Creativity and The Arts

Nurturing the Arts and Creativity as a tool to help others grow


As a child, Saybrook alumna Dr. Aurora Sidney-Ando was so shy she used to hide behind books.  

But it was the arts - especially painting - that helped her overcome that burden.  At Saybrook, she studied how the arts can be used to help others, and worked to help teenage girls express themselves through paintings.

Dr. Sidney-Ando tells us all about it in a moving interview she gave, which you can read here.

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Teaching Creativity: Is the Tyrant Teacher in Whiplash a Good Role Model?


by Steven Pritzker, PhD

Whiplash, a movie nominated for best picture this year, is about a drummer in an elite music school’s relationship with a strict highly demanding teacher who runs the schools premier jazz orchestra. The teacher is played by J. K. Simmons who won a Golden Globe for the role and has been nominated for an Academy Award. No question that Simmons does a very good job in the role.

The teacher he plays is a sadist who tortures his best students by belittling them. He mocks their families, uses homophobic slurs, makes fun of their physical appearances, mercilessly pits musicians against each other and even slaps them. All this is done, the character claims, in the interest of achieving excellence. And of course, in true Hollywood fashion, he drives his prize student to almost quit but them come back and find true greatness fulfilling his own dream as well as that of his student.

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Adventures in Creativity: A Venture, A Block and A Breakthrough


by Linda Riebel

Last year, I boldly went where I had never gone before. In the beloved tragic French opera /Carmen,/ there is a gorgeous instrumental melody in the overture to Act III, an air that appears nowhere else in the opera. I wondered, Why has it never been given words and made into a song of its own? As my tenth wedding anniversary approached, I did exactly that as a surprise gift to my opera-loving husband.

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Creativity and Music, 2/2014


1.) "Robert Gupta: Between Music and Medicine" on TED: click here: "Can music be a medical instrument? In a moving talk from TEDMed, Robert Gupta reveals that it certainly can be. He gives as an example the work of neuroscientist Gottfried Schlaug, one of the pioneers of melodic intonation therapy. Schlaug noticed that, while stroke victims with aphasia could not utter a sentence, they could still sing the lyrics to songs.

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Upcoming Arts Festivals: 11-12/2013


December 5-8, 2013 join Art Basel in Miami, Florida: Festival happens December 5-8: Miami Beach, Florida, will host the 12th edition of Art Basel, the most prestigious art show in the Americas. More than 260 leading galleries from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa will take part, showcasing works by more than 2,000 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Click here for more information.

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Arts and Advocacy, 10/2013


1.) Americans for the Arts: Americans for the Arts' mission is to serve, advance, and lead the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America.

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Creativity and Writing, 1/2013

Maya Angelou

1.) "13 Famous Writers on Writer's Block" by Emily Temple: Click here to read: " The philosophy behind NaNoWriMo is pretty simple: get the words — 50,000 of them, to be exact — on the page. But what if you experience that dreaded writer’s block while you’re chipping away at your “Great Frantic Novel”? Never fear, you’re not alone.

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Exploring Leadership and Learning Theories in Asia (ELLTA)


Exploring Leadership and Learning Theories in Asia (ELLTA) will take place December 11-13, 2012 in Malaysia and will be co-hosted by the University of Utara Malaysia. ELLTA invites contributions to highlight Asian perspectives on Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Given the enormity and diversity of challenges facing the world at large, and Asia, in particular, the transformation of societies requires creative and innovative responses, and individual and collective entrepreneurship.

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