As we turn the calendar to 2016, I think it is a wonderful time to celebrate creativity in all its forms. Creativity is a vital part of being human, something that can be tapped by anyone. In today’s society, creativity is touted as central to innovation and new ideas.

Many of us look for ways to increase or stimulate our creativity; experts recommend everything from mindfulness and exercise to taking classes and playing games.

I believe that there is another source of creativity, one that comes from working with our hands and letting our minds loose. The act of making requires us to allow our hands to go to work and guide our minds, taking us to new places as objects and images take form before our eyes.

Imbued in the pieces we make are our histories as well. American art, craft, and design not only reflect the consciousness and imagination of our culture, but also contain memories of our past and stories of our present and future.

So why celebrate creativity at the beginning of this year? I believe the reason is simple: art, craft, and design are living and breathing components of our culture, components that are critical, yet often overlooked. In 2016, as we continue to explore our own creativity, let us recognize those who create beautiful, meaningful things with their hands. May the makers and artists, fashion designers and jewelers, painters and sculptors, glassblowers, potters, and quilters all have their moment in the sun.

I wish a most happy new year to all of you whose love, support, and encouragement for the arts are yearlong and lifelong.