CIVICKIDS Celebration

Sunday, Oct 20, 10 am to 5 pm
At CMA, 103 Charlton Street, New York
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Join us on Sunday, October 20 for a celebration of child-led civic engagement! CMA is partnering with artist-run civic engagement platform For Freedoms to present interactive workshops inspired by a year of amplifying children’s voices and catching them in action. 

From September 2018—August 2019, CMA led an initiative called CIVICKIDS, a year-long venture 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, 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 offsite 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. Come celebrate what we’ve learned over the past year, as we continue our journey to Make Art, Make a Difference. 

Interactive workshops include:

11 AM Story Time with Senator Julia Salazar 

12 PM Freedom Quilt by For Freedoms in the Media Lab

1 PM Screenings of a short film by filmmaker Pablo Herrera about CIVICKIDS, followed by a film made by children in CMA’s Documentary Filmmaking Summer Art Colony camp about The Climate Museum, the first museum in the United States dedicated to the climate crisis

Ongoing workshops include:

Habitat Triptych in The Pepperman Family Fine Arts Studio: Last October, we made upcycled planters to highlight the need to protect the natural world around us from pollution and waste. Many habitats around the world are being threatened by pollution and deforestation, which makes the animals living in them lose their homes and way of life. Today in the studio, we’ve constructed three different dioramas, one for a different habitat being threatened around the world. We’ll be creating animals and environmental pieces for these dioramas to remind us of those who call these parts of the world their home and remember why they need to be protected. 

Upcycled Medal inspired by Ishizaka Group In The Pepperman Family Fine Arts Studio: This year, one of our key CIVICKIDS partners was Ishizaka Group, a leading recycling company in Japan that recycles 97% of the waste it processes. Ishizaka is a female-led company that turned a maligned waste disposal firm from the 1960s into an innovative state-of-the-art plant that works within the community. Today, we’re doing a project that Ishizaka developed! Make your own upcycled medal out of a material that you would normally consider waste. Wear your medal proudly — you are a hero of environmentalism! 

Postcard Party in The Cynthia C. Wainwright Gallery: Sending a letter to an elected official is a surefire way to make your voice heard! Artists have an advantage—they know how to make their letters and postcards the most eye-catching! How will you get your elected official’s attention, and what will you say? Share your projects using #CMACIVICKIDS, or share with Senator Julia Salazar during storytime in the gallery.

CMA x For Freedoms: Freedom Quilt in the Media Lab: What does freedom mean to you? Join For Freedoms to create a Freedom Quilt in the Media Lab. Visitors are invited to snap a digital self portrait and overlay a message to contribute to a giant, collaborative “digital quilt.” As more visitors engage, onlookers will watch as the quilt continues to grow! 

Community Playgrounds in the Clay Bar: Playgrounds are at the heart of our communities! Sculpt your ideal playground with plenty of space for you and your friends to play and explore. 

CIVICKIDS Radio in the Sound Booth: Pump up the volume and amplify your ideas! Join us in the Sound Booth as we record a live podcast on how kids can change the world. The final cut will be featured on CMA’s Soundcloud, spreading our inspiration and ideas for all to hear. 

CIVICKIDS Toolkit & Paper Chain of Kindness in The Cynthia C. Wainwright Gallery: What tools can we give young artists to help them feel empowered, speak their minds, and engage in their communities?  Explore the methods used by Children’s Museum of the Arts during its CIVICKIDS program, and grab a toolkit to continue the conversation at home!

Installations include:

You Are Light by Rico Gatson in the Bridge: You Are Light is a site-specific installation that represents light pictorially as a metaphor or symbol for positive energy, power, and hope for a better future. Young artists are our hope for a much brighter future and their light provides hope for us all. Come activate the installation both literally and symbolically as manifestations of the light.

Mapping CIVICKIDS by Georgina Arroyo in the Pepperman Family Fine Arts StudioMapping CIVICKIDS is an installation highlighting and celebrating the partners, projects, and areas reached by CIVICKIDS during CMA’s anniversary year. Georgina Arroyo is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, whose work focuses on mapping, neighborhood change, and personal connection, as well as CMA’s Fine Arts Manager.

About For Freedoms:

Co-founded by Eric Gottesman and Hank Willis Thomas, For Freedoms launched its artist-run platform for civic engagement and direct action in 2016. Its work seeks to put the artist at the center of the civic conversation and it partners with art institutions and centers, social justice organizations and artists nationally to bring these voices forward. In 2018, For Freedoms launched the largest collective art project in U.S. history with its 50 State Collective. The initiative featured exhibitions, town halls, and billboards and lawn signs designed by thousands of artists to reach the public. Upon completion, some six million people had attended its exhibits, town halls, and workshops, or participated in its lawn sign campaign to spark conversation with neighbors. Learn more about For Freedoms at

This program is supported, in part, by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with the 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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