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As we age, most of us spend more time working, raising kids and managing our lives than playing and being creative. Those carefree days of coloring, reading, writing, singing, finger-painting and craft time decrease as our responsibilities increase. This morning, my two-and-a-half year old daughter asked, “Mom, color with me please.” I was wrapped up in a work email and said, “I can’t right now. Mommy is working.” After a few minutes, I looked over at her and she had proceeded to color all over the white kitchen wall with marker. Now, I could have been upset. But I wasn’t. It was my fault for letting her have the markers. (Luckily, they were washable.) And it was my fault for not paying attention to her and taking five minutes to color a picture instead of working on an energy-sucking, work email. That got me thinking about creativity and why, as we age, we let go of the simple pleasures that can be so beneficial for our minds and bodies. There are so many resources in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area for creative expression, that there really is no excuse for not participating in classes and events to foster creativity in our lives.
If you are a writer, The Loft Literary Center is an invaluable resource for classes and events to hone your craft. They offer hundreds of classes on poetry, screenwriting, fiction, non-fiction, journalism, creativity and the business of writing. And with the diverse availability of days and times for classes, you are sure to find one that fits your lifestyle.
Most community education offices and school districts offer a variety of classes for very low cost. I have taken painting, yoga, crafting and home improvement classes through my local school district so be sure to check out what is available in your city next time that catalog comes in the mail. Or call your school district office for more information.
Many local theatres and independent coaches offer acting classes where you can practice self-expression, comedy and improvisational techniques. B. Vocal with Cheryl Moore Brinkley is one well-known venue for acting and self-expression classes. Whether you want to act onstage or just want to improve your speaking abilities for work or personal reasons, an acting class is a great way to have fun and let your creative juices flow.
Looking to try something unique and different? The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District offers classes on topics as diverse as dance, ceramic arts and circus arts to fuel your creative fire.
And the MacPhail Center for Music is one of many places that offer instrumental and voice classes if you want to exercise your love of music.
And don’t forget to encourage creativity in the children in your life. There are classes on all types of creative arts offered through schools, studios, theatres and private instructors.
If a formal class isn’t up your alley, all you need is a notebook and pen. Doodle, draw stick figures, or up your game and pull out some markers, colored pencils or crayons. It is scientifically-proven that engaging in creative activities adds balance and joy to our lives. So sing your heart out in the car, play with sidewalk chalk in the front yard and definitely, don’t prioritize a child who wants to color after a work email. You never know if their artwork will end up on the wall instead of the paper.