Museum Hosts A Night of Learning
BY MEGAN MONTALVO
As the presidential election slowly approaches, many heated debates have ensued over whether the country should vote Romney or Obama.
Though high school and junior high students may not be old enough to vote, many of them had the opportunity to engage in a debate of their own last week.
On Oct. 26, the Museum of Moving Image partnered with the YMCA of Greater New York to host a night of fun, interactive learning and civic awareness with the launch of “Ad Lab,” a new after-school workshop in political media literacy and media-making.
“We are very pleased to partner with the YMCA of Greater New York, which already has an excellent program for civic engagement,” said Christopher Wisniewski, the museum’s deputy director for education.
Throughout the evening, more than 100 students from the YMCA’s Teens Take the City program used the Museum’s website, “The Living Room Candidate,” as the main resource and tool to view, discuss, and remix ads from the previous Obama/McCain campaigns.
Prior to editing their own ads, the teens explored the Museum’s exhibits and learned the deeper history of filmmaking.
Tour guides stressed the importance of music, editing and sound to illustrate emotions – a notion which many of the children in attendance responded to.
“Learning about ads and the power of editing really helped me realize what goes into making commercials and movies,” said Alexandria Rodriguez of Jamaica. “Sometimes you see shows and you don’t really think about how they are made, but now I know how much work it is.”
The 13-year-old said she had just recently joined Teens Take the City Program at her local YMCA and after participating in the Ad Lab event, looks forward to the many opportunities the civic-minded program offers.
Ad Lab is the first collaboration between Museum of the Moving Image and the YMCA of Greater New York.
In addition to teaching teens about New York City government and giving participants the chance to research and debate topics of their choosing, the Teens Take the City program also encourages community involvement by giving students the tools needed to utilize the democratic process to affect change on a local level.
“Teens Take the City gives students the opportunity to see how New York City government works,” said Dana Mantella, director of citywide teen programs for the YMCA. “By participating in debates and projects, such as ‘Ad Lab,’ they begin to grow and realize that everyone has a voice. It’s heartwarming to see them wanting to become leaders and make a difference.”
The Musuem of Moving Image is located at 36-01 35th Ave. in Astoria. For more information about the YMCA of Greater New York or the Teens Take the City program, visit ymcanyc.org or call (212) 630-9600.
Reach Reporter Megan Montalvo at (718) 357-7400 Ext. 128 or mmontalvo@ queenstribune.com.