A 360 View of Creativity

“Creativity is one of humanity’s noblest and most uplifting enterprises, touching our lives in myriad ways — and, best of all, it is part of every human brain.” — Anthony Brandt, Ph.D., composer, associate professor of composition and theory and chair of composition and theory at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, instructor in Creativity 360: The Art, Science and Practice of Creativity

Each of the many courses we offer during the year requires significant “behind-the-scenes” time, energy and planning, and our Personal Development team is careful to bring just the right subject matter collection of expert instructors together. A course like Creativity 360: The Art, Science and Practice of Creativity, which begins September 30, is enhanced by the opportunity for participants to view this topic through the eyes of an artist and art historian, a composer, a creativity researcher, a psychologist, a singer and a biomedical engineer. Of course, it helps to have this course organized by someone who has a deep understanding of and interest in the subject. Below, Director of Community Programs Cathy Maris shares insight on the motivation for this course and her own experience with creativity.

“Fostering creativity has been a theme of my career for many years, but particularly over the last decade. I’ve worked on a number of initiatives designed to enhance creativity across the lifespan including museum exhibits, educational programs, academic reviews and practical hands-on guides. Throughout this work, I’ve become convinced of five things:

  • Creativity lives at the intersections. The most creative work arises from the interactions of diverse people, ideas and fields. Although the arts are a wellspring of creativity, creativity also is a hallmark of great work in every field–the sciences, humanities, engineering, design, medicine and more.
  • Creativity is not a luxury. Creativity is a skill that we need to thrive and survive as learners, workers, families, citizens and members of our global community.
  • Creativity is a fundamental part of being human. It is not the province of geniuses alone, but an experience and ability that is accessible to every person at some level.
  • It’s never too late to be more creative. Nurturing creativity in the early years is important. But, every person has the ability to deepen their creativity, regardless of their age.
  • Creativity is not simply a trait that springs from within a person. We can plan, design and organize our communities, schools, work settings and lives to enhance and nurture creativity.

My goal with Creativity 360: The Art, Science and Practice of Creativity was to offer a multidisciplinary course that put these principles into practice.

Cathy Maris

Cathy Maris, Director of Community Programs

I have been fortunate to meet some tremendously talented Rice faculty and community educators from a wide range of fields, each with their own insights into the field of creativity. It has been enormously exciting for me to have conversations with the course instructors and to weave together their expertise into this course. Collectively, they provide a synergistic look at creativity from a wide range of angles. We hope that course participants will emerge from this class with a more nuanced understanding of creativity. We also hope they will gain an array of strategies to deepen creativity in their own lives, families, workplaces and communities.”

We look forward to seeing you on campus this fall to increase your understanding of creativity!

Photo credit: The Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen. Photo by Jeff Fitlow.

Kim Espinosa


Kim Espinosa, Marketing Specialist

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