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Children from Shelters Relive the Excitement of the 1930s Worlds Fairs

On Tuesday, March 26 through Thursday, March 28, children from City shelters stepped back in time for Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s.

The spectacularly historical exhibit, which opened December 5 at the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY), showcased six Depression-era expositions that sparked notions of a brighter future to tens of millions of Americans. Although large-scale financial hardships plagued many across the country, the World’s Fairs in Chicago (1933-34), San Diego (1935-36), Dallas (1936), Cleveland (1936-37), San Francisco (1939-40) and New York (1939-40) foretold the modern conveniences, inventions and prosperity that would rapidly spread across post-war America. Exploring mementos from the fairs, the children explored the cutting-edge designs, innovation and ingenuity of the decade.

After excitedly touring the exhibit, the children were thrilled to create their own “World’s Fair” projects for 2013. Working with MCNY staff, they used the art assignment to depict their own ideas of modernism, inspired by all they had just learned.

Coordinated by DHS’ Office of Communications & External Affairs, the outing was just one of the many special events made possible by the museum. Collaborating closely with DHS, the MCNY welcomes families from shelter for a broad range of educational and cultural activities throughout the course of the year.

The youngsters were particularly eager to hear about the 1939 World’s Fair, which took place in Flushing, Queens.

For more information about the Museum of the City of New York, please visit