The Link: International Creativity Month

Creativity is reflected in human innovation and problem-solving endeavors throughout history. It is present in arts, education, technology, science, and in almost everything we do.  Creativity encourages children’s curiosity and helps them learn to think independently and critically. For adults, creativity inspires innovation, progress, and joy.  As we evolve as a species, creativity helps us evolve as a society.

January is International Creativity Month. Founded by motivational speaker and author Randall Munson, International Creativity Month is geared towards celebrating the power of creativity across the globe. Sources in this month’s newsletter illustrate how creativity is implemented in workplaces, in education, with food, with children, and across cultures.

Creativity in Work

100 Ways to Be More Creative at Work  

 Huffington Post (find it on the ipl2)

Arianna Huffington is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of ten books. She has done numerous guest spots on political talk shows and news shows. Her blog attracts many well-known political figures and celebrities who comment on various events around the nation. In the Huff Post business section, readers learn how to express creativity in their jobs by reading the list of 100 examples on how to use creativity in the workplace.

5 Benefits Of Hiring Creative Employees

NEW! Careerealism

Careerealism was founded in 2009 on the idea of helping people solve their career and job search problems. The site evaluates and approves all contributors to ensure their content is cutting-edge and relevant. There are many ways to use creativity in the workplace, but what are the benefits of hiring creative employees? It is important to understand what creative people can do for a company and how these people can make a business even better. This article provides information on the benefits of hiring creative people in the workplace.

Motivating Creativity at Work: The Necessity of Others is the Mother of Invention

American Psychological Association (find it on the ipl2)

The American Psychological Association is a Scientific and professional organization representing psychologists in the U.S. It promotes health, education, and human welfare. This article explains how connecting employees to end users and encouraging pro-social motivation can create a more creative work environment. For instance, creating events, circulating stories between employees and end users, along with collecting data on end users perspectives allows employees to become motivated to share creativity with future projects.

12 Ways to Be More Creative at Work

U.S. News Online (find it on the ipl2)

This site from US News and World Report contains a lot of free content. The World Report financial section discusses 12 in depth ways to be more creative at work. Some of the examples included in the article are embracing diversity, thinking like a boss, branching out, and writing your ideas down. The article helps working individuals understand that everyone needs to add creativity to their working environment.

12 Ways Tech Companies Boost Creativity Technology (find it on the ipl2) Technology is the premiere U.S. publication for entrepreneurship. The site provides hands-on advice, case studies, and big-picture overviews on the state of small business in the U.S. In this slide show of companies, users receive an inside look at the ways tech companies are boosting creativity on a daily basis.

Creativity in Education

Student Creativity and the Common Core

NEW! Catapult Learning

Student Creativity and the Common Core is an article provided by Catapult Learning, which is an organization dedicated to helping struggling students in K-12 improve their academic achievements. This source explains how students across America in K-12 compete globally through common core by encouraging students to think creatively and innovatively.

The Lego Foundation (find it on the ipl2)

The Lego Foundations and the Lego Group aim to encourage children to become future builders through the action of play. The Lego Foundations suggests that through play children are able to develop their skills as creative problem solvers, cultivate critical thinking, and establish a routine of collaboration. The Lego Foundation sponsors many international projects, from the World Robot Olympiad in Malaysia to robotics classes in Rural India, and from lectures on sustainable living in Copenhagen to creating global programs for children in environmental development. The Lego Foundation believes that play is training for the unexpected and attempts to give that training to children around the globe.

30 Ways to Promote Creativity in the Classroom 

NEW! Innovation Excellence

This article discusses the research of creativity in education performed by Sir Ken Robinson, David Hughes, and E. Paul Torrance, all of whom are advocates for more creative educational environments. The article offers 30 suggestions that could cultivate creativity in the classroom ranging from embracing creativity as a part of learning, the use of emotional connections to create ties to the classroom material, the use convergent and divergent thinking when creating assignments, to simply giving students time to ask questions, among many others. The majority of these suggestions illustrate the value of creativity in the classroom.

