'The Stories They Tell' Offers Behind the Scenes Look at Museum

A black and white firefighter helmet with the number 16 and the word lieutenant on it is displayed on a white surface at the Museum.
"The Stories They Tell" will focus on the museum from behind the scenes and offer insight into different artifacts. (Photo: Matt Flynn)

The 9/11 Memorial Museum has launched “The Stories They Tell,” a series of free, 30-minute talks for museum visitors given by staff who provide a behind-the-scenes look at the institution and its collections. They are held in the museum’s auditorium on the second floor every weekday at noon.

Topics vary, ranging from the stories behind the large artifacts in the museum such as the Last Column, to ways that the museum uses the first-person narratives to tell the story of 9/11. Other subjects include history and memory, the creation and construction of the 9/11 Memorial Museum and the stories behind different historical artifacts, among others.

“‘The Stories They Tell’ gives visitors to the 9/11 Memorial Museum the chance to hear from experts – museum staff – about the museum’s collections: what’s included, how artifacts were saved or preserved, how they came to the Museum and why they’re presented in particular ways in the exhibitions,” said Clifford Chanin, 9/11 Memorial Museum’s vice president for education and public programs. “We want to give visitors an in-depth look at the Museum, and these talks are a great opportunity for storytelling.”

Also daily in the auditorium every 20 minutes is a screening of “Facing Crisis: America Under Attack,” which explores the events of 9/11 from the perspectives of key decision-makers and includes interviews with former President George W. Bush, New York Gov. George Pataki and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The film is not played from 11:20 a.m. - 1 p.m. on weekdays and on Tuesdays from 3:20 p.m. - 4 p.m. to make space for other presentations, and screenings continue until 7:20 p.m. every day.

By Jordan Friedman, 9/11 Memorial Research and Digital Projects Associate

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