Celebrating local innovation

April 9, 2019

MICHIGAN CITY — It’s a week – almost a month, actually – celebrating creativity, technology and solutions discovered outside of the box. And it’s coming to La Porte County this month.

World Creativity and Innovation Week is being hosted by the Center for Creative Solutions in Michigan City.

Continuing through April 27, organizations, individuals and communities throughout the county, headed by the Center for Creative Solutions, will hold such events as poetry contests, robot construction programs, technology showcases and other presentations in celebration of problem solving and innovation.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating Creativity in our Community.”

“What we’ve done is partnered with other organizations and individuals throughout our community,” said Cynthia Hedge, founder and CEO of the Center for Creative Solutions, “and each in turn is hosting an event that really focuses on the innovation that is going on in our community.”

The official event kick-off will be April 12 at 8 a.m. with a breakfast at the A.K. Smith Career Center, 817 Lafayette St. in Michigan City. The featured speaker will be Seth Spencer, founder and CEO of SERA Solutions, a media company in Michigan City.

The Center will also present three Tej Ram Gupta scholarships to innovative Career Center students at the breakfast, and announce this year’s CREO! recipient. This honor goes to a “citizen or organization that encourages a culture of creativity and innovation in our communities,” according to Pat Lain, board president of the Center for Creative Solutions.

“(The breakfast is) an opportunity to not only start off the week,” Hedge said, “but to recognize good students who are doing a lot of innovative projects, and a person or organization, who, in their own way, is creating or encouraging a culture of innovation. For example, last year the CREO award was given to Ben Konowitz.”

Konowitz, Hedge noted, is a business owner who used comedy shows to fundraise for local charities. A Latin term, CREO means “to create” and stands for: Creativity, Regional, Excellence and Originality.

One of the programs Hedge is excited about this year is “Being Creative...How Might I,” which will take place April 16 at the Coolspring Branch of the La Porte County Public Library.

“And it is going to explore what creativity is, how you define it, what myths there are about creativity, and the strategies of how you can tap into your creative side,” Hedge said.

“Then we are going to have a webinar for anyone who can’t get away from their desk at 12 noon on April 16. We’ll take 20 minutes to discuss the relationship between creativity and our happiness and our health.”

Hedge said a popular program returning from 2018 is a student poetry contest on April 20 at The Nest in Michigan City. Featuring student poets from grade school to high school, last year’s event was standing room only.

According to the Center for Creative Solution, World Creativity and Innovation Week, officially April 15-21, marks the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci, painter, inventor and conservationist.

“Our role is to try to gather like-minded creative individuals, business owners, governments and organizations,” Hedge said, “and try to share with our community all the innovation and creativity in our community and the potential each of us has to make the world better.”

In its ninth year, the event is getting bigger, and having a greater impact, Hedge said.

“More organizations and individuals are diving in,” she explained. “This year we have more events than we’ve ever had before. For the last two years, the county has recognized World Creativity and Innovation Week through proclamation. It proves to us that most people are becoming aware and involved.”

More information about other World Creativity and Innovation Week events may be found at CenterforCreativeSolutions.com

n “Student Creativity Day at Queen of All Saints School,” Michigan City, Wednesday, April 10, 9 a.m., grades PK-2; 12:30 p.m., grades 3-5; and 1:45 p.m., grades 6-8.

n “World Creativity and Innovation Week Community Kick-off Breakfast” ($10/person), A. K. Smith Career Center, 317 Detroit St., Michigan City, April 12, 8 a.m.

n “Community Innovation Scavenger Hunt” (free; pick up instructions at the La Porte County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 4073 S. Franklin St., Michigan City or obtain instructions at CenterforCreativeSolutions.com), April 15-21.

n “Celebrating Creativity in Our School Community” (free; contact school for reservations), Lake Hills STEM Magnet School, 201 Ferguson Rd., Michigan City, Monday, April 15, 5:30-7 p.m.

n “How Might I be Creative through Happiness,” 20-minute webinar (free; sign up at creativity52@comcast.net), April 16, noon.

n “Being Creative...How Might I” (free), Coolspring Branch, La Porte County Public Library, 6925 W. CR-400N, Michigan City, April 16, 5 p.m.

n “Art Bots” (free), Michigan City Public Library, 100 E. 4th St., Michigan City, Wednesday, April 17, 3:30-5 p.m.

n “Michigan City Robotics Team Demonstration and More” (free), Michigan City Public Library, 100 E. 4th St., Michigan City, April 18, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

n “Career & Technology Showcase” (free), La Porte County Public Library, 904 Indiana Ave., La Porte, April 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

n “Poetry Contest” (free), The Nest, 803 Franklin Square, Michigan City, April 20, 3-4 p.m.

n United Nations International Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21.

n “Zine & Small Press” (free, but need to register to participate as exhibitor), Lubeznik Center for the Arts, 101 W. 2nd St., Michigan City, April 27, 1-5 p.m.