Center for Creative Solutions staff helping agencies serving crime victims.

Cynthia Hedge, CEO and founder of the Center for Creative Solutions, Inc., provided strategic planning training for agencies serving crime victims across America this spring. The training was funded by the Office for Victims of Crime, a part of the United States Department of Justice. It was a part of the department’s Advanced Skills Institute, National Victim Assistance Academy for Program Managers.
  
    According to America’s leading law enforcement agency, the training was designed to help organizations identify where they are now and where they want to be in the future. The on-line course focused on getting agencies ready for strategic planning, assessing their current position, determining where they want to go, and implementing and communicating their action plan.

    Strategic planning is a core service offered by the Center for Creative Solutions. Over the years, Center staff have guided businesses, non-profit and faith-based organizations and government through the strategic planning process. It is considered the most effective management tool for growth.      

    In addition, the Center for Creative Solutions provides workplace facilitation, training and consulting in many other areas. They include creative problem solving, conflict resolution, civil discourse, happiness, customer service, leadership, creativity, bullying, barriers to innovation, planned giving and communication skills. 

    Senior facilitators include Hedge and Keri Marrs Barron, both holding masters degrees from the International Center for Studies in Creativity and Change Leaders at Buffalo State College (SUNY). In addition, Hedge served in law enforcement as a former prosecuting attorney who created and developed crime victim programs for children, the elderly and disabled, people with substance abuse problems, and in the area of human trafficking. 

UN Resolution

UN Resolution establishing April 21st as World Creativity and Innovation Day. How exciting. 


Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 27 April 2017

[without reference to a Main Committee (A/71/L.61/Rev.1 and Add.1)]

71/284. World Creativity and Innovation Day

 The General Assembly,

Bearing in mind the Charter of the United Nations, including the purposes and principles contained therein, and the functions and powers of the United Nations system, especially in promoting international cooperation in the economic, social, cultural, educational and health fields,

Recalling the Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which states that the organization, as part of its purposes and functions, will maintain, increase and diffuse knowl edge  by  encouraging cooperation among the nations in all branches of intellectual activity,

Reaffirming its resolution 70/1 of 25 September 2015, entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, in which it adopted a comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centred set of universal and transformative Sustainable Development Goals and targets,

Reaffirming also the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012, entitled “The future we want”,1

Underlining the need to focus on the importance of micro -, small and medium- sized enterprises in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular in promoting innovation, creativity and decent work for all, as recognized in its resolution 71/279 of 6 April 2017,

Acknowledging that innovation is essential for harnessing the economic potential of each nation and the importance of supporting mass entrepreneurship, creativity and  innovation, which create new  momentum for economic growth and  job creation and expand opportunities for all, including women and youth,

Recalling the report of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on culture and sustainable development, 2 in which it is stated that cultural and creative industries should be part of economic growth strategies,

Recalling also its resolutions 54/120 of 17 December 1999 on policies and programmes involving youth, 68/220 of 20 December 2013 on science, technology and innovation for development and 68/223 of 20 December 2013 on culture and sustainable development,

Recalling further its resolutions 53/199  of 15 December 1998  and  61/185  of 20 December 2006 on the proclamation of international years and Economic and Social Council resolution 1980/67 of 25 July 1980 on international years and anniversaries,

Taking note of the findings contained in the special edition of the Creative Economy Report, co-published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the United Nations Development Programme through the United Nations Office for  South-South Cooperation in  November 2013, in  which it is stated that human creativity and innovation, at both the  individual  and  group levels, have become the true wealth of nations in the twenty -first century,

Taking note also of the declaration adopted in Florence, Italy, on 4 October  2014, at the third United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries, and  the  call therein to  take  action in global partnership to promote creative environments, processes and products,

Recognizing that sustainable development is a holistic concept that requires the strengthening of interdisciplinary linkages in the different branches of knowledge,

Recognizing also that citizens and organizations in more than 50 countries around the world already observe World Creativity and Innovation Day, which was first commemorated on 21 April 2002,

1.           Decides to designate 21 April as World Creativity and Innovation Day;

2.           Invites all Member States, organizations of the  United  Nations  system and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the Day  in  an  appropriate manner and in accordance with national priorities, in order to raise awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in p roblem-solving and, by extension, economic, social and sustainable development;

3.           Stresses that the cost of all activities that may arise  from  the  implementation of the present resolution should be met from voluntary contributions;

4.           Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non - governmental organizations and individuals.

