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New York City
September 2002

NYU Child Study Center & Museum of the City of New York Sponsor Joint Art Exhibit
The Day Our World Changed: Children’s Art of 9/11
On View From September 11, 2002-January 19, 2003

An exhibition marking the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center presents the art of New York area children made in the days and months immediately following the tragedy.

The exhibition pays homage to the role of children as witnesses to this cataclysmic moment in the history of New York City. By examining how young people express in pictures what the attack meant to them, the exhibition can help adults understand how deeply children were affected. Their drawings do more than document the wound suffered by New York and New Yorkers; they can help us all move forward.

The exhibition includes 83 paintings, drawings, and works of collage–ranging in scale from 12 foot murals to six by eight inch sketches–that tell the story of 9/11 through the eyes of children. Divided into five sections, the story begins with drawings of the brutal attack itself, scenes full of crashing airplanes and towers engulfed in flames. The feelings of sadness, fear and anger brought on by the attacks are chronicled next, followed by a sensitive portrayal of gratitude for all the heroes and helpers, from the police and firefighters to the brave rescue dogs. Painted memories of the way the city looked before 9/11 and tributes to what was lost lead up to the final section. The exhibition concludes with optimistic images of renewal and rebuilding, reflecting our youngest citizens’ hopes for the future.

The exhibition and accompanying publication are the result of a collaboration between the Museum of the City of New York and the New York University Child Study Center. The Center solicited children’s artwork made in response to September 11 by reaching out to parents and to public, private and parochial schools in the greater New York area. Out of more than 800 submissions, 83 works were chosen by a jury of artists, curators, art teachers mental health professionals and students. The participating artists range in age from 5 to 18.

The publication, The Day Our World Changed: Children’s Art of 9/11. (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., September 2002, $19.95 hardcover), reproduces in color all 83 works in the exhibition. Accompanying the images are essays by prominent historians, artists, writers, mental health professionals, and religious and political leaders from across the New York metropolitan region. A movingly personal commentary by former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani serves as the book’s introduction.

Public Programs will be held at the Museum in conjunction with the exhibition, including: MCNY KIDS Rebuild New York on Saturdays. Children and their caregivers will design and build a new city, using wooden blocks and a variety of art materials. Families may wish to combine block building with a guided tour of the exhibition. Art Sundays: Hands-on activities for families designed to encourage children to express themselves through art. Using the art on display in the exhibition as an inspiration, art therapists and mental health professionals will guide children and their caregivers through the creation of such projects as coping collages, diversity quilts, personal time capsules, framed memories, “picking up the pieces” kaleidoscopes, and “My Hero” magazine covers.

Lecture for Educators: “School Response to September 11: Mental Health Diversity in the Classroom,” Wednesday, September 25, 6 p.m., Mary Courtney, Ph.D., Director of School-Based Interventions, NYU Child Study Center, Child and Family Recovery Program, discusses the unique challenges educators face when children in the same classroom have different reactions to trauma. Discussion will focus on how educators can address children’s varied needs and handle their own responses to emotional upset.

Parent/Teacher Workshop: “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Children,” Thursday, September 26, 4 p.m. Elissa J. Brown, Ph.D., Director of Trauma Services and Research, NYU Child Study Center Child and Family Recovery Program, will share the most up-to-date information about the causes, warning signs, and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder in children. Her talk will be followed by a question-and-answer period.

Lecture: “Coping With Tragedy: Obstacles and Opportunities,” Sunday, October 6, 2:30 p.m., Robin F. Goodman, Ph.D., Director of Bereavement Services and Outreach of the NYU Child Study Center and co-author, The Day Our World Changed: Children’s Art of 9/11, discusses how trauma and loss can affect children. Adults have the opportunity to help children become resilient through such difficult times. Key principles and strategies for coping will be addressed.

Parent/Teacher Workshop: “Depression and Anxiety in Children and Adolescents,” Thursday, October 10, 4 p.m., Anne Marie Albano, Ph.D., The Recanati Family Assistant Professor in Psychiatry, NYU Child Study Center, discusses current information about the causes, warning signs, and treatment of depression and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. A question-and-answer period will follow.

Parent/Teacher Workshop: “Artistic Devel-opment in Children,” Thursday, October 17, 4 p.m., Robert Forloney, MCNY Learning Programs Coordinator, will help teachers analyze artistic, personal, and cultural expression in children’s art. A tour of the exhibition will be followed by discussion on interpreting and encouraging children’s artistic expression at home and in school.

Admission to all events is free.

The NYU Child Study Center is dedicated to the understanding, prevention, and treatment of child and adolescent mental health problems. The Center offers expert psychiatric services for children and families with emphasis on early diagnosis and intervention. The Center’s mission is to bridge the gap between science and practice, integrating the finest research with patient care and state-of-the-training, utilizing an extraordinary new facility and the resources of the world class New York University School of Medicine. For more information on the NYU Child Study Center, or how you can help, contact the NYU Child Study Center at (212) 263-6622 or visit



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