For children living in transitional housing ages 4-15 years old

CMA provides Teaching Artists with a social justice practice the opportunity to lead arts education programs with children living in transitional housing.

“Major disruptions to the home environment inevitably take their toll on normal family life, including the education of children. Even when the change is a planned move from one permanent home to another and children are prepared for the disruption, the transition is stressful. For homeless children, the loss of their home is more sudden, more unexpected, and more traumatic—the family is suddenly thrust outside of its own community, friends, support system, and schools. The experience is devastating for children and their families,” (Rafferty and Shinn 1991)

RESTART provides a structured creative outlet for children experiencing homelessness who have few after-school and educationally rich resources available to them. The program also provide caregivers with respite to attend to support services, job search and housing needs. Participating children enjoy a space that is nonjudgmental, stable and flexible for creative problem-solving. Students take ownership of their expressive process as they navigate the social-emotional challenges of being in transition. As one child stated: “Shelters are for people who need to start over and there is nothing wrong with starting over.”

CMA provides weekly after school art education classes to facilities at partner organizations. Teaching Artists provide art materials and prepare fine arts curriculum featuring visual artists with a comment on social justice and social skills support for children ages 3-15. Students explore techniques in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and other mediums. CMA provides busing for a field trip to the museum’s Media Lab program. Each program culminates with an exhibition of the participating children’s artwork and a reception for their families and friends.

CMA Teaching Artists are culturally-informed, social justice practitioners. Upon partnering organization’s request, bilingual and bicultural facilitators can be identified.

More Info

Program Goals

  1. To strengthen child’s expressive communication skills
  2. Help students practice positive problem-solving skills
  3. To provide rich arts education and afterschool resources to children experiencing homelessness


CMA currently partners with the Urban Transitional Residency Center in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

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


“I like this art class because we can show ourselves differently through each of our masterpieces that we create… because everyone is unique in their own way.”

“I’m proud that now I can draw and paint people that look like me and not just white princesses.”

“Im proud that even though I can’t draw I painted straight lines and my color wheel looks good. The color wheel project makes me proud that I made something that can help me know how to mix colors, and that will help me when I grow up too!”

“I’m really happy with what I wrote because if someone is sad, they can look at my poster and know they can choose hope over darkness.”

This program is supported, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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