Also referred to as Narratives of Creativity: Creating New Sites for Personal and Cross-Cultural Exploration, this was a 2002 Faculty Fellowship project of Professor Carolina Robertson from the Ethnomusicology Department. Based on the core premise that creativity is not necessarily a state of grace rooted in innate talent or skill, a series of seminars were offered through the University’s ‘Teachers as Scholars‘ program, in which teacher participants explored their own life narratives as doorways to creativity against a backdrop of parallel stories from other cultures. Dr. Robertson worked with a MITH programmer to develop an interactive website with malleable texts, sounds and images as the dynamic outcome of this process.
The project description found on the website (as of 2002) stated “Each of us contains the innate right and ability to create, whether through the expressive arts or through other vehicles that allow us to imagine and manifest the life we want to live. This project addresses the creative process as it is framed and experienced in many cultures. The personal narratives that constitute the main corpus of data were gathered during three decades of field research in Ghana, Hawai’i, and Latin America. These stories reflect several themes or patterns identifying the journeys that have led the teller towards integrating creative processes into daily life.
Our goal is to discover how we can clear out misconceptions and other obstacles in our own narratives that keep us from embracing our own creativity. Whether we are artists, physicists, actors, teachers, lawyers, writers, electricians, dancers, accountants, social activists, administrators, or musicians we can harness the forces in us that allow us to express aspects of being that cannot be accounted for in words and work. By opening and exploring these coffers we can create new life narratives in which we visualize, imagine, and manifest our full potential.”