Creativity, Emotions and the Arts


The Botín Foundation, in partnership with Yale University, researches and conducts detailed study of the role of emotions in the creative process, to create a theoretical model that explains how and why they affect our creativity. We began this research because emotions and our ability to manage them, i.e. our emotional intelligence, help us to unblock the frustrations and difficulties that arise in the creative process, to identify problems, to generate ideas, etc.

If well-managed emotions are elements that are important for creativity, we need tools that enable us to generate them and help us manage them in order to foster the creative process. We believe that the arts are the perfect tool, and this is the second step in our research partnership with Yale: studying how to develop creativity through the arts and the emotions that they kindle.

The final step is practical application of these lines of research via programmes, activities and workshops at the Botín Centre, which will develop the creative ability of children, young people, adults and families through the arts; for instance, using the visual arts to improve observation, the generation of ideas and critical capacity, all of which are key factors in creativity.



Catalog results

Arts and Emotions – Nurturing our Creative Potential. Fundación Botín Report 2014.

This report has two basic aims:

  • To raise awareness in the educational community, in a broad sense, of the importance of the arts in the development of all people (not just artists), in view of the beneficial effect they have on their personal and social development and, in particular, of their capacity to enhance imagination and creativity.
  • To lay the foundations and establish the work model, developed in collaboration with Yale University, which Santander’s Botín Centre (www. will use in its educational programmes to develop creativity through the arts and the emotions that they produce.

A summary of the research carried out by the Botín Foundation and Yale University is given in the preface to the report, which is followed by six chapters devoted to the six arts that are present in the Botín Centre (cinema, theatre, music, the visual arts, literature and dance). These chapters provide an in-depth, evidence-based explanation in clear and direct language of the impact and potential that each of these arts can have in our everyday lives (without any need to be an artist or professional). Each chapter also includes real testimonies by people who changed their lives with the help of the arts.

Research's Responsables

Christopher Clouder

Christopher Clouder FRSA is a freelance speaker, writer and consultant on questions of childhood, innovation in education, cultural evolution and creativity. He was the founding director of the Botin Platform for Innovation in Education and has led international research into Social Emotional Education and Creativity and the Arts. He is a co-founder of the Alliance for Childhood, a member of the Learning for Well-being Community and the International Forum for Steiner Education. From 1991 to 2012 he was the founding CEO of the European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education.

Marja Kokkonen

Marja Kokkonen (PhD, Psychology; MSc, Sport Sciences) is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her research interests include the socioemotional development in children and youth, the socio-emotional competence in coaching and school physical education, as well as psychological safety and discrimination in different educational and sporting contexts. As a certified clinical and sport psychologist, she also provides coach education, and sport psychology consultancy to coaches, athletes and teams. She is a former Treasurer in the European Federation of Sport Psychology.

David Brierley

David L. Brierley. Born and educated in England, David Brierley has lived in Norway for the almost fifty years. During this time he has taught at all levels from small children through to adults. As a Professor of Education Methodology he has worked with student teachers in universities throughout Europe, in Finland, Sweden, Iceland, U.K., Spain, Portugal, Austria, Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina. He is the author of seven books on education and has written a wide range of articles, many translated. His latest book 'One Hundred Million Destinies Now' (2017) is a manifesto for the challenges facing education in Europe at present in meeting an unchartered and unpredictable future. A philosophy of human values is illustrated by extracts from work in the classroom. It is translated into three languages. David Brierley is a fellow of the Fundación Botin Platform for Innovation in Education where he has worked in the Creativity Group.

Efthymios Papatzikis

Dr. Efthymios Papatzikis is an Assistant Professor in Educational Neuroscience, fervently studying the field of brain development and perception through sound and music. He has been extensively trained in and worked on neuroscience and music education in many high profile institutions prior to joining the Canadian University Dubai (2015), including Harvard University, the University of East Anglia, the UCL, Institute of Education, University of London and its adjunct centre of Educational Neuroscience as well as the International Brain Research Organisation. Dr. Papatzikis has experience in industry across Europe and the USA as an advisor and researcher, including among others roles with the Botin Foundation, Spain; the Early Arts, UK and the Early Years Programs at BBC.

Antonio Santos

Doctor of Arts, University of Valladolid, is a professor in the Department of History and Aesthetics of Cinema at the University of Valladolid, from 1986 to the present. Also became a professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Cantabria in 2009. Worked as a librarian at the University of Cantabria 1988-2009, and in the meantime, he was appointed Secretary of the Association of Japanese Studies in Spain 1997.

His research interests mainly include: Japanese and American Cinema; Authorship and Modernity in the Cinema; Don Quijote Utopian Studies; Titanic and transatlantic in Film; Education gaze; Film and Education; Teaching of Social Sciences, Education for Development, as well as many other cultural and literary themes. He has published many books

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