On a recent Friday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was overtaken by New York City’s teens. Young people from every corner of the metropolis flocked to the Met to participate in various activities, meet with museum educators and spend a night with friends.
With over 40 community partners present, including the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Teens Take the Met was a discovery opportunity and a self-discovery excursion.
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum was represented by some of its very own Museum Ambassadors, teens hailing from every borough of the city. Wearing our white polo shirts and situated in the European Sculpture gallery, we were hard to miss.
Our task was to convey the importance of commemorating the victims of 9/11 though art. The activity centered on the story of Cantor Fitzgerald, the firm from the top floors of the North Tower with the largest loss of life on 9/11. With 658 victims, nearly a quarter of the people killed on 9/11 were employed at the equity investment firm.
The unofficial symbol of the firm was Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker.” Just as it represents intellect and analysis, the ambassadors asked groups of friends to portray their “symbols” through a tableau, which was photographed and posted on social media.
Through this activity, more than 100 teens learned an important piece of the 9/11 story, as well as insight into themselves. Though the activity was relatively simple, teens were excited to show their characteristics and personalities through their poses.
The Teens Take the Met experience could not have been possible without numerous dedicated educators and institutions. More importantly, everyone left with a little bit more knowledge about themselves. I can tell you, for sure, that the teens participating in this event will be back in October, hungry for more.
By Evan Batov, 9/11 Museum Ambassador