Why are arts experiences important in the early years of life? How do music, dance, drama, and visual art contribute to growth and learning? How can parents and educators foster young children's creativity?
The Art to Heart project was funded in part by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support was provided by the W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Arts Endowment for KET.
The Art to Heart series explores these questions, making a persuasive case that music, dance, drama, literature, and the visual arts are essential components of early childhood education, not frills. Through eight half-hour programs hosted by actress Ana Ortiz, the series provides parents and preschool and elementary educators with information they can use to better understand the children in their lives, with ideas for arts activities, and with inspiration to make play and creativity a part of every day's activities.
To create Art to Heart, a KET crew traveled around the United States, taping arts activities in schools, child care and Head Start centers, community art centers, museums, and homes and interviewing leading researchers in the field of learning and the arts, along with teachers, parents, and artists who put theory into practice. But the central focus is on children themselves-from babies playing in paint to young ballerinas, painters, and violinists-exploring the world and expressing their feelings and ideas with enthusiasm, exuberance, and joy.