On Saturday, April 29th, 2017, FIGMENT returns to Windsor Lake in North Adams for its second year of creative community collaboration. FIGMENT North Adams is a free, one-day participatory arts event that catalyzes and celebrates an abundance of creativity and passion. FIGMENT aspires to challenge artists and our communities to discovers new ways to create, share, and think together. In support of this mission, my submitted project, the Creativity Capsule, invites participants of all ages to interact with and be inspired by language.
The Creativity Capsule began as a decorative cornice box filled with inspirational materials, such as poetry and prose, visual art, writing prompts, interesting facts and quotations. Essentially, anything that remotely ignites curiosity and motivates participants to think creatively throughout their day belongs inside the box. The materials are there to invigorate thought, prompt mental connections and stimulate dialogue within a community.
Traditionally, a capsule is a sheath that encloses or contains something within it for a long period of time. All objects within the Creativity Capsule, however, are up for grabs. In fact, I encourage participants to take from the box, to interact with whichever material influences them to think and respond creatively. The spirit of the Creativity Capsule is not to contain the materials within it, but to instead share a wealth of knowledge, in which that knowledge is then contained within the participants’ brain. At the heart of this project, the participant’s mind is emblematic of a capsule in which I seek to help culminate.
As the project developed, I needed to ensure several things: 1) that all participants have the opportunity to discover something of interest, and 2) that the Creativity Capsule establishes a platform for connections that will lead to ongoing conversation. With that in mind, I wanted to hone in on the Creativity Capsule’s ability to exercise writing as a form of dialogue. I provide participants with writing utensils and notebooks so they have a
place to share their thoughts and communicate with other members of the community. As more participants respond through writing, the journal will, ideally, take on a collage form.
Likewise, I created more than twenty collaborative writing prompts that will also take on a collage form. On plain paper, I pose interesting and imaginative questions that have no right or wrong answer; I encourage participants of all ages and backgrounds to respond and witness the variety of answers. In doing so, participants will potentially realize shared similarities or differences with other members of the community they may not interact with otherwise; they will be exposed to other individuals’ worldviews.
The writing component attempts to increase conversation and acceptance of other individuals’ ways of thinking. Both the journal and collaborative prompts act as resources to help build connections in which participants can then discuss. It is important to note, however, that the Creativity Capsule firmly advocates conversation, but by no means, should that conversation solely be limited to print on paper. The writing component of this project is merely another opportunity for participants to voice their experience and be heard.
Discussion comes naturally, especially when discovering new inspiration alongside other people who are similarly expressing their experiences. Fundamentally, the Creativity Capsule promotes respectful discussion rather than hinder conversation on topics that enable the community to learn together and listen to each other. Likewise, it is an opportunity for inclusivity because the Creativity Capsule is a creative learning space for all participant voices to be heard, regardless of gender, income, education, or ethnicity. The Creativity Capsule encourages participants to interact with each other and with critical thinking materials, which will strengthen a communal social atmosphere and enhance their capacity for creative connections.