 

Center for Creative Solutions, Inc.® Honors Students and Spark Labs for their Innovation

at Community Breakfast Celebration of World Creativity and Innovation Week

Throughout April, Northwest Indiana has been celebrating World Creativity and Innovation Week 2017. Sponsored by the Center for Creative Solutions, "Dream BIG!" has been the theme for many community events.

On Friday (April 21), the Center for Creative Solutions hosted a community breakfast in celebration of regional creativity and innovation. Keynote speaker was Justin Kiel, entrepreneur, newspaper publisher and La Crosse Town Councilman.

Highlighting the morning was presentation of the Tej Ram Gupta Scholarships to three, innovative students from the A. K. Smith Career Center and the CREO! This year’s CREO! recipient was Spark Labs of the La Porte County Public Library for its extraordinary efforts to promote an innovative culture in Northwest Indiana.

Spark Labs is a library based makerspace. There, people of all ages are encouraged to learn and explore many Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math related topics. Challenging hands-on and fun activities involving robotics, 3D printing and 3D CAD, electronics, jewelry making, solar energy and much more are presented regularly. These activities can develop skills and confidence in advanced technologies leading to future job skills.

Spark Labs is the result of extensive planning and work of many interested individuals including library colleagues and local volunteers. Their work has been recognized on both a local and national level in several articles and presentations, according to Cynthia Hedge, CEO of the Center for Creative Solutions. Spark Labs activities are available in a new, recently opened dedicated makerspace in La Porte Public Library's downtown library, in all branches of the library and in local schools and other public places, she noted.

The Tej Ram Gupta scholarships are given each year in conjunction with Dr. Rakish and Bina Gupta, the B. R. Foundation of Michigan City and the Center for Creative Solutions. The awards are named after Ms. Gupta’s father, Tej Ram Gupta.

This year’s recipients were:

Alexis Biggers is a positive young lady who uses here creative problem solving skills in every aspect of her life. "You could put two people in a room at the opposite end and she could get them to come together," said Audra Peterson, director of the A. K. Smith Center. She is a 21st Century Scholar recipient, senior varsity athlete on the volleyball team and is very active in her church youth group. She is at the Michigan City St. Stans Elementary School this year for her Early Childhood Education experience. Alexis would like to be a social worker and work for the Department of Family Services.

JeanCyri McCully is extremely creative and is participating in the skills sculpture. He also helped with sculptures displayed at Ames Field in Michigan City. He is planning to open a business when he graduates. 

D’Calvin Oliveris extremely artistic. He has been commissioned to do many sculptures. He is active in Debutant-Master Commission Division, runs with the Michigan City High School track team and manages the Michigan City High School girls basketball team. He plans to pursue his higher education in the fields of welding/engineering.

In addition, other adults and youth are being honored in poetry, song writing and art contests throughout April.

 Pictured (left to write: Bill Halliar, co-chair of the World Creativity and Innovation Week 2017 committee; Pam Okuson and Stephanie Murphy from the La Porte County Public Library; Karen Jedrysek, Spark Labs volunteer; Kristi Chadderdon, La Porte County Public Library; and Earl Adams, Spark Labs volunteer; and Keri Marrs-Barron, co-chair of the World Creativity and Innovation Week 2017.

Pictured (left to write: Bill Halliar, co-chair of the World Creativity and Innovation Week 2017 committee; Pam Okuson and Stephanie Murphy from the La Porte County Public Library; Karen Jedrysek, Spark Labs volunteer; Kristi Chadderdon, La Porte County Public Library; and Earl Adams, Spark Labs volunteer; and Keri Marrs-Barron, co-chair of the World Creativity and Innovation Week 2017.

World Creativity & Innovation Week Events!

Center for Creative Solutions, Inc.® Sponsors

Celebration of World Creativity and Innovation Week 2017 in Northwest Indiana

            Northwest Indiana is about to embark on World Creativity and Innovation Week 2017.  What a week it will be as everyone is invited to “Dream BIG!” 

            The week will start on April 16 and run through April 22, 2017, according to Bill Halliar and Keri Marrs-Barron, event co-chairs. In addition, there will be other events that celebrate creativity and innovation throughout April. Most events are free and open to the public.

            This year, the Center for Creative Solutions is focusing on innovative youth.  (Remember, though, all events are open to adults!) The Center’s annual, community breakfast will be at the A. K. Smith Career Center (Elston School Cafeteria) on Friday, April 21, 2017, 8:00 a.m. The facility is located at 317 Detroit Street in Michigan City.

            The Center for Creative Solutions will present the Tej Ram Gupta scholarships to three A. K. Smith Career Center students, in conjunction with Dr. Rakish and Bina Gupta and the B. R. Foundation of Michigan City. The awards are named after Ms. Gupta’s father, Tej Ram Gupta. 