22 Simple Ideas for Harnessing Creativity in the Elementary Classroom

Edutopia (find it on the ipl2)

Trisha Richie is a kindergarten teacher who offers 22 simple ideas for using young student’s natural creativity to encourage learning and increase comprehension. She categorizes her ideas into game learning, artsy activities, creative activities for science, students’ favorite things, and using creative time savers. Riche illustrates that creativity teaches students at young ages the art of innovation, thinking outside the box, improvisation, the benefits of taking risks, how to break the mold, and gives educators the chance of professional growth.

The Relevance of Creativity in Education

NEW! Johns Hopkins School of Education

Dr.Rosa Aurora Chavez-Eakle is the founder of the Washington International Center for Creativity and works for the Maryland State Department of Education’s Council for the Gifted and talented. In the article “The Relevance of Creativity in Education” written for John’s Hopkins University, Chavez-Eakle discusses creativity, how it affects the brain and a person’s temperament, and how creativity can help childhood development for children. Chavez-Eakle suggests that the key to providing quality education is creativity.

The Art Junction (find it on the ipl2)

Art Junction is a website that promotes student arts and collaborative art making online through Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, wikis, podcasts, photo and video sharing, social networks, and virtually. Art Junction experiments with promoting art education through web 2.0, to create Art Education 2.0.

Creativity and Food

National Geographic: Photo Gallery: Photographing Food

National Geographic (find it on the ipl2)

Learn how to find and set up creative photographs of food. This National Geographic photo gallery of gorgeous and intriguing images offers tips and advice for capturing the stories and moments surrounding food.

The Food Museum (find it on the ipl2)

Explore the eclectic FOOD Museum for articles, videos and links to discover the creative things people are doing and have done all around the world with food, about food, and to food. From vegetable gardens, to food-inspired camper vans, to a performance of “Food, Glorious Food” from the musical, Oliver, you will find inspiring ideas for getting creative with food and the FOOD Museum!

NEW! Incredible, Edible Crafts

Learn how to make creative candy bouquets and interesting fruit and vegetable arrangements on this homey and informative site. There are also recipes and instructions for food crafts for children, creative food garnishes, and helpful tips for fun food presentation.

Food in the Arts (find it on the ipl2)

This site provides a survey of the creative arts in connection with food. Themes include food in movies, music, literature, and art. Includes short essays on topics such as the movie “Like Water for Chocolate,” food in Puccini’s opera “La Bohème,” Hemingway and food, poverty, and still life paintings of food.

Poems About: Food (find it on the ipl2)

Visit this section on to discover hundreds of creative poems, classic and modern, about food. This collection of poetry is broadly representative and useful for information, reference and research.

Creativity and Children

Kid’s Crafts (find it on the ipl2)

The ipl2 provides an extensive list of resources focused on crafts for children. There are links to sites that offer free coloring pages, instructions for crafts, things to do with friends and family, and much more.

PBS Parents Creativity

NEW! PBS Parents

This site from the Public Broadcasting Company offers all kinds of resources for parents to help their children explore their creative side. The site is divided into sections to help parents find the right activities. There are plenty of hints, tips, games, activities, and more for both children and parents to use online and offline.

Art Safari (find it on the ipl2)

Part of the Museum of Modern Art’s website, this activity walks children through paintings and lets them explore and create stories as well as learn about the history behind some famous paintings.

Writing with Writers: Poetry (find it on the ipl2)

Listen to poets read their poems aloud, print up activity worksheets, or write and share your own poetry! This Scholastic site has resources for children, parents, and teachers. It also offers hints from famous children poets like Jack Prelutsky, Karla Kuskin, and Jean Marzollo.

