By Joe Giovannetti
“We are all creative, resourceful, and whole.”
Laverne McKinnon, Adjunct Lecturer and Head of Television at Denver and Delilah, shared this sentiment as members of the MSLCE cohort completed their first graduate class, “Pitching Creative Projects.” On their first day, these students quickly learned that that this was no ordinary graduate course.
McKinnon’s innovative teaching style consistently encourages students to search internally for answers, rather than from a lecture. You won’t find any PowerPoint slides here; instead, you will find students constantly on their feet, engaging with each other in meaningful activities designed to internalize core curricular concepts.
McKinnon believes that pitching is all about finding a match. “I don’t think anyone needs to be fixed,” she explained. “We all have the ability to connect with our passion and purpose.”
Over the course of the semester, the students used this guiding principle to hone in on their personal style, leverage their unique strengths, and present their most authentic selves in order to create and deliver a pitch. McKinnon was able to create a safe space where students presented their creative ideas and solicited constructive feedback from their classmates. Through discussion and practice, they were able to gain the skills needed to craft a successful pitch from conception to completion.
The class culminated in a final project, which challenged the MSLCE students to apply their knowledge and pitch an original idea to the class based on their personal interests. A diverse range of passion projects emerged, including a Fred Rogers biopic, an international talk show, an after school theatre education program, and even Disney’s first animated movie starring an LGBT+ friendly Disney Princess.
As the MSLCE students reflected on their final day of “Pitching Creative Projects” with a new sense of self-awareness and empowerment, one things was for sure: This was not an experience that they could have gotten from a textbook.
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