Recording New York: Sound, Place, and Civic Identity

When: April 25, 5:00pm – April 25, 6:30pm
Price: Free
Tony Schwartz, Ken Heyman, date unknown, Courtesy of Anton Schwartz

Join Andrew W. Mellon Fellow Ben Serby as he explores the themes of place, memory, and civic commitment in the work of the self-taught, Manhattan-based folklorist Tony Schwartz (1923-2008). Listen to Schwartz’s vibrant sound portraits of New York from the 1950s and '60s, such as New York 19 and Music in the Streets, and hear about his efforts to teach the city’s youth to document and care for their world.

Learn how young people can become stakeholders and participants in their communities both by listening to historical sound recordings and by making new recordings of their own. Participants will leave with new ideas about how sounds can inspire students to explore their surroundings and examine the ways in which the past has shaped the world that they inhabit.

This discussion is part of the series Activism Under the Lens: Educator Evenings at the Museum of the City of New York. The events are geared towards educators but open to all with interest in the topics.

Educators will learn about sources in the exhibitions Activist New York and New York at Its Core available to support their students’ learning in the Museum and online. Participants will leave with resources for the classroom and a letter of attendance for 1.5 hours of professional development. 

Light refreshments will be served.


The Museum is grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which supports a Predoctoral Fellowship Program in History Education.

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