It was during the turbulent days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Connecticut (December 2012) in which 20 children and six adults were fatally shot.
At the time, Ms. DiCicco, a childrenâ€™s book illustrator, was writing her own book and working on one of dozens of sculpture commissions. She wondered what people could do to help. She decided to post a question on Facebook: What would happen if we armed our children with the arts?
â€œWhat if we instilled in them a lifelong passion, and a way to express themselves through the arts?â€ she wrote. â€œCan we turn the tide on our violent culture? I believe we each need to step up, to do what we are able to change the conversation and move our children towards a more peaceful world.â€
Among the huge number of responses to her post was one from someone involved with the International Day of Peace, sponsored by the United Nations every Sept. 21.
The response suggested that because DiCicco is someone who has dedicated her life to engaging and entertaining children through art, she was in a unique position to launch a powerful initiative.