Reporter’s Notebook: TCC Center for Creativity hosted interesting speakers for online gatherings for 2020

The Thomas K. McKeon Center for Creativity recently switched its face-to-face events to an online format due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The workshops and forums are now delivered right to someone’s smartphone, laptop, or tablet via Zoom.

But it was only a technological change. The quality of the workshops and discussions is still very good because of the great speakers invited to meet the students and the public.

One of the exciting guests of the Center for Creativity was Heather Kelly, a Washington Post technology reporter, on Sept. 21.

TCC journalism students and I learned several methods to use in our journalistic work. For example, different angles can be utilized in writing articles about fires. Kelly decided to investigate how chickens behave during massive fires in California and two other states. So, Kelly contacted and interviewed a chicken farm owner.

I wrote articles about fires before, but I never had an idea like that. I thought it was a creative approach to the subject of covering fire news.

Another method of Kelly’s I liked is that she puts a time limit on her phone interviews; no more than 30 minutes. She lets a speaker know in advance that the interview will not take more than half an hour, which saves her and the speaker’s time.

Washington Post reporter Heather Kelly shares insight into some of her more recent posts. Photo source: TCC McKeon Center for Creativity live stream via Facebook.

An earlier event at the C4C was “I Can’t Listen to Rap with Woody Guthrie Center” workshop that took place online July 27. Steve Johnson, Woody Guthrie Center specialist, and Thomas Who, Oklahoma rap and hip-hop artist, presented a musical video clip discussing modern problems of interaction between African Americans and law enforcement.

Who gave advice to people interested in writing rap music, “Be consistent, tell the truth in hip hop, connect to people.’’

The artist said that the “future of hip hop in Oklahoma is bright as we continue to work together. We found a balance. Hip hop resides in Oklahoma.”

In 2020, other non-ordinary events at the Center for Creativity were “Quarantine: An Online Exhibit’’ and “I Can’t Save Sea Turtles with Oklahoma Aquarium.”

The Center for Creativity programming, exhibitions, and collaborations are directed by Annina Collier, dean of the Center for Creativity, and George Kaiser Family Foundation Endowed Chair. She can be reached at

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