Projects + Pilots

Curb Creative Practice Boot Camp

The Curb Creative Practice Boot Camp offers a unique opportunity for faculty, staff, students, and Nashville community members to experiment alongside each other as they strengthen their creative capacities. The Curb Bootcamp focuses on creative practice—hands-on workshops that enable participants to experience the joy, the messiness, the range of decisions and trade-offs involved in creative practice.  Rather than just listening and talking to experts about improvisation, data visualization, storytelling, or design thinking, participants immerse themselves in creative process—with experts to guide them. Participants develop fundamental insights, techniques, and strategies to inspire and realize creative goals and collaborative work in their personal and professional lives.  We think of it as a TedX of creative practice.


2012 Creative Practice Boot Camp–SOLD OUT

Friday, August 31, 2012 at the Curb Center at Vanderbilt

All events are free but require advance registration.

Register through eventbrite: BOOTCAMP REGISTRATION

Waitlist policy: If a session you would like to attend fills up before you can reserve a spot, email with the name and time of the session in the subject line.  We will notify you if a spot becomes available.

Our first Curb Creative Practice Bootcamp was a tremendous success—with 600 participant slots selling out in less than 5 hours.  Workshops were offered in Design Thinking, Storytelling, Habits of Creative Problem Solving (with Eric Booth), Giving and Receiving Feedback with Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process, Graphic Facilitation, and Improvisation.

Our Second Annual Curb Creative Practice Bootcamp will offer workshops in: Empathic Interviewing (Jacki Lyden, NPR); Improvisation (Second City Improv); Storytelling (Minton Sparks), Brainstorming (Barry Kudrowitz); Looking/Thinking by Analogy (Kerry Ruef, The Private Eye); and Data Visualization (Eric Rodenbeck, Stamen Design).

The Bootcamp is a signature program of the Creative Campus Initiative, an initiative to build the creative capacity of faculty, staff, and students to harness their disciplinary knowledge to solve problems, launch entrepreneurial ideas, and advance innovation.

Last year, the Creative Campus Initiative launched the first annual Creative Practice Boot Camp and SOLD OUT all sessions.  See photos from last year’s Boot Camp.


Second City Improv, Lauren Dowden & Rachel Miller

Do you wish you could be more spontaneous and innovative in the classroom, when presenting your work, or on project teams? Do you wish you were better at listening, building on others ideas, or using humor to break through difficult moments? The Second City Master Class Workshop will immerse you in the fundamentals of improvisation.



Minton Sparks, Storyteller, Spoken Word Artist, Poet, Writer

Seeking to improve your ability to share your story and ideas? This workshop is for faculty, staff, and students interested in harnessing the fundamentals of storytelling, narrative, and poetry to bring concepts to life in the classroom, engage others in creative projects or research, and present their story in a compelling way in job interviews, presentations, and essays.


Data Visualization

Eric Rodenbeck, Stamen Design’s Founder and Creative Director, Esquire Magazine’s “Best and Brightest” New Designer and Thinker

Seeking to convey complex data to students, colleagues, and audiences in more compelling and engaging ways?  Wish you were more facile with ways to display, understand, and navigate through rich and varied flows of information?  Eric Rodenbeck, a cutting-edge leader in this emergent field, will bring you behind-the-scenes of his design process, offering you insight into the analytical and narrative choices that drive successful data visualization and the development of data-driven narrative.



Barry Kudrowitz, Designer of Special Effects, Amusement Park Rides, Projectile Nerf Toys, and Professor of Product Design at University of Minnesota

Wish you could improve your ability to elicit ideas in the classroom, at research meetings, or with clients? This workshop offers an extremely fast-paced immersive experience in leading brainstorming sessions and utilizing humor and play to facilitate strategic discussion. You’ll learn how to set the stage for brainstorming—focusing on how to harness the best of both individual and group brainstorming—and how to synthesize and build upon ideas to develop novel, unforeseen possibilities.


Looking/Thinking by Analogy

Kerry Ruef, Educator, Founder and Director of The Private Eye®, with David Melody

What are the habits of seeing and thinking that enable you to ask provocative questions, theorize across domains and disciplines, strip away stereotyped assumptions and images, and think through analogy? The Private Eye workshop offers a hands-on learning process employing a jeweler’s loupe, a series of questions, and everyday objects, that will provide you the foundation for rich communication, hypothesizing, theorizing, and interdisciplinary thinking.


Empathic Interviewing

Jacki Lyden, NPR contributing host and correspondent, journalist, author

What are the keys to empathic interviewing?  How do you draw out and listen for unstated meaning and deeper understanding? How do you prompt an interviewee to reflect and think? This workshop is for doctors and nurses, researchers, artists, journalists, leaders, and designers seeking to enhance their empathic interviewing skills, and for potential employers who seek to get the most out of their recruitment interviews.  NPR correspondent Jacki Lyden also will invite us to consider the ethical implications of utilizing interviews and how to maintain the integrity of a story when one can only share shorter excerpts.


2011 Creative Campus Bootcamp