Hamilton in NYC Visits the Museum of the City of New York
The Museum of the City of New York offered several exhibits that tied in nicely with the Hamilton Program in New York City course material. The visit complemented the program’s studies of the politics of urbanization as well as the economics of metropolitan development.
Students took a guided tour of "Activist New York," which “is dedicated to the ways in which ordinary New Yorkers have exercised their power to shape the city's and the nation's future.” Their guide provided insight on some of the history of New York's immigration policies, in which local government adopted a "nativist," anti-immigrant attitude toward populations fleeing to America at the time. The display on New York's Civil Rights included a historical map of the city, demonstrating the pervasiveness of redlining and politically enforced segregation. The group also learned about the history of the Black Lives Matter movement, which highlighted that social media is integral to modern activism.
The museum also has a new interactive development exhibit, "Future City." There were informative displays on issues impacting New York and other metropolises, such as environmental hazards, overpopulation, and increasing housing costs. Synthesizing this knowledge, students could develop digital parks and apartment complexes to place around New York City. Development projects were rated based on development cost, as well as spatial and environmental efficiency. The activity illustrated how difficult it can be to accommodate all three factors.
Overall, the Museum of the City of New York tour provided insight on how social issues and activism evolve over time.