see, share and make art together

The Community Gallery is temporarily closed. We continue to work closely with our many community partners through pARTners in Creativity, Mass Creativity and other programs. We will continue to feature work from our various collaborations throughout the year – please stay tuned for the next iteration of The Community Gallery!

How can art bring us together? The Community Gallery, presented by Kiwanis of San Diego- Downtown, is a space where you can see and learn more about art made by local artists, schools and community groups and participants from programs offered at the Museum. You’ll find their artistic contributions throughout the space – displayed on the floor, walls and sometimes even the ceiling. While in the Gallery, we hope you’ll be inspired to join this artistic community by taking part in the collaborative art experience – a chance for everyone who enters to create together and celebrate the learning and connections that come from it. The art that you help create will grow over time and become a part of the work on view and the wider Museum world. There’s no one way to add your ideas. We celebrate individual contributions and hope you enjoy an open-ended, exploratory experience in working with fine art materials and processes.

Past Installation Themes

People + Places

Artist: Rizzhel Javier

This installation represented The New Children’s Museum’s exciting year-long collaboration with the People + Places project and its creator, local artist, Rizzhel Javier. The mission of People + Places was to provide an inclusive space for communities to share stories about where they are and the places they live. The contents of this gallery represented the contributions of hundreds of People + Places participants who took part in artist-led workshops at community partner organizations throughout the 2018 year and during the Museum’s annual Mass Creativity program. These partner organizations included: Barrio Logan College Institute; Casa Familiar; Skyline Hills Library in partnership with Asian Pacific Islander Community Actions (APICA) and Made in Paradise Hills; Solutions for Change; South Bay Community Services; Southern Sudanese Community Center; and The San Diego LGBT Community Center.

Through this installation, Museum visitors learned more about this project and take part in its spirit of community connection. Activities included a neighborhood play space, a photo booth opportunity for connecting with loved ones, a recording station for individual and group story sharing and related story books about family, home and community.

Partial funding and additional community support for the People + Places installation in The Community Gallery has been provided by: California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities; the City of Chula Vista Performing and Visual Arts Grant; the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture; the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the University of California San Diego’s Institute of Arts and Humanities.

To learn more about the People + Places Project, please visit the project website:

The Museum's History + The Future

Phase I: The Community Gallery walls featured a timeline story of the Museum. 2018 marks 10 years as The New Children’s Museum, but our rich history in San Diego includes a 35-year journey layered with multiple facilities, name changes, locations, staff, partner organizations, supporters and visitors. For this installation theme we celebrated our history and acknowledged all that we’ve accomplished in the past 35 years as well as the role our organization continues to play in the community.

Phase II: For Phase I of this installation, we celebrated the past through the timeline display. For Phase II, we invited our visitors to look towards the future with us! Visitors were able to stop by and drop a postcard to their future self in the space-age time capsule, read a book about the future, or share their own story on a rainbow timeline.

Youth Art Month

Youth Art Month 2018
Building Community through Art

In celebration of Youth Art Month 2018, The New Children’s Museum showcased student art from our San Diego community. Youth Art Month is an annual recognition of the importance of visual art education hosted each March by the Council for Arts Education (C.F.A.E.) and is celebrated across the country through exhibitions of youth art.

On in The Community Gallery were unique puppets made by first grade students at High Tech Elementary North County in San Marcos, CA. These students created these works as part of a unit on puppetry in which they explored puppet making, script writing and performance.

Thank you to the exhibiting students and to their participating educators!
Rina Vinetz, Arts Teacher Jamelle Jones, First Grade Teacher Sandy Park, First Grade Teacher Jennifer Larsen, First Grade Teacher Frances Sweeney, Apprentice Teacher



Mass Creativity is The New Children’s Museum’s signature community outreach program executed in partnership with local community organizations. It includes a series of workshops designed to inspire imagination and creativity, and make art-making accessible to families that might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience it. The program culminates in a free celebration each June called Mass Creativity Day. This program showcases the Museum’s commitment to arts access as it brings together diverse families from across San Diego County to celebrate our shared creativity and our unique city.

Since 2013, Mass Creativity has:

  • Reached over 13,000 people from as far north as Vista to as far south as San Ysidro.
  • Partnered with 14 community organizations that serve diverse communities such as refugees, immigrants, individuals identifying as LGBTQ, families experiencing homelessness, individuals with mental disabilities, aspiring first-generation college students, and more.
  • Provided over 100 annual Museum memberships to families at no cost.

Me + Yarn + You

Artist: Alyson Benford Blum

Fiber artist and elementary art educator Alyson Benford Blum brings her love of weaving, color, texture, and found natural materials to this inaugural installation in The Community Gallery. Alyson’s work includes ribbon-wrapped lanterns dropping down from the ceiling, fiber-wrapped branches resting in boxes on the wall and a tied fabric curtain hanging down from the ceiling. Her goal is to create a soft, warm and welcoming space that invites people of all ages to come in, slow down and relax as they see and take part in exciting explorations in fiber arts.

As an artist, educator, and mother of two, Alyson enjoys the flexibility and family friendliness of working with yarns and fabric, which she carries around in her purse and displays at home. In both her practice as a visual artist and educator, Alyson enjoys incorporating an innovative use of materials. The floor looms in the center of the room are made from found branches and recycled fish nets. Included among the materials available for weaving are recycled Sari ribbons, collected natural materials and repurposed fabrics and yarns. Alyson’s own works, as well as her lessons for adult and child audiences, are rich and layered, and she embraces opportunities to challenge herself creatively and tap into her ingenuity. She loves turning ordinary materials into beautiful works of art.