In 2015, the focus of ARTSPOT was to connect children to their local natural environment, in particular the Bronx River and its native flora and fauna. For six Saturdays in August and September, the Museum offered a series of drop-in art workshops that closely related to the Museum’s Rivers On the Go! program. Over 60 children and their families participated each week.
According to the 2015 ARTSPOT Program Manager, Estelle Maisonett, “Families participated together and were thrilled that we came back to Mitchel for another summer. This year all of our workshops related to our Rivers On the Go! exhibit and were environmentally based. For example, on the second week of ARTSPOT, workshops focused on local flora. Families planted basil and beans at the planting station. They created rubbings and discussed symmetry in plant growth at another station. And at our mono printing station they printed leaves and learned about different blades.
For the September 5 closing celebration, we had a nature theme. The children created natural sounds with sticks and buckets and with wind chimes. The pendulum was swinging and creating patterns naturally as a result of gravity. We celebrated all that they have learned by exhibiting ARTSPOT projects from the last six weeks.”
“The Bronx Children's Museum ARTSPOT 2015 program was a resounding success, bringing the joys of learning and discovery right to the young residents of the J.P Mitchel Houses and all over Mott Haven. As a result of this summer's creativity and hard work, Mitchel Houses can enjoy a beautiful colorful public garden built by our children. This kind of enriched, innovative programming is essential to our youth and community development and I thank the Bronx Children's Museum, educators, artists, and neighborhood volunteers for bringing ARTSPOT 2015 to life,” said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
"My favorite part was making nature crowns because I got to make art with nature. I have never thought of that before" — Alora Pickney, age 9
"I had a beautiful day and I actually played sports with the kids. I got to share my time with everyone in my community. It feels really good in the atmosphere. I woke up in a good mood because I remembered it was Saturday. I am just looking forward to next Saturday and the Saturday after that one! " —Marsha, Mitchel Houses Sargent at Arms
"This has been a really good. This is a great idea for kids! it entertains them and allows them to learn new things while interacting with each other. They are in the community doing positive things and they're kept off the streets. My daughter is right there and she has been loving all of this." — Valeria B., Mitchel Houses resident parent
"I like to make paper because I liked to add my own colors and the dying was so fun. I never knew what was inside paper." — Noel, age 5
"I liked hitting the drums because I like music. I never played the drums before this summer." — Noah, age 6
"This has been such a great program for our community. We have reserved the BBQ pit area for the next 5 years in hopes that this program will continue to come here."
— Mona Dreher, Treasurer, Mitchel Houses Tenants’ Association
“Through the ARTSPOT program the Bronx Children's Museum created a platform that encourages parents to engage in a meaningful way with their children through the arts. The program has given the community a way to express themselves creatively, learn from each other, and the natural environment.”
— Luisa Escalera, ARTSPOT Community Liaison