there are no right or wrong
ways to interact with the space.
What is The NEST?
What is The NEST?
The NEST is a child-led playscape exploring an illusive, migrating Creature as it inhabits public spaces. Together, we create a collective and evolving home for this unknown Creature. As an unstructured art experience, it creates a "third space" for young people to explore identities and work through difference, understanding that conflicting ideas can coexist. We believe children matter as culture makers in our society. The NEST makes the ground ideas of children visible to the public by giving them agency with story and space as creative peacemakers.
What can you do in The NEST?
Participants build, wrap and weave the NEST with a curated collection of found objects and artwork they create in the space. Ropes and ties connect hanging items on the structure to reveal the Creature's story through an ever-changing space. Participants can explore the Creature's suitcases filled with novel and handmade collections from its migrating travels. You get to decide where things should go!
Handwritten messages on found postcards, tags and envelope layer the space. Adjacent to space is a work station stocked with art materials to transform found and cast-off loose parts into colorful maps, inventions, portraits and stories for the Creature's home.There are things to discover in every nook and cranny of the space.
Trained NEST ambassadors engage participants in child-led, unstructured play. They spark curiosity and support autonomous creation in space using inquiry-based facilitation. Participants are called to action to unlock the mysterious identity of the Creature discovered through exploring items in space, creative movement and hands-on making.
What does The NEST do in a city?
The NEST brings mobile arts programming directly out into your community! Our unique creative process utilizes participants as art-makers in a variety of different programming for schools, community-based orgs and intergenerational groups. Whether its a guerrilla pop-up event over a couple hours or multi-month residency, we unite communities in play to celebrate assets of their cities through the story of the Creature.
The NEST is featured in the documentary, "When Kids Meet a Creature" by Alicia Rice
Megan Flød Johnson is a Theatre for Youth Artist who imagines new art experiences for young people and communities that fuse inquiry-driven installation spaces with participatory performance. Megan believes that young people are makers and valued contributors to culture. She seeks to disrupt dominant narratives and expectations around performance and art-making experiences for young people to designate space for process, dialogue, experimental thinking, play and welcoming multiple points of view. Megan develops creative youth programming and participatory exhibits for museums, art centers and theatre companies around the country.
Megan holds an MFA in Theatre for Youth and a graduate certificate in Socially Engaged Practice from Arizona State University and BA's in Theatre and Classical Voice from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. Megan was awarded a 2019-'20 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship in Performance.
Alicia Rice is a documentary filmmaker and visual artist that looks to redefine ideas of what it means to be an educator. Alicia enjoys exploring texture, moments of meditation, cuts on the beat, the way stillness moves, collaboration, the full body experience of sound, and variations of play. She has created documentary films on a range of topics, including: fair trade coffee, occupational scavenging, a children’s home for Burmese refugees, homelessness, puppets, process based photography, and play-based education.
Alicia holds a B.A. in Communication with an emphasis in Video Production from Santa Clara University and an M.F.A. in Social Documentation from UC Santa Cruz. Additionally, she has worked for an alternative education group in Thailand and with the exhibits department of the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. She recently taught film to elementary and middle school students with Youth Cinema Project.