Contributions toward a #Manifesto Creativity in HE: 3-The Arts are for Everyone

Picasso once said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he (or she) grows up” Indeed that is the main problem we face when we try to bring creativity into our education. Here of course I must distinguish between art and creativity, as the creative person may be or not an artist. But who is an artist? For many years I thought I was not a “proper artist” because I did not go to the art school, and despite the years of practice and an incurable passion for creativity I felt I was in the closet doing my stuff… I had fallen into the trap of segmentation and distinction as revealed by Foucault as part of the way in which knowledge and power are the two sides of the same coin.

Further, I was made to believe that creativity was only for artists, those gifted with an special aura. And yet we are creative beings by nature: from the moment we are trying to figure out how to live, articulate words, play with toys, imagine stories, or solving problems, researching or understanding complex topics, these are all exercises of creativity.

How to demystify creativity and use arts and art based approaches to tap into the infinite potential of our creativity? How to make arts accessible and practical as mediums for imagination and innovation?

Important figures throughout history have stressed the links between art and science and education: from Leonardo da Vinci, to the great explorer Von humboldt who was poet, geographer and musician, drawing upon Schiller’s aesthetic education of men, to leading thinkers like John Dewey attempting at breaking the barriers between what is high art and popular art through a pragmatic aesthetic. He argues that “the arts do more than provide us with fleeting moments of elation and delight. They expand our horizons. They contribute meaning and value to future experience. They modify our ways of perceiving the world, thus leaving us and the world itself irrevocably changed”

If that is not a definition of magic, then I don’t know what would be!

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