Friday, July 30, 2010

Committed to Creativity

While sitting in the waiting room of my dentist office this week, the cover of Newsweek caught my eye: “Creativity in America“. Inside I found an article entitled, The Creativity Crisis - For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong and how can we fix it?
They definitely had my attention now. My concerns over the decline of the arts in our schools were confirmed when I read the following statement, “Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this in May, after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily raising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. “It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,” Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America—from kindergarten through sixth grade—for whom the decline is “most serious.”

If you follow my columns you all know I am all about “Loving What Is”. So, if creativity is on the decline in America, or bringing it closer to home here in Middlesex County, what do we have right here in River City (Billerica) that is already in place that encourages creativity?

If you are looking to give voice to the visual arts in the form of painting, drawing, cartooning, animation (new class this fall) and mixed medias, we have amazing teachers here at Colleen Sgroi Gallery & Art Classes. We have classes for adults, teens, children of all ages and I even offer a senior citizen class at a great discount. If you are home schooling and want to bring your children to do art with other kids we even have an art home schooling program.
Now, if you or your kids are musically inclined, there is BTL Music School two doors away from me my art center on Andover Road. Parents have been coordinating their kid’s classes with art and music around the schedules of classes we both offer.
Another creative avenue is acting and drama found at Atlantis Playmakers, which is located at 380 Cambridge Street in Burlington. They offer acting classes for adults and children.
Then, thanks to shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” the creative flow of dance has made a huge come back into our culture. I love that show. Just in Billerica alone there is Sally Gould Dance Center on Boston Road, Gotta Dance on Chelmsford Road and Ellen’s School of Dance on Boston Road.

The value of expression through the arts is one that is hard to measure. So let me just share what I see. I see kids with learning disabilities gain self confidence as they tap into their god given creativity. I see teens who are struggling for identity find peace through the sometimes dark tunnel of the teen years. I see adults who have lost loved ones find solace in painting in a group of like minded people and create friendships to last a lifetime. I see adults, who always wondered if they could paint, find joy in the creative process. I see lives enriched everyday. I see!

If you would like to “see” too, make a commitment toward creativity this year and email me to tell me so at: Together we can bring a heightened awareness to the power of creativity to ourselves, our children, our community, our country and our world. For it is in this very way, we are like our creator.

Colleen is a teaching artist at Colleen Sgroi Gallery & Art Classes, 12 Andover Road, Billerica, MA 978-667-1009 Email: