Creativity and Education - May 2013

I grew up in a time when art was part of the public school curriculum. Through various class projects, I found my talent for drawing. And my dad, the high school shop teacher in Prineville, Oregon, encouraged and supported me in growing this gift. My love for drawing drew me to a deep and profound appreciation of the creative process of art. Of the many things I marvel about the University of Oregon, the artistic and creative side of our alma mater is particularly wonderful.

When I started at the UO in 1983, I found it to be an institution that, in so many ways, shared my passion for creativity. Thirty years later, I have experienced much more of the university’s artistic side that I didn’t know even existed. 

  • The UO School of Music and Dance is an incredible place where you can watch formal and impromptu performances nearly every day. And if you can’t make it in person, you can watch these performances on the school’s live video-stream at
  • The Robinson and Hope theatres showcase amazing talent at an affordable ticket price. Entirely run by UO students, the Pocket Playhouse features plays almost weekly through the school year. Many of the scripts have been written by our students. The Mad Duckling Children’s Theatre presents two summer plays for family audiences.
  • The UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts is oozing with creativity you can just about feel when you walk its halls and see the hundreds of student projects.
  • A hidden treasure, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art showcases artistic works unlike anything on the west coast.

The various forms of art on display at the University of Oregon are for more than just observation by the public eye. The creative process learned in making the artwork is an essential part of a liberal arts education – the type of education we all received at the UO. Creativity leads to innovation, new ways of thinking and critical problem-solving in all areas of life. Unfortunately, with art being removed from many public school curricula, many students are not being exposed to the process of creativity. I am thrilled UO students have the opportunity to be immersed in the arts and the creativity the arts inspire. It’s this commitment to the creative process that sets Ducks apart and leads to tomorrow’s most innovative thinkers.

So the next time you need a break from your everyday routine, or you feel like you need to “think outside the box,” visit your alma mater and soak in some of the amazing creativity we have here at the University of Oregon. You’ll find just the inspiration you need.