As young people are developing their identity, arts programs provide a wonderful vehicle for self-exploration. “Art is a great channel for kids to express their emotions and uncover who they are,” says Sara Plachta Elliott, Ph.D., executive director of the Youth Development Resource Center. “Art programs help kids explore new interests and talents they may not even know they had.”

Students holds a paintbrush in front of a tabletop easily, while surrounded by paint bottles

Tapping into these opportunities offers a window into careers in the arts as well. 

“In today’s world, people often make money on the side through an artistic practice, so cultivating an artistic talent can offer additional economic benefit,” says Elliott. “Even with a more traditional day job, a person can have a more rounded life outside of work using skills in fine art and performance.”

Discover Your Spark strives to uplift unique arts opportunities that highlight different kinds of learning beyond academics. Through these opportunities, youth can find and ignite their passions, get connected to caring adults and develop the confidence and skills to be lifelong learners.


What to look for

  • Programs that help to build and explore identity
  • Experienced, thoroughly trained instructors
  • Staff vested in getting to know kids individually


Ready to find



Your child's program?


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