Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Henson Exhibit

If you live around the DC area, make sure to check out the Henson Exhibit at the Smithsonian. It's awesome. I've been twice now, and I'd be willing to go again. It closes on October 5, so hurry up and get there!

We took our Proteges there on Tuesday. I gave them seven words/phrases to think about as they explored the exhibit:
  • Creativity
  • Failure
  • Collaboration
  • Origination of Ideas
  • Marketing
  • Journaling
  • Cross-Pollination
Just a few of my favorite parts:

"Life's like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending." (Kermit, from The Muppet Movie)

Jim Henson had tons of failed projects. He never stopped learning, never stopped growing, never stopped trying new things. And he never let failure slow him down. It seemed that failure was a step to success.

There was an attitude of play in everything they did. There was also an attitude of excellence in everything they did.

Jim Henson said, "Every time we use mechanics we try to keep them very unmechanical. As soon as the audience starts thinking about the cleverness of it all, then they're not thinking about the performances." That got me thinking about creativity and innovation as it relates to how we do church and share the Gospel. How do we creatively, innovatively, and relevantly share the Gospel in such a way that people's hearts and minds are captivated by the message and not simply impressed by the methods?

"It's not easy being green." (Kermit). Know who you are; know who you're not.

Henson approached projects with a team mind-set. He loved to collaborate and cross-pollinate.

After producing one commercial that used muppets to sell toys to children, Henson decided, "never again." He refused to exploit children again. What a bold decision. Great integrity.

Visual thinking was important to Henson. And it reminded me of the importance of journaling. When we journal, we see more, we dream more, and we have the capacity to thank God for more.


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