What We're Reading: The Creativity Crisis

A recent Newsweek story reported on research that shows American creativity is declining. Torrance's Creativity Test scores of both adults and children, which were steadily rising from the time the test was created in the 1950's until 1990, have been declining ever since.

What's going on? The author suggests that the number of hours kids spend watching TV and playing video games are to blame. In addition, education's emphasis on testing and curriculum standards often leave little room in the school day for creativity and the arts.

Ironically, the report of diminished creativity comes on the heels of a May Bloomberg Business News report citing a new survey of 1,500 chief executives conducted by IBM's Institute for Business Value in which CEOs identified 'creativity' as the most important leadership competency for the successful enterprise of the future.


One Man's success story

At Wednesday's Connecticut Arts Advocacy Day in Hartford, we heard from Erik Brown, Principal of Walsh Elementary School in Waterbury. Erik owes his career success to the arts. As a child growing up in New Haven, he struggled in school due to dyslexia. It was through the arts, through song and rhythm and story that he learned to read. His mother encouraged him to audition for the Trinity Boys Choir, and he was accepted. The arts took hold of Erik and guided him through his education. He went to Betsy Ross Magnet School and later Education Center for the Arts. (we subsequently learned that Representative Toni Walker taught Erik at the Dixwell Arts Center) This kid who was math challenged as an elementary student later aspired to be a math teacher. Instead he was offered a job teaching language arts. The teacher became a principal, one who claims he is "of the arts." This principal needs no convincing that the arts are valuable; he knows it. Erik Brown lives and breathes arts education. He made us all want to be kids again.

Cindy Clair


Read Paula Billups' comments about the artists' reception for her show with Meredith Miller at Gallery 195

Paula Billup's painting "The Leaving" is on view, along with photographs by Meredith Miller, at Gallery 195 at NewAlliance Bank through June 4.

Image courtesy of Paula Billups


Kickin' it Tunisian Style — Collaborative Painting with David Black

Check out Paula Billups' blog entry, "Kickin' it Tunisian Style — Collaborative Painting with David Black."

Image courtesy of Paula Billups