The National Art Education Association Town Hall is a monthly panel discussion where educators come together to discuss a topic. Our topic was Leading with Creativity. NAEA and Crayola teamed up for the 75th anniversary of NAEA. They developed Creativity Week in January, and invited 75 teachers from around the world to be Creativity Ambassadors, I was one of the 75. James Wells, Crayola’s Education Manager, was leading the discussion and invited me to participate in the conversation.
Panelist bios are available here.
- James Wells, Education Manager, Crayola
- Lauren E. Burrow, Associate Professor of Education Studies, Stephen F. Austin State University
- Raine Dawn Valentine, Art Educator, Ridgely Middle School; Adjunct Instructor, Notre Dame of Maryland University
- Mari Atkinson, Instructor, Shack Art Center; Student Teacher Supervisor, Western Washington University
Here is the recording of the discussion! My part starts at 42:00 <3
Leading with Creativity
When I got the email about the town hall and the topic of discussion I was really excited! Even more so when I received our questions and saw what I was being asked to share. Talking about how creativity is spirituality, is one of the things I am most passionate about. I love leading my live with this mindset. I had so much to say during the town hall but only had a short amount of time! So I decided to write about everything I wanted to say.
Creativity is the use of our imagination, original ideas. Creativity is Spirituality, which is the quality of being concerned with the human spirit… which is the seat of our emotions and character. Our emotions are a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood or relationships with others.
Leading with Spirituality
Art making is inherently spiritual. Art is the expression or application of human creative skill or imagination. To express is to convey a thought or feeling and make them know. We express ourselves through relationships with others, nature and the divine… connecting through sharing, reflecting and celebrating.
Creating is the means by which I form my identity and self. Through self reflection, self awareness and self actualization, I create and live. My art practice is a way of seeing, understanding and conveying what I see, feel and hope for.
I do this through my choice of ritual. Through maintaining a life if intention. Choosing my daily ritual for the highest good, then celebrating the rewards the commitment and intention will bring. Actions Rewards Truth. A.R.T.
In the teachings of the Annishinabe creativity plays a huge part in the role of original man. Waynaboozhoo was lowered to the earth and give the responsibility to name all the things. He was building relationships with all things, and learning how to see himself through different perspectives. He learned to create a canoe from the beaver, and learned to swim from the fish. He also learned about the beauty in creation and destruction, and about life and death. Through his observations with the world, and his ability to creatively live, Waynaboozhoo survived and learned many things.
He lived life creatively, to recognize every moment as a moment to reflect and form our identities which are ever changing and forming. It is our job to live creatively, and find ways as humans to keep creating a life we desire. Creativity looks like exploring, experimenting, questioning, expressing and reflecting. Laughter, learning, and love. Where we remember we are all connected. That our places in this life are just a valuable and necessary as the next.
When we start to live creatively we stop from living out of fear. I start turning the fear energy into trust and knowing. We start to allow ourselves to be vulnerable with each other, and to open up and share. When we share with each other we remember how connected we are.
LIVE CREATIVELY. REMEMBER WE ARE ALL CONNECTED.
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