Art has always been a creative way for young minds to express themselves, explore and learn about the world around them, and develop a wide variety of important skills. There are a variety of ways that art helps with childhood and youth development: 1. SKILLS OF THE FUTURE: Skills like problem solving and critical thinking are crucial skills that children learn when engaging with the arts. These skills will only become more valuable as our world shifts to an automated economy where creativity is one of the skills that is safe from Artificial Intelligence. 2. DIVERSITY Art can help children learn about diverse cultures and social issues. This helps build a stronger sense of community and respect for the diversity that makes Toronto the city we know and love. 3. SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT: Art is not made in a vacuum. Art is the product of the society around us. And the society around us is the product of engagement with the arts. A more interconnected, accessible and celebrated art community makes for a more interconnected, accessible and celebrated society. 4. COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT AND MOTOR SKILLS: Art helps children develop their language skills by starting with colours and shapes before learning about different tools and material. Starting with primary colours and finger paints, Youth learn the unique ways that colour palettes and light interact and put that knowledge to use while learning to keep a steady hand. 5. EXPERIMENTATION AND IMAGINATION: Art encourages experimentation and imagination in young developing minds. Art fosters a growth mindset that considers possibilities rather than focusing on limitations. This instills a sense of creativity and outside the box thinking that is useful in almost every professional career.