Archive for January, 2012
I attended a TED Talk in Maui this last weekend and had a chance to listen to child prodigy, Adora Svitak. Her speech is called ‘What Adults Can Learn from Kids’ and she discusses the many opportunities that adults have to learn from children. What an inspiration! She reminded me of KidzArt’s tag line “If you can dream you can draw” when she said, “In order to make anything a reality, you have to dream about it first.”
Here’s a great example that Adora uses to illustrate how uninhibited imaginations of kids can help adults. The Museum of Glass in Tacoma Washington, has a program called “Kids Design Glass”. The Museum has said that they’ve gotten some of their best ideas from the children in this program because they don’t think about limitations or how hard it is to blow glass in certain shapes. Kids challenged the glass artists to go beyond and into the realm of designs like Broken Hearted Snakes and Bacon Boys with Meat Vision and other whimsical designs that are not reminiscent of any blown glass I’ve ever seen!
And, as a parent and teacher, I find this quote from Adora especially prescient: “Adults often underestimate kid’s abilities. We love challenges, but when expectations are low– trust me– we will sink to them.”
In 2012, KidzArt summer camp will be honoring present day artists who have impressed us with their notable works. From architects to sculptors, designers and painters, our goal is to introduce KidzArt students to a variety of living artists and show what they contribute to society. We’ll delve into each artist’s background, what inspires them and what they love most about their work. We’ll be encouraging students to mimic the works of these famous artists.
Meet David Adjaye, one of our featured artists. He is a London-based architect who has designed buildings such as the Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture, scheduled to open in Washington in 2015.
KidzArt students will not only be learning about this inspiring artist, but they will also be learning about construction and principles through the introduction of several books: Construction Zone by Sobol and Hudson, A Year at a Construction Site by Nicholas Harris and How a House is Built by Gail Gibbons. Then using a set of craft sticks or interlocking “smart sticks”, each student will have the opportunity to build their own architectural form—learning about construction hands-on!
This is one of the goals of Linda Shaw, executive director of KidzArt Charlotte in North Carolina. As the very first KidzArt franchisee who is in her 11th year of business, Linda has already met many of her goals but continues to set more related to helping local children.
“We want all kids to have fun with art. KidzArt is for everyone, even those who think they can’t draw,” says Shaw.
According to Linda, KidzArt is more about teaching life skills than anything else. Learning to draw involves children solving problems, envisioning their options and trying new things. She teaches them the KidzArt philosophy: there are no mistakes in art and don’t compare.
With eight instructors as part of her team, Linda looks for teachers who are inspired by meaningful work and have confidence. She still teaches classes herself and offers her instructors advice on all aspects of teaching. With a continued emphasis on quality, Linda’s team seeks to “wow” the students and their parents with the unique KidzArt method and the great results.
Parents play a important role in the KidzArt experience. Linda lets parents know about the brainstorming process each child experiences in her class and how each child is encouraged to make an art project their own. Teaching them to unleash their individual creativity and not copy, compare or feel inferior is essential.
One parent whose son took KidzArt classes for four years, was so impressed with Linda and KidzArt she purchased her own KidzArt franchise. Jill Long took over part of Linda’s territory and currently serves the South Charlotte area.
Since 2000, Linda and her team have taught over 4000 students in Charlotte and the surrounding areas. She looks forward to increasing that number as she continues to offer after school classes at local elementary schools, private schools and community centers.
Learn more about Linda at http://www.kidzartncsc.com/ or
Despite the declining economy, KidzArt/Art Innovators is proud to have achieved growth in many areas during 2011. As parents continue to make their children’s education a priority, many of our franchisees grew and accomplished goals and noticeable firsts.
Further International Expansion
Responding to an increase in demand for children’s creative educational services globally, KidzArt/Art Innovators added four new international franchise partners to our enterprise. Saudi Arabia, Malta, Canada and the Philippines are now part of our growing list of worldwide locations. People around the world recognize that children with creative thinking skills possess a mindset that will thrive in our fast-changing world and KidzArt/Art Innovators is pleased to lead the charge on this endeavor.
Early Art Ed in Demand
KidzArt/Art Innovators saw the demand for our Squiggles to Grins program double in 2011. Squiggles to Grins is, at first look, an art class for an adult (mom, dad or caregiver) with a child from the age of 2 – 3 1/2. Yet on second look you see a structured class that concentrates on sensorimotor skill development through fun movement, music, songs and touch of varying art textures.
Squiggles curriculum helps students acquire intellect, knowledge, focus, and skill sets they will need in school. The various segments of the 45 minute to 1 hour class, by design, help students hold and expand attention time, thoughts, and actions. School readiness skills are also enhanced through the socialization and interaction within that fun group. All of this leads to an improved kindergarten experience.
In 2012, KidzArt/Art Innovators looks forward to continuing to build on our strengths and expand our marketplaces to bring art to children everywhere.