Ashfaq's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Crazy Babbling Sunshine

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Washington, DC

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 8

  • ON DVD:

    Roadtrip Nation: Season 8

ASHFAQ ISHAQ

Founder
International Child Art Foundation

“You are here on this planet to do something unique. So, why do you expect that everyone else will understand and be supportive? ”

INTERESTS:

Art Non-Profit Organizations

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Culture Failure Individualism Negativity Passion Support & Encouragement Hard Work Struggle Fulfillment Regrets Success Inspiration

TAGS:

art, bubble, creativity, criticism, death, economics, empathy, father, innovation, mind, Pakistan, poverty, rationalize, rejection, schools, science, supportive, understanding, unique, World Bank

BIOGRAPHY:

Ashfaq Ishaq would not exactly consider himself an artist today, but art was a major part of his childhood. Due to this he realized that art and creativity is an important part in solving the world's complex issues. Growing up in Pakistan, at the mere age of 15, Ashfaq launched his first business, which gave him the means to finance his education in the country. Eventually, this helped him pave the way to graduate study in the U.S. He began his professional career at the World Bank where he analyzed projects and conducted research on entrepreneurship. After leaving the World Bank, Ashfaq joined the faculty at George Washington University. Then during the 1990s, he became CEO of USA International, Inc. where he developed private energy projects. But Ashfaq soon realized that there was an important part missing in solving the world's challenges: creativity. Ashfaq found that schools weren't encouraging creativity as much in the fourth grade and beyond. So, in 1997, he founded the International Child Art Foundation to harness children's imagination for positive social change. The Arts Olympiad program that he developed to overcome the "4th grade slump" in creativity is the world's largest and most prestigious arts-in-education initiative for children ages 8 to 12. Nearly 5 million children worldwide have participated from his program.

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