Declining creativity and rising obesity are two acute crises our children face
today. Research shows that while 98% of 5-year-olds exhibit divergent creative thinking, this number
plummets to 2% by age 25. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that obesity prevalence has
reached 20%, affecting some 15 million children.
The Arts Olympiad, our school and after-school art program, inspires students to
embrace the "Artist-Athlete Ideal" of the creative mind and healthy body (mente sana in corpo sano). Our
structured lesson plans awaken the dormant "inner-artists" or slumbering "inner-athletes" for students to
begin thinking of themselves and others as "artist-athletes"—not as jocks, nerds, techies, or artsy.
Blending the artistic and the athletic mindsets builds confidence and resilience against anxiety, fear, or
adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). It empowers students to overcome the "4th-grade slump" in creativity
discovered by E. Paul Torrance, the "father" of creativity. This revised self-image solidifies when students
depict themselves as artist-athletes in the artwork they produce under the Arts Olympiad. As the
artist-athletes grow in number, their school becomes a more integrated, healthy, creative community.
Young artist-athletes from across America and nearly 100 participating countries come together at the World
Children's Festival, traditionally held at The National Mall across the U.S. Capitol. Three days of
workshops and activities are choreographed to provide a transformative experience that infuses
students’ creativity with empathy so they can become creative-empaths, who are eager to work together
for a prosperous and peaceful future.
The Arts Olympiad stories from
, Croatia, Israel, New Zealand, and China (2.1Mb pdf)