Why the ICAF?


To achieve sustainable prosperity and lasting peace, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What kind of change is essential?
  2. What is the most effective and cost-effective instrument for change?
  3. What age group must be targeted for successful intervention?
Creativity endows humans the capacity to solve problems. Researchers estimate that while 98% of 5-year-olds exhibit creative divergent thinking, this number plummets to 2% by age 25. Children are innately creative, but they do not naturally grow up as creative adults. Widely regarded as the father of creativity, E. P. Torrance discovered the "4th-grade slump" in creativity. Once this slump gains a foothold, it may consolidate and continue beyond schooling and into adulthood. Creativity also happens to be morally neutral. Negative creativity results in violence and destruction, impeding progress and cultural advancement. Empathy has the quality to transform creativity into a positive force for human civilization.

The arts provide a powerful channel to grow the imagination and foster creative divergent thinking. As a universal language, the arts can be an effective conduit for development of empathy. Education in the arts is the least-cost approach to cultivate the next generation of creative and empathic inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

Targeting children 8-12 years old can be optimal because at this age children are vulnerable to the "4th-grade slump" in creativity and are open and not impervious to empathy.

The International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) was founded in 1997 to serve as the national art organization for American children. It nurtures their creativity and builds bonds of emphatic understanding between them and their creative peers worldwide using arts as the universal language.

Impact in Numbers

  • 5,000,000 -Total number of children who have produced art under our programs
  • 500,000 -Total number of children who have participated in our exhibitions, festivals and events
  • 50,000 -Total number of direct beneficiaries of our most recent 5th Arts Olympiad and the 5th World Children's Festival (WCF)

Example of Achievements

-Produced the 5th WCF on June 30th to July 4th at The Ellipse next to The White House
-Honored the Swatch Group and the Akira Foundation as recipients of the World Children's Award

-Organized a competition for young creatives to design the WCF logo at Cannes Lions

-Curated Children’s Tribute to Nelson Mandela exhibition at THEARC in Washington, D.C.

-Hosted Arts Olympiad exhibition at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan

-Produced 4th WCF on June 17th to 19th at The National Mall in Washington, D.C.
-Honored the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as the recipient of the World Children's Award

-Chaired an international children's panel at the Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh
-Launched Healing Arts Program to help children in Haiti and Chile cope with earthquake traumas

-Hosted Children of Katrina exhibition at Education Without Borders conference in Dubai

-Presented at the Aspen Institute’s Cultural Diplomacy Forum in Paris, France

-Produced the 3rd WCF on June 23rd to 26th at The National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Instituted "World Children’s Award" at the 3rd WCF, with LEGO as the first recipient

-Hosted Arts Olympiad Exhibition at Palace of Stupinigi during the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics, Italy
-Arranged Children of Katrina exhibition at Museu da Cidade in Lisbon, Portugal
-Organized the first-ever European Children’s Festival at the Olympia Park in Munich, Germany

-Partnered with the World Bank on Destruction, Reconstruction and Prevention program and exhibition

-Teamed with NYC 2012 to include the Arts Olympiad in the City's bid to host the XXX Olympiad
-Received Exemplary Humanitarian Service Award at the World Culture Open in Seoul, Korea

-Produced the 2nd WCF on September 11th to 13th at The National Mall in Washington, D.C.
-Received DC Mayor's proclamation designating 9/11/2003 as "Children's Peace Day"
-Hosted the first-ever children's art exhibition at the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings, held in Dubai
-Organized the Qatar Foundation's first-ever educational symposium, held in Doha

-Organized Peace through Art Program with Cyprus Fulbright Commission's support

-Honored by the Drucker Foundation and Frances Hesselbein for innovative leadership

-Hosted "The First Ladies Forum" at the UN Millennium Development Summit in New York City

-Produced the 1st WCF on June 29th to July 6th at The National Mall in Washington, D.C.
-First ladies of Costa Rica, Liberia and Ecuador opened the 1st WCF
-Arranged Visions of the New Millennium exhibition at the UN Nations Headquarters in New York City
-Organized art activities and exhibition the White House New Millennium Celebration
-Produced the first-ever national children's art festival in U.S. history on September 4th to 6th at The National Mall in Washington, D.C.

- Produced the first-ever national children's art festival in U.S. history on September 4th to 6th at The National Mall in Washington, D.C.


  • Educators and Professionals (236Kb pdf download)
  • Children and Alumni (227Kb pdf Download)

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