Invitation to the Met, in the voice of Maxine Greene

Dear New York City student,

You are cordially invited to join us for an evening of intertextual exploration at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located at 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028.

Please do not leave your identity on the downtown A train. Bring it with you (you will need it). There is no dress code. Bring your language. Bring your dialects. Bring hip hop. Bring the connections you have been told are irrelevant and dispensable.

We will experience great works of art (the ones in the museum – and the ones you bring inside of you). You do not need a hard hat with a flashlight attached because you will not be asked to mine for answers. Only bring your native intelligence. Contrary to the ways of antiquity, you already posses everything you need to make meaning and become producers of text. There are paintings and sculptures waiting inside the protective glass of your body. You are filled with them. They will be in conversation with Michelangelo and Picasso and Rembrandt.

Expect confusion. We shall embrace it. For even the artists themselves have struggled through centuries to tolerate the unknowing of our existence. We are great big halls of marble confusion. It pumps through our life-blood. The first child who looked into the stars from the top of a project building in the Bronx was as confused as Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, who was as confused as Aristotle on the other end of a telescopic lens, who was confused as the Virgin Mary at conception. We are beings of incompleteness. We are always becoming.

Please join us and disregard the institutional barriers that have cordoned off your neighborhoods from the “high” art of this city. Bring your spray-painted fingertips and shell-toed breakdancing kicks. Bring the notepad you hid beneath your pillow filled with rhymes and rhythms. This is your entrance fee.

We are inventing the museum as we walk through it. Come open and ready.

Sincerely,

M.G.

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One comment

  1. If only there were more invitations like this and more requests welcoming questions rather than ready-made answers.

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