Share your images documenting NYC's current activism and protests for Black lives

Monday, June 8, 2020

Activists at Black Lives Matter protest
Day 85: obfuscation experiment #3, Credit: Russ Rowland

Museum invites New Yorkers to share images for documentation, using #ActivistNY on Instagram

Museum of the City of New York, the institution dedicated to documenting NYC’s stories for nearly 100 years, is inviting New Yorkers to share images of the tremendous response in the city to the unconscionable killing of George Floyd.  Floyd’s death—like that of so many before him—underscores a long history of violence, injustice, and racism experienced by people of color in New York City and beyond, a history that is included in our ongoing exhibition, Activist New York. 

In connection with our dedication and commitment to documenting stories of activism and protest in the city, Museum of the City of New York invites you to post images on Instagram using our existing hashtag #ActivistNY, tagging @museumofcityny. MCNY’s curatorial team will review the images on a rolling basis, selecting images to repost on the Museum’s social media feed and other digital channels, reflecting on the impact of this event on life in this dense, creative, and resilient city.  

Once contacted by museum staff, participants will fill out the form and send it to to grant permission to use your image on the MCNY website and social media feed. 

“While the challenges surrounding the Coronavirus are no less significant or less devastating in light of current events, New York now faces another critical moment alongside the pandemic,” says Whitney Donhauser, President & Ronay Menschel Director of Museum of the City of New York. “Given the destructive and disproportionate impact of the global pandemic on Black and brown communities, and the unprecedented logistical challenges to protesting created by social distancing, the Museum is documenting these #ActivistNY stories -- part of our long history of documenting this city’s diversity, struggle, resilience, and reinvention. Through these efforts, we hope to contribute to a better future for all New Yorkers.”  

At the beginning of April, the Museum launched a similar call for images in order to share the stories of how New Yorkers have viewed and experienced the COVID-19 pandemic, which is ongoing. More than 4,000 #CovidStoriesNYC images have been shared. The Museum remains dedicated to sharing  photographs that specifically document the evolving health crisis in the city, through #CovidStoriesNYC, and you are welcome to utilize both hashtags when submitting any image. 

A note about physical objects: 

While the Museum cannot accept physical objects at this time, if you have an object (such as a protest sign) that you think would help the Museum’s collection tell the story of current activism or COVID-19 in New York to future generations, please email a photo of it to

Unfortunately, we are only able to reply to emails regarding materials we are considering for acquisition, and we request that you do not mail any items to the Museum at this time. Until we have guidance from health officials, for the health and safety of our staff, we will not be accepting physical objects from the public. 

About Activist New York 

Activist New York is an ongoing exhibition at the Museum that explores histories of activism in New York City from the 1600s through today. From riots over slavery and anti-immigrant mobilizations in the 19th century to the labor movement of the early 20th century, liberation struggles of the 1960s, and the Movement for Black Lives, Activist New York provides a sweeping look at the passions and conflicts that underlie the city’s history of agitation and diverse New Yorkers who have mobilized to fight for the city they want to see. Learn more online at  

Activist New York and its associated programs are made possible by The Puffin Foundation, Ltd. 

Activist New York is the inaugural exhibition in The Puffin Foundation Gallery, which is dedicated to the ways in which ordinary New Yorkers have exercised their power to shape the city's and the nation's future. 



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