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International Child Art Foundation

To cultivate creativity and grow mutual empathy as the building blocks for a more peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable future.

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Visual Art

The arts can cultivate students' creativity, a survival skill in this Artificial Intelligence age, and can grow mutual empathy, essential for a "more perfect union."

We employ the power of the arts for a dual intervention. Firstly, students' creative development through our school art program, the Arts Olympiad, followed by their empathic development at the World Children's Festival on the National Mall across the U.S. Capitol.

The Arts Olympiad
Objective: To transform children's self-identity through the arts for higher-order thinking and enhanced self-worth that teaches students to foster their creativity and engage in physical activity to counter the epidemic of declining creativity and rising obesity.

The Arts Olympiad introduces students to the "Artist-Athlete Ideal" of the creative mind and a healthy body (mente sana in corpo sano). The structured lesson plans motivate students to think of themselves and others not as techies, nerds, jocks, or artsy but as artist-athletes. The coalescing of artistic and athletic mindsets sprouts outside-the-box thinking and instills healthy lifestyles.

The Arts Olympiad requires students to visualize and depict themselves as artist-athletes in their paintings, drawings, or digital art, which solidifies their revised self-image as artist-athletes. When the number of artist-athletes grows, the school becomes a more creative, healthy, and forward-looking community.

The World Children's Festival
Objective: To develop mutual empathy with three days of workshops, activities, and training at the National Mall across the U.S. Capitol.

The Arts Olympiad winners from the participating U.S. school districts and countries convene at their World Children's Festival (WCF) to celebrate Creativity, Diversity, and Unity.

The WCF workshops, training, and activities are designed to provide a transformative experience that infuses children's creativity with empathy, inspiring them to become "creative-empaths" who can work together to make the world a better place.

To be a creative-empath requires a quality of character that can help overcome adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and disrupt the intergenerational transmission of trauma and hatred that seeps into the young, like physical traits or melanin. The WCF is not only fun and entertainment but an effective intervention that makes it unlike any other children's festival, nationally or globally.

ChildArt Magazine
Objective: Creative and empathic development of young readers.

Published ad-free since 1998, ChildArt is a unique magazine that focuses on a single theme for each issue. Recent themes include Creativity, Human Security, Young Leaders, The Moral of Your Story, The Power of Words, Mindfulness, and Metaverse.

ICAF's Impact
Over the past twenty-five years, ICAF has changed the world for children. More than five million schoolchildren have participated in and benefited from ICAF's free-of-charge programs. An estimated two million students, parents, and teachers have attended ICAF festivals, exhibitions, and conferences in over twenty major cities worldwide. ChildArt quarterly’s readership has grown to about 220,000.

The National Endowment of the Art, the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Skillman Foundation, and the Robert J. Bauer Family Foundation supported ICAF in 2022. ICAF is independently ranked among the 25 Top Children's Charities in the United States. The U.S. Olympic Committee has granted ICAF an exclusive license to use the "Arts Olympiad" mark.

ICAF is raising funds to launch its 7th Arts Olympiad in June 2023 and produce the 7th WCF in June 2024.

51 supporters
Washington, DC
Small organization
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, EIN 52-2032649