5 Arts Organizations Helping Kids Express Themselves

Creativity is important for people of all ages, but it's especially beneficial for children. As kids grow up, they are figuring out who they are, and self-expression is a big part of that process. Luckily, organizations like the ones listed here give young people a space to make art, form community, and be themselves. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Organizations That Help Kids Get Creative

Organization Headquarters Location Mission
Moving the Lives of Kids Community Mural Project Pittsburgh, PA Provide long-term artistic opportunities and socio-economic skill building support to youths from disadvantaged communities
Center for Urban Pedagogy Brooklyn, NY Use the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement, particularly among underrepresented communities
Arts Every Day Baltimore, MD Strengthen learning by making arts education and cultural experiences an integral part of classroom instruction for all students in Baltimore City Public Schools
King Arts Complex Columbus, OH Offer performing, cultural, and educational programs that provide high artistic merit, varied and diverse experiences, and which increase and disseminate knowledge regarding the vast and significant contributions of African-Americans to the culture and history of America and the world
Ingenuity Chicago, IL Ensure that every student, in every grade, in every school, has access to the arts as part of a well-rounded education

5 Ways To Support Creative Children

  1. Make a designated space for creating
  2. Talk to them about their ideas
  3. Ensure that they have some unstructured free time
  4. Encourage their interests & passions
  5. Take them to libraries, museums, and outdoors

Arts Education in America

Why Kids Love Art

In Depth

Children are naturally creative. But if those capacities aren't nurtured, they can wither with the demands of school and work and the pressures of conformity. This list, presented in no particular order, looks at five youth arts organizations that help kids express themselves.

At #1, we've got Moving the Lives of Kids Community Mural Project. Based in the Wilkinsburg section of Pittsburgh, the organization focuses on the arts, youth development, and education. It was founded by area native Kyle Holbrook, a muralist who wanted to use public art as a way to reach kids over the summer months to do positive community work when they were not in school.

More than 6,000 kids and hundreds of professional artists have now passed through the program, painting murals throughout the country and around the world. The project engages youth of all races and ethnicities in the transformation of their communities by teaching them the art of mural production and providing them with opportunities to use it. Get involved by becoming a volunteer.

The project engages youth of all races and ethnicities in the transformation of their communities by teaching them the art of mural production and providing them with opportunities to use it.

#2: The Center for Urban Pedagogy is a nonprofit organization that uses the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement particularly among underrepresented communities. It collaborates with designers, educators, advocates, students, and communities to make educational tools that demystify complex policy and planning issues.

CUP's youth education programs take three forms. Urban Investigations are project-based curricula for high school students, exploring how the city works. Another program, City Studies, offers in-classroom lessons in urbanism. Teacher Trainings are available as professional development opportunities for educators. Show your support by inviting the group to present at your organization.

#3 is Arts Every Day, which works in partnership with the Baltimore City Public Schools to ensure that students have a seat at the opera, feet in the museum, and a teaching artist in their classroom. The group believes that today's kids are not only the artists and patrons of tomorrow, but the leaders and decision makers upon which the city's future will depend.

The group believes that today's kids are not only the artists and patrons of tomorrow, but the leaders and decision makers upon which the city's future will depend.

In classrooms, the organization helps Baltimore teachers to introduce arts-based learning, a proven effective method of engaging students and enabling them to learn, no matter what the subject. Additionally, the group does advocacy work and maintains Arts and Culture Passport Programs that offer free or discounted opportunities to public schools. Help out by making a donation.

At #4, we've got The Martin Luther King Jr. Performing and Cultural Arts Complex. Working to connect community through the arts, it engages central Ohio through performing, cultural, and educational programs that increase and disseminate knowledge regarding the vast and significant contributions of African-Americans to the culture and history of the U.S. and the world.

The Youth Arts Education program is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary initiative designed for children and teens during out-of-school hours. Named Best Community Art Center by Columbus Parent Magazine in consecutive years, the program includes an eight-week summer arts camp, and annual spring and winter arts academies. Get involved by becoming a member.

The Youth Arts Education program is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary initiative designed for children and teens during out-of-school hours.

Finally, #5 is Ingenuity, founded in 2011 to increase arts education access, quality, and equity in Chicago Public Schools in direct response to decades of divestment in such programs. Its Creative Schools Fund is a grant-making partnership with the school district and the Mayor's Office that supports expanded arts education for every student in every grade.

A Partnership and Professional Learning initiative builds the quality of participating programs and the capacity of organization staff, teaching artists, and teachers through customized and responsive learning opportunities. Ingenuity also designs and operates data tracking systems focused on arts instruction within CPS. Back these efforts by giving money.