Nepal Children's Art Museum (NCAM) will be the first of its kind, a creative space where children can learn, play, create and just be children. NCAM is a multidimensional project with three main objectives: provide hands-on art experience to children, encourage literacy through art, and empower youth in the community.
Nepal Children’s Art Museum (NCAM) will be based in Kathmandu, Nepal. In conjunction with public schools, private schools, several community organizations and local artists, it will be the first sustainable art space for Nepali children and youth.The museum will start out with a two room space that will serve as an exhibition space and an education room with a mini library, a media corner with a projector to screen educational and exciting documentaries every Saturday morning for free and a workshop space fully stocked with art supplies.
Political instability, a low literacy rate, lack of access and out-of-date views all conspire to keep children from the joy of art. Art in Nepal struggles to be recognized as a key part of child development.
As a Nepali artist and social worker, I dream of making art a valuable part of the lives of Nepali children, giving them opportunities that me and my friends never had growing up.
So I thought how cool would it be to let children be their silly selves and make art?
As my mentor, friend and International Graffiti Artist, Caleb Neelon (Sonik) put it:
“…it really comes down to giving each kid a little tickle of success and fun with their art-making each time…”
Earlier this year, Sneha was awarded The World Learning Advancing Leaders Fellowship which provided seed funding to establish the Nepal Children’s Art Museum. NCAM was originally going to be set up in a rented space but now it looks like we might have the opportunity to design and build our own. We found a wonderful 1200 sq. ft. rooftop space in the heart of Kathmandu. How we could pass that up?! This Indiegogo campaign aims to cover the additional costs of building the Museum from the ground up and ensure that the Nepal Children's Art Museum will be a truly sustainable venture.
Your contributions will go towards:
- Construction and labor $6000
- Media Center $1500
- Bookshelves and furniture $500
- Electricity Generator $500
- (Budget calculation takes Indiegogo's fees into account)
NCAM Exhibitions & Workshops
NCAM's first projects will be two twelve-weekend art workshops on Nepali culture for children and local artists, resulting in two exhibitions.
A twelve-weekend workshop with 30 at-risk youth from Panchakanya School to reveal the Nepali alphabet as more than just text, but also as an art form. The workshop will end with the publication of a book of the Nepali alphabet that will have the potential of being used as an educational book in primary school curriculums.
Art for Children Workshop
The second twelve-weekend workshop will be with ten local up-and-coming artists and teachers from a traditional public school and from a progressive learning private school. Together, these educators will develop ideas for an engaging art exhibition for children of all ages. An artist residency program of five weeks will follow the workshops, giving the ten artists enough time to produce artwork for the exhibition, geared towards encouraging children to use their imagination.
These workshops and residencies will introduce the children’s art museum as a hub for art production to start off the first few art exhibitions.
Other NCAM Works
Highschool students will talk about NCAM at their schools and host storytelling afternoons. Teen Ambassadors will be trained and provided a stipend
The children’s museum space will have the potential to be converted into an event rental venue for other institutions. Renting will provide a source of revenue and exposure for NCAM. It would also be available for other artists to exhibit their work for a nominal fee.
The space will also be used as a Vent Venue, where there will be weekly “vent” sessions for high-school teens to use art as healthy outlet for self-expression.
There is high demand for bilingual books but almost no supply, and we aim to be a key provider of this resource by creating education books through our workshops. The sales of the books will generate continuous income for programming and basic art supplies.
NCAM will offer its creative expertise of established artists and international guest speakers to educational institutions wanting to expand their arts curriculum.
Sneha Shrestha, also known as IMAGINE, is a Nepali artist based until recently, in Boston creating unique art pieces that mesh the Nepali alphabet and Boston street art. She has shown her work in several exhibitions, commissioned works and public walls in Kathmandu, Boston, San Francisco, Bali and Istanbul. She is also an award-winning children’s book writer and illustrator.
Sneha has been committed to using art as a vehicle for positive social change, leading her to work as a Mentoring Artist in Painting and an Education Coordinator at Artists for Humanity in Boston, helping inner city youth for almost three years. In 2009, Sneha established a children’s library for a struggling public school and publish three bilingual children’s books. The library is sustained till today by the book sales and her t-shirt enterprise, MO:MO: NATION (linked).
Living and learning in the United States, Geneva and Bali for the past 7 years, Sneha has recently moved back to her hometown in Kathmandu to paint many murals and to establish Nepal’s first Children’s Art Museum.