Let's Repair the World and Make it Brighter


The hope for humanity arises from creativity which can be learned and empathy which can be taught.

We can foster schoolchildren's creativity and imbue it with empathy with the 6th the Arts Olympiad (2017-2020). 

Theory of Positive Social Change

  • Sustainable prosperity is possible and so is permanent peace because creativity can be learned and empathy can be taught.

  • Cultivating creativity is essential for innovative solution but creativity alone is "morally neutral" and can cause 9/11-type terrorism or cutting-edge Ponzi schemes. When creativity is imbued with empathy it turns positive and advances human civilization.

  • Since schools may educate children out of their creaivity and homes can be fervent nurseries for nativism, external intervention by the ICAF is vitally important.

  • Children are innately creative but must overcome the well-documented "4th-grade slump" in their creativity, for which the arts can be an effective channel. As children's universal language, the arts can develop the building blocks for a culture of nonviolence and collaborative innovation.

To learn about the impact of the arts, please use ↑↓ keys to navigate.

Zachary Cyganek (age 9,Tennessee)

"Academic research shows a clear, positive and demonstrable link between involvement in the arts and students' academic achievement, engagement with learning, self-esteem and ability to collaborate with others. Moreover, studies also show that arts education needs to move beyond simply exposure (i.e., not just a source of educational enrichment, but a source of learning) in order to attain these positive impacts."
Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Issue Brief: Arts and Culture.

"The healthiest way to teach children is to motivate them from the inside...they learn best when engaged in something that they care about and get pleasure from being engaged in.”
Dr. Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam Books, 1995, p 94.

"What the ICAF is doing reflects such a refreshingly integrated view of children's developmenta much-needed perspective in a time when children's growth and learning often seem to be approached in a very reductionistic, fragmented way."
Dr. Martha Farrell Erickson, University of Minnesota (December 8, 2007)

Launched in 1997, the Arts Olympiad has benefited approximately 5 million students thus far.  We target the 8 to 12 year olds to empower them against diminishing creativity and for empathic understanding.

Nearly 21 million Americans are 8 to 12 year old and the total world population of this age group is about 610 million. So there is lots of work yet to be done.


The Arts Olympiad has a four-year cycle like the Olympics:

​   2017  -  School-based Intervention

   2018  -  Community Mobilization

   2019  -  World Children's Festival

   2020  - Global Awareness



Did you know that the U.S. Olympic Committee has granted us an exclusive license to use the 'Arts Olympiad' mark?

Aim: To foster creativity and empathy in students by changing their self-image and metaphor.

Assumption: Art and sport can unite the athletically-inclined and the artistically-inclined students in a typical classroom, where the young athletes may face the risk of the 4th-grade slump while the young artists may face the risk of obesity, which is now an epidemic.

Lesson Plan: To awaken the "inner artist" and "inner athlete” in students by introducing them to the "Artist-Athlete Ideal" of the creative mind and healthy body—mens sana in corpore sano. 

Expected Outcome: The self-image as artist-athlete solidifies when students render it into personal works of art, transforming the class, which is now comprised of creative-empathic artist-athletes.

2017: School-based Intervention

To view the art produced in previous Arts Olympiads, please use ↑↓ keys to navigate.

Derreon Woods (age 11, Missouri) "We WIll Rock You"

Arjaa Raghu (age 11, Illinois) "Michael Phelps' Magic"

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

Ostayo Bolywich (age11, Texas) "Sky Ball"

Roberta Poggi (age 11, Italy) "Sailing Away"

The Arts Olympiad grows children's imagination by providing the young artist-athletes an opportunity to compete to represent their school district (or country) at the World Children's Festival in Washington, D.C., where their masterpieces will be displayed.

Students depict themselves as "artist-athletes" engaged in their favorite Olympic sport or a traditional sport.  Some depict their interpretation of the Olympic Spirit.  Please click ↓     

Nadia Messmer (age 11; California) "ARTehery"

Sofia Romaniuk (age 10; Ukraine) "Art Hockey"

Omindu Semal Jayalath (age 9, Sri Lanka) "Boxing Championship"

Tobithe Moghomayie Jason William (age 10, Cameroon) "Come Play With Me"

Vishnu Rajan (age 11, India) "Kabaddi"

Katharina Jellema (age 9, Germany) "Stelzentanz"

Ramin Abbasov (age 12, Azerbaijan) "A Family Sport"

Aishling Kelly (age 12, Arizona)

Deniz Tamerk ( age 11, Turkey) "The World is Having Fun"

Abdul Hamid Bazarbachi (age 11, Lebanon)

Roxana Chisalita (age 11, Romania)

Aim: Every community must celebrate its children's creativity and help nurture their empathy.

