World Children's Festival 2011

Held every four years since 1999 as the "Olympics" of children's creativity and co-creation, the World Children's Festival (WCF) has evolved into the largest international children's celebration and a permanent quadrennial event in our Nation's Capital. Free and open to the public, the WCF attracts more than 15,000 attendees.

The WCF brings together our diverse communities around a shared concern for the future of our children, their health and education. The WCF's educational programming integrates art and sport with STEM disciplines for children's holistic development. Eminent educators and field experts ranging from Olympians and professional artists to scientists and technologists host activities and talks to nurture children's creativity and develop their empathy in a global setting. The children help produce a complete synesthetic experience, a total work of art, by their dazzling performances, amazing art creations and displays, and their own workshops on issues they are most passionate about. The WCF is a transformative experience where creativity and co-creation become building blocks for innovation and positive social change. The WCF empowers the children to shape the future and change the world.

The 4th WCF on The National Mall on June 17-19, 2011 was unlike any other educational/entertainment event in our history or anywhere in the world. The core WCF delegates were 8- to 12-year-old U.S. and international winners of the 4th Arts Olympiad - an art and sport program endorsed by the U.S. Olympic Committee; the "DC Ambassadors" selected through the Arts Olympiad in DC public schools; and 6- to 16-year-old musicians and performers selected by online voting or distinguished juries. The sequencing of WCF's educational programming was based on the ICAF's Peace through Art methodology, published in The Lancet in 2006.

The themes for the three-day educational event were:

  • Environment + Health Day (Friday, June 17)
    instruction was informational, spotlighting common concerns shared by children
  • Creativity + Imagination Day (Saturday, June 18)
    learning was participatory, kindling children's inherent talents and potential
  • Peace + Leadership Day (Sunday, June 19)
    training was inspirational, urging children to build creative and healthy communities

World Children's Festival 2011