Kids are often natural artists, and the Children's Museum of the Arts in SoHo is developing a new program to cultivate the next generation's creativity. NY1's Natasha Ghoneim filed the following report.
Step into the "Gothic Futurism" of the late graffiti artist and hip-hop MC Rammelzee, and there is a world of "Garbage God" heroes and "Monster Model" villains. His creations, now on display here at the Children's Museum of the Arts, use found objects to tell stories, and that is why museum officials thinks they will resonate with children. "Kids are constantly writing stories in their heads. They're creating little movies in their minds and they're really open and receptive to art making," said media lab manager Joe Vena.
The museum is launching a program called the Young Artists' Kollective to try to inspire children to create their own art, ranging from sculpture to stop-action animation. The free program will give sixth to ninth graders the studio space and the materials they need, as well as artist mentors to guide them.
"What we want to do is the really engage a child's mind and take those basic building blocks and go beyond that," said William Floyd, a board member of the Children's Museum of the Arts.
Every week for a year, the museum hopes as many as 250 middle school students will step into its SoHo studio and express their imaginations through whatever artistic medium they please. Natalie and Tom Shea plan to be in the inaugural class of students.
"I feel like it allows me to express myself," said Natalie. "And if I'm feeling angry, I can draw something angry, or If I'm feeling happy, I can draw something happy."
"You can really just let your mind go," said Tom Shea. "Having this as a creative outlet and a way to relieve stress and relax is really important, because you can also learn stuff while doing it."
The hope is to give students a lifelong appreciation for art in all its forms and perhaps encourage another generation of Rammelzees.
For more information about the Young Artist's Kollective, visit www.cmany.org.