- EDUCATIONOur Strategies - Help brainstorm? - Who We're With

A Creativity Concern:
Why not start by thinking about the first article you read, first lecture you heard or first conversation you had, that helped you steer a specific part of your life in a specific direction? How did it help? What did it help you focus on? While this may seem vague, we hope it will help you understand our thought process a little as you read on about an article that motivated us.

The article that gave us a lot to think about was published in Newsweek, in 2010, and can be found by clicking HERE (or HERE if you'd prefer to download the .PDF file).

But, if you don't have the time to get through that text, in summary, it speaks about the steady decline of America's emphasis on creativity, as a heavy focus on standardization and test-taking was put into place. It goes on to discuss how other nations have transitioned into problem (or project) based learning in order to help prompt innovation. It even refers to dated methods as "drill-and-kill" teaching styles. This is one of our primary concerns. But in the same breath, we understand how many have already been affected by these trends, so we figure, why not help both the young (and old) adults as well.

A Creativity Strategy:
Of course, the first strategy is the easiest strategy. Get people together around the arts! It's really that easy.

While a lot of people may have missed those early lessons in creativity, it's still not too late to start getting people to start talking about things they don't quite understand. Because, as people (as well as students) see more art and start recognizing the subtleties involved, a better understanding will come naturally. And honestly, growth is oftentimes just as important as a full understanding. This is one thing that leads to further, non-prompted discussions. And this newly-gained level of creative understanding can only help in an individual's day to day.

Still, what we'd like to happen next may be the most important aspect of this exposure. Simply put, what if our communities' parents grow within these experiences? Our thoughts are they may start joining the important conversations as well. They may trickle their new experience down to their kids. Because, while it's great to help our youth, it's just as important to get parents on the same page.

To help further, we sit on both, our community's education committee and our local community council, which directly engage our local schools, teachers and tutors to help with many forms of education and community programming.

A Green Concern:
Of course you've noticed our globe's changing weather patterns, monster storms and record setting heat waves. So, why not look to the arts to help with these concerns?

A Green Strategy:
Of course, the facility we've designed demonstrates a creative way to up-cycle materials. But beyond that, we plan to stay engaged with our region's green conversation.

Over the past few years, we've attended conferences such as Greening The Heartland and have toured local, green, art facilities such as Brazee Street Studios, so we have a general idea of what's out there. Now, we're developing ways to take what we've learned and create interesting projects to help bring the conversation to light. Our upcoming Corn Maze Project is our first step in this direction.

A Marketability Concern:
Have you noticed a lack of "practical" creative training geared towards your community? While we know how important arts training can be, we also like the idea of teaching specific skills that can be applied in other markets.

A Marketability Strategy:
Aside from "typical" arts training, we're currently designing a series of affordable classes that will offer our patrons inroads into creative thought processes while learning practical skills that can help them in the work force ...as well as their day-to-day lives.

More specifically, we'll be offering classes in subjects such as programming, web-site management/developement, blog creation and email development.

In addition to the digital courses, we also plan to host workshops on items that are often overlooked in art schools. These range from shipping crate construction all the way down to resume' building and exhibition documentation. We also hope to host a series of discussions that cover items such as art law.

All in all:
This is only the beginning of our strategies and the concerns they address. Moving forward, we expect the needs and desires of our community to change. And in the end, we hope to simply align with our neighbors until we can, without a doubt, consider ourselves an important part of the community's creative and educational fabric.