At NCM, we believe that all children should have the opportunity to think, play, and create while being surrounded by and interacting with high quality works of contemporary art. Research shows that children who are involved in the arts achieve gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skills. According to a recent report by the Rand Corporation, exposing young people to the arts can "connect [them] more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing." Arts education builds self-esteem, provides an outlet for self-expression, and teaches communication skills. Through our new program, pARTners in Creativity, NCM will be able to reach children, primarily those in grades K-6th, and their families, who would not otherwise have access to the Museum or who may not have the opportunity to experience the magic of art and art-making on a consistent basis.
Throughout San Diego County, there are thousands of children and families who are facing serious life challenges, such as homelessness or the effects of abuse. In many cases these children do not attend traditional schools and have little access to the arts. The organizations that serve these children and their families are focused on meeting basic needs, such as food, shelter, medical care, and counseling. By partnering with local social service organizations in our community through our pARTners in Creativity program, NCM will provide children who are struggling with extraordinary challenges an opportunity to be immersed in an environment that is specifically designed for kids – so that they may learn to explore and express themselves through art. pARTners in Creativity gives children the chance to use their imaginations, express themselves in new ways, explore new ideas, and just have fun in a safe, clean, and stimulating place. The program will also allow the children’s caregivers a respite and a chance to interact with their child in a different way.
pARTners in Creativity is the only program of its kind in the community. NCM's approach of collaborating with community partners across the San Diego non-profit sector to provide underserved and at-risk children with original art experiences tailored to their educational needs is unique. Serving as both a children’s museum and an art museum, our space was designed to meet our multiple educational and community goals. The Museum includes large galleries, outdoor play areas, and classroom spaces designed to accommodate children's groups of all ages.