CMA Stories

We’re Transforming into a 100% Free Progressive Arts Program for Artists of All Ages — Here’s the Scoop!

Big news! We are beyond thrilled to announce our transformation into a 100% free progressive arts program connecting artists of all ages across New York City and beyond. Coupled with the permanent closure of our 103 Charlton Street facility, we are rapidly expanding our partnerships with schools, community groups and arts organizations across the city, launching a meaningful partnership with Trinity Church, a growing and inclusive Episcopal parish, to bring the our Artists-in-Residence into a dedicated After-School Studio at Trinity Commons, located at 76 Trinity Place, for a full school year to work directly with over 600 Lower Manhattan high school students.

Our long journey of expanding our free, high-quality arts education programs across the city began over a decade ago through our Artists in Schools program. Last year alone, this program brought artists into 19 different Title 1 Schools to facilitate free, hands-on after-school courses with a focus on media arts and stop-motion animation.

Over the past few years, we have grown more ambitiously beyond our facility’s walls as a result of pandemic closures. Adapting to a new environment, our arts education programming evolved into innovative projects spearheaded by Executive Director Seth Cameron, such as The Residency for Experimental Arts Education, The Look Make Show, Peacetime public art-making series in Times Square hosted in partnership with Times Square Arts, the Village Halloween Parade & Block Party, and Our First Art Fair, a partnership with the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) in which CMA presented a selling exhibition of new works created, priced, and sold entirely by children.

Inspired by the legacy of progressive laboratory schools, our pedagogical framework envisions children, teens, and adult artists creating our aesthetic culture together. The Residency for Experimental Arts Education, inaugurated in 2021 with Resident Artists Ciana Malchione, Tati Nguyen, and Frank Traynor, furthered our mission of expanding arts education across the city, as residents developed in-person public programs, participated in professional development opportunities, designed and implemented studio-based and online courses for children ages 6-12; and partnered with a wide variety of NYC institutions (Kasmin Gallery, Sinergia, David Zwirner Gallery, IncludeNYC, The New York Public Library, Ace Hotel, Little Island) to create public engagement opportunities across the city. Our residency program continues to expand with the work of 2022-23 residents Claire Kambhu, Ingrid Romero, and ​​Miguel Braceli.

Artists-in-Residence also played a vital role in launching The Look Make Show – the first ever digital commons of child-centered, on-demand arts education. The Look Make Show was created by real life artists who see the importance of teaching technique, ideas, and pure artistry to children, through this digital learning system full of vetted arts resources. The Look Make Show curriculum is now utilized by more than 10 of CMA’s Title 1 School partners.

We continue to bring arts education to NYC through our annual Block Parties. The Halloween Block Party and the Beach Block Party, designed by CMA’s Artists-in-Residence, allow children and their families to spark their creativity, unleash their artistic potential, and actualize their dreams through art-making activities, creative movement, and so much more. These Block Parties highlight CMA’s dedication to engaging with the community by connecting young New Yorkers with art and artists.

Top Image: Musician Nicholas Ryan Gant receiving a gift from a young artist at Peacetime series in Times Square. Photo courtesy of Children’s Museum of the Arts.

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