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Create the Future
Children are innately creative but they do not naturally grow up into creative adults. Some suffer from the “4th-grade slump” in creativity, discovered by E. Paul Torrance, who observed that evident displays of creativity often diminish around 4th-grade as students become more conforming, less likely to take risks, and less playful and spontaneous than in earlier years. Once this slump gains a foothold, it can last beyond school years into adulthood.
The"4th-grade slump" is a major roadblock in human creative development and widespread prosperity. Creativity is absolutely essential, sadly however it is "morally neutral." Hence, creative endeavors can bring heaven to earth, or create a living hell. What can make creativity positive? Empathy.
Hope for humanity springs from creativity, which can be learned, and from empathy, which can be taught.
Creativity and empathy must be developed early as building blocks for future collaborative innovations.
"In 'The Creativity Crisis (2011)', I reported that American creativity declined from the 1990s to 2008. My new research reveals that the Creativity Crisis has grown worse since 2008." - Prof. KH Kim, College of William and Mary
"What you are doing reflects such a refreshingly integrated view of children's development—a much-needed perspective in a time when children's growth and learning often seem to be approached in a very reductionistic, fragmented way." –Prof. Martha Farrell Erickson, University of Minnesota
The International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) employs the powers of art and sport to grow creativity and empathy in children and to awaken the "inner child" in adults.
ICAF regards children as creators and their art as the most honest and purest form of human creative expression.
ICAF organizes the Arts Olympiad—the world's largest art & sport program for schoolchildren. The United States Olympic Committee has granted ICAF an exclusive license to use the 'Arts Olympiad' mark. The Arts Olympiad winners from across the United States and nearly one hundred countries convene at the World Children's Festival held on The National Mall in Washington, D.C.
ICAF conducts Healing Arts Programs to restore natural-disaster victims' trust in nature and Peace through Art Programs to reaffirm young war victims' faith in humanity. In collaboration with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Endangered Species Coalition, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, ICAF helps organize and judges the Saving Endangered Species Annual Youth Art Contest.
ICAF conducts seminal research and publishes the ChildArt quarterly, for creative and empathetic development of our children. ICAF organizes interactive exhibitions to introduce the imagination of children to professionals and arranges children's panels at major conferences for attendees' edification.
Incorporated in 1997 in the District of Columbia as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, over the past 20 years ICAF has benefited approximately 5 million children worldwide, who have produced original works under ICAF programs. An estimated 2,500,000 children, teachers and parents have participated in festivals, exhibitions and events held in ICAF or its partners across the globe.
By growing creativity and empathy, ICAF fulfills 6 of the 27 Social Development Goals (SDGs) of United Nations 2030 Agenda. Our programs and activities reduce poverty, promote good health, bring quality education, ensure gender equality, reduce inequities, and build peace in communities and regions.
ICAF organized the first-ever national arts festival for American children (in Washington, DC in 1998), the first educational symposium for the Qatar Foundation (in Doha in 2003), and the first European Children's Festival (in Munich in 2006). ICAF advances US cultural diplomacy and is a spokesperson for children.
ICAF has pioneered STEAMS Education to integrate STEM disciplines with Art (to spark imagination and ideation) and Sport (to instill competitive fervor and team-spirit) for children's holistic development.
All ICAF programs are free-of-charge, its ChildArt quarterly is ad-free, and its World Children's Festival is open and free to the public. ICAF is ranked independently among the Top 25 Children's Charities in the U.S.
"I am grateful to organizations like the International Child Art Foundation that give us the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of our nation’s young people. I encourage you to continue to support programs that help children to discover their talents and believe in themselves." - Hillary Rodham Clinton
Testimonials of Beneficiaries
"The ICAF helped to teach me that art and design have the power to deliver important messages to the world."
- Carson Beyl, designer and graphic artist, Asheville, South Carolina
"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, Bluff City, Tennessee
"The ICAF has had a significant effect in making me more confident, more creative. I cannot thank ICAF enough."
- Dr. Hina Inam, Resident, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Agha Khan University Hospital, 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, 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 (computer science) and creativity guru, 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." - Viviana Astudillo, Ph.D. candidate in evolutionary biology, Toronto, Canada.
"It is amazing that after so many years, I still stay in touch with children that I have met when I was a kid. Washington and ICAF are now a part of me." - Claudia Lidia Suteu, a classical pianist and Ph.D. candidate in classical music, Brasov, Romania
You can help create a brighter world.