Founded in 1981, The New Children’s Museum (NCM) is dedicated to fostering creativity and innovative thinking through the arts and to ensuring that all children in the San Diego region and beyond have the opportunity to experience the arts. Our mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art. Our vision is to build a community with a vibrant artistic and cultural life in which all children and families share the joy of being active participants. Unlike a traditional children's museum, NCM commissions pieces directly from leading contemporary artists and asks artists to create pieces with tactile, physical, and participatory components, such as a climbing wall. NCM's dynamic and innovative programs open a world of art to children of all ages by providing playful art opportunities that encourage exploration, complex thinking, creativity, and fun. In conjunction with our exhibitions, the Museum offers daily hands-on art-making workshops (both self-directed and artist-led), an outdoor clay studio, and a reading area. The Museum opened its current environmentally sustainable building in 2008. Since then we have hosted more than 600,000 visitors, over 20% of whom have visited free of charge. NCM is a frequent destination for school groups; many teachers return with their classes each year.