Monday, April 30, 2012

building partnerships in the arts...

I had a great trip to Little Rock, and the Thea Art Show went well. I sold work and came back with money.

One of the challenges facing arts organizations is that too many corporations fail to understand the value of the arts. In difficult or trying times they tend to become fixated on the bottom line. Thus they too often chose the path of avoiding risk at all costs. But creativity and advancement of human culture come only through willingness to risk exploration of out-of-the-box notions.

One of the directions I want to explore for the Eureka Springs School of the Arts is that of building partnerships with area corporations that express the value of out-of-the-box thinking, and demonstrate how it can be accessed as a routine pattern through the arts. Engagement in the arts provides tools and resources for problem solving even when those problems seem far removed from the nature of the art in which one is engaged. It does this through our human capacity to extend the boundaries of thought through the use metaphor. For instance, early rocket engineer, Lovell Lawrence, Jr. discovered how to keep rocket engines from burning out while staring at a plate of spaghetti and noting how the pasta wrapped around the fork. He wrapped fuel lines around the venturii in the rocket engine, and thus preheated fuel and cooled the engine at the same time.

Participation in arts and crafts provides a framework for creative problem solving (studio thinking) too often ignored, neglected or rejected in corporate life. One of the places actively at work in building partnerships in the arts is the McColl Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, though their Innovation Institute.

Schools, too, are constantly pushed toward the bottom line, and it may seem ironic that the best way to engage the heart and mind is actually through the creative use of the hands. I have applied to become a presenter at this year's ISACS Fall Conference. The theme of this year's conference is Innovation: Thinking Outside the Box. As a creative box maker, that subject should be right my my alley.

Make, fix and create...

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