The Dewitt Creativity Group is a united effort on behalf of the creatively-minded students at DHS to ensure continued innovation and expression in all forms.

Ten The Hard Way

Ten The Hard Way (2008-2018): A Celebration of the DeWitt Creativity Group and the Inevitable Rise of the Creative Society


2008-2009 was a tumultuous period due to the worst national recession since the 1930s. Many individuals including educators chose to not just take it (the recession) lying down. Given the limited options available to people at the time, many found innovative ways to impact their communities despite many reasons not to. The DeWitt Creativity Group began with the goal of  expanding the creative class a la Richard Florida. Innovation and creativity seemed to be a necessary ingredient in rescuing the middle class. The emergence of local start-up cultures with a strong DIY ethic helped to develop new industries (craft brewing, urban farming, cooperatives, film and video production, IT, and alternative energy). Much of the early (and continuing) work of the DCG used high school talent to create change through varying levels of collaboration with businesses, governments, universities, and nonprofit foundations. Sadly, the support for students making their communities more diverse, vibrant, and prosperous is something still lacking in much of K-12 education.

The failure of the K-12 education establishment to properly embrace a greater partnership between schools and communities is no surprise. The onerous and woefully underfunded federal and state directives involving standardized metrics of teacher and student performance only resulted in the system working harder to ill prepare students for a vastly changing world. It is true standardized test scores have improved along with increased college admission rates; however, many employers are expressing frustration at the loss of "soft" skills needed for greater productivity. The neglect and downgrading of the holistic needs of students - including creativity - has led to the rise of individuals who can go through the motions in a spectacular way but are deficient in original and critical thinking. The creative or innovative economy cannot thrive with these kinds of individuals. This is the problem that the DCG is dedicated to solving through cutting edge project and challenge based learning.

Schools must be the drivers of transformation, not improvement. To engage students in a thoughtful and meaningful way beyond what they can easily access through their mobile devices is the paramount challenge. The DCG will continue to push boundaries and provide opportunities for students to use their creativity and talents to impact society in a more humane, democratic, and innovative manner. Only when students are put at the forefront of this transformation will they understand the value of education they are helping to create. Here's to ten more!