History and Mission
CMOM inspires children and families to learn about themselves and our culturally diverse world through a unique environment of interactive exhibitions and programs. Since opening in a neighborhood storefront in 1973, we’ve grown into a unique 38,000 square-foot learning facility with outreach programs at nearly 50 sites throughout New York City. We’re proud to be a destination for visitors from around the world.
Each year, CMOM serves more than 350,000 people, including 65,000 children who visited the Museum as part of a school group or through one of the Museum’s community partners. CMOM is committed to making its exhibits and programs available to all, and with outreach programs at nearly 50 sites around New York City, we continually reach thousands of families who might not otherwise be able to benefit from our services.
CMOM focuses on four priority areas to impact children in ways that will last a lifetime:
- Early childhood education prepares children for success in school.
- Creativity in the arts and sciences inspires creative and analytical thinking skills for lifelong learning.
- Healthy lifestyles programs provide a blueprint for a family's physical, emotional and environmental well-being.
- Exploration of world cultures gives children awareness, understanding and context for the diverse society in which we all live.
These priorities are met through exhibitions, classes, workshops, performances and Museum-sponsored festivals. CMOM’s programs and exhibits are designed to address the multiple ways children learn and to help parents understand and support their children’s development. This approach is reflected throughout the Museum: in exhibitions like PlayWorks™—an entire floor devoted to pre-schoolers, in Gods, Myths and Mortals: Discover Ancient Greece—an introduction to art, science and literature; and in the Healthy Lifestyles programming developed with healthcare providers to encourage good nutrition and daily exercise. Professional Development programs are offered to parents, educators and childcare providers and health care professionals as a means to broaden CMOM’s influence in reaching children and their families effectively.
Every week more than 80 workshops, classes and performances are offered free with admission to the Museum, deepening the CMOM experience with related literacy-based activities, diverse cultural experiences and the performing arts. Every CMOM program is based on research, evaluation and testing.