Today is my twins’ 10th birthday. I’m feeling a little nostalgic (and old!). They are becoming star athletes (those genes are from their Dad), but of course I take the most pride in how they’ve always liked participating in the arts. We lived on an island for the first four years of their lives, and we did a lot of improvised arts and crafts projects using found materials and Crayola supplies smuggled in the suitcases of our visitors.

We get asked a lot why we moved back to the U.S. (after all, who wouldn’t want to live in an island with two babies?). Honestly, one reason was that we wanted to be sure Delaney and Hayden had more than improvised arts (and athletic) experiences as they got older.

I know Mike and I are not alone, as parents, in believing that arts education and arts experiences are vital for our kids. Public opinion polling by Americans for the Arts found that 9 out of 10 Americans agree that the arts are part of a well-rounded education.

At ArtsWave, we are focused on the many ways that the arts fuel creativity and learning for kids across the region. Arts organizations funded by ArtsWave take this role very seriously. Data collected by ArtsWave shows that last year, our funded arts organizations provided nearly 186,000 arts experiences in three out of every five schools, in all 15 counties of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. In Cincinnati Public Schools, we were active in 99% of all schools with nearly 51,000 experiences.

Those thousands of experiences yield thousands of positive benefits – from increased self-discipline to teamwork to empathy to creative problem-solving. These experiences and benefits are made possible by donors to the ArtsWave Community Campaign.

We are wrapping up Week 4 of this year’s 12-week campaign and are at 25% of our $12.6 million goal. Consider a gift in honor of someone special in your life that you want to be sure has plenty of arts in their lives. Click here to give today.