A Creative World
Haley Bice, Division 3, Graduate school #ws16e-s3d3

My goal throughout my years as an undergrad student, and even now, has always been to promote creativity. If I could make the world a better and brighter place through creative pursuits, then I will have considered myself successful. I started college right out of high school as a graphic design major. I thought that I could promote creativity by making art myself. I found out that, while this degree allowed me to express my own artwork, it did not allow me to promote and encourage the creativity of others. I got my associates degree, but when I moved on to get my bachelor's degree I switched to Art History. I was a teacher's assistant, which allowed me to encourage others to be more creative and allowed me to learn about different expressions of creativity throughout history. As I move on to get my Master's degree, I have again changed paths only slightly to Business Design and Arts Leadership. This degree follows my ideas of wanting to promote creativity in others just as much as, if not more than, my previous degrees.

While this creative promotion may seem to have very little to do with the environment, I would argue that artistic output is one of the best ways to improve an urban environment. City parks are equally important, but they would not exist without those on creative committees promoting their value to the public. Another aspect of the city park that often gets forgotten is the element of sculpture, which is obviously a creative pursuit I would love to promote. In the city I live in, we do not have many public parks specifically dedicated to art. There are, of course, parks for children to play in, and various sculptures scattered throughout the town, but no space dedicated specifically for an artistic purpose.

That is just one small, local, instance of my wish to create a more creative world, however. In order to expand creative pursuits outside of my own town, I will have to look to a broader concept. It is difficult to look beyond my own lens of the world, from my own town and my own space to a worldwide view. I have always believed that what may seem like a little change can make a world of difference, but when it comes to the world as a whole, I would like to see more cooperation between artists and city planning organizations. This is not something I can change on my own, but something I would like to see on a worldwide and large scale. Something I can do to help promote this cooperation is by, again, starting small.

Aside from promoting a sculptural park in my home town, which would be something of a challenge on my own anyway, a way for me to promote the arts in my community would be to create a space where artists and city planning officers could communicate and collaborate effectively. I may have my own individual ideas of how something should be done, but a team of creators and planners working together could easily surpass what I can do on my own. This would then be easy for other cities to point to as a success to build from. A team like this would need to be willing to fail, and then learn from those failures as well. Plus, what works in one city may not work in another. Still, it would be something for cities and countries to try and implement to promote creativity in their spaces.

The reason I suggest a sculpture park and coordination between artists, rather than simply suggesting an environmental suggestion is that cities are going to keep expanding and taking over environmental spaces. The only way to get ahead of the game in terms of the destruction of large and expansive green spaces is to reorganize them into something that would benefit multiple communities of the city. Gentrification and the organization of largely expanding cities is a huge issue to tackle, and one that I do not perceive us solving by suggesting that farmers and land owners protest against the expanse of the city- just because the government has so much power and money and there are more people within a city to push right back. The only way I can see to solve this issue is to make a green space where people of the city see its' importance as well as the farming and land owner community. A sculpture park unites several communities aside from simply an artistic one, especially if it is sponsored by a business entity, and allows for trees and green space that might otherwise have been dedicated to the expansion of large business structures.

Sculptural parks are nothing new to most large cities, though, and one of the biggest struggles would be to promote them to other cities that may not see their benefit. I would say that the end product, whether it is a sculptural park or something completely out of my realm of knowledge, is less important. The importance of my idea is the union of city planners and artists coming together to make a plan that will improve a city. Other cities can run with this idea and join together other groups of their citizens that may not have worked together or gotten along previously. The union of groups does not have to be city planners and artists, that is simply what I see working well in my city and through my own lens. The way to improve the world is not a 'one size fits all' solution. The solution should be up to the individuals who live within an area. I personally have no expertise on what is right and what will improve the life and environment of someone living on the other side of the world, just like they have no expertise on what will improve my environment or my life.

Overall, my idea for improving the world is not a concrete idea, so much as a notion that working with a team of creative individuals will provide a larger pool of solutions that will work for a local area. There is no solution that will work for every instance and every situation worldwide, but those that live in those situations could easily come up with solutions if they are given a voice. My solution of a sculptural park would most likely work for my community, but there may be a better solution that a team of individuals could arrive at. It is obviously not something that could work in every community. However, the teams comprising of each community will have a better idea for what works in their specific situation than I ever could.

As for why I said a team of individuals rather than every single individual's voice within a community is because there are experts within a community that certainly should have more of a say than your average Joe on the street. In other words, a city planner should have a say in the city plan. However, my belief is that the city planner should not have the only voice in the city plan. A team of other individuals - the average Joes on the street - have other ideas and expertise just from living within the community, and that should have some weight in a community as well. Another option as an addendum to this would be to rotate out the team, so that every individual gets a voice for a certain period of time on what goes into their community.

My goal from the beginning of my adult career has always been to promote creativity, and as such I take this opportunity to promote the creativity of others as well. I have a solution to this problem, but it is not a solution that everyone will be happy with, nor is it a 'one size fits all' solution. If I hand over this power to improve the world to a team of creative individuals, they may come up with something I agree with, or they may come up with something I completely disagree with - but in the end it is not my choice that solves the problems of the world, it is the voice of the individuals living in the parts of the world that I cannot fathom. They have just as many creative solutions to their local issues as I do to my own, and they deserve a chance to voice their solutions. Nobody has a solution that will completely resolve the world's problems, but everyone has the possibility for a small idea that can make a world of difference to their city and town - to their little lens on the world. My idea is to cultivate those 'little' ideas into one big solution. My idea is to take the 'one size fits a few' solutions and get as many different sized ideas as we can until we have covered the whole world.
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