Art Across Generations and Languages
Marissa Reyes shares a poignant Family Day memory.
When I was having a conversation with a family that—they're one of the Family Day regulars. And I'd seen them maybe three, four times during the course of—each year they'll come. This time around they brought their grandmother. And the grandmother didn't speak English, and—But I was sort of greeting them, and sort of orienting them to the day. And at some point I stopped speaking because I realized that the little girl, she was maybe seven, eight years old, was not just translating what I was saying for the grandmother, but then she sort of took over.
And very animatedly just talking about the projects, and pointing her out—or pointing out the different gallery spaces, and different activities, and different projects.
And the way that this girl just felt a—It just seemed to me that she had such a sense of ownership over the experience and over this museum. She didn't need me to sort of orient her grandmother; she was there because she had come to the museum many times with her family, and so she just felt really at home. So much so that at some point I started following them through—and just seeing her animatedly jus, like, "Here, Grandma, this—." Showing her grandmother, engaging with the materials, talking to the volunteers.
That to me was—It was very subtle, and it wasn't until after the end of the day that I sort of processed and it was like, "Oh, my gosh, this is we're trying to do!" This girl will forever take away her experience at the museum not just as something that was happening for her, but this was her space. And that she was—and she felt comfortable enough to share her space with other people in her life. That was really touching.