Cincinnati Family Magazine

Your # 1 Hometown Family Resource

June 15, 2024

The Arts: Building a Creative Foundation

Insist on the arts for your kids! Thomas Jefferson said a good education must include academics, athletics AND arts!

Thomas Jefferson created the “Three A’s” — Academics, Athletics and Arts — three important foundations of education in our daily lives. Jefferson saw that a well-rounded education was everything when it comes to discovering your purpose.

Some kids decide to be a police officer. Some want to be a construction worker. Some want to be a football star. Others want to be a banker, and others want to be an artist … but what is that?

Getting into the arts is a lot more elusive than figuring out a math problem or playing a game of baseball. We have to teach our kids about artistry and artists. Introducing them to the possibilities and materials available to them is important for their growth and development, whether they are good at it or not.

The feel of fingerpaint introduces touch and senses to young children and the realization of “wow” when creating a first masterpiece helps build imagination and confidence early in life. Young children may not have the desire to complete projects; they just want to experience the various materials, learn and go. But having the arts in our life starts at the beginning — they are available to us wherever we go and they are beneficial. Why don’t we dig in?

What would your kids’ lives be without art? Without crafts or puppet shows or movies? The arts are everywhere and they play a huge role in children’s development whether they are engrossed in the make believe of dress up or singing a song for you at the piano. The thing is, you have to bring your child to artistic opportunities to get the most out of them.

You have to help your child discover his various artistic abilities whether it’s in drawing, dancing, acting, singing or playing an instrument. Fortunately, our area has a lot to offer children in the arts.

Help them develop the third “A” that Jefferson insisted upon for his daughter — a well-rounded education includes the arts! Check out these free and affordable programs for your kids.

Acting Up
513-494-6062 |
Provides experience in all aspects of the theater arts to young people in our community with productions and auditions at Lebanon Theatre Company and Mason schools.

Art Academy of Cincinnati
1212 Jackson St., Cincinnati
513-562-6262 |
Offers Camp Art Academy for ages 5 – 12, plus fantastic, creative programs and workshops for youth.

Art Workshop

3130 Wasson Road, Cincinnati
513-406-4009 |
Art enrichment for kids ages 3 and up. Pottery wheel, clay, drawing, painting and cartooning. Mom and Me, Freestyle (choose your own project) and teen classes offered weekdays and Saturdays.

Baldwin Music Education Center

3799 Hyde Park Ave., Cincinnati
513-351-1109 |
Baldwin Music Education Center offers an outstanding curriculum combining the cognitive, social, emotional and musical concepts every young life needs for ages 6 months and older. Group classes are engaging with lots of options, affordable pricing and convenient location.

Barnes and Noble Bookstores
Multiple Locations
Story times, crafting, reading and more!

Behringer Crawford Museum
1600 Montague Road
859-491-4003 |
Kids and caregivers can enjoy crafts, stories and more on Tot Tuesdays, held the third Tuesday of each month for $1 plus admission.

Blue Manatee Children’s Bookstore
3094 Madison Road
513-257-0774 |
Musical Movements and story times and crazy crafts (nominal fee) are always different. Visit the website as some events require you to RSVP.

Boone County Library
Multiple Locations |
Story times, crafts, games and other fun.

Campbell County Library
Multiple Locations |
Stories, crafts, and fun and games are all on the calendar.

Carnegie Education Theatre
1028 Scott Blvd., Covington
859-491-2030 |
Arts education for all ages through theatre, summer and after-school programs, events camps and more.

The Children’s Theatre of Mason
308 West Main St., Mason
513-398-0116 |
A youth-focused performing arts center that provides educational opportunities through classes, camps and specialty workshops.

Cincinnati Art Museum
953 Eden Park Drive
513-721-2787 |
Free stories, play time in the REC Center, and free Family First Saturdays, kicking off in September.

Cincinnati Ballet

1555 Central Pkwy., Cincinnati
513-562-1111 |
Building foundations for a future for students of all ages through the joy of dance and a strong connection to the area’s preeminent ballet company.

College Conservatory of Music

290 CCM Blvd., Cincinnati
513-556-2595 |
CCM Preparatory provides enjoyable and accessible arts opportunities in music, dance and theatre arts. Our programs educate and inspire students from ages 3 – adult.

Cincinnati Museum Center
1301 Western Ave.
513-287-7000 |
Super Sprouts, Story Tree Times, dance parties and more (free with admission).

Cincinnati Symphony
513-381-3300 |
The Lollipops Family Concerts are an affordable way to introduce children to the wonders of symphony music. Come early for crafts and activities in the Family Fun Zone.

