Monday, July 6, 2009

The History and Influences of the DeWitt Creativity Group Part II

The first action of the DeWitt Creativity Group was to send an email throughout the DeWitt Public Schools District in February of 2008. The email listed the groups that comprise the DCG. They are as follows: Radio Club (WALZ 1670 AM "The Cage"), Creative Writing Club, Music Club, The Prowler (DeWitt High School newspaper), Audio/Visual Club, Dramatic Arts, and Art Department. The Alternative Energy Program would join later thanks to the efforts of Brian Byars, a science teacher. The email was largely met with uncertainty and curiosity. The advisor of the Creative Writing Club, Eder DeLaCruz created a nifty handout with nice graphics to help explain the objectives and projects of the DCG. Lisa Norman, an art teacher designed the DCG logo: a picture of Michigan with a star in the center to represent the Mid-Michigan area being struck by a lightening bolt with music bars sparking off as a result of the impact.

After the DeWitt Public Schools District was given notice that the DCG formed and fully intended to carry out its main purpose i.e. promote student creativity, members decided to contact Richard Florida's Creative Class Group for support. Reham Alexander, the Global Operations Director of the Creative Class Group, was extremely helpful by sending copies of Dr. Florida's books: The Rise of The Creative Class and The Flight of the Creative Class, audio CDs, CD-ROMs, and a DVD collection of presentations Dr. Florida gave throughout 2007. When these materials arrived many students were excited by the level of support given by the Creative Class Group to the DCG. Several students borrowed the materials and came away with a much more advanced understanding of the creative economy. The DVD was later used by members of the DCG as part of a presentation about the importance of creativity in the new economy at the City Visions Session (more about this later). Ms. Alexander was also kind enough to allow the original DCG Web site link on the "We Support" page of the Creative Class Group's site It is awesome to see the link to the DCG Web site appear next to those of organizations such as: International Economic Development Council, United Way, World Wildlife Fund etc. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Alexander and her family at the Creative Cities Summit 2.0 in Detroit (October 12-15, 2008). She happens to be the sister-in-law of Dr. Florida. The DCG greatly appreciates her help in recognizing our efforts to change the culture of DeWitt High School.


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