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Mission & Story
All
children
are
artists
.

We're on a mission to unite children  and artists to create and share  ambitious works of art with their  communities and the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since 1988, Children’s Museum of the Arts has been changing the way people value our youngest artists and their aesthetic contributions to the world.

Our concept of a museum has been changing too. Born as an artist’s Soho studio project, Children’s Museum of the Arts grew into a neighborhood stalwart for local families while building a collection of works by children from over 50 countries dating back nearly a century.

 

After a decade of steadily building bonds with schools and community groups citywide, with a particular focus on connecting with young artists typically disenfranchised from the story of art, Children’s Museum of the Arts has taken the opportunity of the pandemic crisis to transform once again.

We're not your parents' children's museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2022, pledging to make all of its programs 100% free of charge, the museum closed its fee-for-service facility at 103 Charlton Street to follow a new North Star: maximizing accessibility to excellent progressive arts education for all children.

Maximizing accessibility means prioritizing partnership – working with schools and community groups to meet young artists where they are, in neighborhoods across NYC and beyond. It means designing our programs for a hybrid world, so excellent arts education is available anytime, anywhere. It means integrating children into the wider culture, through public art, exhibitions, talks and media.

Maximizing accessibility means changing our idea of what it means to be a museum from a place to an ambition, and our ambition is a world where all children are artists.

What is Progressive
Arts Pedagogy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Education is not preparation for life; it is life itself.”

 

– JOHN DEWEY

Even before the recent school budget cuts, the recommended spend per child on arts education was only 44 cents per day, and middle school students were only expected to spend about 1% of their time in school receiving arts instruction.

 

Less than 1/3 actually did.

 

It is clear that decades of advocacy touting the ability of arts education to improve test scores, to support mental health, and to prepare the next generation for the growing creative workforce, have failed to move the needle.

 

It’s time we stop rationalizing.

 

At Children’s Museum of the Arts, we believe art is fundamental and needs no justification. So we’re building a new way of doing things: a Progressive Arts Pedagogy.

 

Our roots are in the Progressive Education movement, which sought to integrate the arts and vocations into the classical academic curriculum. But while Progressive Education, as imagined by John Dewey, aimed to engender a more democratic society, Progressive Arts Pedagogy goes further, recognizing that the arts are the principal aim of that society, with democratization as an essential process toward that goal.

 

Progressive Arts Pedagogy is premised on the belief that talent isn’t rare, it’s just grossly mis-recognized and unduly stifled by traditional school structures and pedagogical methods. We seek to overcome these obstacles by creating a full-circle creative pedagogical pipeline, inspired by laboratory schools, but decentralized across a network of art institutions, schools, public and community spaces, art studios and homes everywhere.

 

Our program treats children, educators, artists, and audiences as mutual aesthetic learners, engaged together in the continuous experiment of creating a common culture.

The Impact of Our Work

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Our Impact

MuhammadAli.jpeg

“Children’s Museum of the Arts is a world apart from most of what is out there … The magic of being presented with materials and then being free to be creative has opened up a new world.”

Isla's Mom

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Press

PRESS
Jenna Adrian-Diaz

A Night Out at David Zwirner, Benefitting Arts Education

10/24/23

A Night Out at David Zwirner, Benefitting Arts Education
Julia Chorun

10 Must-See NYC Art Installations

8/1/23

10 Must-See NYC Art Installations
Aaron Ginsburg

The Best Ways to Celebrate Halloween 2023 in NYC

10/23/23

The Best Ways to Celebrate Halloween 2023 in NYC
Grace Lafontant

La obra de Miguel Braceli llegará al espacio público de Nueva York

7/25/23

La obra de Miguel Braceli llegará al espacio público de Nueva York
Maxwell Rabb

Children's Museum of the Arts Partners with David Zwirner to Host Fundraising Auction

10/17/23

Children's Museum of the Arts Partners with David Zwirner to Host Fundraising Auction

'sampling' Mural Unveiling

7/13/23

'sampling' Mural Unveiling

More Press

Here is how we learn:

The Look Make Show

The Look
Make Show

.

The Look Make Show is an online learning platform providing direct access to Children's Museum of the Arts' ongoing research in arts education. The Look Make Show expands art educators' ability to provide resources tailored to the individual learning of young artists, as well as inspiration for classroom projects and curriculum.

The Look Make Show is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Additional support is provided by Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, The Ruth Foundation for the Arts, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, William Talbott Hillman Foundation, First Republic Bank, The LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Google Community Grants Fund, Amazon, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Harriet Ames Charitable Trust, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Hammitt and the Vinair Family Foundation.

The Residency for Experimental Arts Education

The Residency
for Experimental
Arts Education

.

Great artists 
make artists.

