By Lisa Rimmert, Director of Marketing
You may have seen our recent newsletter, the Mizel Tov, which featured a terrific article by Education Director Jan Cooper Nadav. This article, available online if you missed the print version, discussed the importance of creativity for adults. When Jan and I attended the recent Charmed: Create! Workshop, we saw first-hand the power of creativity, the possibilities that open up when adults are open-minded, and the barriers that stop us from doing so.
From introducing ourselves with on-the-spot five-word poems, to creating a song as a team and then coming up with bold movements to complement its lines, each activity was full of creativity. As a participant myself, I noticed that many of us were at first full of hesitation, then delight and connection. There’s something about open-ended assignments that makes many adults freeze up. We tend to feel much more comfortable with structure, examples and detailed directions. In most areas of our lives, we are told there is a right and wrong answer, and that giving a wrong answer will lead to embarrassment or even punishment. In art though, we have free reign. We can introduce ourselves to a new group with a five-word poem that is insightful and real, like “Black words on page called,” or silly, like, “I don’t know. Blue mommy.” Either choice is perfect. That, to me, is the joy of art.
As an improviser, this topic is dear to me. This idea of removing preconceived, conventional notions of what is and isn’t correct, is paramount to successful improvisation. The most basic guiding principal of improv is to say “yes” to your scene partner’s ideas and add to them with your own contributions. This requires people to reserve judgment not only of other people’s ideas but of their own ideas as well. It has been proven to me time and time again that doing so results in improved confidence, increased connection with others and, put simply, magic.
Teaching artists Barth Quenzer and Adrian Molina, who led the recent workshop, must have known this. Barth, an award winning art teacher, and Molina, a spoken word artist and educator, designed games and activities that nudged us gently out of our comfort zones. Together, without restrictions or rules, we created poems, movements, stories and works of art. We forged ahead together into the unknown and emerged refreshed and inspired.
This inspiration can be harnessed and used in our personal lives and in our work. Personally, I hope to bring this openness to possibilities into my brainstorming and planning sessions at the Museum. And to be a good example of breaking down barriers and being open to creativity, Jan and I will share some of the work we did in the workshop that Sunday afternoon:
Poem By Lisa Rimmert:
Protest danger. Smoky candles burned down to smudgy lumps.
New friends, their open-handed confidence
pretends the qualities she feels.
They have a sense of the world.
Incomparably, like water consciousness. She loves that.
With long faces and quick decisions. Isn’t that wonderful?
Invite: very special, very odd.
Haven’t you noticed that?
She would come back. Possibility.
Or maybe just move there if someone objects.
Enlightened woman with red lips and an orange dress.
Poem By Jan Cooper Nadav:
How to manage your emotions…
You’re flying ‘round the world.
Force for peace.
I’ll admit it…
Vast hidden hoards invite corruption.
Inside the world of the honeybee.
Blind navigator shows the way.
Capital named “Abode of Love.”
More creative workshops are coming soon. The next, titled Place-Sake Boxes: Memory’s Location, is Sunday, Feb. 9 with fine art photographer Dona Laurita. Participants will make “place-sake” boxes to commemorate special places that are important to them. I already know what mine will be. Do you?