The Lemelson Center for Invention and Innovation (find it on the ipl2)

This site offers resources for young people and curiosity seekers of all ages. There are videos and audio files as well as stories about inventions, articles, printables, and classroom activities. Anyone who wants to know more about inventions and how creativity has helped push people to make the world a better place will enjoy browsing all of the interesting parts of this site.

Creativity Across Cultures

Creativity Across Cultures (find it on the ipl2)

This source provides a PowerPoint created by Jingya Huang, Danielle Latta and Katie McCarney at the Temerlin Advertising Institute, in which they explain what creativity is, how it differs between Eastern and Western cultures, how different cultures use creativity differently in advertising, the process models for creativity, and how creativity affects society.

Understanding Creativity, Across Sectors and Across Cultures


The CREATIVE project is an EU funded research venture that analyzes creativity across cultures. The Project is led by Otto Friedrich University in Bamberg, Germany. They will first document cultural differences in five different countries, then analyze reasoning skills when solving complex problems, then by analyzing the result they are able to create models for business or to encourage development. covers how professionals are applying creativity and innovation to the fields of science, technology, and medicine.

Why Diversity is the Mother of Creativity

NEW! Innovation Management

Innovation Management is a current and professional website that discusses how creativity can cultivate innovation in multiple disciplines. It provides informative articles written by international professionals in the fields of marketing, public relations, communications, consulting, and education. This article looks at how professional diversity can encourage creativity, creative thinking, and problem solving in people’s personal lives, on team projects, in companies, and how managers can coordinate creativity in team members.


In the News: Berlin Wall

Graffiti from the East Side Gallery (2006) by Dr Santa. Source: Wikimedia Commons

In 1989, Germans celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Nearly 25 years later, some are fighting to keep it up.  The longest remaining section of the infamous Cold War barricade that divided the German capital for decades is a 70-foot-long chunk that has served as an outdoor monument and art gallery since 1990.  However, a luxury apartment development plan threatened to eradicate this historical landmark earlier this month.  A stand-off between construction workers and throngs of protesters has temporarily halted work on the building project; however, the long-term preservation of the East Side Gallery remains to be seen.  While waiting to find out the piece’s ultimate fate, be sure to check out the ipl2’s Berlin Wall resources!

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Berlin Wall Online (find it on the ipl2)

This searchable site contains vast amounts of information on the Berlin Wall including a timeline, photographs with views of Checkpoint Charlie, escapes, wall art, and the wall’s demolition. You can also find facts about the wall and an extensive archive of documents (mostly in German). It also includes links and personal narratives.

The Berlin Wall (find it on the ipl2)

From Washington D.C.’s Newseum, this virtual exhibit tells the story of the Berlin Wall and explores how news coverage differed in East and West Berlin. Includes an essay, timeline (1945-1989), and information on censorship under Stalin.

The Wall (PBS) (find it on the ipl2)

This two-part documentary that first aired on PBS in June 2010 and January 2011 can now be streamed online for free.  The first part examines life in a divided Berlin. The second part looks at the fall of the wall and the subsequent events leading up to a reunified Germany.

The Berlin Wall ( (find it on the ipl2)

Berlin’s official city website has an entire section dedicated to the Berlin Wall.  Highlights include information about the wall’s location, border crossings, and present-day memorials, along with a facts and figures page and a wide variety of photos.

NEW! Berlin Wall Art

Photographer Edward Murray captured much of the Berlin Wall’s wild and wonderful graffiti on film.  His site exhibits hundreds of these photos, grouped by geographic location.  These primary source documents help convey a sense of the size of the structure as well as the artistry and political commentary of German graffiti artists of the time.  Please note that the photographs are copyrighted by Mr. Murray and his permission should be sought in order to use or reproduce these photos.

NEW! Voices of U.S. Diplomacy and the Berlin Wall

Sponsored by the United States Diplomacy Center, this online exhibit provides an overview of the Berlin Wall’s history with an emphasis on American governmental reactions and involvement.  An introductory video greets visitors, who can also find an archive of fascinating documents within the site.