The beating heart of our model is The Residency for Experimental Arts Education, wherein a select group of artists devote a full academic year with us developing utterly ambitious art programs in schools and community organizations that need it most. Our Resident Artists touch every piece of our program and engage with every aspect of our community, teaching and learning, connecting history and the future. They are the critical feedback loop that keeps progressive arts education – well – progressing.  

National Endowment for the Arts
New York State Council on the Arts

The Residency for Experimental Arts Education is generously supported by The Ruth Foundation for the Arts, William Talbott Hillman Foundation, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation, First Republic Bank, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Google Community Grants Fund, Amazon, LeRoy Neiman Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Harriet Ames Charitable Trust, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Hammitt and the Vinair Family Foundation.

Additional support is provided, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Emergency Fund

Emergency Arts
Education Fund

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The Emergency Arts Education Fund was formed in response to continued DOE budget cuts (-$200M this year) and decimation of arts classes in our schools. Children’s Museum of the Arts believes the ongoing insecurity of arts education is a public health and creativity crisis deserving of immediate assistance. 

 

For over 15 years, we’ve connected local artists to low-income schools to lead high quality arts education through our Accessible Arts program. We provide all necessary art materials and develop a curriculum representative of the rich cultural diversity of the school’s neighborhood and community. 

 

For the 2023-24 school year, CMA's three Residents Artists are currently implementing ambitious arts curriculum at each of our partner sites throughout New York City: Hudson Guild in Chelsea, Sid Miller Academy in Crown Heights, and Children’s Workshop School in the East Village. Come spring, our residents will showcase their students' work through exhibitions and installations across the city. 

 

Throughout the year, we meet with principals, teachers, council members, and community leaders to help schools to navigate the difficult process of arts funding with the goal of creating a blueprint to sustain quality arts education for their students.

Current Schools

Brooklyn

IS 068K Isaac Bildersee

Manhattan

Children's Workshop School

Manhattan

PS 33M Chelsea Prep

Queens

Renaissance Charter School

Manhattan

Hudson Guild

Bronx

PS 106X The Parkchester School

Manhattan

PS 347 American Sign Language School

Queens

PS 46Q Alley Pond

Brooklyn

P396K Sid Miller Academy

Manhattan

City-As-School

Brooklyn

PS 52K Sheepshead Bay

Bronx

PS 69X Journey Prep

New York State Council on the Arts
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

The Emergency Arts Education Fund is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. 

Additional support is provided by Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, The Ruth Foundation for the Arts, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, First Republic Bank, The LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Google Community Grants Fund, Amazon,  Bloomberg Philanthropies, Harriet Ames Charitable Trust, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Hammitt and the Vinair Family Foundation. 

Permanent Collections

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Permanent Collection

Children’s Museum of the Arts maintains a permanent collection of over 2,000 paintings and drawings of children’s art from over 50 countries, dating back to the 1930s.

The Kuniyoshi Collection

Yasuo Kuniyoshi was an American painter, printmaker, and photographer who worked as a teacher at the New School for Social Research and The Art Student’s League during the Great Depression. In the early 1990s, Kuniyoshi’s widow, Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi, donated 19 paintings created by children during the late 1930s in Works Progress Administration (WPA)-sponsored Community Art Centers in New York City to Children’s Museum of the Arts.

While our research has not been able to confirm that Kuniyoshi himself taught the students whose artwork makes up this collection, like many artists during this time period, he collected children’s art as a source of inspiration for his own work. The collection was featured alongside the Young Artists Residency Program collection in CMA’s 2011 exhibition "Art Within Reach: From the WPA to the Present."

Collections
Our Art World

It's Our
Art World

.

Grown-ups 
just live in it.

CMA organizes free public art events that enable children to create, curate and exhibit their own artwork on an equal footing with their grown-up counterparts. By using NYC as our studio, we’re able to offer unmatched programs across the five boroughs.

From free after school artmaking at Pier 57, gallery and museum partnerships across the city, participation in international art fairs, block parties, and much more, we come together as a community to make a more inclusive artworld – because all children are artists.

New York State Council on the Arts
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

Our Art World is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Additional support is provided by Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, The Ruth Foundation for the Arts, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, First Republic Bank, The LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation, Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Google Community Grants Fund, Amazon, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Harriet Ames Charitable Trust, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Hammitt and the Vinair Family Foundation.


Visit Us

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Events

May 27, 2024

Pier 57

Open Studio: All About Me Flags

Free Community Artmaking

More Events

Staff & Artists

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Miguel Braceli
Miguel Braceli
Miguel Braceli

Artist in Residence 2022-23

Niousha Kiarashi
Niousha Kiarashi
Niousha Kiarashi

Artist in Residence 2023-24