Museum Hack hired an independent teen journalist to attend and review the latest ‘Teens take the Met’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has written this guest blog post for us about her thoughts on the event. Christina Healey is 17 and lives in New York City.
Let’s face it: teens aren’t the biggest fans of museums. As a teen, I get it. We don’t appreciate the exhibits the way they should be appreciated. We don’t have the patience to really analyze and understand a piece purely for enjoyment. But museums around the nation are looking to change that.
Recently, I attended the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Teens Take the Met”, an event designed to bring teens to the museum and show them that art can be really cool. Personally, I like art, but after attending this event I have to say art can definitely be really cool, much cooler than I originally thought. “Teens Take the Met” was not a museum tour. It wasn’t like sitting in an art history class. It was a fully engaged, hands-on experience in all areas of the arts, including print, digital, musical, and performing. Each activity was organized by professionals from surrounding museums who contoured different activities to engage teens and show them that art serves a greater purpose than merely hanging on a wall.
I began the evening like everyone else: online. I don’t think the Met expected such a large turnout, because by the time I got there (a mere ten minutes after the official event start time), the line was wrapped around the building. It wrapped the block by the time I reached the door. Needless to say, turnout was a huge success for the museum.
Once (finally) inside, I decided to check out the scavenger hunt, run by representatives from the Museum of the City of New York. I only managed to get the list of items to find before it was time for the pop-up concert to start, so I tucked the list away for later.
This “pop-up” concert I speak of was held in European sculpture court, which served as the perfect setting for the music that was played. The musician played what I believe to be an electric cello and sang continual strings of “ooh”s, giving the concert a very tranquil feel. The whole experience was incredibly peaceful, putting listeners in an almost trance-like state. Really, it was beautiful.
After the concert, I headed to the museum’s Sharp gallery for a gallery tour. I don’t think it can really be called a “gallery tour” because the tour guides only showed the group one piece. The tour guides, employees from the Brooklyn Museum, chose a rather simple piece to show (though it was a wise decision, as most teens aren’t willing to analyze the deeper meanings of a work), leading a discussion on Louis Guglielmi’s “One Third of a Nation”. It didn’t help that the guides seemed bored by their jobs, either. Ultimately, the tour was lame.
By this point in the evening, I was really looking for a quick pick-me-up, and what’s better for that than food, right? I headed down to the cafeteria for a quick snack only to find it was closed. Funny, I thought, considering the event didn’t end for another hour. And the trend of stations closing before the end of the event didn’t stop there. I encountered it again at the Roundabout Theatre table (one I was particularly excited for) and the 3D printer (which was AWESOME, but a bummer that the 3D scanner was shut down before I got there). The scavenger hunt stayed open until the end, though, which was good for me considering I still needed to complete it. I did, having been disappointed by my previous exhibits, and got a fun little pin for finding all the pieces on the list. It was a nice way to end my night.
Overall, I think the event was very successful. Other teens really seemed to be enjoying themselves, especially in the Welcome Hall, which had a DJ and custom tote bag station. It would’ve been great if exhibits actually stayed open as long as they said they would, but the ones I did get to see were really informative and fun. To any teens that still think museums are boring, go to one of these events. Explore the exhibits that interest you. You’ll be amazed how eye-opening one of the night can be.
–Christina Healey, 17