October 5, 2015 / By Tony Signore
In response to Get a Guided Tour of The Met From Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Drake, by Jessica Leber of Fast Company (posted on 10/2/2015):
As a proud and long-standing member of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I strongly support initiatives such as the Hip Hop Project, which is designed to introduce a new generation to one of the most inspiring institutions in the world.
Many years ago, we introduced our three children to The Met with hopes they would continue, on their own, to explore and connect with so many fascinating collections of art representing every culture and time period. I so desire this for all families, especially the children of the world, who come and visit the beautiful and diverse city of New York. I hope, when they leave The Met and return home they share their experience, visit their local art museums and find a way to get involved. The first thing they can do is encourage curators and museum directors to consider projects similar to the Hip Hop Project that will generate awareness and excitement amongst millennials.
We should applaud (and fund) the great work of Regina Flores Mir, and the willingness of Thomas Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to examine an unconventional way to engage a new audience. It’s certainly noteworthy when someone in Campbell’s unique position is amendable to such a progressive initiative, especially given the fact that his key constituents and most loyal donors are traditional, and fairly conservative Baby Boomers.
One final point for Fast Company editor, Jessica Leber:
As a member of The Met, I’m pleased she decided to utilize such an important platform to spread the word about the Hip Hop Project. I admire her work and talent. This piece in FastCo is well done, but her readers must know that the voices behind The Met’s audio guide include accomplished artists and the world’s most widely-acclaimed curators and art experts. I hope she understands the need for me to support them, as they should never be described as a “droning docent.”