Ten Years of Mass Creativity

Artist tanya aguiniga at a mass creativity workshop at casa familiar

The New Children’s Museum is kicking off its 10th annual Mass Creativity program with in-person workshops at seven community centers throughout San Diego later this month. Mass Creativity is the contemporary arts-based children’s museum’s signature outreach program that brings hands-on art-making opportunities to diverse communities in the county.

“This year will be the first time in two years that we will host in-person workshops at the community centers, after a shift to virtual during the pandemic through art kits and Zoom gatherings,” the Museum’s Executive Director and CEO, Elizabeth Yang-Hellewell shared with GB Magazine. “The Mass Creativity program is essential to our efforts in making interactive and collaborative art experiences accessible to families in the wider community, and we are excited to be doing this beyond the computer screen again.”

The first Mass Creativity workshop will take place on April 28 in partnership with Casa Familiar at the Youth and Community Center in San Ysidro, followed by six more workshops in May and June. At each workshop, community participants will create individual Leporello or Accordion Books, as well as paint, draw and collage on a giant canvas that represents their community’s story. The seven canvases will then be displayed as the collective pages of a life-size book at The New Children’s Museum on Mass Creativity Day.

“The workshop projects are an exercise of imaginative storytelling and reflective of the Museum’s focus on early literacy learning and engagement,” said Iyari Arteaga, the Museum’s Community Programs Manager who spearheads the Mass Creativity program. “Through these workshops, we hope to give families a creative outlet to express and reflect the challenges they may have faced over the past couple years.”

Following the workshops, Mass Creativity Day is the culminating celebration of art, creativity and community to be held on June 25 at the downtown Museum and the adjacent street and park. The event features art-making activities, music, performances, food and free Museum admission for all visitors. Island Avenue will be closed between Front and Island to allow participants to move freely from the park to the Museum, with some performances taking place on the street.

“Our families are looking forward to participating in the Mass Creativity workshops and seeing their creations displayed at the Museum on Mass Creativity Day,” said Rachel R. Pineulas-Morineau, Community Engagement Director at SBCS. “We have been partnering with the Museum for several years and it has been very impactful in exposing our community members to art and engaging them with art-making experiences.

The participating community centers include Barrio Logan College Institute, Casa Familiar, City Heights/Weingart Library, San Diego LGBT Community Center, SBCS, Skyline Hills Library and Solutions for Change. Skyline Hills Library and City Heights/Weingart Library’s community workshops are open to the public. All other locations are by invitation only.

Funding for Mass Creativity is provided in part by The Conrad Prebys Foundation, First 5 San Diego, City of San Diego, U.S. Bank and A4 Apparel.

Learn more about Mass Creativity 2022 at thinkplaycreate.org/mass-creativity-2022.

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Esteban Villanueva