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Students act their shoe size for Creativity Week

By Shannon Barnell And Victoria Slater
On April 15, 2014

Students itching to bring out their inner child will find Oxford transformed into a virtual playground this week. Beginning April 15, Miami University will be hosting its first World Creativity and Innovation Week (WCIW), an event celebrated annually in more than 60 countries. Miami will be holding the first WCIW in Ohio with various events scattered throughout Oxford designed to bring out the inner child in all students.

Events range from a game of truth or dare on Slant Walk Thursday at 2 p.m., to "Balloon Bonanza Extravaganza," which will occur from 11 to 2 p.m. in the Armstrong Student Center also on Thursday.

Senior Entrepreneurship & Marketing major Scott Grotjan, who has helped organize the event in partnership with his company, Igoodea Creative Solutions that is funding the event, said the purpose of the week is to foster creativity during a part of life where its importance is often overlooked or forgotten.

"The purpose of World Creativity and Innovation Week is for people to be acknowledged, informed, inspired and encouraged to use their creativity; to be open to and generate new ideas, to be open to and make new decisions and to be open to and take new actions that make the world a better place and to make their place in the world better too," Grotjan said.

He said the idea in part originated from the emphasis many top CEOs put on creativity in the workplaces.

"Part of this comes from a comment made by CEOs all over the world who listed creativity as the most important skill graduates need to be successful in business in the future," Grotjan said. "So how does Miami celebrate and teach creativity?  They really don't.  So we are going to make a dent."

Clinical Professor of Creativity Jim Friedman, who along with 80 other students is assisting Grotjan with the events, said he thinks people often suppress their creative side as they become older.

"It's all about silencing the voice of judgment that prevents creativity," he said. "Creativity is remembering what it's like to laugh, and we want to bring back all the fun we had when we were younger."

One or more events each day will be offered this week, starting with henna tattoos on Tuesday that will be offered throughout the week as well. The week will end Monday with an activity in Uptown Memorial Park that encourages creative expression. A total of 12 events will be held.

"All involve making creativity a part of your life in one way or another," Freidman said.

Senior entrepreneurship minor and Mass Communications major Jeremy Oseas is planning on attending some of the events this week.

"Miami has a fantastic entrepreneurship department and this is a great chance to get recognized in the Oxford community," he said.

Events will be free to students and will be held at various times throughout the day for the entire week. All majors and all types of people are welcome to participate and encouraged to stop by.

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