Children's Museum of the Arts Names Barbara Hunt McLanahan Executive Director

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Art World Veteran Led Judd Foundation

The Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA), a New York City cultural institution dedicated to arts programming and the creation and exhibition of children’s artwork, announced that it has named Barbara Hunt McLanahan as executive director. Hunt McLanahan, an art industry veteran, has served as executive director for the Judd Foundation, Artists Space, and Visual AIDS in New York City, and Camerawork Gallery + Darkroom in London.

Hunt McLanahan is acknowledged for her diverse background in the visual arts, and her curatorial expertise with contemporary exhibiting artists. She will use this experience to expand the scope and scale of CMA’s gallery exhibitions, and to expand CMA’s “Art For All” community-based programming to reach an even greater number of at-risk and special-needs youth. The appointment ratifies CMA’s newest initiative to work more closely with contemporary artists in all media, increasing interaction between practicing artists and the budding artists participating in museum programs.

“Barbara has extensive experience with community-based arts organizations and a deep commitment to nurturing artists,” said CMA Chair Elizabeth Fearon Pepperman. “Her skills and vision will help to advance CMA’s educational programming and gallery exhibitions as we continue our growth as an institution.”

“I share CMA’s unmitigated commitment to arts education and arts access. The state-of-the-art facility in SoHo acts as a hub for extensive community education programs for underserved audiences across New York City. I am delighted to lead CMA in this next chapter in their new home. Practicing artists are role models and mentors for young artists, and it will be rewarding to bring them together,” Hunt McLanahan said.

Following a Bachelor of Arts degree (honors) in Visual and Performed Arts, and a postgraduate diploma in Gallery and Museum Studies at the Universities of Kent and Manchester respectively, Hunt McLanahan worked as a curator and arts administrator for more than 20 years on both sides of the Atlantic. She has been an active volunteer throughout her career, sitting on the board of the African and Asian Visual Artists Archive and the Leisure Services Committee of the Royal National Institute for the Blind in the United Kingdom, as well as participating in Godzilla, a group of Asian American artists and curators, and sitting on the board of ABACA (Arts Benefit All Coalition Alternative) at Satellite Academy.

Hunt McLanahan joined the board of the Jerome Foundation in Minneapolis in 2007. In 2006 she was named Chevalier of L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France. She has been a panelist and lecturer at museums, non-profit galleries, conferences and colleges in the US and UK, focusing particularly on career options for emerging artists and the changing opportunities facing artist-run alternative spaces.

CMA supports the creation and exhibition of children’s artwork and provides arts programming for schools and community organizations. The museum’s 10,000-square-foot facility at 103 Charlton Street in the Hudson Square neighborhood of Manhattan provides hands-on, artist-led workshops and interactive workstations, as well as a 2,000-square-foot gallery, a new media lab, a clay bar and video-making and animation equipment to drive CMA’s award-winning media programs. CMA maintains a rotating exhibition of its permanent art collection, which includes in excess of 2,000 pieces of children’s artwork from more than 50 countries dating back to the 1930s.

CMA has seen a dramatic increase in demand for its programs in the past five years, and now reaches more than 120,000 people annually, 25% of whom access these services free of charge. More than 7,000 public school students access CMA’s programs for free through partnerships including NYC’s Cultural After School Adventures (CASA).

More than 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 that are working toward reunification.

About the Children's Museum of the Arts
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

The museum is open to the public: Monday and Wednesday, 12PM to 5PM; Thursday and Friday 12 PM to 6PM; Saturday and Sunday, 10AM to 5PM. Closed Tuesday. Admission: Adults $11; Children $11; Seniors, Infants (0-12 mos) Free. Thursdays 4-6PM, pay-as-you-wish.

Children’s Museum of the Arts
103 Charlton Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 274-0986


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