Art of the Song

Are We in a Creative Renaissance?

We appear to be in the midst of a cultural transition.

By John Dillon | Posted 6/1/06 | Updated 9/21/20

Could there be a "creative renaissance" on the horizon? We appear to be in the midst of a cultural transition.

Our "modern" culture — media-dominated, consumer-driven, materialistic, and ethnocentric — has lost its appeal to many. There is a large group of people who have outgrown the old ways and are searching for new meaning… perhaps an entire new culture. What began in the sixties and seventies — with the civil rights, anti-war, environmental, and women's movements — is now becoming mainstream. In their book, The Cultural Creatives, Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson clearly describe the transition we are going through, and their research indicates that there are over 50 million Americans moving in this new creative direction! For the most part, these Cultural Creatives choose listening to public radio over watching TV.

An important element in guiding a culture through this type of transition, according to Ray and Anderson, is to have a clear, positive vision of the future. Art of the Song is just that: an invitation for people to tap into their creative spirits, and help initiate a "creative renaissance" on our planet. Picture an era of art, music, and creativity in sustainable and conscious business … a time when creative solutions have reversed the degradation of our planet Earth… a time when peace prevails. Can you think of a more compelling vision to carry humanity to the next level?

Why creativity?

Creativity is at the CORE of our humanity. It is quite literally what makes us human. It is how we can connect with our divine nature, according to author and theologian Matthew Fox. Whether we know it or not, we all have a deep need for creative expression. This doesn't mean we all have to be artists or musicians; we believe that every life can be lived as a work of art.

What is unfortunate is that by the time we reach our teen years, most of us have had the creativity drummed out of us. Paul Reisler (Art of the Song show #89) spends a great deal of time with his Kid Pan Alley program in public schools writing songs with elementary school children. He says that our schools are not teaching children to be creators, but rather, to be consumers. In his Art of the Song interview Paul says, "The creative act is the most powerful thing in the world. Everything of value in this world is made by people creating something: people having an idea, getting an image in their mind, and then creating it. And yet we're not teaching our kids how to be creative, we're teaching them the opposite."

Creative economy

According to Richard Florida in his book The Rise of the Creative Class, over 38 million Americans make their living in a creative or related field. The creative class is rapidly becoming the driving force in our economy. If our society is to thrive, we need to nurture creativity in our emerging workforce. It's no wonder that professor Jonathan Feinstein's class on "Creativity in Business" is one of the most popular classes at the Yale School of Management. According to Feinstein, successful companies like Best Buy are now recruiting potential managers who actively pursue their "outside" interests in music or art.

Vote with your life

At Art of the Song, we believe that creative expression is as important as voting; it's a way of weighing in on a daily basis to influence positive change. Please join us as we hold a creative vision of the future. Explore your own creativity… get your voice heard… share your gifts with the world … volunteer in your community… and don't forget to vote!

©2006 John Dillon. All rights reserved.