Welcome to Art to Heart

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 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.

Resources in this Collection

About Art to Heart

Credits & Acknowledgments


KET would like to thank the staff members, parents, and children who participated in Art to Heart tapings at these programs and locations:

Adams Elementary, St. Louis, MO
Belvedere Elementary School, Falls Church, VA
Byck Elementary, Louisville, KY
Center of Creative Arts, St. Louis, MO
Child Development Center, Lexington, KY
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
Community Academy Public Charter School, Washington, DC
Daviess County Schools, Owensboro, KY
East Tennessee State University Center for Early Childhood, Johnson City, TN
Gateway Child Development Center, Anderson, IN
Grayson-Breckinridge Head Start, Leitchfield, KY
Imagination Library, Pigeon Forge, TN
Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Louisville, KY
Key Learning Community, Indianapolis, IN
Lesley University’s Creative Arts and Learning Program, Somerville, MA
Lexington Public Library Village Branch, Lexington, KY
Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary School, Lexington, KY
New Hampshire Technical Institute Child and Family Development Center, Concord, NH
Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Powder House Community School, Somerville, MA
Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA
Reach Out and Read, Boston, MA
Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY
St. Agnes Elementary, Louisville, KY
St. Louis Reggio Collaborative, St. Louis, MO
Settlement Music School, Philadelphia, PA
Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, Washington, DC
Stage One, Louisville, KY
University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts, Vienna and Fairfax, VA
West Louisville Talent and Education Center, Louisville, KY
Thanks also to the families who invited our cameras into their homes.

National Advisers

Individuals from many organizations offered suggestions and ideas for the Art to Heart series and reviewed programs.

Liz Armistead
Director, Early Childhood Programs, Settlement Music School

Jerlean Daniel
Deputy Executive Director, National Association for the Education of Young Children

Dr. Linda C. Edwards
Professor of Early Childhood Education, University of Charleston

Miriam C. Flaherty
Senior Director, Education, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts

Bonnie Lash Freeman
National Center for Family Literacy

Adam P. Matheny Jr.
Professor in Pediatrics, University of Louisville

Janet Brown McCracken
Art as a Way of Learning, Northampton Community College

Nancy Newberry
Kentucky Office of Early Childhood Development

Mary Claire O’Neal
Program Director, VSA Arts of Kentucky

Louise Pascale
Professor, Masters in Education Program, Lesley University

Judy Potter
Faculty Assistant, Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood Education, Western Illinois University

Allan Richards
Associate Professor, Art Education Department, University of Kentucky

Mary Lou Routt
Professor, Family Studies, University of Kentucky

Sharon Shaffer, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center

Philip Shepherd
Arts and Humanities Consultant, Kentucky Department of Education

Kim Townley
Director, Early Childhood Development, Kentucky Department of Education

KET Production Personnel

Executive Producer: Nancy Carpenter
Producer/Director: Guy Mendes
Associate Producer: Mary Beth Hester
Writer: Teresa Day
Avid Editor/Graphics/Audio Post: Otis Ballard
Principal Videographer/Lighting: Frank Simkonis
Audio: Brent Abshear
Lighting Director: Don Dean
Additional Lighting/Videography: John Breslin, John Schroering
Additional Video: David Dampier
Additional Audio: Charlie Bissell, Noel Bramblett
Graphics: Mary Ann Brooks
Set Design: Robert Pickering
Still Photographs: Guy Mendes, Steve Shaffer
Makeup/Wardrobe: Janet Whitaker
Animation: Mike Ginter
Original Music: Dave Hamon
Production Assistants: Ben Allen, Melanie Fee, Sara O’Keefe
Interns: Robin Myers, Sarah Tackett
DVD Authoring: Matthew Crum
Advisers: Tonya Crum, Tricia Dunn, Judy Flavell, Carrie Grate, Susan Hines-Bricker, Kathy Quinn
Initial Research: Chela Kaplan

KET Print and Web Team

Writers: Teresa Day, Carrie Grate, Mary Henson
Editors: Nancy Carpenter, Barbara Clifton, Teresa Day
Graphic Design: Missy Miller
Photographs: Guy Mendes, Steve Shaffer
Art to Heart Logo: Mike Ginter
Web Design: Dave Hamon
Print Coordination: Steve Brenner, Margaret Townsley
National Sales: Ron Griffin

Series Host

Ana Ortiz