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NEW YORK, NY -- July 1, 2004 -- The New York Transit Museum is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a prestigious Muse Award for its interactive education community web site (www.mta.info). Muse Awards are presented annually by the Association of American Museums (AAM) in recognition of excellence in museum media programs.
MUSE 2004 Award Winning Site
 

The launch of the Transit Museum education web site, Education Station, coincides with the commemoration of the one hundredth Anniversary of the opening of the New York City subway, and includes an interactive education portal called Community Crossing. Recognized by the AAM for its wide “variety of engaging themes and topics” and its “appealing and informative” approach, Community Crossing features the Subway Centennial Student Activity Depot, a set of student-centered educational activities. The site houses a virtual gallery to showcase selected student projects submitted in response to the multi-disciplinary activities found on the site.

“The Depot’s subway-related activities allow learners to express themselves through a wide variety of media and subject areas – such as art, math, journalism, and even screenwriting,” said Gabrielle Shubert, Director of the Museum. “We encourage parents and educators to engage learners in the suggested Depot activities found on the site, and use the Museum’s ‘submit’ tool to share their work with others around the world.”

In an exciting and unique approach to preserving and showcasing subway-related memories and oral histories, the Subway Memory Project commemorates the centennial with a public call for memory submissions in a variety of formats. The Subway Memory Project, a new component of the Museum’s Community Crossing web site, provides the opportunity to collect and save memories of the subway for current and future generations. Contributors to the Subway Memory Project can post personal anecdotes, short stories, oral histories, poetry, and artwork about the role the subway has played in their lives and about specific subway-related recollections from years past. All submissions will become a part of the Museum’s digital collection, and select contributions will be featured on the Community Crossing web site on a rotating basis.

Other Education Station activities include a Mosaic Maker, which allows web site visitors to design and print their own mosaics, and a changing virtual exhibit which currently features all of New York City Transit’s subway and bus tokens. An MTA Concentration game tests memory skills while introducing visitors to historic and contemporary MTA signage, logos and fare media .

A recent addition to Education Station is the Subway Style Gallery Talk, which features photographs of architectural and design elements in the subway with a lively audio discussion among the Museum’s curatorial staff, Carissa Amash and Dana Zullo, and photographer Andrew Garn. From the comfort of any web-connected computer, the public can peruse an extensive set of subway images and artifacts while listening to experts describe their significance within the one hundred year history of the subway. The Subway Style Gallery Talk is the first in a series of online audio gallery talks that will be released this year by the New York Transit Museum in commemoration of the subway centennial.

The Online Gallery Talk series and award-winning Community Crossing site were produced in conjunction with the museum’s education and curatorial departments by LearningTimes, leading producers of interactive online learning programs, webcasts, and online community activities for cultural and educational institutions.

“Equally important as the Museum’s collection is the knowledge of its curatorial staff,” said Jonathan Finkelstein of LearningTimes and the Executive Producer of the Online Gallery Talk series. “The web provides a rich and accessible medium by which to share both of these assets with a global audience intrigued by the history of one of the world’s most unique systems of public transportation.“

About The New York Transit Museum
The New York Transit Museum, one of the city’s leading cultural institutions, is the largest museum in the United States devoted to urban public transportation history, and one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world. The Museum explores the development of the greater New York metropolitan region through the presentation of exhibitions, tours, educational programs and workshops dealing with the cultural, social and technological history of public transportation. Since its inception as a temporary exhibit in 1976, the Museum has grown in scope and popularity. The museum is housed in a historic 1936 IND subway station in Brooklyn Heights.

About LearningTimes, LLC
LearningTimes designs online learning communities and produces online conferences, programs and events for educational and cultural institutions, libraries, non-profit organizations, associations and membership groups. LearningTimes is also the founding sponsor of LearningTimes.org, the fastest growing community of education and training professionals on the Web.

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