David Kennard (Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman)
From Wednesday’s The Oklahoman.
Documentary filmmaker David Kennard believes creativity isn’t a rare quality but a vital trait all people should develop in their lives.
“Creativity is an absolutely central part not only of childhood but of everybody’s adult life,” he said. “Creativity is totally central to the future economic wellbeing of this country, the United States. It’s totally central to everybody’s life. It’s not just a luxury for the sort of happy one or five percent of people who might think they’re a little creative.”
The British-born, San Francisco-based filmmaker hosted Tuesday night a sneak preview of his new film “ReCreating America” at the University of Central Oklahoma. The special screening preceded the creativity symposium “The “New Renaissance: A Revolution in Creativity and Learning,” taking place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at UCO’s Nigh University Center.
Sponsored by the nonprofit Creative Oklahoma Inc., today’s symposium features presentations from Leonardo da Vinci experts Bulent Atalay and Peter Donaldson, other nationally known speakers and state educators.
“Human beings, we are the most adaptable, the most creative of all of God’s creatures,” Kennard said. “If we just, frankly, sit on our tush and do nothing and just expect things to be tomorrow what they were yesterday in our own lives … on a state level and a national level, we’re going to get left behind ’cause people in the rest of the world, they’re getting more creative by the minute.”
Through his InCA Productions, Kennard has created 15 major documentary series, such as “Cosmos with Carl Sagan,” “Connections with James Burke” and “We the People with Peter Jennings.”
While planning a series on the psychology of creativity, OETA Executive Director John McCarroll and Kirkpatrick Foundation Executive Director Susan McCalmont urged him to check out the creative practices in Oklahoma schools.
“I was just sort of blow away by the astonishing number of really interesting, creative experiments going on in Oklahoma,” he said.
“ReCreating America” showcases programs at four state schools: Educare Preschool in Tulsa, the “A+ Schools” initiative at Lawton’s Flower Mound Elementary School, Piedmont Middle School’s participation in the Odyssey of the Mind contest, and Santa Fe South Charter High School in Oklahoma City.
“They’ve put creativity right in the middle of what they’re doing. They don’t just try and teach to the test or just keep the kids in the school,” he said.
After upcoming premieres at Chesapeake Energy and Tulsa’s Circle Cinema, “ReCreating America” will air at 9 p.m. Oct. 13 on OETA. Kennard intends for it to be the first of a film series on the importance of creativity in all stages of people’s lives.
“If we don’t actually really put it front and center in our lives, we’re more likely to be unemployed, we’re more likely to face problems, we’re less likely to find solutions in our personal life, in our business life,” he said. “It’s got to become right front and center in everybody’s life. That’s the main message.”
For more information on the creativity symposium, go to www.stateofcreativity.com.