The arts play a critical role in children's lives: through theater and dance, drawing and singing, they are able to express themselves and explore a world beyond the classroom walls. While the arts have faced cutbacks in many schools, Artivate ensures that creativity has a place. Since 1995, it has brought culturally diverse arts programs directly to DC-area schools and communities through alliances with artists, arts organizations, museums, community-based groups, and service agencies. Thanks to Artivate, over 200,000 audience members experienced 1,500 performances, workshops, and residency activities this year. Project Youth ArtReach also brings the arts into area detention and correctional facilities, and provides mentorships to incarcerated youth. Equally dedicated to arts and artists, Artivate offers employment and resources to 125 performers, writers, and creators. (Artists come from throughout the US and over 20 countries.) In the words of one Youth ArtReach participant, art not only frees our bodies, “it relieves us from the confinement of our minds.” Let’s give every child the freedom to express and create.