helped to reinforce an education system and culture unprepared to adapt to an ever-changing future.
As we understand and define them, creativity and creative practice are not (always) about a product or tangible result. They are a lens through which one sees the world; a mindset that gives people the confidence to take risks and permission to ask questions, knowing they may not lead to a clear answer.
This narrow thinking has taken a toll on the American economy, education system and attitude toward innovation and imagination. The black and white thinking of past generations is no longer sufficient as the challenges of tomorrow are increasingly complex and require students and citizens to think across discipline and collaborate across industry.
With this motivating us to effect change, Community Works launched Creativity Matters, a national initiative committed to building a community of creative practitioners and catalyzing a conversation about the importance of creativity in every aspect of our lives.
This movement is bigger than simply encouraging and celebrating people who are already practicing creativity. It is about recognizing creative practice and thinking as a human right, rather than a luxury set aside for those who have the access and time. Every student deserves the opportunity to be curious, to try, to ask, to fail and to try again. This is creativity.
** Community Works is a creative youth development non-profit launched by founders of Performance Works.