A Collective Art-Making Initiative in Response to COVID-19
Rooted in the Latin American cultural tradition of leaning out the window to share news, stories, and ideas with neighbors, La Ventanita (Spanish for “The Little Window”) is a multi-platform Queens Museum initiative that connects schools, families, communities, and cultural institutions by asking one simple question: What do you see through your window?
In this moment of social distancing, windows – both physical and virtual – have become essential gateways to the outside world, allowing people to continue interacting with each other and their surroundings from afar. La Ventanita/The Little Window invites the public to look through the windows in their room or on their screens, and channel intimate COVID-19 experiences into collective moments of creative expression.
La Ventanita/The Little Window currently consists of:
- Written and audiovisual art-making prompts developed in collaboration with an art therapist and shared with Queens schools. Echoing the concept of windows, these prompts inspire students to get creative by using readily available materials to document the different ways they are experiencing the world beyond their homes. The Queens Museum is working in close consultation with two Corona, Queens elementary schools to activate this teacher-led and family supported project.
- Multilingual online workshops specially conceived for the Queens Museum’s New New Yorkers. Founded in 2010, the New New Yorkers program helps recently immigrated adults integrate into New York City by offering art classes and creatin opportunities for relationship-building. With COVID-19 disproportionately affecting Queens’ immigrant communities, this series of online workshops mixes creative writing, drawing, and lots of joy to help our New New Yorkers share their experiences with their virtual neighbors in their own virtual neighborhood.
We want to see your La Ventanita/The Little Window creations! Send images of your artwork to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or post them to your social media accounts using the hashtag #QMVentanita. As La Ventanita/The Little Window expands and evolves, we will be exploring different possibilities for presenting these artworks on our online platforms and within our physical space.
La Ventanita/The Little Window is inspired in part by a selection of drawings from 120 Years of Children Drawing New York City, an exhibition organized by critic and curator Amy Zion, and initiated as part of a larger collaborative project with artist Ulrike Müller. A significant number of works included in the show are loans from the Children’s Museum of the Arts New York, with a portion of them having been made in the context of citywide art therapy workshops following the September 11, 2001 attacks.