            The Center for Creative Solutions will also present the CREO! to an individual or organization for demonstrating extraordinary efforts to promote an innovative culture in Northwest Indiana. Throughout the week, other adults and youth will be honored in poetry, song writing and art contests.

            Friday’s breakfast is open to the public and the suggested donation is $10.00. For reservations, contact the Center for Creative Solutions at 219-861-0955 or Click Here.

            Another major event is being sponsored by the Lake Hills STEM Magnet Elementary School, 201 Ferguson Road, Michigan City, on Monday, April 17th.  From 5:30 - 7:00 p.m., over 550 young Indiana innovators will share their innovative projects with the public.  Families and community members of all ages are invited to this exciting– and free– event.

            On Saturday, April 22nd, “Agriculture Days” will be featured at the La Porte County Fairgrounds in Pioneerland.  From 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., “you and your family will learn about La Porte County farm life and will celebrate Earth Day. You will explore the one-room schoolhouse, a log cabin, a blacksmith shop and more. Both children and adults will have lots of fun participating in hands-on activities related to Earth Day and farm life,” according to Shelley Deutscher, event coordinator and Board member of the Center for Creative Solutions. This is another free, public event.

            Here are additional events for the Northwest Indiana celebration:

Saturday, April 15, 2017

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

            “Making Corn Husk Dolls” and “Like Birds in a Wind Storm,” video and commentary

Sponsored by the Southern Shores Art Association

Located at 724 Franklin Street, Michigan City

             Free     

1:00 p.m.

Poetry Contest for area middle and high schools students

Sponsored by the Center for Creative Solutions and The Nest

Located at The Nest, 803 Franklin Street, Michigan City

Free

Monday, April 17, 2017

 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Open house for Sparks Lab

Sponsored by the La Porte County Public Library

Located at the Main Branch of the library, 904 Indiana Avenue, La Porte

Free

  5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

            Lake Hills STEM Magnet Elementary School student innovator projects

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m.

“Fun Rock Art Project” for everyone, of all ages, to create a rock masterpiece

Sponsored by the La Porte County Visitors Center

Located 4073 South Franklin Street, Michigan City

Free

 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

            “80/20 Engineering and Design,” presented by the Safe Harbor Club Inspire

            Sponsored by Safe Harbor Club Inspire of Michigan City

            Located at the Michigan City High School, 8466 West Pahs Road, Michigan City

            Free

  7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

            “Co-Thrive, the Creative Possibilities of Time Banking” presentation

            Presented by Kathy Sipple, creator and coordinator of Co-Thrive

            Located at Art Space, 717 Franklin Street, Michigan City

            Free

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

3:30 p.m.

            Michigan City Robotics Team demonstration

            Sponsored by the Michigan City Public Library

            Located at the library, 100 North 4th Street, Michigan City

            Free

 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

            Ozobots Coding and Programing presentation

            Sponsored by Safe Harbor of Michigan City

Located at Lake Hills STEM Magnet Elementary School, 201 Ferguson Road, Michigan City

            Free

   5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

             Song Writing Contest Auditions for high school students and adults

Sponsored by the Center for Creative Solutions ViVance Assai, inc. and La Porte County Visitors Center

            Located at Art Space, 717 Franklin Street, Michigan City

            Free

Thursday, April 20, 2017

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

            Horticulture presentation

            Sponsored by Safe Harbor of Michigan City

            Located at Marsh Elementary School, 400 East Homer Street, Michigan City

            Free

 5:00-8:00 p.m.

            All Member Meeting with featured speaker, Sue Ellspermann, President, Ivy Tech

            Community College

            Sponsored by the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana

            Located at NIPSCO headquarters in Merrillville

            Open to Society members only

Friday, April 21, 2017

8:00 - 10:00 a.m.

            Center for Creative Solutions’ annual, community breakfast

Saturday, April 22, 2017

1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

            “Agriculture Days” at the La Porte County Fairgrounds

Sunday, April 23, 2017

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

            Song Writing Contest Finals for high school students and adults

            Located at Art Space, 717 Franklin Street, Michigan City

            Free

Saturday, April 29, 2017

11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

            “Create Your Superhero,” a cartooning class for all ages

            Taught by Bill Halliar, a published artist, illustrator, writer and story teller

            Sponsored by the Center for Creative Solutions and Patina

            Located at Patina, 621 Franklin Street, Michigan City

            Free

In conjunction to all these events, a number of free, community exhibits will be featured in April.  All free, except as noted, they are:

            “Showcase Gallery”

            Display of area middle and high school students’ arts

            Studios of the Franklin Street Arts District

            617 Franklin Square, Michigan City

 

            “World’s First Successful Submarine”

            Old Lighthouse Museum

            1 Washington Park Marina, Michigan City

 

            Creative Art and Books Display

            O’Gara & Wilson Booksellers

            223 Broadway, Chesterton

 

            Handmade Clothing and Accessories

            Urban Soles

            624 Franklin Street, Michigan City

 

            Trestle

            622 Franklin Street, Michigan City

 

            Art & Science Works

            622 Franklin Street, Michigan City

                        Thursday, April 21, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

                                    Fused glass fusion!

