LCI Talks to Arts Schools Network Conference

Today I had the honor of addressing the Arts School Network’s annual conference, held this year in Florida. (Alas, I spoke via Skype, so I wasn’t able to enjoy the Sunshine State’s weather.) ASN is a professional association of arts school leaders, with over 300 members worldwide, so this was a great opportunity for me to engage with a large gathering of arts educators. The organization’s executive director, Kristy Callaway, asked me to talk about Lincoln Center Institute’s (LCI’s) imagination initiatives.

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Grand Prize Winner of Katerva Awards Announced at LCI

Lincoln Center Institute (LCI) was thrilled to host an event yesterday, December 7, to announce the grand prize winner of the 2011 Katerva Awards: Sanergy, a company that addresses the serious sanitation problem in Nairobi, Kenya, by supplying public toilets and using the waste to produce electricity and fertilizer.

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Imaginative Learning Comes to Mexico

Image by Susan Hardin*

This Thursday, I will have the great honor of bringing Lincoln Center Institute’s core message—that 21st-century students need imaginative learning—to Mexico. My 40-minute presentation, “Myths and Realities of the Imagination,” will be part of a session on imagination in education at the Third Worldwide Meeting on Human Values and Rule of Law (EMV2011) in Monterrey.

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LCI Joins Channel Thirteen in a Celebration of Education

On March 18 and 19, WNET will sponsor the 2011 Celebration of Teaching and Learning. From Mehmet Oz to Oliver Sacks to Leymah Gbowee, each year the Celebration brings together extraordinary thinkers of our era, and whether their expertise lies in technology or health sciences, all come to discuss the state of education and the possibilities for its future.

Common Core standards in Math and ELA will be addressed, as will STEM, autism, and other burning issues—not forgetting the arts and creativity, which is where Lincoln Center Institute comes in.

We are proud to announce that Scott Noppe-Brandon, LCI’s Executive Director and author of Imagination First, and Ashley Merryman, award-winning journalist who has covered the “Creativity Crisis” beat in both book and newspaper, will present a panel on the subject of imagination, creativity, and innovation in schools: the “ICI Continuum.” Book signings will take place at the event and are hosted by Barnes & Noble.

The Celebration takes place at the New York Hilton. For exact location, times, and detailed information about the program and the speakers, go to http://thirteencelebration.org/

Lincoln Center Institute’s Pepsi Refresh Project

Take a few minutes in your morning routine to vote for Lincoln Center Institute!

Lincoln Center Institute (LCI), Lincoln Center’s core education program reaching over 400,000 students throughout the country, is competing for $250,000 in the Pepsi Refresh Project.

During the month of December, your daily vote can mean much-needed support of students and teachers in underserved schools in New York City and around the country. LCI’s work goes beyond traditional “arts in education,” inspiring creative problem solving and critical thinking while helping students prepare to enter the workforce.

Voting is easy!

  1. Visit www.refresheverything.com/lincolncenterinstitute
  2. Registration is simple, especially if you connect your Refresh Project login to your Facebook account
  3. You can vote every day! Make us part of your morning routine! Get your coffee, check your email, and visit www.refresheverything.com/lincolncenterinstitute to vote for Lincoln Center Institute.
  4. Tell your friends, post on Facebook, and Tweet your support for Lincoln Center Institute (which you can do right from our Refresh Project page)!

Voting ends on December 31, 2010. Please vote every day!

Coloring Outside the Lines

Image by Samantha Celera*

Lincoln Center Institute’s Imagination Conversations aim to, among other things, unite diverse sectors by drawing attention to their shared reliance on imagination. So it’s exciting for me to see the corporate and education worlds coming together on behalf of this cause: Crayola and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) have just awarded “Champion Creatively Alive Children” grants to 20 American elementary schools. According to a press release, the grants, “which will fund innovative programs aimed at fostering children’s critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills,” include $2,500 and Crayola products worth $500. The winning programs include one that will enable students to “find their individual voice” through puppetry, and another that will ask students to visually solve a new problem every month. (The full list is here.) For any interested educators, the eventual outcomes of these learning initiatives will be made public on NAESP’s Web site. In the press release, NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly touches on one of LCI’s main concerns when she mentions “preparing our nation’s children to thrive in the 21st century—a task that depends on fostering a culture of creativity and critical thinking.”

In a similar vein, LCI has created the annual Imagination Award to recognize and highlight imaginative thinking in the teaching and learning practice of public schools. Begun in New York City, and inspired in part by LCI’s Capacities for Imaginative Learning, the Imagination Award is now also awarded to a school in Washington State. Winning schools exhibit evidence of the incorporation of imaginative thinking across the curriculum, in subjects from art to English to the natural sciences. The school must demonstrate the ability to construct learning environments in which imagination is cultivated as part of learning as well as teaching.

These ideas, it seems to me, is very much on the minds of people in all realms of society right now. I applaud Crayola and NAESP as well as the grant recipients for transforming them into action. The education and business communities are beginning to see that both of their futures hinge on their ability to harness the power of imagination.

There is a Creative Commons license attached to this image.

Catch an Interview with Scott Noppe-Brandon on BlogTalkRadio!

Image by Jane Hoffer

Scott Noppe-Brandon, Lincoln Center Institute’s Executive Director and co-author of the book Imagination First: Unlocking the Power of Possibility, will appear on the show Creativity in Play, hosted by Steven Dahlberg and Mary Alice Long, Ph.D., and produced by the International Centre for Creativity and Imagination.

Catch the interview live on Wednesday October 20th at 2:00pm. UPDATE: The interview will be carried live on Wednesday November 3rd at noon EDT.