“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”-Pablo Picasso
In February of 2014 I had the privilege to take part in a weekend “Creative Facilitation” training offered by PYE (Partnership for Youth Empowerment). One of the most exciting parts of this was learning that there was a “title” for a kind of work that I have been doing for years, which is basically facilitating creativity, and supporting people in finding/nurturing their own creative spark. The idea shared in this workshop is in using an “arts-based” approach for bringing out the strengths of a group as well as it’s individual members. We were given a tool-kit for ways to use the arts to enliven learning, to deepen reflection and help with the development of social and emotional skills. We were shown activities based on storytelling, creative writing, visual arts, music, drama and movement. We shared valuable ways in creating safe environments for creative exploration, and practiced models of creative process within group dynamics.
Being creative has never been so important as it is today for coming up with solutions to challenges within our society and our environment. Research shows that being creative increases our ability to empathize, to listen, to think critically, to problem solve, and what I think may be the most important: the ability to express our deepest feelings and to feel understood. I purchased a facilitator training book called “Catch the Fire”(click on the link for info), and read in there that in the not too distant past, and in some cultures still today; creative expression was seamlessly woven into everyday life. When someone was sick and they went to a local healer, they were essentially asked 4 questions:
When did you stop singing?
When did you stop dancing?
When did you stop telling your story?
When did you stop sitting in silence?
Thankfully, I did all of these things yesterday, and will again today. What about you?