Dia x CUP Teen Urban Investigation on Museums
What is the Role of a Museum in a City?
Dia x CUP Teen Program
2013 Urban Investigation on Museums
About The Dia x CUP Program
This summer, 15 public high school students from Dutchess County, New York, participated in an Urban Investigation
project in collaboration with Dia, the Center for Urban Pedagogy, and teaching artist Katarzyna Balug, broadly examining the roles of museums in cities.
The teen investigators interviewed directors, curators, and educators from arts organizations and historical museums as well as artists, academics, and cultural consultants to examine the different ways in which a museum can impact a city. Through their research, they found that museums were described in a variety of ways, such as sanctuaries for reflection, educational institutions, tourist magnets, and incubators for artistic practice.
The group developed their final projects based on their findings, inventing imaginary museums of the future. Creating models and original texts, the students explored both utopian and dystopian outcomes for the museums and their cities. These stories are published in an illustrated booklet, which will be available for sale at the students’ final presentations and as a free download on the Dia and CUP websites.
Get the Book
Museumopolis is the final booklet produced by the Dia x CUP Urban Investigation teens. Buy it here
, or download it for free here
Student Final Presentations
The Dia x CUP teen investigators will present their findings at two special events: first at Dia:Chelsea on Saturday, October 5 and then at the Dia:Beacon Community Free Day on Saturday, October 19.
Both events are free to the public, but have limited space. Reservations are recommended by visiting the events pages: October 5
and October 19
The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)
is a nonprofit organization that uses the power of art and design to increase meaningful civic engagement.
CUP’s Urban Investigations
are project-based after-school programs in which public high school students explore fundamental questions about how the city works. Students collaborate with CUP and teaching artists to create multimedia teaching tools that reach audiences in the fields of arts and social justice.
To learn more about CUP, visit welcometoCUP.org
About the Teaching Artist
Katarzyna Balug works as an artist and cultural producer. She holds a BA from the USC Roski School of Fine Arts and an MUP from the Harvard Design School. She spent 2011–12 as a Harvard Fellow in Mexico City, creating the project "Museum of the Future" and is a member of Social Agency Lab, an urban theory and practice collective. She has developed art projects and youth collaborations in cities in the United States, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico, and Poland, among others. Her current research examines collective imagination as a tool to reframe the paradigm of bold, inclusive city-making, and her process employs the connection between local histories and the future in building local agency. Originally from Poland, Balug grew up in Chicago. She was recently artist-in-residence at the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, an innovation incubator in Boston's city hall. Balug's recent project "City Factory" was the winner of the 2013 "Common Project" competition in Lodz, Poland, coorganized and funded by the ING Foundation for Polish Art and the Muzeum Sztuki Lodz in Poland.
Dia:Beacon: Susan Batton (Managing Director, Dia:Beacon)
Museum Teen Summit: Marit Dewhurst (Director, Art Education, City College of New York); Kiana Carrington; Iveethe Molina; Maya Fell; Iyana Jones; Mackenzie Hammer; Seunghee Kim; Billy Zhao
AEA Consulting: Libby Ellis (principal); Brent Reidy (consultant)
City of Beacon: Clara Lou Gould (former mayor, Beacon)
Gramsci Monument: Thomas Hirschhorn (artist); Erik Farmer (President of the Resident Association, Forest Houses); Yasmil Raymond (Curator, Dia Art Foundation)
Tenement Museum: Annie Polland (Vice President, Programs and Education)
MoMA: Wendy Woon (Deputy Director of Education)
CUNY: Sharon Zukin (professor of Sociology)
This project is a collaboration of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), Dia Art Foundation, CUP teaching artist Katarzyna Balug, and selected students from Dutchess County. It is supported, in part, by the Dyson Foundation.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org