News from New Orleans


Image by Martin Haase*

I’m pleased to see that the ICI Continuum concept (imagination –> creativity –> innovation), which is central to my and Eric Liu’s book Imagination First (unsurprisingly so, since it is at the center of LCI’s teaching-for-imagination methodology), has popped up yet again—this time in Louisiana. The Town Talk reports that state educators assembled at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts on June 28 for the Imagination, Creativity, and Innovation (ICI) Summer Institute. This four-day professional development event, conceived and coordinated by KIDsmART of New Orleans and sponsored by the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development, gave K-4 educators the opportunity to receive training in arts integration methods from consultants and arts teachers. Dana LaFonta, executive director of the Louisiana Division of the Arts, makes remarks in the article that strongly echo LCI’s beliefs: in today’s global economy, “arts education develops skills for the 21st century: creative thinking, problem solving, individual responsibility and teamwork.” Add imagination to the list; better yet, put it at the head of that list. Pleasant as it is to find the ICI formula being invoked in public discourse, it’s even more satisfying to know that Louisiana educators are fostering in students the capacities necessary for workforce success—and that state government is supporting the effort.

*There is a Creative Commons license attached to this image.


One Response

  1. Louisiana was one of the states selected to participate in the NEA’s Education Leaders Institute (ELI) II, and it was during that wonderfully designed and facilitated time that ICI was born. Scott Noppe-Brandon was among the provocative presenters, and during those three days the thinking of our team moved from traditional arts education to imagination, creativity, and innovation. Team member, Echo Olander of KidSmart, added the needed Louisiana flavor by telling us that “ici” is French for “here.” So, here we are, and with many thanks to partners like the NEA, LCI, KCAEEN, and Louisiana educators, political leaders, and funders our state’s children will have world-class opportunities in their future.

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