On June 2, 2011, Maine Center for Creativity and the University of Southern Maine held a symposium titled, “From Imagination to Innovation: Maine Participates in the Lincoln Center Institute’s Imag’nation Conversation”. Collaborators included the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, the Maine Arts Commission, the Creative Portland Corporation, the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Maine Department of Education, Wright Express, the Maine Alliance for Arts Education, the Maine Humanities Council and Maine Public Broadcasting.
The event was part of a nationwide initiative of the Lincoln Center Institute. Each of the 50 states was invited to participate, and we wanted Maine’s voice to be heard in this national conversation.
The Lincoln Center proposed that imagination is not only essential to our future in an increasingly complex world; it is a skill that can be taught. Imagination and creativity are crucial if Maine is to compete in the 21st-century global marketplace. The Imagination Conversations are meant to bring together leaders from an array of fields — government, business, science, education, and the arts — to explore the ways they experience and promote imagination in their communities to foster innovation, creativity and provide solutions to complex issues.
The Portland event featured nationally known artist Eric Hopkins of North Haven, who presented the keynote address. Other speakers included University of Maine Professor of Civil and Structural Engineering Dr. Habib Dagher, mimedancer Karen Montanaro and local business owner, Andy Graham.
The conversation was documented and compiled for presentation at a national “Imagination Summit” that took place in New York City in July of 2011. Representatives from each state convened to share their state’s findings and to produce a collaborative document on the power of imagination. The Lincoln Center stated its goal as providing “an action agenda for policy makers, educators and community leaders to make cultivation of the imagination a key element in our schools.”
For more information and a summary of the Lincoln Center Institute’s Imagination Summit, visit http://lciweb.lincolncenter.org/imagination-summit
To learn more about the Portland event, submit comments about imagination, and to see
interviews compiled by Maine Center for Creativity, visit http://www.mainecenterforcreativity.org/imaginationconversation/