In a seminal article in the Harvard Business Review entitled “America’s Looming Creativity Crisis” by Richard Florida Oct 01, 2004 his opening remark was, “The strength of the American economy does not rest on its manufacturing prowess, its natural resources, or the size of its market. It turns on one factor–the country’s openness to new ideas.” Skip forward to 2010 and the Looming Creative Crisis is now here. This situation memorialized in a Newsweek article rates creative thinking as the number one leadership competency needed in the future.
So are the music and art education classes as essential as math and science?
I like to think that the great benefit of art is that it stops me, takes my breath away, perhaps leaves me in a state of wonder, and a resonate feeling of well-being. In this appreciative state the “in box” of my brain is open . By this measure there is much that doesn’t qualify for me, but that is what makes art such a personal thing. Great art, probably has this effect on more people than lesser art. But if it stops you, turns the chattering of your mind to the “off” position for a few moments, then I believe it is doing the job. For it is in those moments, that our unconscious slips us the answer pressing questions or simply sends us a completely novel idea from the other side.
For this reason alone surrounding one’s self with art is more useful than just a fancy. Frank Lloyd Wright felt that architecture was the highest form of art and it is perhaps from this perspective that if one were immersed in the art as you would be living in an inspired architectural design your own creative channels would be open more of the time.
From this viewpoint it doesn’t matter what form the art takes, whether music or the visual arts giving it more priority in one’s life is what is at stake.
The last time I went to Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home in the latter part of his life, there was a sculpture setting displaying the works of Heloise Crista.
Her works put me in that state of awe and deep appreciation.
I have included some here. Maybe if we spend less time at the office and more time with the arts, our creativity will improve and ultimately our decision making. Food for thought.
What are your thoughts?