Sometimes a notion seems like it’s airborne and traveling at the speed of light: one moment it’s implanting itself in unsuspecting minds in one place, the next moment it’s doing the same thing miles away. The belief that our young people need to develop their imaginations is one such notion. While we at New York City’s Lincoln Center Institute are busy promoting imaginative learning through our work with schools and through the Imagination Conversations, Richard Hills publishes “Creativity and Imagination: Where Have They Gone?” in the San Francisco Examiner.
A poignant opinion piece written from the perspective of a father of three teenagers rather than an academic or educator, Hills’s article bemoans budgetary cuts to school arts programs and emphasizes that “Imagination and creativity”—the very capacities fostered by encounters with works of art—“are the tools we need to solve problems.” Fortunately, Hills goes on to suggest some simple ways to compensate for the holes in our children’s school curricula: Take them to a botanical garden, a museum, an aquarium. Encourage them to read and write, keep a dream journal. Although these activities may seem minor compared to what we education advocates are doing to make America more imaginative, they’re just as important: they open individual minds. LCI looks forward to a time when both parents and educators will work within their respective spheres of influence—and together—to foster imagination in American youth.
Hills’s dispatch from California is a sign of the rapid, spontaneous spread of the imagination agenda. Where will it show itself next?
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