On March 1-4, 2021, the Imagine If Festival celebrated the life and legacy of Sir Kenneth Robinson who passed away in August 2020. 
 
Sir Ken was a hugely influential author, speaker and advisor on education. He led national and international projects on creative and cultural education. His 2006 TED talk, “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” has been viewed over 60 million times and seen by an estimated 380 million people in 160 countries. He was knighted in 2003 for services to the arts. 
Penny Hay, one of the Festival's organisers said of Ken Robinson: 
 
"[Ken] was an extraordinary human being. He has been a constant inspiration since the moment I met him in 1989, always full of humour, kindness and wisdom. 
 
I got to know him well in the 90s during the consultation with the National Advisory Committee for Creative and Cultural Education, running up to the ‘All Our Futures’ report. Sir Ken and Dame Tamsyn Imison then became great supporters of my work in creative education both in London and Bath. 
 
So, in his memory and on behalf of the thousands of children, families, artists and teachers that we have worked with over the many years of our friendship, we will continue with our creative revolution. Ken’s amazing legacy will live on, we will be sure of that." 
 
Robinson believed that engage and succeed, education must develop in three areas: 
• It should offer a broad curriculum and encourage individuality in learning, nurturing diversity. 
• It should foster curiosity through creative teaching, requiring teacher training and development of a high quality. 
• It should focus on awakening creativity through alternative didactic processes. This means less emphasis on standardised testing. And it gives individual schools and teachers the responsibility for defining the course of education. 
 
Sir Ken felt that much of education currently encourages conformity, compliance and standardisation, and that we can only succeed if education develops creative approaches to learning – providing a helpful climate rather than "command and control”. 
 
Here’s Sir Ken’s brilliant Ted Talk: 

The Imagine If Festival 

The event, a 3-day fringe festival, championed diversity of talents through performances, talks, discussions, and videos of Sir Ken, culminating on 4th March, Sir Ken’s birthday. 
 
During the main event on March 4, the festival launched a global campaign called “Imagine if”. 
The campaign is “a provocation to reimagine the parts of life we take for granted and that no longer serve us.” 
 
The idea is inspired by Sir Ken’s observation that what separates us from other life on earth is our power of imagination. 

Our Festival Highlights 

Ben See – Fallen Feathers 
 
This is an unaccompanied vocal piece based on birdsong. Many of us have been enjoying bird song during lockdown and many songbirds are in decline. Ben’s use of loops and the mix of images and sound really spark the imagination. 
Perry Harris and Painting of ‘If’ 
 
 
It’s amazing to watch Perry’s painting evolve in this video. The work shows countryside scenes evocative of David Hockey’s landscapes. 
Imagine If … we could listen underwater… Deep Listening at Avon Gorge and Bristol Entrance Lock from Kathy Hinde on Vimeo 
 
Listening is really important and taking time to stop and listen to nature can really lift your mood. This video reminds us to take time to listen. It’s based on the idea: “Imagine if… we could listen underwater,” and features an underwater soundscape. 
View the full live stream: 
For more about the festival click here
 
Find out more about Sir Ken Robinson by clicking here
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