Creativity & Innovation Make Arts Education Relevant to 21st Century Economy
Imagination, creativity and innovation; you probably have heard these words a hundred times or more. At the Mimbres Region Arts Council, we think imagination, creativity and innovation are incredibly powerful words. They can change the world, save the world, and shape the future world or worlds we will live in. These three words can improve our life, improve our work and bring us a deep soulful joy. And oh, by the way; these words can make us rich. Very, very rich!
If you are going to make a difference in today’s world, you need to understand and put into action each of these ideas. The ability to spark your imagination, nurture your creativity and harness the processes of innovation will separate you from the flock. Better yet, it will make you money! Ask Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, James Dyson, Jay Z, Jeff Bezos or the folks on Shark Tank.
“Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” - Albert Einstein
Imagination is a mental process that explores combinations of objects, places and times. It is a conscious construction of ideas and images that are rooted in time. Your imagination is a kind of wild, forced thinking.
In his book, ‘Out of Our Minds,’ Sir Ken Robinson beautifully describes the importance and power of one’s imagination. “The imagination liberates us from our immediate circumstances and holds the constant possibility of transforming the present… And in imagination we can anticipate many possible futures.”
He goes on to point out that imagination is the source of creativity and that “every uniquely human achievement in every field” is the “product of the human imagination.”
Creativity has as much to do with art as it does science. The scientific study of creativity is mostly the work of psychologists. The foundation for this study began during World War II. Psychologists studied the factors affecting the survival rates of downed Air Force pilots. Psychologist J.P. Guilford discovered that it wasn’t IQ that predicted survival: it was creativity.
Sir Ken Robinson defines creativity as a process of having original ideas that have value. In addition; “To call someone creative suggests they are actively producing something in a deliberate way. Creativity involves putting your imagination to work. In a sense, creativity is applied imagination.”
A key point that Robinson makes is that creativity is a process that can be learned and enhanced through practice and hard work. He doesn’t view creativity as an innate talent or gift but a set of skills that can be developed.
Innovation is the process of putting new ideas into practice. In many cases, innovation can mean improving upon existing designs. Extending the concept of creativity as applied imagination, innovation can be seen as applied creativity. Almost always innovation creates some value for a business, government or society. Innovation is the buzzword for almost any company these days. It is where big money gets made and spent. Innovation’s importance to the business world can be summed up by Bill Gates of Microsoft…"we operate under the same rules as every other company…innovate or die!"
Why this matters…?
The human mind is profoundly and uniquely creative, but too many people lack the confidence or motivation to develop their creative skills. We believe everyone is creative. We believe creativity and innovation are what make the arts relevant for every person, every business, every school and every organization in Grant County. This is so critically important that the Mimbres Region Arts Council made this our mission: to nurture a creative community.
We encourage you to explore your creativity, to spark your imagination, and consider ways to innovate your daily life.
Kevin Lenkner is the Executive Director of the Mimbres Region Arts Council. He is convinced that big ideas can come from small towns.
Visit Grant County Beat Columns, regularly for new installments in the Creativity Counts series. Be sure to also visit Mimbres Region Arts Council’s work-in-progress website at www.mimbresarts.org for more information and opportunities to grow creativity in Grant County.