Not creative? Festival begs to differ!

Some of the finest minds at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma come together to present this year’s Festival of Arts and Ideas focusing on Fostering Creativity. The Festival runs March 7, 8 and 10 beginning at 7:30 p.m. each night in the USAO Ballroom.

Not creative? Festival begs to differ!


The three-day Festival of Arts and Ideas is slated to return to the University of Science and Arts on March 7 in the USAO Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. with the theme of Fostering Creativity.

An expansion of last fall’s program focusing on the Process of Creativity, this series of workshops and presentations is designed to guide attendees in finding practical applications for developing and nurturing creativity in his or her personal and professional life.

The Festival is scheduled to run March 7, 8 and 10 and is free to the public.

“Many teachers are now searching for ways to promote and assess creative work in the classroom, and this program is ideal for them,” said Dr. Erik Guzik, assistant professor of economics at USAO and a nationally recognized expert on emerging creativity technologies.

“The workshops will provide teachers with some ideas and activities that they may incorporate directly into their classroom curriculum – and hopefully spark new ideas about creative classroom activities as well.”

As such, this event will provide professional development hours for public school teachers each evening.

The first evening’s program will revolve around the theme of Promoting Creativity. It will begin with a physical space exploration exercise led by Dr. Stephen Weber, professor of music, entitled Freeing the Mind, Freeing the Body.

This will be followed by a collaborative problem solving process called Futuring, guided by Guzik and Dr. Michael Nealeigh, vice-president for university advancement. This interactive demonstration will be augmented by performances from USAO’s Back-up Improv Group.

Guzik noted that, “the ability to think and act creatively is becoming an increasingly valuable – and essential – skill within the classroom and the workplace.

“The festival will provide some novel ideas and methods for encouraging creativity within both groups and individuals.”

The second evening’s theme is Responding to Creativity. The program, entitled Critical Response, will be led by Katie Davis, assistant professor of drama, as she conducts a workshop on encouraging creativity through feedback.

There will be a solo performance by Emily Hector, adjunct instructor in dance, followed by a constructive critique session including the audience. The goal is to demonstrate how feedback can alter and ultimately improve a creative work in progress.

The final night, Thursday, March 10 will be devoted to Activating Creativity. The program will begin with a premiere screening of Apology II, an animated film produced at USAO through a process of creative collaboration.

The second part of the evening’s program will feature an interactive art demonstration by Dr. Ingrid Shafer, professor emerita of philosophy and editor in chief of Crosstimbers, entitled Spontaneous Fractals, that will explore the intersection between math, computers and the intuitive creation of art.

The festival will close with a live pottery performance conducted by USAO Art Gallery director Layne Thrift that he promises will be engaging and more than a little messy.

The Festival of Arts and Ideas is sponsored by the USAO Foundation and is free. For more information, please contact the USAO Media and Community Relations department at 574-1318.