Can Creativity be Measured?

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~ Scott Adams, American cartoonist.


One might ask this: can we measure our creativity? Can we take stock of our community’s creativity and leverage it into an economic factor?

Some creative data collectors seem to think so. A report called the Creative Vitality Index (CVI) for Oregon details the findings of research designed to establish an indicator of the health of an economy’s arts-related creative sector. Since we have been advocating for years that art and culture are directly related to the economic well-being of our community, we like this stuff.

The purpose of the research was to develop a more inclusive and robust diagnostic tool related to the arts elements of the creative economy. A related goal was to develop a credible data source that could be used for arts advocacy purposes.
In the CVI, an area’s creative economy is defined as including for-profit and nonprofit arts-related creative enterprises and the key support and service activities that sustain them.

It turns out that we have a particularly high level of creativity businesses in Central Oregon from architects, landscape architects, art directors, fine artists including painters, sculptors and illustrators, multi-media artists and animators, commercial and industrial designers, fashion designers, floral designers, graphic designers, interior designers, set and exhibit designers, art and design workers, actors, producers and directors, dancers, choreographers, music directors and composers, musicians and singers, editors, technical writers, writers and authors, photographers, advertising and promotions managers, public relations managers, agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes, directors, educators, librarians, media and communication workers, audio and video equipment, broadcast technicians, sound engineering technicians, camera operators, television, video and motion picture, film and video editors and musical instrument repairers and tuners.

Wow, when you think about it there are a lot of creative people working and living in this region. We depend on their talents for a huge variety of jobs. We can’t quite imagine an environment without them.

Why bother collecting creative data? It can all seem rather silly to spend time and money making a list of who is deemed creative and their value to our lives. However, in identifying creative segments we are able to expand our view of human ability and achievement beyond the traditional concept of intelligence.

As an employer it can help us understand and predict employee’s creative productivity. As parents and educators we can better understand various ways in which people exhibit their creative behavior and how to determine the impact of creative instruction.
It seems, however, that the entire point of enhancing our access to creative outlets and furthering creative education is to just plain help us think better. There is not one among us who couldn’t use a little more of that. By cultivating skills in creative thinking, innovative leadership practices and problem solving techniques we enhance our ability to imagine new ideas by learning to envision that which cannot immediately be seen.

In the words of Albert Einstein: Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

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by PAMELA HULSE ANDREWS Cascade A&E Publisher

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