CMA Stories

6 Fun Facts About 30 Years of CMA

CMA is celebrating its 30th birthday year with CIVICKIDS, a year-long series of exhibitions, community events, and digital art calls that foster civic engagement and shared community pride through art-making. With May as our month of Celebration, we dove into CMA’s exciting history to bring you 6 fun facts about CMA’s 30 years of existence. Cheers to many more years to come!

Pia Mileaf-Patel, age 11

  1. CMA was founded in 1988 by Kathleen Schneider. There was no physical exhibition space when the museum was founded — all business was conducted out of Kathleen’s Greenwich Village apartment!
  2. Although CMA has moved several times throughout its existence, the museum has always been located in Downtown Manhattan. CMA’s current 10,000 square-foot space on Charlton Street in Soho used to be a loading dock!
  3. In 1990, CMA put out a worldwide call for children’s art. Artwork arrived from over 50 countries! The submissions resulted in a traveling exhibition, A Child’s World, at A.I.R. Gallery in Soho in January 1991.
  4. As a result of this worldwide call, CMA now holds the world’s largest collection of children’s art — over 2,000 works. You can view the collection here.
  5. In the aftermath of 9/11, CMA worked with art therapists to create special programming for the museum’s young community. The artwork from these workshops are viewable as part of the Operation Healing collection.
  6. CMA’s digital collection continues to grow with its collection of children’s films and audio recordings created by museum-goers, which can be played on our Vimeo and Soundcloud channels.

Arnold Shickman, age 11, USA, Janet Welch

This program is supported, in part, by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. CIVICKIDS is sponsored by Google.

More in CIVICKIDS

  • Join us Sunday, July 14 for a celebration of Greek culture! CMA is partnering with Astoria’s Greek Cultural Center and the Pontian Society Komninoi of NY to present performances and interactive workshops. Story Time takes… Read more

  • Read below for a guest blog post from the Mishkan Museum of Art's Education Team! Located in Ein Harod, Israel, the Mishkan Museum of Art is one of the largest and most important museums in Israel’s… Read more

  • NYPL Children’s Librarian Kristy Raffensberger creates a Reading List to pair with CMA's programming themes each month. Visit Kristy a few blocks away from CMA at the Hudson Park Library to check out some of the… Read more

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