Learn about CIVICKIDS, our year-long exploration into child-led civic engagement and shared community pride through art-making.

As CMA’s 30th anniversary approached in 2018, we saw children and families grappling with big ideas: climate change, equity, gun violence, and more. At the heart of introducing children to the transformative power of the arts lies the belief that art transforms and makes a change. This happens at CMA every day; the magic moment when a child MAKES something that could not otherwise exist and then SHARES a conversation about it. We know that this is how children begin to LOOK at themselves as active agents in this world, to believe that they can make an impact, a difference, and practice making that impact in something as simple as a work of art.

This is where the idea of CIVICKIDS took root. CIVICKIDS was a year-long experiment in implementing and disseminating curriculum designed to initiate conversations surrounding civic engagement with children and families. We identified 12 themes for each month of CIVICKIDS. During each month, all of our onsite programming related to CIVICKIDS, and we also asked partners working with children from all over the world to reflect with us. In addition, we hosted workshops in all of NYC’s five boroughs. Through the process of working with children, families, and organizations near and far, we learned about how children see themselves in the world, the issues they face, and the future they want to inherit.

We celebrated a year of child-led civic engagement in October 2019 with an all-day program of workshops, activities, readings, and performances in partnership with artist-run civic engagement platform For Freedoms. Highlights included Story Time with Senator Julia Salazar, a collaborative digital quilt with For Freedoms in the Media Lab, and screenings of short films by filmmaker Pablo Herrera and the young filmmakers in CMA’s Summer Art Camp in collaboration with The Climate Museum. View more photos from the celebration here.

Join CMA as we continue to Make Art. Make a Difference in the years to come.

Digital Challenges

Face the Future

Protector Shields

Upcycled Viewfinders

DIY Noisemakers

Plastic Bottle Challenge

Collage Who You Are

Paper Chain of Kindness

Postcard Party

Cardboard Story Wheels

The Drawing Game

Unusual Upcycled Planters

Say it Loud! Megaphones

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Monthly Themes


Partnering Institutions

CIVICKIDS: Make Art. Make a Difference aimed to build civic engagement and shared community pride through art-making. We are grateful to our partners for helping us build a global community!

A CASA AO LADO – Centro Artístico, Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal
Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA
Arab-American Family Support Center, Brooklyn, NY
Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland, New Zealand
Arab American Family Support Center, Brooklyn, NY
Bangladeshi Cultural Institute (BIPA), Queens, NY
Chicago Children’s Museum, Chicago, IL
Children’s Museum of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Climate Museum, New York, NY
Deaf Camera South Africa, Soweto & Durban, South Africa
Eau Claire Children’s Museum, Eau Claire, WI
Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA), New York, NY
Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Find the Little Mind, USA
Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI
Greek Cultural Center, Queens, NY
Hudson River Park Trust, New York, NY
ICA Miami, Miami, FL
Illinois Art Station, Normal, IL
Ishizaka Group, Kumamoto, Japan
Kearney Area Children’s Museum, Kearney, NE
Khoj Museum, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Knoxville Museum of Art’s Community Schools, Knoxville, TN
Lesbian Herstory Archives, Brooklyn, NY
Lynn Meadows Discovery Center for Children, Gulfport, MS
Madison Children’s Museum, Madison, WI
Materials for the Arts, Queens, NY
Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, TX
Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod, Israel
Missoula Art Museum, Missoula, MT
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM
New City School, St. Louis, MO
New York Public Library, New York, NY
PARADE (The Young and Mighty March), Queens, NY
Pachamama Peruvian Arts, Queens, NY
Paradise Garden Foundation, Summerville, GA
Please Touch Museum, Pittsburgh, PA
Polish Cultural Institute, New York, NY
Redhawk Native American Arts Council, Brooklyn, NY
Queen TuT and the Kingdom Dance Company, Queens, NY
Sew A Softie, Sydney, Australia
Springfield Museums & Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden, Springfield, MA
Stora Ateljén, Nacka, Sweden
Studio Museum in Harlem, New York NY
Teach Kids Art
Teach Kids Art, USA
Tenri Cultural Institute, New York, NY
Tower of David Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
U.S. Department of Arts and Culture
Vietnam Heritage Center, New York, NY
WNET New York Public Media, New York, NY
Yemeni Women’s Association, Brooklyn, NY
ZOOM Kindermuseum, Vienna, Austria

View a map of our partners


From September 2018 through August 2019, CMA held over 50 free art-making outposts in 40 locations throughout all five New York City boroughs. Through a summer partnership with Culture Pass, CMA hosted 32 of these programs at 18 different Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, and Queens Library branches. Other highlights include pop-up workshops at Car Free Day, INCLUDEnyc’s Outdoors for Autism, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music’s World Refugee Day, and Hudson RiverKids at Pier 25 and Pier 62.

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