UNICEF launches new interactive exhibit at Pullman Yards

Atlanta is one of four cities selected for the exhibit
A view of an exhibit at UNICEF USA’s experience for children and families, called "Heart Strings: Creating Connection to the World’s Children," at Pullman Yards in Atlanta on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

A view of an exhibit at UNICEF USA’s experience for children and families, called "Heart Strings: Creating Connection to the World’s Children," at Pullman Yards in Atlanta on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

UNICEF USA brings the children of the world to Atlanta, virtually, in its new immersive exhibit.

Heart Strings: Creating Connection to the World’s Children” features several family-friendly zones designed to highlight pillars that UNICEF believes are essential for a child’s success: healthcare, education, protection and respect.

“Children that live in places that are distant from us might seem like they’re really far away, but they’re part of our global neighborhood,” said Michael J. Nyenhuis, UNICEF USA’s president and CEO. “They’re children that deserve attention, as well as kids in our own communities and country, so we’re always looking for ways to make that connection.”

“Heart Strings” is UNICEF USA’s first immersive exhibit. Inside, there are interactive activations like using handprints to tell the stories of children across the globe or standing underneath a recorder that plays information about caring for children. Families visiting the exhibit will be encouraged to dance and sing while learning about the issues that children are fighting for. For example, one of the panels highlights Radhika, a 19-year-old girl from India, who’s using her voice to combat child marriage.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter DeAsia Paige previews UNICEF USA’s experience for children and families, called "Heart Strings: Creating Connection to the World’s Children," at Pullman Yards in Atlanta on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

icon to expand image

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

At the end of the exhibit, in an activation titled “Take Action,” children will be encouraged to write letters to Congress for world issues they support.

The exhibit launched Friday at Pullman Yards and will run until May 5. Tickets can be purchased via heartstringsunicef.org/Atlanta.

“We wanted to make that connection to the world’s children in a different way to show and to recognize the great potential of the world’s children to to be change agents for their own countries, their own communities, and for the world at large,” Nyenhuis said. “We designed this exhibit to be uplifting and optimistic and full of potential.”

He sees it as a way for people to engage with kids around the world, and see beyond the current issues. “It’s not just about the crises that they’re in, but it’s about the potential that they bring to make the world a better place.”

Atlanta is one of four cities chosen for the exhibit. “Heart Strings” debuted in Houston last month. After Atlanta, the exhibit will premiere in Boston and Chicago. Nyenhuis said the selection of cities was based on places where UNICEF has strong bases of support.

The agency has partnership with Decatur, which is a part of UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative.

A view of an exhibit at UNICEF USA’s interactive experience for children and families, called "Heart Strings: Creating Connection to the World’s Children," at Pullman Yards in Atlanta on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

icon to expand image

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

“Decatur was one of those early adopters of this approach,” Nyenhuis said. “It basically gives a community a methodology to think through how best to put the rights and well-being of children at the center of their decision making about plans and programs and budgets ... [and] how all of that impacts the children in their community.”

An Emory alumnus, Nyenhuis also has personal connections to Georgia. He said UNICEF USA plans to expand the exhibit to more cities next year. The exhibit took about one year to develop with entertainment studio Moment Factory. Nyenhuis hopes the exhibit inspires visitors to get involved with UNICEF.

Atlanta Daily World reporter Hunter Gilmore previews UNICEF USA’s experience for children and families, called "Heart Strings: Creating Connection to the World’s Children," at Pullman Yards in Atlanta on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

icon to expand image

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

“When you engage with some of the young people that we profile in the exhibit, when you get to participate through this interactive experience, you get a better understanding of how children even in these difficult places, can develop and grow so that they can reach their full potential. I think people come away knowing that the opportunities for children everywhere are greater than I imagined.”


IF YOU GO

“Heart Strings: Creating Connection to the World’s Children”

Through May 5. Admission for children is free; general admission is $18; senior citizens and military $17. Pullman Yards, Building 1, 225 Rogers St. NE. pullmanyards.com.

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