Michael Shulan – Creative Director
In the days after 9/11 Michael and three friends organized a crowd-sourced exhibit of 9/11 photographs at his storefront in SoHo. It was called “Here Is New York,” and the images were profoundly moving. Today Shulan is in many ways the outsider of the group, often joking that he ‘won’t make it till the end.’ He may be right. He’s the person driven to explore images and events, among a group of historians who want questions answered.
Alice Greenwald – Museum Director
Before 9/11, