Celebrating the Arts for Kids
Student achievement linked to art
Summertime art projects
Why It Matters
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1/7Whiz kids
Ethan Bortnick, 11
This pint-sized pianist was recently honored by Guinness World Records as the youngest musician to headline a solo concert tour. On his multicity Musical Time Machine tour, he dazzled audiences with his virtuosity. Ethan was playing a keyboard at 3 and soon after was composing music. He has appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Ellen" and has performed for numerous dignitaries, all while helping to raise more than $30 million by performing at charity events.
2/7Whiz kids
Chloe Grace Moretz, 16
Soon to be seen on the screen in "Kick Ass 2" and "Carrie," Chloe began acting as an indirect result of helping her older brother learn his lines for a high-school production. When Chloe’s family moved to Los Angeles for her father's medical practice, the doors to Hollywood were flung wide open for this naturally gifted performer. Chloe seems wiser than her years, which might explain why she is often cast in roles that might normally go to older actress. She says her family life is so happy that tackling darker roles gives her an acting challenge that she enjoys.
3/7Whiz kids
Autumn de Forest, 11
Known as the “pint-sized Picasso” and featured on a TV show at age 7, Autumn comes from a long line of painters. But it’s her unique style, which has drawn comparisons to legendary abstract painters such as Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock, that has made her a darling in the art world. She has sold paintings in the six-figure range and is the youngest artist to be featured at the National Art Education Association annual convention.
4/7Whiz kids
Willow Smith, 12
The multitalented daughter of Hollywood stars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, Willow began blazing her own trail in the entertainment industry at an early age, first by acting in movies such as "Kit Kittridge: An American Girl" and then hitting the pop charts with her infectious singles “Whip My Hair” and "21st Century Girl." She has signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label and was slated to star in a big-budget cinematic remake of "Annie," but dropped out, saying she was too old for the part.
5/7Whiz kids
Adora Svitak, 15
A love of language turned 6-year-old Adora into a local hero in her native Seattle, and one year later, she was featured in an interview with "Diane Sawyer" (Robin Roberts) after the publication of her first book, "Flying Fingers." Since then, Adora has explored a wide variety of disciplines, including teaching and lecturing, and published her first full-length book, "Yang in Disguise." She recently created Write With Adora, an online magazine featuring literary criticism, book reviews, short stories and creative nonfiction.
6/7Whiz kids
Akiane Kramarik, 18
Inspired by what she said were commands from God when she was 3, Akiane began teaching herself how to paint, and by the time she was 10, she had sold a self-portrait for $10,000. Religion is a heavy influence on Akiane’s work, inspired by what she says is her personal connection with heaven. She has produced more than 200 works using her realistic style, and has appeared on numerous TV and radio programs to showcase her art.
7/7Whiz kids
Lilla Crawford, 12
The producers of the Broadway revival of "Annie" saw more than 5,000 hopefuls for the title role, looking for that perfect combination of charm, spunk and talent. After six callbacks, Lilla, a young actress who had a role in "Billy Elliot," landed one of the most plum parts on the Great White Way. Filling the very big shoes of America’s favorite orphan means that Crawford has to be on top of her game every night, delivering classics such as "Tomorrow" with the same powerhouse voice from performance to performance.
Art counts
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1/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Crafting cookie art

Sometimes it’s good to play with your food. Encourage your child to create and bake an edible work of art. Press prepared sugar-cookie dough into a large cake or pizza pan. Provide colorful hard-shell candies, cinnamon dots, red licorice, white and milk chocolate chips, colored sugar and dried fruit bits and allow your budding artist to make a scene with the adornments. Bake, photograph for posterity and eat. Or, provide baked cookies, cups of frosting in different colors and small spatulas. Let children work on their own canvas. You also can use cookie cutters to create animals or other objects, then hand-form clouds, rainbows or rivers from dough and bake the elements for a picture that can be assembled on a foil-lined baking sheet.(Gallery by Belinda Hulin)

2/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Smithsonian museums
Something to try here? WTF.
3/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Baltimore Museum of Art

Baltimore

The Baltimore Museum of Art is home to an internationally renowned collection of 19th century, modern and contemporary art. Founded in 1914 with a single painting, the BMA today has 90,000 works of art — including the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world.

4/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
The Bronx Museum of the Arts

New York City

The Bronx Museum of the Arts is an internationally recognized cultural destination that presents innovative contemporary art exhibitions and education programs and is committed to promoting cross-cultural dialogues for diverse audiences.

5/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Alamo

San Antonio

More than 2.5 million people a year visit the 4.2 acre complex known worldwide as the Alamo. Most come to see the old mission where a small band of Texans held out for 13 days against the Centralist army of General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Although the Alamo fell in the early morning of March 6, 1836, the death of the Alamo’s defenders has come to symbolize courage and sacrifice for the cause of liberty.. The memories of James Bowie, David Crockett and William B. Travis are as powerful today as when the Texas Army under Sam Houston shouted "Remember the Alamo!" as it routed Santa Anna at the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.

6/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Getty Center

Los Angeles

The Getty Center showcases a breathtaking collection of European art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, as well as photographs from all over the world and contemporary sculpture, against a backdrop of dramatic architecture, tranquil gardens, and stunning views.

7/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Walters Art Museum

The Smithsonian Institution — the world's largest museum and research complex — includes 19 museums and galleries, as well as the National Zoological Park. All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are free and open every day of the year except Dec. 25.

8/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland

Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes almost 45,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. One of the top comprehensive art museums in the nation and free of charge to all, the museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, performing arts and art education and is located in the dynamic University Circle neighborhood.

9/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Free Museum Day

Many museums provide a free day each week or month allowing access for everyone. Visit MuseumLink.com or similar websites to find listings in your area. Be creative – look up other types of museums in your community, such as those dedicated to airplanes, cars, history, etc.

10/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Build Lego art

These ubiquitous blocks (or “bricks” as aficionados call them) have become the medium of choice for some accomplished adult artists. Yet Legos still make three-dimensional art accessible to young children. Guide your child to create Lego tableaus that reflect favorite activities, stories or animals. Lego features a Create and Share page on its website (http://www.lego.com/en-us/createandshare/) with projects and ideas from users, plus a digital zone. Or, encourage kids to take a Lego Quest challenge from one of the 51 quests posted by the artist-mom-blogger known as Sam on her Lego Quest site (http://legoquestkids.blogspot.com/).

11/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Weave a bit of yarn art

Young boys and girls love finger knitting. Blogger and teacher Kathy Barbro takes textile art a few steps further. The founder of ArtProjectsforKids.org has collected great yarn art projects on her Pinterest page to inspire young artists (and their parents). Many of the projects require minimal supervision and assistance, making them perfect for too-hot or too-rainy days when parents have their own projects to complete.

12/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Illustrate a storybook

Use an empty photo album or a small binder with page protectors. Have your child make up a story—a main character, a setting and some activity—then allow him or her to tell the story through captioned pictures that are either draws on individual sheets of paper or created using magazine or colored paper cutouts and glue. Place the sheets in the proper order in the page protectors and let the child decorate the binder/book cover. (If you’re really proud of the effort, you can always scan the pages and have them compiled into an actual bound book.)

13/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Painting with pixels

The National Gallery of Art for Kids website app allows kids to create art on the computer by choosing brush-stroke types and colors and applying them via cursor to a blank screen. Check it out here. There’s also a faces-and-places app that offers a chance to “build” old-world style paintings. Print the artwork if you want something to frame.

14/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Art or pottery camp

Some museums offer one- and two-week-long art camps in the summertime. Programs tend to be geared toward this age group and often include game time and some physical activity beyond drawing and painting. Pottery painting venues and serious ceramic studios also offer camps or lessons for kids, although pottery camps are usually of shorter duration and focus on completing projects. If you’re looking for less of a commitment, peruse the websites of your local museums. Many offer free admission one day a week, as well as some interactive exhibits where your youngster can experience hands-on creativity.

15/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Make a board game

Chances are your kids have played enough board games that they have a good idea of how a game should look, and the Internet is filled with ideas from game enthusiasts. Check out Pam Dyson’s Make Your Own Board Game Pinterest page or the Love to Know site that lets you design your own printable game board. Or, just use any craft items at your disposal, plus a poster board. Design a game with an objective and a means of play. Draw and decorate steps. Decide on dice or other means of taking turns. Use small household items or glass stones as markers.

16/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Make a catchall tray or a shadowbox frame

Paint an old metal muffin tin and adorn with glitter or painted designs, place stickers or decals in the bottoms of the muffin cups and add a clear coat of sealer. Use to display or store small objects, such as mini action figures, seashells or animal figures. Give an old square cake pan the same treatment, but glue items onto the bottom of the pan for a shadowbox display.

17/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Make a container garden

Paint and decorate an assortment of small clay pots, or recycle and decorate large tin cans (punch holes in the bottom). Plant herbs, native flowers or other easy-to-grow seeds. Then place pots on a large plastic charger plate, or a painted and decorated tray or old cookie sheet. Water regularly, then stand back and watch the garden grow.

18/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Make artist trading cards

The Artist Trading Card (ATC) program was launched by a European artist primarily as a collaborative, community-building opportunity for adult artists. Artists produce trading-card-sized pieces of original art on heavy card stock. They then gather with other artists at “events” and trade cards. Since kids are very accustomed to the trading-card culture from sports cards and game cards, this should be easy to transfer to your adolescents and their friends. Here’s how it works: Each child in the neighborhood, social circle, cheerleading squad, Scout troop, etc., creates a dozen or more cards. Then adults organize an event or simple gathering at someone’s home for a trading party. Everyone leaves with a collection of cards to display or trade at the next event.

19/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Quilts or wall hangings

With a pair of sharp scissors and a little guidance, young teens can preserve memories, get old T-shirts out of drawers and create art. Just cut squares from fronts and backs of T-shirts (capturing logos and images) and, with adult guidance and a sewing machine, sew the squares together to create one large, colorful sheet. For a wall hanging, just buy iron-on fabric adhesive and attach a felt backing to the piece. For an actual quilt, have the child pin quilt backing and a fabric swatch to the back of the T-shirt squares and sew random seams across both pieces. (Make sure the fabric has been washed and dried to avoid uneven shrinkage.) Finish the piece by sewing a wide ribbon over the edges.

20/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Throw a painting party

Locations such as Yes You Canvas!, Paint Party Studios and Paint-Along Studios offer guided painting classes and parties. These are set up for groups, and most such venues offer children’s parties. For a per-person fee (usually between $20 and $40), kids get everything they need to bring home a completed painting on canvas. These places are a great way to test your child’s commitment and interest in art, and can help you decide whether to invest in individual art lessons.

21/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Organize a Canstruction event

Inspire your child to be creative and do a good deed with a Canstruction.org event. A Canstruction event must be headed by an architect, engineer, designer or someone in the construction industry. If such a person can be recruited, your child and his or her friends can be mentored to design and build a Canstruction exhibit using donated cans of food that they collect. After enough practice, the team may be able to enter an official Canstruction.org event. Canstruction projects and events can be found on the nonprofit’s website, http://www.canstruction.org. Food used in the projects is donated to food banks.

22/22Art Projects for Summer Fun
Try private art lessons

Museums in most cities offer some type of education outreach or can put you in touch with art teachers for one-on-one art lessons. This can be a pricier option than at-home experimenting, but would be rewarding for serious budding artists.

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Art empowers kids

Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation empowers kids through exposure to the arts. “Science is of no use to you if you don’t have an imagination,” says music and entertainment mogul Russell Simmons.
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Art empowers kids

Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation empowers kids through exposure to the arts. “Science is of no use to you if you don’t have an imagination,” says music and entertainment mogul Russell Simmons.
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1/8Free museums
Smithsonian museums

D.C. & New York

The Smithsonian Institution — the world's largest museum and research complex — includes 19 museums and galleries, as well as the National Zoological Park. All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are free and open every day of the year except Dec. 25.

2/8Free museums
Baltimore Museum of Art

Baltimore

The Baltimore Museum of Art is home to an internationally renowned collection of 19th century, modern and contemporary art. Founded in 1914 with a single painting, the BMA today has 90,000 works of art — including the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world.

3/8Free museums
The Bronx Museum of the Arts

New York City

The Bronx Museum of the Arts is an internationally recognized cultural destination that presents innovative contemporary art exhibitions and education programs and is committed to promoting cross-cultural dialogues for diverse audiences.

4/8Free museums
Alamo

San Antonio

More than 2.5 million people a year visit the 4.2 acre complex known worldwide as the Alamo. Most come to see the old mission where a small band of Texans held out for 13 days against the Centralist army of General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Although the Alamo fell in the early morning of March 6, 1836, the death of the Alamo’s defenders has come to symbolize courage and sacrifice for the cause of liberty.. The memories of James Bowie, David Crockett and William B. Travis are as powerful today as when the Texas Army under Sam Houston shouted "Remember the Alamo!" as it routed Santa Anna at the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.

5/8Free museums
Getty Center

Los Angeles

The Getty Center showcases a breathtaking collection of European art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, as well as photographs from all over the world and contemporary sculpture, against a backdrop of dramatic architecture, tranquil gardens, and stunning views.

6/8Free museums
Walters Art Museum

Baltimore

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore is internationally renowned for its collection of art. The collection presents an overview of world art from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th century Europe, and counts among its many treasures Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi; medieval ivories and Old Master paintings; art nouveau jewelry and 19th century European and American masterpieces.

7/8Free museums
Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland

Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes almost 45,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. One of the top comprehensive art museums in the nation and free of charge to all, the museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, performing arts and art education and is located in the dynamic University Circle neighborhood.

8/8Free museums
Free Museum Day

Many museums provide a free day each week or month allowing access for everyone. Visit MuseumLink.com or similar websites to find listings in your area. Be creative – look up other types of museums in your community, such as those dedicated to airplanes, cars, history, etc.

YoungArts
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Art and student achievement
Students who take part in some sort of arts program are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement.
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