Throughout the pandemic, the Queens Museum has been partnering with La Jornada to serve the Queens community in the most essential way: food. Since June 2020, the Museum has been providing weekly runs of fresh produce and shelf-stable to families living in one of the areas most affected by the pandemic, Central Queens, which also happens to surround Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. While primarily concerned with increasing food security to our immediate neighbors, finding opportunities to bring joy and healing through art has been just as important.
From continuously asking questions and pinpointing missed opportunities, the Cultural Food Pantry Panorama tour emerged. In order to involve the food pantry audience in art and culture-focused activities, Xavier Robles Armas, our 2021 Exhibitions and Public Programs fellow, developed a tour tailored to access the needs of the Spanish-speaking visitors who make their way to the Queens Museum every Wednesday. This tour centers the Panorama of the City of New York, the jewel in the crown of our permanent collection and a perfect tool for initiating conversations around the Museum’s history, as well as Queens’ urban development and rich cultural diversity. The aim of this Spanish-language Panorama tour is to inspire the Cultural Food Pantry audience to make connections between personal narratives and critical perspectives on the transformation of their borough and of New York City as a whole.
With the support of committed food pantry volunteers — eager to learn about the Panorama while serving their community — the Panorama tour currently takes place every first and third Wednesday of the month. Walking around the model generates a diverse range of conversations, including the topics of trees & lack thereof in New York City and the future of migration. Each tour, unique and responsive to its participants, has created a new pathway for engaging with our surrounding immigrant communities. To date, we have reached 50 + individuals over the span of two months, with the hope that these tours will expand participants’ sense of place and belonging at the Queens Museum.
This program is organized in partnership with MIXDesign as part of their ongoing initiative, MIXmuseum.
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