Even though I grew up in a small farming community in South Dakota I feel like I was given amazing opportunities to express myself creatively. We had art class every Friday throughout my elementary and junior high years, Girl Scouts, 4H, band and choir, drama, oral interpretation, cheerleading, dance, journalism and the list continues. At a very young age we learned how to express ourselves, maybe a little too freely at times.
I love that my children are growing up in the African bush, in a small community that we have built over the past 8 1/2 years. They have different opportunities than I had, but one thing I feel that they are missing is the element of creativity and innovation. I find myself getting so angry when our kids get D's and F's in their Creative Arts classes. I know that I wasn't the most artistically gifted child, but I always put my all into anything that I was creating. My desire to do well made getting a D or F off the table because I did try. I believe that art is not to be graded but to be enjoyed and that the more we grade creativity and put boxes around creativity the more we lock-up children and their expression. I feel like we need to change the name from "creative arts" to "unimaginative arts" because of how harshly the children are graded.
My heart has been so burdened by the lack of opportunities and platforms for creativity and innovation, not only for our children but our staff as well. I would love to see our community thrive creatively, our church services express our faith in more creative ways, our classrooms make room for innovation and for the teachers and children to think without boundries, our children's homes provide more space for creativity. For this small community in the bush of Africa to be a place where the Kingdom of God can be expressed as personally as it is experienced.
So, my question is..."HOW??"
How do we get people on board? How do we get our staff interested in this new idea? What kinds of experiences and platforms do we need to make available to our community that will foster creativity?
I'm turning 40 this year and so badly want to live life out of a more creative space...I don't really know what that looks like, but I do know I want this for our entire community.
I would love to invite you to speak into these questions.