FSB lawn to host Creativity City

April 2018

Jay Murdock

What defines a city? Is it only a place with homes, businesses, schools, and roads? Or can it be a concept, an idea, a temporary community where dreamers, do-ers, creative hearts, and creative minds gather to share, to teach, to learn?

April 16 - 20, an answer may be found on the front lawn of the Farmer School of Business when Creativity City appears.

“Creativity City is a week-long event celebrating World Creativity and Innovation Week,” senior marketing, entrepreneurship, and interactive media studies major Amber Hallmann said. “This is our second year and it’s the opportunity for students to celebrate creativity around campus and share creativity, creativity learnings, tactics, heuristics, lessons with everyone else on campus.”

Hallman and senior finance major Cody Cowgill are co-creativity mayors for the city.

“We break up the city into plots on the front lawn and everybody gets a spot based on what they’re doing,” Cowgill explained. “The sole goal is to have a creativity lesson, to have some sort of interaction with a target audience that they pick through their ideation and process that’s part of the learning of it.”

Multiple organizations and groups of students take part, led by the creativity organization Igoodea.

Last year’s city had various attractions designed to spur creativity, ranging from stilt-walking to an innovation garden.

“What you’ll see are some executions of creative ideas on how to celebrate creativity and how to get and engage other students in the celebration of creativity,” entrepreneurship instructor David Eyman explained. “Each one is an invitation to do something, each venue, each lot is an invitation for students to come in and engage with their own creativity and to use their creativity to do something.”

While the event is made to be fun and engaging, Hallmann said that the event also has broader importance.

“It’s important because a lot of people throughout their schooling are taught to ‘check the boxes,’ do the normal, be normal, just do what you need to do to get through life,” she pointed out. “The real innovation comes from that creative mindset that is outside of those boxes. So it’s pushing students to kind of unlearn what they’ve learned the last years of their life and push them into something that’s going to challenge them, allow them to create new things in their disciplines.”

“It’s about creating awareness. In every role, anything people are doing, there’s room for creativity. Everyone can be creative in some way, shape or form,” Cowgill noted. “There’s creativity in everything, and everybody has the ability to unlearn this mindset that you can’t be creative.”

People visiting Creativity City aren’t the only intended audience. Hallmann said those who build the city will hopefully learn something as well.

“Lessons range anywhere from time management, commitment, tenacity, teamwork skills. They have to deal with weather, things that are outside of their control,” she explained. “So it kind of prepares you for a lot of different things, and we hope at the end of this, they’re really well rounded in the lessons that they learn and the takeaways that they have from this experience.”

Creativity City logo Creativity City ideas on small papers, crumpled in fishtank