For families experiencing hardship with children ages 4-15 years old

CMA partners with service organizations to provide culturally-informed art practitioners to support families experiencing hardship for social-emotional empowerment.

ARTime provides art programming for families who are underserved and experiencing hardship and are already participating in social programs with partner agencies. Hardship may be due to trauma, job loss, immigration status, unstable housing, early intervention needs, and/or low English proficiency. ARTime provides communities with few after-school and educationally rich resources. CMA recognizes that parents and guardians are a child’s first teachers and that learning is a lifelong process, thus ARTime is focused on encouraging adults and children to learn and grow together.

CMA provides 6-12 sessions of weekly art programming at locations near communities served by partner organizations. Teaching Artists provide art materials and prepare curriculum featuring visual artists with a comment on social justice, incorporating culturally inclusive practices and family literacy for families with children ages 3-15. Families explore materials and concept for collaborative family projects. Each program culminates with an exhibition of the participates artwork and a reception for their families and friends.

Program Structure
  • LOOK: Using Visual Thinking Strategies, families will explore artwork from the CMA permanent collection in the CMA Pop-Up Museum Project as an inspiration to increase literacy skills through art while supporting expressive and receptive language skills.
  • MAKE: Families will identify with self and use their own family and cultural stories to incorporate into new artworks. Providing the opportunity to self-express themselves through exploration/experimentation of materials moving towards collaborative works.
  • SHARE: Families will reflect and share their artwork to the group and to the community at the end of each session and through a cumulating event.

CMA’s ARTime Teaching Artists are culturally-informed, social justice practitioners. Upon partnering organization’s request, bilingual and bicultural facilitators can be identified. Teaching Artists are provided with supervision and professional development from a social service professional with an expertise in serving program’s population.

More Info

Program Goals

  • To strengthen parent-child expressive and expressive communication skills
  • Help families practice positive problem-solving skills 
  • To provide empowering arts programming to families experiencing hardship
  • To encourage families to create and honor their own stories in community


CMA has partnered for a pilot programs with Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program to provide arts programming at the New York Public Library. Teaching Artists provided visual supports in Spanish, French and English. Families participated in World Refugee Day at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.

CMA also partnered with Singeria’s Autism Initiatives to incorporate the ARTime concept to an after school program. Singeria is a community-based city-funded initiative that serves families affected by Autism who do not have access to services because their English proficiency is low or they are experiencing hardship due to housing/job loss and immigration status.

Hudson Guild Children’s Center​ provides high-quality care to ​early learners​ in the Chelsea neighborhood with a focus on those in need.

Sanctuary for Families ​provides service​s​ and advocate​s​ for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and related forms of gender violence.​ ​

If you are interested in becoming a partner or sponsor of the ARTime program, contact Kirsten at


“When we had families of multiple nationalities, every person would make an effort to introduce themselves in multiple languages so all could understand, and our visual schedule was applied so that none felt left out. Discussions of special places, favorite foods, self-portraits, and storytelling allowed for individuals to reveal as much or as little as they wanted about their personal journeys. Families rarely had a space to be themselves in a relaxed, creative platform, free to joke and giggle, as well as concentrate on making something personal.”

“I’m grateful to learn something new to do at home on a rainy day.”

“When I learned about [his] diagnosis, I also abandoned my own art skills. Since, I would get frustrated because I didn’t know how to help [him]. But now I notice that I paint and those feelings have returned for me to open up my creativity and to draw. I was really good at drawing … I also have to learn for him, these art strategies.”

“I like it because you can do art and you can make your creativity, make it like more bigger, expand it. Like sometimes other people do mistakes. That’s okay ‘cause it maybe good ‘cause you can actually make something else out of it.”

Sinergia Partnership

This program was launched with generous funding provided by the Morrison Foerster Foundation.

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