Light Your Creative Fire: Creative Thinking Through the Arts

Embark on a journey of creativity, kick-start a change or find a new way of making and being. No matter where you are, physically or metaphorically, creative thinking and practice can make your life richer and more fully engaged with the world.

Creative thinking requires practice, so each week you can choose Creativity Challenges—activities in visual art, writing and music to develop your creative impulse. Since creativity also involves critical thinking, you’ll engage your ability to analyze your own work and that of others; you’ll learn methods for balancing analysis with imagination and creativity. Creative people understand that collaboration gives us ideas and insights we might not come up with alone, so we will form a virtual community with online activities.

A $60 discount will be applied automatically for adults 55+.

Currently not available for registration.

Schedule clarification: Online courses begin on the first date listed and end six days after the last date listed. The interim dates/times are not your actual online class times.

What will I learn?

Week 1: Welcome to the Creativity Workshop

What is creativity? How can it be accessed and cultivated, and aided or inhibited? How does the creative process work?  Critical thinking, the creative mindset, and taking risks.

Week 2: The “Storm of Creativity”

How do we sustain a creative practice? How do we get past “the empty page, the blank screen” to a creative storm that carries us along with it? The Beginner’s Mind and turning off the internal critic.

Week 3: Metaphorical Thinking, Making Connections

“New eyes.” Making novel combinations, embracing unconventionality, exploring paradox and seeing opportunities in chaos.

Week 4: Non-Conformity and Creativity: The Creative Potential of the Unconscious I

Being flexible and spontaneous. How creative people use and cultivate unconscious processes, random elements, chance and improvisation.

Week 5: Non-Conformity and Creativity: The Creative Potential of the Unconscious II

Breaking ingrained patterns of thought through cultivation of chance and unconscious processes. Surrealism, abstract expressionism and modes of new music.

Week 6: Creativity and Change

Discovering our strengths and interests, and our own unique creativity. How and when critical thinking enables the creative process. Creativity changing the world; both our inner ‘worlds’ and the world at large.

How will I learn?

  • Short readings, video lectures and PowerPoint presentations
  • Weekly hands-on projects
  • Online discussion 
  • Final paper (applicable only to certificate students)

How will I be evaluated?

For certificate students only:

Your instructor will evaluate you based on an essay, which you will complete at the end of the course. You will receive a grade of “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”

Textbooks and learning materials

Reading material will be available online as part of the course.

Hardware and software requirements

You will receive course details and Canvas access instructions on the first day of the course. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.

If you're 55+, you may take this course as part of

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