74 | Cultivating Creative & Civic Capacities | with Jennifer Lehe, Jason Blair, & Britanie Risner

Today we’re talking to three guests who are involved with the Cultivating Creative & Civic Capacities project, “a 3-year research-practice collaboration between the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) and Project Zero-Harvard to investigate and document ways to catalyze young people’s capacities for creative and critical thinking and a sense of community with room for divergent perspectives, and the conditions that promote young people’s curiosity about complex issues, openness to engaging multiple, often divergent, viewpoints, and a sense of social responsibility about actions they may take.”

And a lot of that comes down to answering these two questions: What does it look like to cultivate creativity toward more sustainable and equitable worlds? How do we cultivate imagination, thinking with complexity, and taking action?

Our guests are Jennifer Lehe, Jason Blair, and Britanie Risner, and they have some interesting answers for those questions. Jennifer is the Manager of Strategic Partnerships of the Columbus Museum of Art, calls herself a recovering right-answer seeker, and is fascinated by how we can create the conditions that encourage discovery and curiosity in kids; Jason is an 18-year veteran arts educator who says that, every day, he learns from the creative geniuses that he teaches; and Britanie is a 19-year veteran teacher staunchly believes in children’s abilities to think and act in ways that move the world to be a better place. All three are educators who should be celebrated in their own right, but together, they’re really doing something special.

We unbox:

  • How do we cultivate imagination, thinking with complexity, and taking action?
  • What can we learn by thinking like an artist?
  • What does it look like to cultivate creativity toward more sustainable and equitable worlds?
  • The Columbus Museum of Art’s partnership with Project Zero, a research institute at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Taking on the role of a teacher-researcher
  • Letting kids learn and experience life through each other, not necessarily through the specific content
  • Where and when do the civic and creative aspects of this project come together? Where was there friction?
  • What is a creativity challenge?
  • Who can and should take part in the Cultivating Creative & Civic Capacities project?
  • Advice for teachers who are going back to school this Fall and may feel uncertain, isolated, or terrified

 

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