In March 2012, I took the stage at TED in Long Beach, California to give my own TED talk. My immediate thought in the wake of that experience was that we needed to do this at The Met. The Museum has so many stories and inspires so much diverse thinking that I was convinced that we could convene a great TED conference of our own. And so, on October 19, 2013 we presented TEDxMet: Icons.
For weeks before that day, the refrain “never again” could be heard from the event’s organizers Limor Tomer, The Met’s General Manager for Concerts and Lectures, Consulting Producer Julie Burstein, and my Chief Advisor Chris Coulson. But TEDxMet: Icons produced such a singular alchemy of energy, relevance, humor, and expertise—along with a very proud sponsor, the visionary Adrienne Arsht—that the triumvirate was pressed back into service. They were soon inspired to create today’s follow-up: TEDxMet: The In-Between.
While The Met has its fair share of icons, in some ways the theme of The In-Between speaks more to the strength of a museum that stretches so far back in time and across so many cultures: the links within our
collections, the connections that surprise and challenge us, are what really make our works of art come alive. The theme is also appropriate for an event that takes place at this transitional moment before Marcel Breuer’s Brutalist building becomes The Met Breuer next March.
So many people throughout The Met make a program like this possible. They are too many to name, but what you experience today represents the collective efforts of over sixteen departments. Likewise, a day like this could not happen without the exceptional support of our returning sponsor, Adrienne Arsht, and brilliant new partners, Chipotle Mexican Grill. The day is all the more ambitious, better tasting, and better looking because of them.
Finally, I want to recognize all the participants in today’s talks and performances. With their bravery, hard work, and eloquence, they all sit somewhere in-between heroes, geniuses, and friends to us.
Thomas P. Campbell
Director and CEO
The Metropolitan Museum of Art