An Invitation to participate in the 6th Arts Olympiad
the world's largest program for schoolchildren's
creative and empathetic development.

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Deadline for art submission: March 1, 2019

6th Arts Olympiad Invitation

The International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) is pleased to invite you and your school to participate in the Arts Olympiad.  Your participation fee is waived, so the program is free for your school.  Any student can participate in and benefit from the Arts Olympiad, but your School Art Entry must be from students aged 8 to 12.

A classroom is often comprised of young artists and young athletes. The artists, when physically inactive, may face the obesity risk, an epidemic now. Those not artistically inclined, including some athletes, may face the “4th-grade slump” in creativity. Once this slump gains a foothold, it can consolidate an last into adulthood.

The Arts Olympiad Lesson Plan addresses the rising obesity and decreasing creativity risks by inspiring students to embrace the Artist-Athlete Ideal of the creative mind and healthy body.
This paradigm liberates the natural tendency toward creativity and good health by linking imagination with embodiment. Students' revised self-image solidifies when they depict themselves as “artist-athletes” in their artwork on the theme, My Favorite Sport.

Students come to understand that anyone can be an artist or an athlete, and that everyone can be creative and athletic, and that arts education is essential for their holistic development. Students break old stereotypes, embrace the Artist-Athlete Ideal and develop empathy for each other. Your school community is now stronger, more creative and healthy.

Arts Olympiad Lesson Plan

Deadline and Submissions

The Arts Olympiad Lesson Plan may take 3 or 4 class sessions to complete. The School Art Entry submission deadline is March 1, 2019.  You can submit one best painting or drawing and one best digital art as winners of your school's Arts Olympiad. Selection of the school entry must be based on originality, and not technical merit alone. Inclusion of a few students as judges is encouraged.

Submissions must include: (a) a brief essay by the student about his/her artwork; and (b) a fully completed
School Entry Form (download the pdf and complete it). Please tape (a) and (b) to the back of the artwork.

In the case of digital art, please email the art and (a) and (b) to and copy

Schools in the United States and Canada should send their School Art Entry to:

                                                      ICAF, Post Office Box 58133, Washington, DC 20037, USA

Schools around the world should send their art to the ICAF’s partner organization in their respective country.  Click here for a list of ICAF national partners. Click here if you have any questions.

Part 1: Instructional Group Activities

The Activities A, B and C allow students to develop connections between art and sport.

Activity A.  The Olympics Art Competitions

Reading Material: Smithsonian Magazine    Students answer these questions:

                   1) Should the Olympic Art Competitions be reinstated? Why? For what age group of artists?
            2) What is your favorite sport? Why?
3) Which cities will host the Summer Olympics of 2020, 2024 and 2028?  Winter Olympics?

Activity B.  Thinking Outside the Box

Reading Material: ChildArt quarterly 
Students are asked to separate themselves into two groups: “Artists” and “Athletes.”
                                                                           “Artists” answer these questions:

                           1) Why is sport important?                              2) How can physical activity benefit you?

Artists draw or paint a sports gear or equipment such as a ball, a baseball glove or a goal post.

                                                                           “Athletes” answer these question:

                  1) Why is art important?                                  2) How can drawing or painting benefit you?

Athletes draw or paint any art tool or equipment such as an easel, an art smock or a brush.

Activity C.  Building Peace through Art & Sport

 “Sport has the power to change the world, the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else can.     Sport speak to people in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where there was once only despair. It is an instrument of peace, even more powerful than governments.” -  Nelson Mandela


Questions to ask students:
If “sport” is replaced by “art” in the above quote, would it still ring true? Why or why not?
How about adding art to sport? Does the quotation become stronger?


Part 2:  Original Art Creation


Students are asked to create art on the theme, My Favorite Sport. They can depict themselves as “artist-athlete” in an Olympic sport, a traditional game or an imaginary activity and produce paintings, drawings or digital art. Painting or drawing can be on paper, canvas or silk that is 45x60 cm or 18x24 inches in size.

Each student writes a short essay about his/her work. The essay is clipped to the artwork along with a completed School Entry Form.

Please use ↑↓ keys or the icons on the right to navigate and see a sample of Arts Olympiad works.

"I like soccer. For me, soccer is not just a hobby, it is a passion. In my artwork, I chose to draw a soccer player shooting at a net, because it represents a usual scene in a soccer player’s life. My only passion is not soccer, but art too. Art and soccer are both part of me. I love art because I get to express all my feelings. I like soccer because in a sport, you get to run free and have fun by doing exercise, staying healthy, and having fun with your friends."  - Omar Salmeron (age 11) Texas

Arja Raghu (age 12) "Michael Phelps Magic"  Illinois, USA

Vishu Rajan (age 11)  "Kabaddi" India

Kristina Aleksabdriva Gecgevska (age 12) Bulgaria

Tobithe Jason William (age 10)  Cameron

   Deniz Tamerk (age 11) Turkey

Teruhito Sekine (age 12)  "Run!" Japan

Denys  Kovalchuk (age 12)  Ukraine

Irina Tjahjana (age 12)  Indonesia

Chung Kei Ting (age 10)  Hong Kong

Irina Fibih (age 12)  "Sochi" Russia

Diana Nabulsi (age 11)  "Team USA" Texas, USA

                            2019 World Children's Festival                                                     


The Arts Olympiad winners from over 100 U.S. cities and nearly 100 countries will convene in Washington, D.C.  in July 2019 for the 6th World Children's Festival (WCF) as Official Delegates.

