How to Build a Museum: New York’s Tenement Museum
March 20, 2019 | Episode #28
THE LOWER EAST SIDE, NEW YORK – In Episode #28 of his podcast, Thomas Fraser talks with Kevin Jennings about how the Tenement Museum uses storytelling to tell the stories of immigrants to New York’s Lower East Side and to educate museumgoers about the immigrant experience today. Jennings is the President of the Tenement Museum.
The Tenement Museum is an excellent example of how a smaller museum with a limited collection can make a big impact through an emphasis on compelling storytelling and creative programming. Visitors to the museum visit a recreated apartment in a tenement building with a member of the museum staff, where they are told the story of an immigrant family who lived in the apartment they are standing in. Through this storytelling, museum visitors learn about the immigrant experience and the value of immigration. “The super power of our museum is its storytelling ability,” Jennings says.
As part of the museum’s efforts to expand its reach and impact, the Tenement Museum recently launched a new podcast series. Entitled “How to Be an American,” the podcast explores the immigrant experience and how immigrants help shape American culture. Additional digital initiatives are in the works.
To learn more about the Tenement Museum and its new digital initiatives and to listen to the museum’s podcast, please click here.