CMA Stories

Meet Teaching Artist Sofía del Mar Collins!

Sofía Del Mar Collins is a painter and dancer from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She graduated with a B.A from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied sociology while immersing herself in the world of painting and drawing. She loves connecting with kids through art and bridging experiences between movement and visual arts! Follow along at @gota_delmar. Share your thoughts on how art can change the world using the hashtag #CMACIVICKIDS!

What is civic engagement, in your own words?
Constant reflection of how we relate to the world, and how we use our energies to contribute to specific efforts. It’s also observation and feeling — elements that art-making encourages.

Why is it important for an institution to encourage civic engagement?
Institutions set standards for the population at large.

Why is it important to encourage children to become engaged?
Because children need to understand that their smallest efforts do ripple!

What strategies do you use to encourage kids in civil engagement?
I love to encourage listening and empathy in the sharing portion of classes.

How can art + technology help create a dialogue about civic engagement themes?
Art + technology are mediums on which we throw our projections at, so they serve as bouncers for us to view our most immediate beliefs.

What is most challenging about educating kids in civil engagement?
Not falling into trope explanations or statements, and keeping the conversation down to earth.

How do you address civic engagement in your own art practice?
I am receptive to collaborations because they encourage me to get out of the limits of the personal, and keep me on my own toes.

Have you learned anything about your own practice or civic engagement through working with children?
In working with children, I am always reminded to listen more and to lessen my agenda on them so as to create an experience together, rather than impose onto them.

Are there any exhibitions or artworks that you have viewed recently that you found inspiring?
I found Nancy Spero: Paper Mirror at MoMA PS1 inspiring in seeing how she ardently focused on creating works that look at history from an alternate point of view.

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.



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