Creative Partnership Opens Doors


The Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance has teamed up with the Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration to help students learn how to solve problems through a creative lens.

Working together to use their respective expertise as social innovators and creative thinkers to improve the world, the centers sent a team of students and faculty to Paraguay this summer. The group helped a nonprofit standardize its system for gauging poverty and documented the process. The system classifies living circumstances into three colors—red, yellow, and green—and is designed to help people self-evaluate their situation. Ballard Center Logo (1)

The Laycock Center is housed within the College of Fine Arts and Communications and provdes funding opportunites for students and faculty to carry out original, creative ideas which solve specific problems. Adam Eastburn, a Laycock senior studying fine arts from Pleasonton, California, had the chance to ream up with Ballard to help in Paraguay.

“The Ballard Center’s connection and personnel combined with our creative abilities allowed for us to go to Paraguay and experience what work is being done there, and then film the methodology in action,” Eastburn says. “It was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my undergraduate career. The possibilities for peace seem slim in a world of increasing conflict and struggle. The pursuit for healing can seem overwhelming, but when we Laycock Center Full Lock Upcan come together in small ways, our combined strength can bring about good.”

Jeff Sheets, director of the Laycock Center, enjoys the partnership because it allows Laycock to channel their creativity into valuable causes.

“By partnering with the Ballard Center, we’re finding a greater foundation behind creative work that fulfills some of the unique purposes of a BYU education,” Sheets says. “We are going to use all of our artistic expertise to help social innovation. We are going to lift the world. We’re going to find solutions to pressing problems in innovative ways.”

This partnership provides students with firsthand access to experts in creativity and social innovation and encapsulates the BYU motto: Go forth to serve.

“The chance for students to work with these two great BYU entities lifts their entire education experience and provides invaluable opportunities that are preparing them for a future of success as someone who can contribute to the world around them through creativity and service,” Sheets says.