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The Link: March Artists

This month we are celebrating several artists, musicians, writers, and performers who were born in March. The following selections will look at the lives and works of Vincent van Gogh, Piet Mondrian, Dr. Seuss, Diane Arbus, Mr. Rogers, and Townes Van Zandt. Learn more about these great artists and how they continue to influence our lives.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Vincent van Gogh

Self Portrait by Van Gogh

Self Portrait by Vincent van Gogh, used with permission from Miquel Real.

Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist born on March 30, 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands. Throughout his life, Van Gogh created more than 2,000 paintings, drawings, sketches, and prints. His art is known for its highly emotional, vibrant depictions of people, landscapes, and still life. After struggling with mental illness for most of his life, van Gogh died at the age of 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Van Gogh Museum: Amsterdam (find it on the ipl2)

The Van Gogh Museum provides an intimate look at the artist’s life, work, and times. Users can learn about the artist through an extensive collection of photographs and biographical information. The museum has also digitized its permanent collection so users can browse van Gogh’s art by category or time period.

Van Gogh’s Letters: Unabridged (find it on the ipl2)

This collection of unabridged and annotated letters provides a rare glimpse into the artist’s life and struggles. Throughout van Gogh’s life, he kept close correspondence with his younger brother, Theo van Gogh. In total, 819 letters were published in 1914; most of them were written to Theo. The letters are categorized by topic and the website includes memoirs from Vincent’s sister-in-law and nephew.

The Vincent van Gogh Gallery (find it on the ipl2)

The Vincent van Gogh Gallery features a comprehensive collection of the artist’s works and is endorsed by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. This website also includes some of van Gogh’s letters, commentary about the works, and a world map of paintings.

Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian and Pétro van Doesburg

Photo, Piet Mondrian and Pétro van Doesburg, originally published in De Stijl, vol. VI (1924)

Piet Mondrian, born Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan on March 7, 1872 in Amersfoort, Netherlands, was a Dutch painter who spent periods in Paris, London, and New York. He was a major contributor to the De Stijl art movement founded in 1917. His most well-known works were geometric abstractions that only used black, white, and primary colors. His geometric grids, simplified visual compositions, and reduction to the essentials of color and form sought to express a new utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order.

Piet Mondrian | Encyclopedia Britannica (find it on the ipl2)

This comprehensive encyclopedia article covers Mondrian’s early life and work, various influences and different periods in this work, founding De Stijl, his later work, and his legacy.

Piet Mondrian MoMA Collection (find it on the ipl2)

This site includes examples of Mondrian’s paintings from the Museum of Modern Art’s collection. Paintings included are from 1902-1943 and show his range from impressionistic to geometric abstractions. Information about the paintings is included.

Piet Mondrian Tate Collection (find it on the ipl2)

This site includes examples of Mondrian’s paintings from Tate Museum’s collection. Paintings included are from 1909-1942. Biographical information and information about the paintings are included.

Dr. Seuss

Ted Geisel

Photo Ted Geisel (1957) from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Seuss Geisel, was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, MA. He was a beloved and prolific writer/illustrator of over 60 children’s books, the best known being “The Cat in the Hat.” His books have been the topics of movies, TV shows, and art exhibits. At heart, Dr. Seuss was an artist and a poet. His honors include two Academy awards, two Emmy awards, a Peabody award and the Pulitzer Prize. He was married twice but never had children of his own.  When asked how he could so successfully write children’s literature, he stated, “You make ‘em, I amuse ‘em!” (Fadiman, 1962). Dr. Seuss passed away on September 24, 1991 at the age of 87.

