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Fun Project for the NY Transit Museum


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I presently work at the Transit Museum portraying a BRT Conductor from 1920. I travel through time to the present day to visit the BRT Standard, and tell school groups a little about the subway and about being a conductor in 1920.


I'm hoping I can get some anecdotes, stories, advice, general ideas on a new project that will become a part of the museum's summer program in July.


I'm just beginning work on a new "character" that will become a part of the interpretive offerings at the museum this summer. The character is to be a "Subway Buff," who volunteers his time as an electrician on the opening of the Transit Exhibition in 1976. He's a little off-the wall and lots of fun. To make a kid-friendly subway buff from 1976 I'll probably be wearing bell-bottom jeans and a Grateful Dead T-shirt and will have a boom box with 70s music on it. Need to have my pockets stuffed with "buff stuff" I can take out and make the kids gasp at (not just "look at." "Gasp at." It's only a twenty minute presentation performed several times a day, so every bit has gotta have maximum impact). I can envision him talking about the Yankees while he takes be batteries out of his boombox to impress the kids with a quick construction of a homopolar motor.


The name of the game for this particular presentation is "Fun." The target audience is quite young, and since they are summer camp groups (as opposed to school groups) the actual transmission of information is secondary to giving the kids an appreciation--through laughter and wonder--of a bygone era and a bit of curiosity about the spirit and passion of the men and women who cared so deeply about the transit system that they volunteered enormous amounts of time to develop a temporary exhibition to salute it. (The exhibition, of course, proved so popular that it became the permanent museum we have now).


BTW, this presentation is to mark the 35th anniversary of the opening of that original exhibition in 1976.


I'm open to ideas of all sorts! Let's play! Anybody?


Thanks--Jonathan Ellers

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