Cincinnati Young People’s Theatre
513-241-6550 |
Fabulous productions for young and old! CYPT is a project for, of and by teenagers, ages 13 – 19.

My Nose Turns Red

859-581-7100 |
Classes for beginner and intermediate students include unicycle, German wheel, and circus skills class (juggling, wire walking, physical theater, and more). MNTR has been teaching circus arts to youth for more than 20 years.

Contemporary Arts Center
44 E 6th St.
513-345-8400 |
Thursday Art Plays, Family Festivals and more allow art exploration in the unique UnMuseum.

9514 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati
513-238-9714 |
Creates health, happiness, and connection to self and community through dance, plus offers fun DANCEFIX choreography just for kids and teens.

Fitton Center for Creative Arts
101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton
513-863-8873 |
A non-profit where all ages can learn something new in one of their art classes or workshops; plus be enthralled by extraordinary musicians, actors and dancers at a live performance.

Indigo Hippo
1334 Main St., Over-the-Rhine
513-918-4917 |
An art supply thrift store with a new location in OTR. Brings materials and creative to Pop-Up Plays at Washington Park, and offers direct service programming for youth and adults.

The Irish Heritage Center of Cincinnati
3905 Eastern Ave., Cincinnati
513-533-0100 |
Promotes the Irish culture through the study of customs, dance, education, film, genealogy, history, language, theatre, visual arts and more for all ages.

Kenton County Library
Multiple Locations
Wiggle to a rhyme, create crafts, play and enjoy story times at one of three local branches.

MadCap Educational Theatre
3064 Harrison Ave., Cincinnati
513-241-6550 |
Offers a Family Performance Series and the new Art Start program that uses educational pedagogy and good old fashioned fun, helping families and children bond tech-free!

Mad Potter

7754 Camargo Road, # 11
513-561-1888 |
6680 Tri Way Drive
513-770-5585 |
Pottery painting, parties and special events. Choose a piece, paint it, and pick it up in a week. Create your masterpiece for a half-priced studio fee for kids on Wednesdays.

Mason Dance Center

600-B Reading Road, Mason
513-398-0353 |
Mason Dance Center provides an opportunity for anyone ages 3 – adult to discover the joys of dance. Ballet, tap, jazz, hiphop, modern, pre-professional ballet, pre-dance combos, adult classes.

Moss Dance and Performing Arts Academy
1671 Park Road, Ste. 2
Fort Wright | 859-344-6362
Acting, dance and voice for all ages. Classes range from ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre and more!

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Multiple Locations
Free story times and craft activities for all ages.

The Red Balloon Cafe + Play

6200 Montgomery Road
513-620-8328 |
Let little ones’ imaginations run wild on Free Fridays at Red Balloon.

Scrap it Up!
5935 Ridge Ave., Cincinnati
513-717-0852 |
Discover, donate and be inspired by a myriad of art, craft and super cool materials. Their partner organization, Kennedy Heights Arts Center (6546 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati), offers fun events and learning opportunities for kids, too!

SDA Studios

7398 Liberty One Drive
Liberty Township
513-779-0135 |
We are committed to finding and nurturing the beautiful dancer in every student by providing a comprehensive dance learning experience based upon a solid foundation of technique training and quality performing opportunities. We work hard to provide a safe, wholesome, positive, and challenging atmosphere of friendship, guidance, and encouragement that enables our students to achieve their highest potential and become the very best dancer they can be. We believe in our students and we believe in ballet!

Star Glazers

513-474-6364 |
Paint pottery at your location. Pottery experts will bring all the supplies and offer booklets and ideas for your masterpiece. Pricing includes the cost of supplies, glazing and firing. No mess!

Taft Museum of Art

316 Pike St. Cincinnati
513-241-0343 |
Discover, create, and explore! Third Sunday Fundays with various hands-on fun and activities, Taft Jr. for ages 3 – 5 starting in September, Family Art Adventures, camps and more, the whole family will experience the arts like no other.

Washington Park
1230 Elm St.
513-621-4400 |
Programs like Pop-Up Plays, Youngster Yoga and more allow kids to explore their creative sides with groups like Happen, Inc., and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

West Chester Academy

8107 Market Place Drive, West Chester
513-829-2345 |
From a child’s very first lesson to the experienced adult, West Chester Academy has something for everyone in music, dance, and gymnastics. Located in West Chester, we specialize in beginners of all ages and offer training through pre-professional levels. We have camps for all ages.


About the Author

Amanda Hayward

Amanda Hayward is editor of this publication. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and a mom of three with one on the way. If she's not writing for Cincinnati Family, you'll find her running, juggling kids, teaching group fitness classes and cooking up healthy recipes.