Fadiman, C. (1962). Enter, Conversing. Michigan: THE WORLD PUBLISHING CO. pg. 108

NEW! The Art of Dr. Seuss

The Chase Group, in cooperation with the Dr. Seuss Enterprise, hosts this web page that is the home for the Art of Dr. Seuss Retrospective Exhibition and the Touring Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden. On this site, you will find the art of Dr. Seuss, a biography, what people are saying about the exhibits, FAQ’s and contact information. The artwork is broken up into pages for Illustration Art, Secret Art, Archive Collection, Unorthodox Taxidermy and Bronze Sculptures. It also gives information on how to acquire artwork by Dr. Seuss.

NEW! Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden at the Springfield Museums

The Springfield Museums (MA) are celebrating the life and works of Dr. Seuss! This webpage is dedicated to the bronze sculptures of favorite Dr. Seuss characters and Dr. Seuss himself working at his drawing board. These works of art are housed at the National Memorial Museum in Springfield, MA. The webpage includes a biography of Dr. Seuss, information about the National Memorial, events you can attend when you visit, directions, and contact information.

Dr. Seuss (1904-1991) (find it on the ipl2)

The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has an exhaustive list of all media related to Dr. Seuss’ life and work. Many of Dr. Seuss’ works became movies, TV specials and even video games. In addition, there have been several media biographies made of this famous artist. There are links for additional information on all of the media, the life of Dr. Seuss and all of his accomplishments. Here you will find pictures of Dr. Seuss and his works, videos, and news articles.

Diane Arbus

(no photo available)

Diane (pronounced Dee-ann) Arbus was born on March 14, 1923 in New York City, NY. Arbus was an influential American photographer in the mid-20th century, and her work documented the outcasts of 1950s and 60s New York, controversial subject matter that few had previously examined. Her death by suicide in 1971 caused many to reexamine her work through this lens of struggle.

Diane Arbus (find it on the ipl2)

The Jewish Virtual Library hosts this biographical essay on Diane Arbus, which examines both the details of her life, as well as critical analysis of her professional work.

NEW! Diane Arbus at the Fraenkel Gallery

The Fraenkel Gallery, a respected photography museum, outlines the important moments of Diane Arbus’s career. In addition to showcasing some of her famous photographs, the site also features links to past exhibitions at the Fraenkel Gallery, select exhibitions at other museums, and other press.

NEW! Diane Arbus Biography

Basic facts and a brief essay on Arbus’s life can be found at this site. The site also shows the connections between Arbus and other artists, as well as links to other resources on famous photographers.

Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers photo taken by Kuht in the late 1960s. From the University of Houston Digital Library Collection.

Generations of PBS viewers have a special place in their hearts for their favorite television neighbor, Mr. Rogers.  Best known for his award-winning children’s program, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred earned his undergraduate degree in music composition from Rolling College and wrote over 200 songs over the course of his life.  Other accomplishments include penning a number of books and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.  His numerous talents – composing, puppetry, and writing, to name a few – and his creative and gentle approach to children’s education put Fred Rogers’ artistry in a league of its own.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (The Fred Rogers Co.) (find it on the ipl2)

This site describes the history, philosophy, and 30-year success of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, created by Fred McFeely Rogers (1928-2003) and produced by his nonprofit company, Family Communications, Inc.  Noteworthy features include a biography of Mr. Rogers, television clips from his children’s program, and resources for parents and educators.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (PBS) (find it on the ipl2)

This colorful, interactive site offers plenty of resources and fun to neighbors young and old.  Watch full episodes of the television show, sing along with Mr. Rogers’ timeless tunes, and play games in the land of Make-Believe.  For older visitors, there is the “Neighbors of All Ages” section; its video clips include fascinating footage from Rogers’ 1969 testimony before the United States Senate in support of children’s educational programming.

Mister Rogers Remixed: Garden of Your Mind (find it on the ipl2)

This video is the brainchild of PBS Digital Studios and noted remixer melodysheep, aka John D. Boswell.  Known for his “Symphony of Science” video remixes of clips featuring the likes of Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, Boswell was approached by PBS Digital Studios about a possible collaboration.  This video, featuring classic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood footage, was the ultimate product of their discussions, and quickly went viral after its release in June 2012.

