In response to the RSA's concern over the Creative Gap, the NEone Creative project seeks 'to close the creativity gap by leading an approach to learning and development that enables everyone, regardless of background, to generate original, valuable ideas and make them happen'.
Problem / Process / Product
The significant problem within the perceived creative gap in society is the fear of failure. Those who do not consider themselves creative, may well be creative but they may not feel enabled to be so because there is no safe environment in which to play. This playground (to continue the metaphor) is removed from our society as we gain years and experience as, to paraphrase Hugh MacLeod, the ‘crayons are taken away and are replaced by algebra’.
One need only consider the emphasis placed upon STEM subjects earlier and earlier in the Key Stages of the Curriculum to see that the crayons are being taken away ever sooner in our educational development.
We acknowledge that the virtual world of the internet is a playground where varying degrees of anonymity can enable negativity as well as positivity. But for every troll who hides behind a digital pseudonym and criticises an artist there is also the creativity of artists who upload their work to be explored in the first place. Herein lies its strength.
Online platform to support creativity and collaboration
A collective can be created in the virtual playground, a hub that allows contributors to upload their art (including music, image, text, video, dance, drama, multimedia, and so on) to be either enjoyed, explored or become the engine of collaboration. Whilst the online world currently supports platforms like YouTube for the uploading of creativity and the BBC hosts the Get Creative website, what is not currently available is a hosting space that supports online creativity and collaboration. For example, within NEone, a user may submit artwork that they have created and another user may simply view, like and appreciate their work; however, another may choose to respond to this upload and create music in response to the images that reconsiders the original piece, bringing together two artists who would, most likely, never have found the opportunity to meet otherwise.
The site uses familiar collaborative technology (similar to Facebook) and will include freeware downloads of operational tools (such as Gimp for images, Audiotool for audio, EditPad Lite for text, WeVideo for multimedia) to help facilitate the creative process. It is also expected that many who journey through the site to collaborate will have access to their own theme specific tools.
No virtual boundaries
The potential for this creative collective is huge. Whilst it may start as a North East Creative Collective the boundaries of the North East are virtual (contributors may originate from the North East but live elsewhere in the world). Further, the idea is transferable and scalable outside its regional identity.
Access will require an email address and a username so that the site can be curated to promote reasonable behaviour. Once registered, the participant may choose to post individually and let their creative works fly; signal desire for collaboration by adding tags to their work; or simply be ghosts in the system that move around the creative works and decide when to engage with another artist. It is also possible that industry professionals may choose to inhabit this space and reach out to someone when their interests are caught.
In short, think of NEone Creative as Sim City, where the family and society that is created is the art itself, and the people behind the art have the freedom to express their creativity without fear.
If you would like to contribute to the project, please contact a member of the team or share your comments below.