The German Village community is settling in for winter and it's honestly one of my favorite times of year.

I love the dusting of snow on slate roofs, the holidays, time with friends.

The winter will inevitably lead to spring (arguably the most beautiful time in German Village) and then to summer and Actors' Theatre in Schiller Park.

The upcoming season is an exciting one featuring William Shakespeare's "Macbeth," Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," "Puss in Boots," and "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Each year we have the privilege of welcoming back long time supporters of the company and welcoming in some new audience members.

Some of those new audience members have never seen a live play before.

Each year we have long and thought-provoking discussions about what it means to engage young people in the arts for the future.

The role of arts education in schools has been steadily diminishing over the last several years.

There are more and more video games and gadgets and TV shows to keep people inside more of the time.

Instead of learning to create, young people are more and more taught to be consumers.

Meanwhile, it has been demonstrated that practicing creativity is one way for people to improve their chances of relational and life success.

Additionally, people who practice hands-on making are happier and more confident.

It's important to create. It's fun. There are organizations all over Columbus that offer training and studio space for people who want to learn a new creative skill.

The Columbus Cultural Arts Center is located near by, just downtown. Actors' Theatre also offers classes.

During the summer, we offered those classes in the park. Over the winter, in conjunction with the German Village Society, we are offering those classes indoors.

There are classes on acting, Improv and theater in general.

My argument is this: making something is good for you. You should try it. if you have influence over kids or teenagers, you can offer them the opportunity to learn to create now.

Whether it's on stage in front of people, or writing, or building a new bird feeder, what you make will brighten your spirits and give you a skill that is a gift to others.

Make something new. Encourage someone else to do the same.

Actors' Theatre Executive Director Philip Hickman submitted the Village Notebook column.