Schedule:  On their first day, they will meet each other, learn about the WCF, and participate in some activities.  For the next three days they will be on The National Mall attending workshops, participating in activities or watching incredible performances.  On the fifth and final day, they will be honored at the WCF Awards Banquet. For previous WCF, peruse ChildArt quarterly, see this music clip or visit

WCF Registration and Expenses: Registration is free for the Delegates and their teachers and parents. Each delegation must arrange its own travel, meals, local transport and accommodation. For the most deserving cases, host families can be provided. The WCF Award Banquet is free for the Delegates while their companions pay a discounted price of only US$50 per head.

Benefits:  The WCF is a transformative experience for the Delegates who acquire leadership skills and global connections.  It is also a most memorable experience.  Plans for the 2019 WCF include Delegates co-imagining and collaboratively producing the "Children's Earth Flag" for the first human mission to Mars.

Please use ↑↓ keys or the icons on the right to navigate and see a sample of WCF photos.

 - Held every four years as the Olympics of children's imagination, the WCF celebrates creativity, diversity, and unity.

- A unique international celebration, the WCF is staged and emceed by the  ICAF Youth Board.

- US government agencies and 200 prominent international educators conduct workshops and hands-on activities.

-  The dates in June for the 2015 WCF will be announced by the National Park Service in late 2018.


Since 1997, the ICAF has served American children as their national arts organization and the world's children as their international arts organization.  We employ the powers of art and sport to foster creativity and develop empathy universally. Creativity and empathy are key 21st century attributes of successful learners and leaders.

We believe that every child is a creator and that child art is the most honest and purest form of human creative expression. We organize exhibitions to introduce professionals to children's imagination and awaken their "inner child."

The U.S. Olympic Committee has granted the ICAF an exclusive license to use the 'Arts Olympiad' mark. The ICAF is independently ranked among the 25 Top children's charities in the United States.

An independent, apolitical organization, the ICAF does not receive funding from any government or governmental institutions. The ICAF's work is supported by individual donors and WCF sponsors.

We encourage you and your students to host a fundraising event to support the ICAF bring the Arts Olympiad  to disadvanted schoolchildren who lack creative outlets.

Please visit, subscribe to ChildArt quarterly, and endorse the ICAF on Facebook.

Please use ↑↓ keys or the icons on the right for testimonials.

"We can all learn from the children of the world and realize that our next generation has the passion, creativity and empathy to shape the future and build a better world.”  - Vice Admiral John P. Currier, Deputy Commandant, United States Coast Guard

“We are thrilled to bring a LEGO building experience to the world’s largest celebration of creativity and imagination on the National Mall. What the International Child Art Foundation does to encourage a child’s inner creativity is something we passionately admire and are proud to support, because we believe children who are exposed to creative activities from a very young age go on to become the world’s most meaningful contributors.” 
- Michael McNally, LEGO Brand Relations Director

"For all of us, the beauty and thoughtfulness of these works offer powerful evidence of the breadth and depth of the global conversation that is cultivated and perpetuated through children’s art.  Thank you so much for sharing these images with us and for the important work you do." - Professor Emeritus Jessica Hoffmann Davis, Harvard University



"I never had anything happen to me like my  experience with the ICAF (and haven’t since). That event may have also been what planted the seed in my parents’ and my head that art  was a thing that I could one day do for my livelihood."  - Eric Huber, filmmaker and graphic artist in Bluff City, TN

"The ICAF has had a significant effect in making me more confident, more creative. I cannot thank ICAF enough." -  Dr. Hina Inam, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Agha Khan University Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan

"The fact that children from all the world are expressly invited to contemplate these horizons, to channel their creative energy and their most personal interests within a frame of international collaborative work, is, I believe, one of ICAF’s key contributions, for which we should be immensely grateful." - Dr. Alejandro Goldzycher (Ph.D. in english literature) in Buenos Aires, Argentina

"I always consider my experience at the WCF in Washington D.C. as a spark in my life, imagination, and creativity. " - Chathura K. Sooriya-Arachchi (MSc in computer science) is a creativity guru in Colombo, Sri Lanka

"The ICAF gave me my first introduction to being a member of the international community. It gave me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world that shared my love of art, and in doing so, taught me at a very young age that creativity has no bounds and that ideas only get better when we share them with people with different world experiences."  - Dr. Viviana Astudillo (Ph.D. evolutionary biology) in Toronto, Canada.

"The ICAF helped to teach me that art and design have the power to deliver important messages to the world." - Carson Beyl, designer in Asheville, SC