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026 | The Role of Museums in Cultivating Creativity | with Cindy Foley

Today, we are continuing our conversation about the critically important role of the arts in communities and education. To guide us through this conversation, we sit down with Cindy Meyers Foley, the Executive Deputy Director for Learning and Experience at the Columbus Museum of Art.

A few years ago, Cindy examined the purpose of an art museum and whether the Columbus Museum of Art was living up to it. What she concluded was that the role and value of learning in an art museum is that you’re seeing things created by some of the most creative thinkers who’ve ever walked the planet; people who’ve challenged our norms and given us places to go that we could never have imagined. So their goal should be to cultivate creativity in every person who visits – but, when Cindy evaluated the what they were providing, she realized that only 20% of the experiences in the museum actually contributed to creativity. So they sat down, regrouped, and decided to make some changes.

They began introducing programs that encourage people to not just imitate the work of other artists, but to inhabit their frame of thinking and indulge in their own creative processes – and the results are truly extraordinary.

We unbox:

  1. The role of museums in community

  2. The value of learning in a museum

  3. Cultivating creative thinking

  4. What creativity looks like

  5. The role of creativity in medical school

  6. Letting kids guide their own creative process

  7. Ambiguity and the unknown is difficult


  1. Learn more at

  2. Cindy’s TEDx Talk:


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