Children’s Museum of the Arts Announces Capital Campaign as it Expands to New Site in Hudson Square

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CMA Enhancing Role as One of NYC’s Leading Organizations for Young Artists of All Ages, Works from Swoon, Christo & Jeanne Claude, Keith Haring to Appear in Fall Opening

“This spectacular new space advances our strategic vision by enabling us to reach more young artists and to provide additional programming, especially free programming, for children and teenagers."

The Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA), a New York City cultural institution that supports the creation and exhibition of children’s artwork and provides arts programming for schools and community organizations, has announced its capital campaign for a new, expanded facility in lower Manhattan’s Hudson Square.

Having raised $5 million of its $6.4 million campaign goal, the official ground-breaking for the new 10,000-square-foot space at 103 Charlton Street will take place on April 19, and the space is slated to open to the public in fall 2011. The new space will support CMA’s role as a leader in innovative and empowering arts programming for children and teens. CMA’s current operations in SoHo at 182 Lafayette Street will continue through the fall of 2011.

CMA has seen strong support for this campaign, including having raised $3 million from the Board of Directors and a small group of other key individuals, $1 million from New York City, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, as well as $250,000 from New York State Assemblymember Deborah Glick. With such strong support, CMA enters the public phase of its campaign having raised over 75% of its campaign goal and is looking to build community support in the last phase of the campaign.

Once one of NYC’s best-kept secrets, CMA has seen enormous growth in the demand for its programs in the last five years. CMA’s programs currently reach more than 50,000 people and 30% of that audience is served for free. More than 7,000 public school students access these programs for free through partnerships including NYC’s Cultural After School Adventures (CASA). Over 15,000 people have accessed CMA’s signature open-art workshops for free on Governors Island over the past two years. Other free programs use art to reach and empower homeless families, teenage mothers, children and families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorders, and families in the foster care system who are working toward reunification.

“This spectacular new space advances our strategic vision by enabling us to reach more young artists and to provide additional programming, especially free programming, for children and teenagers,” said David Kaplan, CMA’s Executive Director. “We are proud and excited about the success we’ve had and now we’re taking the campaign out to the general public to close the final gap.”

The new facility, designed by Dan Wood and Amale Andraos of architecture firm Work AC, triples CMA’s current space and will enable the museum to expand its instructional offerings. In addition to its hands-on artist-led workshops and interactive workstations, the new space will feature a 2,000 square-foot gallery featuring artwork by children, teens and adults, and will enable CMA to keep its 2,000 piece collection of international children’s art on site in an archive designed by CMA’s curator. The new CMA space will also include a new media lab featuring a sound station, a clay bar and video-making and animation equipment to drive CMA’s award winning media programs.

CMA’s first exhibition in the new space this fall will include works from well-known supporters of public art—artists Swoon, Christo & Jeanne-Claude and Keith Haring. In addition, the museum will maintain a rotating exhibition of its permanent art collection, which includes more than 2,000 pieces of children’s artwork from more than 50 countries dating back to the 1930s.

As part of its $6.4 million capital campaign, CMA has been hosting one-off events at the new space for several months before construction begins. On April 5, another of these free program and site-design previews will be offered, featuring works by NYC public artists such as Michael de Feo, Team, Fame and Futura. In addition, the museum is hosting a family benefit event on Sunday, May 22 at Webster Hall. Hosted by long-time local resident, Adam “Adrock” Horowitz of the Beastie Boys, the event will feature art workshops, family and teen activities, as well as music and comedy performances. In late April, the full line-up will be announced and tickets will go on sale to the public.

The museum has launched a separate website for its capital campaign and more information, including a video about the project and its community mission, can be found here:

Founded in Lower Manhattan in 1988, the Children’s Museum of the Arts provides authentic hands-on art experiences for children with practicing artists, both in our art-filled museum and in the community. CMA’s mission is to extend the benefits of the arts to all children and their communities and to secure the future of the arts by inspiring and championing the next generation of artists and art lovers.

CMA works to fulfill its mission through four distinct initiatives: On-Site Public Programming that includes interactive art stations and artist-led workshops, early-childhood arts workshops, after-school classes, intensive art camps and special family programs; School & Community Outreach Programs throughout New York City; Art Exhibitions; and a Permanent Collection of 2,000 pieces of children’s art from around the world. More information is available at


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George Shea, Alexis Schneider

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