                                    Make a sun-catching, hanging glass window art

                                    $25.00 for materials, instructions and firing

                        Friday, April 21, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

                                    Bubble-ology

                                    Blow giant bubbles and learn to use a bubble-making gizmo

                                    Free

                        Saturday, April 22, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

                                    Paper marbling water surface design

                                    Use beautiful, swirling colors to create a ond-of-kind work of art

                                    Free

For more information please feel free to Contact Us or call at219-861-0955.       

An Open Letter on Creativity from DaVinci

Dear friends,

Thank-you for celebrating my birthday each year.  My, time flies! 

It seems like only yesterday that I was painting the Mona Lisa; dissecting human bodies; perfecting my paints through chemistry, then called “amalgamy”; building military weapons; designing theater stages and costumes; planning cities; and philosophizing.

Some people wonder how I was so creative.  Well, let me share a few tips so you too can find your creativity.

1.         Know you, yes you, are creative!  Everyone is creative.  Some of you are more creative than other people.  Some of you create by building on what others before you did.  Others of you are very original in your creativity.  You may be creative in one area and not another.  But, always remember, you are creative.

2.         Be curious!  I was considered a genius in 18 areas, from science to the fine arts, from math to philosophy.  How was I able to do so?  I was interested in everything.  In fact, some of my patrons complained because I would start their project, then get interested in something else, and eventually finished it (usually).

3.         Be observant!  I would spend hours and hours watching one object.  That’s how I got my idea for what you now call the “helicopter.”  I sat for hours watching birds fly.  From that, I drew my prototype– and now you fly like the birds.

4.         Be open to new ideas!  Defer judgment!  If you close down your mind, you can never see the value of something new.  In other words, in order for new ideas to come out of your head, you must be willing to put new ideas in.

5.         Relax and enjoy what you are doing!  Stress is a creativity killer.

6.         Make mistakes!  By making “mistakes,” you will discover what does not work.  Eventually, you will discover what does work– then you have created something new, unique and usable.

7.         Connect things that seem disconnected!  For instance, I became interested in the anatomy of humans and horses partly so my paintings and sculptures were more exact.  Most things are connected to each other.  You just have to find the connections.           

8.         Keep notes on what you learn!  In my career, I kept a detailed journal, about 13,000 pages.  It contained my notes and sketches of my work.  As I was working, I could build more ideas on things I had previously discovered.  To this day, people study my journals.  In fact, Bill Gates owns a part of my journals– paid a lot of money for them too. 

Unfortunately, I did not publish my journals.  Had I, according to some, it would not have taken 40 years after my death for Copernicus to proclaim that the earth revolved around the sun; 60 years after my death for Galileo to discover the telescope; 200 years after my death for Newton to write the law of gravity; and 400 years after my death for Darwin to connect animals and humans.  You see, my notes suggested all these “discoveries”!  In this, your day, 2011, some people have said that, had my notes be available to everyone, your technology would be 200 years advanced from what it is now.

9.         You don’t have to be “special” to be creative!  No complaining, but my childhood was lousy.  My mother was a peasant; we lived in poverty.  My father was a notary, now called an accountant; he showed limited interest in me.  I was an illegitimate child.  I never went to college, though I was an apprentice.  Nevertheless, I always wanted to learn.

10.       Take risks!  You can only discover something new if you embrace risk.  Don’t worry about what other people will say about your ideas. The truth is: at one time or another, people laughed at some of the greatest inventions.  For instance, some people said there was no market for a “box from which voices came out.”  That was the radio.  A former IBM president predicted that there was no market for personal computers.  Grading a paper of Fred Smith, a Yale professor said: “The concept is really interesting and well-informed but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the concept must be feasible.” From that paper, Smith built Federal Express.

11.       Laugh a lot!  Play!  These are invaluable ingredients for creativity. 

                                                                                                                                                                 Very truly yours,

                                                                               Leonardo da Vinci                                                                                      (With the assistance of the folks at the Center for Creative Solutions)