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'New York Responds' Exhibit Captures New York City During The Time Of COVID

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The year 2020 may not be history yet, but a new exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York explores all we went through this year.

"Enough is enough" prominently displayed on a homemade mask. A hot dog, too. Plywood walls that lined Broadway, photographs that make your heart ache, and smile, are just some of the artifacts on display inside New York Responds.

Homemade face masks are on display at the Museum of the City of New York's exhibit "New York Responds." (Credit: CBS2)

"It's a look at the events of 2020 with a focus on, of course, the COVID pandemic and also the racial justice uprising," said Sarah Henry, chief curator at the Museum of the City of New York.

Henry explains this exhibit is about a history still unfolding.

"Why is it important while we're still in the midst of this to look back already?" asked CBS2's Vanessa Murdock.

"It's an opportunity to capture history for the future, but it's also an opportunity for us to take a step back and really contemplate what we've been going through and what this has meant for our city," Henry said.


Vice President of Museum Collections Lindsay Turley told Murdock typically she'd be out in the city watching what's happening, documenting it. Not in 2020. The museum crowdsourced, starting in April, using social media and the hashtag #COVIDStoriesNYC.

"It really helped me realize New Yorkers, we were all feeling so isolated and this project was helping us connect with strangers in a time where we weren't even connecting really that much with the people we knew," Turley said.

The museum received more than 20,000 submissions, and a group of twelve New Yorkers helped decide what you see at the exhibition.

A homemade coronavirus piñata is on display at the Museum of the City of New York's exhibit "New York Responds." (Credit: CBS2)

"I think what has really touched me, offered by the public, is how deeply personal and deeply felt these things are," Henry said.

Like a homemade coronavirus piñata obliterated by the family who made it, and a pan covered with dings from being repeated pounded every night in appreciation and celebration of our health care heroes.

Objects that shape our history on display at the Museum of the City of New York.

If you can't make it to the Museum of the City of New York in person, the exhibit will be available online too.  New York Responds opens to the public Friday.


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