Virtual Museum Mile Festival - Press Release

May 28, 2020

Follow #VirtualMuseumMile for a Variety of Fun Programming from The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Neue Galerie New York;Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Cooper , Smithsonian Design Museum; The Jewish Museum; Museum of the City of New York; El Museo del Barrio; and The Africa Center


New York, NY, May 28, 2020 – Eight New York City museums are joining together to create the first ever day-long virtual Museum Mile Festival on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, from 9 am to 9 pm.

Throughout the day, each museum will host live and pre-recorded programs, virtual exhibition tours, live musical performances, and activities for families streamed across their respective websites and social media platforms. Culture enthusiasts from around the world will now be able to join New Yorkers, during this unprecedented moment, and enjoy the festival.

The day’s offerings will be listed on each participating museum’s website. In addition, audiences can follow the hashtag #VirtualMuseumMile on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for cultural happenings throughout the day.

The eight institutions participating in this highly successful collaboration are The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Neue Galerie New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; The Jewish Museum; Museum of the City of New York; El Museo del Barrio; and The Africa Center. Museum of the City of New York; El Museo del Barrio, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art are members of the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), a diverse coalition of 34 nonprofit museums, performing arts centers, historical societies, zoos, and botanical gardens in New York that share a private-public partnership with the City and reside within City-owned property.

“The Museum Mile Festival has been bringing New Yorkers together through the power of culture since 1978, creating a unique annual celebration that taps in to the collective energy of these diverse institutions,” said New York City Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals. “The festival began in the midst of one crisis as a way to keep New Yorkers connected through the arts, and I’m thrilled that these institutions have committed to bringing it online for the #VirtualMuseumMile this year. From artist interviews with El Museo to creating potato stamps with the Cooper Hewitt, I encourage all New Yorkers to check out this eclectic, exciting program.”

This year, the Festival, which normally occurs on Fifth Avenue between 82nd Street and 110th Street on the second Tuesday evening in June, has been cancelled, due to the ongoing pandemic. Established in 1978 to increase public awareness of its member institutions and promote public support of the arts, the Museum Mile Festival serves as a model for similar events across the country. Virtual Museum Mile Festival is presented in this convivial spirit, with the same goal of increasing public awareness of arts and culture, and bringing communities together in a socially responsible manner.

Highlights of Virtual Events from Each Museum Include:

The Africa Center – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Events include a live streamed conversation at 5PM EST with Jessica B. Harris, curator of African/American: Making the Nation’s Table, and Pierre Thiam, executive chef and co-owner of Teranga, the fast-casual dining concept located inside The Africa Center. Harris and Thiam will discuss their careers as culinary ambassadors, and Harris’ new book Vintage Postcards from the African World: In the Dignity of Their Work and the Joy of Their Play. Virtual Museum Mile visitors will also have the opportunity to contribute an African American culinary hero to The Legacy Quilt as part of the upcoming exhibit, organized by the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) in partnership with The Africa Center. Additional programs include a kid-friendly animation workshop led by artist Ezra Wube, including an overview of the artist’s installation Project Junction, and insight into his mixed-media practice.

El Museo del Barrio – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Honoring its renowned Permanent Collection and its roots in El Barrio (East Harlem), El Museo del Barrio will present The Artists, recorded interviews with a selection of artists who have enriched our Collection; a fun game about La Colección with El Museo Curators Rodrigo Moura, Susanna Temkin, and special guests; and ¡Muevete!, a live DJ set by legendary artists NinaSky on Zoom Live, spinning a unique sound; a fusion of hip hop, r&b, pop and reggae.

Museum of the City of New York – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Events include the Museum’s new live-streamed series, Curators from the Couch: Who We Are a discussion with Chief Curator and Deputy Director Sarah Henry, information designer Giorgia Lupi, and artist and computer scientist Brian Foo; and conversations with cartoonist Roz Chast and novelist and Hugo award-winner, N.K. Jemisin – both part of the MCNY Live series.

The Jewish Museum –Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Events include an interview with artist Rachel Feinstein talking about the exhibition Rachel Feinstein: Maiden, Mother, Crone; a discussion with artists Rachel Feinstein and Lisa Yuskavage, filmmaker Tamara Jenkins, and curator Kelly Taxter, about storytelling, gender, and identity-based art making; a performance for families from The Paper Bag Players at Home; and art activities for families.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Events include a hands-on activity Design at Home: Potato Stamp Pattern Making Inspired by Eva Zeisel; a virtual exhibition tour of Contemporary Muslim Fashions; and the design talk Exploring A.I.: Data Portraits.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Events include a Virtual Stroller tour/talk for young children at 3 pm; Guggenheim at Large, which offers several ways to engage with the Guggenheim’s iconic art collection and architecture safely from home including the Guggenheim Circular series, where curators share themes of heightened resonance in this unprecedented time; Sketch with Jeff, a hands-on activity for families with Guggenheim teaching artist Jeff Hopkins that explores the museum’s Frank Lloyd Wright building; and a self-directed audio/visual experience via the Guggenheim Digital Audio Guide.

Neue Galerie New York – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Events include a virtual tour of Madame d’Ora with the exhibition curator Dr. Monika Faber; a hands-on arts and crafts activity, Making Hats: Use What You Have, with style icon Deborah Rapoport, who will inspire adults and children alike to repurpose and recycle household items to construct fantastic hats; and Baking Linzer Cookies: A Recipe from Café Sabarsky, a step-by-step guide to follow the famous Linzer Cookie recipe from Café Sabarsky.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube

Events include virtual exhibition tours of Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara and Gerhard Richter: Painting After All; a pre-recorded interview with artist Wangechi Mutu; design your own puppet and banjo using recycled materials with #MetKids Create videos; flower crown making with @MetTeens (on Instagram); and streaming a 2019 MetLiveArts dance performance by Silas Farley filmed in Museum galleries.