Creativity should always be encouraged because people need outlets. Not everyone lives in an area where they can safely take walks, go to museums, etc., and creative pursuits like painting, drawing, and embroidery allow people to enjoy themselves and express themselves in a safe way. Expressing oneself without hurting another person is a hobby many people could use in the inner-cities. Arts classes help children in these environments especially.
Creativity should always be encouraged in all it's many forms. New forms of living come out of creative thinking and changing the ways we look at the world. Creativity is not just art, it's a way of looking at problems in the world and considering new ways to evolve and solve issues.
Creativity is very important to develop, because it benefits culture over the long run. Without creativity, there would never be new forms of art, architecture, literature, music, and innovations in technology. Culture itself would remain stagnant, merely regurgitating the same things over and over again without anything new or exciting being brought to the table. You can see the detrimental effects that lack of creativity is having in movies today. Because there is so little creativity in Hollywood, the same types of movies keep getting produced.
Without creativity in all levels of education, our children won't know how to think for themselves or follow their own ideas. Creativity has been crushed to make way for state standards and narrow curriculum that only measures memorization. We need to teach our children, and our adults, how to become and remain creative.
All of our most prolific inventions and scientific breakthroughs have come via the creative process. When a person is given time and encouragement, it's amazing what they can accomplish. Without creativity, we would be nowhere near where we are today, culturally or otherwise. Creativity is one of the best foundations for learning and growing.
All of you who answered yes need to think outside the box. The key word used in the question is "always", now I agree creativity helps foster innovation and helped establish what we are today, but should people encourage the Zodiac Killer? He was creative. What about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, that was creative. Maybe Kim Jong Un, he is creative. My point is that, even though these are extreme examples they should be taken into consideration, especially with the use of "always".