Thinking Outside the Box–Literally

Image by Paul Lim*

We’ve all heard the advice, “Think outside the box,” but now, thanks to a team of researchers, the cliché takes on a whole new, literal meaning. In a Times op-ed piece, three scholars of management and organizations—two from the University of Michigan, one from New York University (NYU)—reveal their compelling new findings about creativity. The writers indicate a direct correlation between people’s physical experiences and their ability to come up with fresh ideas and solutions.

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LCI to Join WNET Celebration of Teaching & Learning on March 16

In three weeks, more than 10,000 North American educators will converge on the Hilton New York for WNET’s seventh annual Celebration of Teaching & Learning. The Celebration is a major professional development conference that includes over 40 featured speakers and 100 interactive workshops, as well as two exhibition halls full of education resources. This year, as in 2011, I’ll have the privilege of presenting there, on a panel with Madeleine Holzer, director of educational development at Lincoln Center Institute, and 2010 National Teacher of the Year Sarah Wessling.

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Wallace Foundation Funds Arts Education in Boston

Guess the last word of this sentence: “Arts education in Boston is being _____.”

Recent news from around the nation might have led you to say “cut,” but the right answer, happily, is “expanded.” The city has just announced that the Wallace Foundation will donate $4 million over four years to grow Boston’s Arts Expansion Initiative for public schools.

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Disney Funds Creative Education in China

Image by ToGa Wanderings*

Disney is at it again. In 2011, The Walt Disney Company co-sponsored America’s Imagination Summit, the major education event that Lincoln Center Institute held here in New York City. Now Disney has announced that it will donate $1.6 million to support the United Nations Children’s Fund and China’s Ministry of Education, as they work to enhance the education—and creativity—of young people in China. I applaud the organization’s depth of commitment.

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Story Starters—A Deck of Cards for the Young Imagination

In our book Imagination First, Eric Liu and I write about Oblique Strategies, a deck of cards created by musician Brian Eno in 1975: “Each of the over one hundred cards contains what Eno calls ‘a worthwhile dilemma’—a concise, cryptic prompt….meant to give direction.” Today, I bring news of another novel deck of cards, this one aimed at children: the Spark Your Imagination Story Starters.

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Boy Scouts of America and Edison Nation® Announce Innovation Challenge

Image by RDECOM*

One of the most tradition-based organizations in the country, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), is getting into the innovation act. Today it announced, in partnership with product developer Edison Nation®, the BSA Innovation Challenge. This represents yet another opportunity for our children to put their imagination and creativity to work—and be rewarded for the fruits of their labor.

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Lincoln Center Institute’s 2012 Annual Benefit Gala on March 7

Patrick McMullan Company © 2011

Once a year, supporters of Lincoln Center Institute (LCI) gather, enjoy dinner and a world-class musical performance, and honor individuals and organizations that embody LCI’s ideals. These fundraisers celebrate LCI’s tireless efforts to bring the arts to young people, and to develop their skills of imagination, creativity, and innovation. So it is with great anticipation that I announce this year’s Annual Benefit Gala, to be held on March 7 at Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City.

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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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Robots, Learning, and Play

Here’s an imaginative idea: Latitude, an international research consultancy, asked 348 children around the world, “What if robots were a part of your everyday life—at school and beyond?” The kids were to answer in the form of an illustrated short story. Now the results of the Robots @ School study are in, and they reveal what today’s young people think and feel about learning and technology.

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The Imagination Network

Image by Jane Hoffer

What do Disney, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), and the U.S. Army have in common? Representatives from all three organizations appeared at America’s Imagination Summit, the education event that Lincoln Center Institute (LCI) hosted in New York City this past July. Their presence was not arbitrary; rather, I believe that the dynamic intersection of such diverse influencers can lead to change in our country’s schools.

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