Visual Arts Help Children Flourish

A creative mind is a sharper mind.

Anna McCambridge remembers being about 5 years old when her passion for art first bloomed. Her artist mom, Vicki Jones, was working at her living-room easel, “so I set up my own easel,” says McCambridge, an Orlando artist and arts activist who followed her mom into the world of visual arts. 

Parents don’t have to be artists to guide their children toward an interest in art, McCambridge says. “Just have something as simple as a pad of white paper and a box of crayons” to get them started. Let them get hands-on at a local pottery studio or at a kids’ art camp. Take them to art museums, shows and festivals. Share picture-book art, and discuss the art that surrounds them daily, from billboard ads to the clothing they wear. A creative mind is a sharper mind, McCambridge says, citing research compiled by the non-profit advocacy group Americans for the Arts. 

According to the group, students involved in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and four times more likely to participate in a math and science fair.

Children of all ages can find an important outlet in the visual arts. McCambridge recommends parents investigate programs at the Orlando Museum of Art (, Crealdé School of Art ( and Maitland Art Center (, among other local institutions.

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