About This Topic

We approach creativity broadly as the ability to imagine and develop new, useful, or innovative solutions to all kinds of problems. Learning circles are a successful format for convening a group around a specific art or craft (e.g. watercoloring, bookbinding, mending) which often become vibrant social spaces for participants. There are also a number of courses that help foster creative thinking skills, which have relevance across all aspects of life, including business, science, and communications.

Practices

  • Materials: while some topics (like drawing basics) don’t require learners to have special materials other than what they have at home, other topics may need specialty tools (like knitting or painting) for successful learning. Before starting the learning circle, check your learning materials for recommended supplies and include a list on your sign-up page to set expectations early. (Try asking at your local craft store for recommendations on affordable tools for beginners!)
  • If meeting online, consider setting up a virtual space for participants to share photos or videos of their creations with the group. Facilitators have used free platforms like Padlet, Google Drive, Slack, and private Facebook groups to connect their learners.
  • Whatever the subject, don’t overlook YouTube when searching for learning materials to structure your learning circle. YouTube can be a treasure trove of free, high-quality videos from artists in all kinds of styles and mediums. Try searching “how to [subject]” and filtering to show playlists to discover videos in series that you can follow week-by-week in your learning circle.

Additional Reading

Learning Resources