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Arts Education - Thinking Outside the Box

Omar Epps, actor and Advisory Board Member of the Creative Coalition, explains that if creative thinking is responsible for the greatest scientific achievements, then integrating arts and innovation into the education system will have a myriad of positive effects.

Ed. Note: Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century.


Why is it that in every facet of the business world, ‘thinking outside of the box’ is revered?  What, then, is ‘thinking outside of the box,’ exactly? Well, ‘thinking outside of the box’ has a simple meaning – it’s simply tapping into our imagination. Our imagination is the place where all of our innovative thoughts and ideas dwell. That said, I believe every innovative thought comes from a creative state of mind. Whether it's Google, the iPad or a Stealth Bomber—all of these inventions were born out of creative states of mind. The arts are the sole fuel for creativity. We, as Americans, must integrate the arts into our education system in order to produce more intelligent and creative citizens. Now, when I say ‘the arts,’ I'm not talking about kids singing and dancing their way through school.  I'm talking about implementing the arts into how we teach our young people. Integrating the arts nationwide into our education system will have a myriad of positive effects, the most important being that our youth will learn to become creative thinkers.  And, creative thinking is how all of our greatest scientific achievements came to fruition. Creative thinking is what's going to give us the answers on how to manage global warming, solve the worldwide water crisis, and effectively produce clean energy across the country. It all begins with our American education system.

So, if we want to produce the best mathematicians, engineers, architects, doctors and scientists, it's imperative that we integrate the arts into our nationwide education system.  

"Imagination is more powerful than knowledge" - Einstein

Omar Epps is an actor and an Advisory Board Member of The Creative Coalition.