Assumption: Once empowered as creators, the young can mobilize as change-makers and peace-builders.

Intervention: Exhibition of Arts Olympiad works from area schools, where local cultural, business and educational leaders serve as judges to select the most outstanding work.


Expected Outcome: Communities start to rally behind the children as architects of a brighter future.

2018: Community Mobilization

For examples of local and national exhibitions, please use ↑↓ keys to navigate.

The Arts Olympiad Exhibition in Sharjah, UAE

The Arts Olympiad Exhibition in Sinaloa, Mexico

The Uganda Arts Olympiad Exhibition at the Uganda Museum

The Arts Olympiad exhibition at the Israeli Ministry of Education, Tel Aviv

The Arts Olympiad Exhibition at the 21st Century Museum of Art in Kanazawa and at the  Kodomo-no-shiro in Tokyo.

The ICAF Children's Panel and Exhibition at the Global Competitiveness Forum 2010 in Riyadh.

Former President of Nigeria General Yakubu Gowan presenting a gift to Nigeria Arts Olympiad winner.

The Arts Olympiad Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The ICAF exhibition in Dubai at the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings 2003.

The ICAF exhibition at the White House Millennium Celebration held at the Ronald Reagan Building, hosted by President Bill Clinton.

At Olympiad Park,
Munich, Germany  

2019 - World Children's Festival (WCF)

Aim: An international celebration of Creativity, Diversity and Unity in a global community setting on The National Mall in Washington, DC to develop cross-cultural empathy among the Arts Olympiad winners and their teachers and families.

Assumption: An international celebration of "Creativity, Diversity, and Unity" can bring the human race together through its children.

WCF:  At this "Olympics" of children's imagination held every four years, the Arts Olympiad winners will enhance interpersonal skills and receive leadership training. They will collaboratively produce the Children’s Earth Flag for the first human mission to Mars.

Expected Outcome:  A transformative experience that inspires positive social change locally, nationally, and globally.

To learn more about the WCF, please use ↑↓ keys to navigate.

The WCF begins with concerns common to all children: Health & Environment Day

The child becomes the focus of workshops and activities on the second day: Creativity & Imagination Day

The third day's focus is on interpersonal relations and teamwork: Peace & Leadership Day

The WCF showcases children's musical and performing talents as well.

The WCF Awards Banquet is held on the fourth and final day.


"Olympians around the world could not be more proud of the young talent involved in the International Child Art Foundation events. These talented young souls hold great promise for a tomorrow filled with "Higher, Swifter, and Stronger" leadership.  No matter where life leads them we all know that success awaits their arrival with open arms!"
- Liston D. Bochette III Ph.D. Olympian, artist, and educator


“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

“The positive message of peace and hope promised by the International Child Art Foundation is commendable and worthy of great recognition.”
- Lt. Gen. Joseph Cosumano, Jr., US Army Space and Missile Defense  Command

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

2020 - Global Awareness

The ICAF exhibitions have been held around the world, including at Education Without Borders (Dubai), Global Competitiveness Forum (Riyadh) and the Winter 2006 Olympics (Turin).

Aim: Make creativity and empathy development integral to education worldwide.

Assumption: Global conversations on the critical importance of creativity and empathy can excite teachers and parents to take action to reform education.

Traveling Exhibition: Comprised of Children’s Earth Flag and the Arts Olympiad masterpieces, the exhibition will take place in several host cities, culminating in Tokyo to celebrate the 2020 Olympics and show how art and sport can unite the world.

Expected Outcome:  The development of creativity and empathy gain broader recognition as building blocks for collaborative innovation, sustainable prosperity and lasting peace.

Did you know that the International Child Art Foundation is independently ranked among the 25 Top Children's Charities in the U.S.?

ICAF │2540 Virginia Avenue, NW │ Washington, DC 20037 │ +1 202 530-1000 http://ICAF.org

To empower children as creators and architects of a brighter future, please mail your tax-deductible donation today or donate online here.