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Joan Ganz Cooney Event

May 3, 2012

Last night I went to an event at The Museum of the Moving Image (one of my favorite museums in the city). I got horribly lost getting off of the subway, which was incredibly depressing considering I was in my own borough, even on my own street (though still about 25 blocks away from my house). But once I found the place, I was thrilled to sit in on An Evening with Joan Ganz Cooney, founder of the Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) which, of course, developed Sesame Street.

Cooney had a lot of interesting things to say about developing Sesame Street, particularly how tied it was to that time period. It’s really amazing to me that something that was so “of the moment” in the late 60s could still be relevant today. Of course, I know how much work goes into the research and development of Sesame Street, so looking at it from that angle it’s not surprising. But it’s longevity is incredibly impressive, and to me it speaks to both the legacy of Jim Henson that has inspired countless young people who are now adults (like me), and the strong research model set up by Cooney that is copied by every other educational television program. She also told a story about how she thought Jim Henson was a rebellious hippy when he showed up at an early conference about Sesame Street (this judgement was on his looks only – after another producer explained who he was, they became fast friends!)

I’m super impressed with the quality of exhibits and programming the Museum of the Moving Image has to offer. I hope they keep expanding!

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