Caine’s Arcade: a Beautiful Story About a Boy and His Creativity

The Creativity Post
By Ben Weinlick | Apr 14, 2012

Caine’s arcade is an inspiring 10 min documentary about a 9 year old boy (Caine) and how he built a cardboard arcade in East LA.

This mini doc has much to teach us about creativity. One thing creativity experts often advise is to cultivate child-like curiosity. Cultivating child-like curiosity is about seeing things from a fresh perspective. It’s about exploring ideas without fear, and to turn off our inner naysayer for awhile. We can learn about this kind of fresh thinking and exploration from Caine. Caine’s story and how it was captured also reminds me of how badly we need some innovation in our education system. We need to find ways to nurture creativity in kids before it is squeezed out of them by the time they finish high school. As Ken Robinson, a leading creativity expert and critic of current education systems says,

“Our communities, our economies, our nations depend upon diversity… not conformity in the strict way our schools are being forced to promote… I think we underestimate our creativity, because of the way we’ve been educated. I don’t speak in criticism of teachers, but I think that we have to recognize that “this” system of education came about to meet the needs of a very different world; to meet the needs of the industrial economies of 19th and 20th centuries. The heart of the change is to have a different view of what people are capable of achieving.”

Caine’s story is for sure an example of a different view of what people are capable of achieving. So glad a person like Nirvan (the film maker) noticed the boy’s creativity and found a cool way to support him and let him know his ideas are awesome and worth spending time exploring. Watch out for this kid, if he keeps receiving this kind of support to explore his ideas fearlessly, he will be a great innovator one day.

As of April 13th, and in only 4 days since the video came out, $143,000 has been raised for Caine’s future education.

Enjoy… Warning: Known to bring grown men to tears.

Published on Apr 9, 2012 by nirvan

A 9 year old boy who built an elaborate cardboard arcade in his dad’s used auto parts store is about to have the best day of his life. Help Caine’s Scholarship Fund:

Ben Weinlick, MA is the founder of Think Jar Collective, a website and a group of people from diverse disciplines bringing together unique perspectives on creative thinking and innovation.

Before Ben entered the community development and disability services field over 13 years ago, he thought he was going to spend his life terrorizing the experimental music and art scene. Always an idealist, Ben thought he was making a less egotistical choice by giving up art to work in a field more actively engaged in social justice issues. He soon discovered otherwise… Ben reminisced of this period, “I found I could be just as much of an ass (egotistical) in human services as the art world and began to see it was not about the domain one works in that matters in how you benefit others, but what kind of view one brings to whatever one does.” Eventually seeing the value of a creative approach in human services led Ben to complete a master’s thesis which focused on enhancing creative thinking in human service design and delivery. Currently, Ben is leading think tank teams in the implementation of the research recommendations at SKILLS Society in Canada.

Within Canada, Ben has been seen as a leader and innovator who is passionate about improving the quality of support services for people with disabilities. Currently, Ben is the Senior Leader of Research and Organizational Learning at SKILLS Society, part time faculty at Macewan University, a keynote speaker on creativity in human services and consults throughout Canada…. He also stills makes weird experimental music in his spare time.

Of Ben’s passion he says, “People in disability services are often asking for innovation and creativity, I’m interested in how we can get our minds unstuck from status quo assumptions and see with fresh, creative eyes. If we can do a little more of that, we will set the stage for creativity and relevant innovations to emerge. I am very passionate about leading organizations to develop cultures where creativity thrives and yields better quality support services.”

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