It's official: the over 30-year-old Children's Museum of the Arts (CMA) at 103 Charlton Street in downtown Manhattan has closed its physical venue and is now a “nomadic” arts program for kids in New York featuring access points all across the city.
The museum is also debuting a new Open Studio drop-in format arts program inside Pier 57's community space. When it opens on April 3, the destination will, according to an official press release, “provide children with free meaningful arts education led by CMA Artists in Residence.”
Upcoming plans also include the Our First Art Fair, an exhibition of new works created, priced and sold by children scheduled to open in May; a new global online learning system that can be accessed by schools and families at any time; a new artists-in-residence program that will delight 600 high school students in lower Manhattan; and the Residency for Experimental Arts Education, which will provide four artists with $40,000 a year and studio space to develops art-related programs and activities for the CMA community at large.
As sad as the permanent closure of the museum is, it's exciting to think that a new concept model may actually make a difference in the lives of children all over New York, especially in light of the repeated cuts to arts funding across schools.
And if your little ones generally thrive in a more traditional setting, opt instead to visit the relatively new Bronx Children's Museum, the first destination of its kind in the borough.
The 13,650-square-foot permanent space at 725 Exterior Street near Yankee Stadium is geared for infants through kids in fourth grade, with site-specific installations and exhibits focused on patrons’ relationships with the neighborhood.
The destination cost nearly $17 million to complete and it currently boasts a 35-foot-long water table where, according to an official press release, “children can launch boats, splash and play with locks and bridges while learning about local waterways such as the Bronx River, Harlem River and Orchard Beach,” plus The Woods exhibit where guests will get to look at animals and plants through a microscope and play in a kid-sized beaver lodge, and a soft area space that will certainly entertain the younger set and help develop fine and gross motor skills through various activities.
Clearly, there are a ton of fun things to do with kids in NYC.