The New York institution is looking to raise $25,000 to fund future series, and children who visit will have a chance to take part in production.

Following a year in which many parents suddenly had to figure out how to educate, entertain and enrich their children at home, the Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA) in New York is launching a free online video channel with art-themed shows made for and by children. The inaugural programme, The Look Make Show, will be an animated series that aims to teach kids about art and how to face challenges in life.

The CMA’s director Seth Cameron says that the channel will be a way for the museum to reach a wider audience, and to engage museum-going children in a creative way. “It’s a completely new framework, taking all of the things that the museum did previously and repackaging it to adapt for online audiences,” says Cameron. “The idea is that this becomes the inspiration for segments that are going to be created collaboratively between our staff of artists and kids who visit the museum.”

A still from The Look Make Show

In addition to more conventional forms of fine art like drawing and painting, the CMA has long taught media lab classes for children, so the channel will also be an opportunity for kids to get involved producing the shows, allowing them to see their work as part of a larger effort that ultimately reaches the public.

 “It’s about giving a creative framework for all of our programming, so that we can really make the experience of the museum one big collaborative art project,” Cameron says. “When people come to the museum, they’ll be working on projects like building sets, miniature worlds or backdrop pieces. Anything they might work on could find its way somehow into a show going forward.”

While the museum has yet to reopen to the public due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it will be hosting children’s art camp this summer and hopes to fully reopen in the fall.

The Look Make Show will debut to the public on 9 April, on the same day that the museum will be launching a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $25,000 to fund further production costs.

Attendees of the museum’s virtual gala the day before will be able to view the first episode on the interactive video-chat platform Bramble, with tickets available for purchase until Thursday. The museum plans to make the channel available for free on its website and will also upload episodes on YouTube.