Townes Van Zandt

Townes Van Zandt

Photograph of Townes Van Zandt taken in concert at “Kult” Niederstetten, Germany by Michael Schwarz, 1995

John Townes Van Zandt (March 7, 1944 – January 1, 1997) was an American singer-songwriter from Texas who played country, folk, and Texas blues music. Many of his songs became hits for other artists during his lifetime and were recorded by artists such as Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard. After his death at 52 years old from cardiac arrhythmia due to decades of substance abuse, his work and life inspired a documentary film, numerous articles and books, and coverage of many of his songs.

Freeing a Mentor From His Mythology (find it on the ipl2)  

This article  provides first-hand insight into the life and motives of Townes Van Zandt by the person that probably knew him best. Singer-songwriter Steve Earle, another Texas songwriter better known in the smaller circuits of music’s smaller superstars, was Townes Van Zandt’s protégé. Earle is interviewed in advance of an album of Van Zandt songs that Earle recorded in his memory.

NEW! Van Zandt, John Townes

The Texas State Historical Society provides a brief, but compact biography of Van Zandt’s life from his wealthy upbringing, to his erratic behaviors in college and subsequent shock therapy, as well as his narrative style of writing songs about his own experiences, particularly depression, life on the road, and alcoholism. This site reveals the impact that Van Zandt had on others who recorded his tunes. It also examines his own reputation not only as an abuser of substances that eventually led to his death, but also as the “poet laureate of Texas,” “premier poet of the time,” “the James Joyce of Texan songwriting,” and “the best writer in the country genre.”

NEW! Townes Van Zandt, “Pancho and Lefty”

A review of perhaps one of Van Zandt’s most memorable songs, “Pancho and Lefty,” by Jim Beviglia. The song was made famous and was a top hit by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. Beviglia, who writes about the superstar duo and Van Zandt’s versions, breaks down the meaning of the song, and gives a little of Van Zandt’s purpose for the song.

Reminder: You can subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!


In the News: Digital Fine Arts Repositories

This week the ipl2 blog will highlight digital fine art repositories.

On February 1, 2011 Google released the Art Project, an online art repository that brought Street View technology to portions of seventeen of the world’s best known art museums. The Art Project joins a wealth of free content websites that allow users worldwide to view the works of past and current artists from home. We hope the four links below will provide you with the opportunity to revisit the works of your favorite artists, as well as find new images to inspire your imagination.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collections.

NEW! Google Art Project
This website, provided by Google, allows users to “walk” pre-selected galleries in seventeen museums worldwide. Users can zoom in on selected works, review information about the artwork and artists that created them, and in some cases view short videos about selected works. Collaboration with additional museums in the future is expected.

Visual Arts Data Service – VADS (Find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Arts & Humanities)
“A searchable collection of digital images “covering all subject areas of the visual arts, from textiles to architecture, including their practise, study and curation.” It contains databases from the Imperial War Museum, London College of Fashion, National Arts Education Archive, and The Design Council Archive, plus student show and other Web sites. Based at the Surrey Institute of Art & Design.”

Digital Archive of Art: Online Images from Boston College (Find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Arts & Humanities – Fine Arts)
“A collection of images of paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries and sculpture from the ancient Greek period, the Renaissance, and the 19th and 20th centuries. Artists represented include Michelangelo, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Gauguin, Seurat, Van Gogh, Rodin, Daumier, Munch, Arp, Duchamp, Ernst, and many others.”

Artcyclopedia (Find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Arts & Humanities – Fine Arts)
“Over 700 leading arts sites indexed to create a searchable, thorough database of online images of visual art and the locations of the original works worldwide.”

For more information on additional free digital art repositories visit ipl2’s Fine Arts collection:

ipl2 – Arts and Humanities – Fine Arts

Thank you for checking in.  The teams at the ipl2 hope you find this information useful for expanding and enhancing your appreciation of fine art.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!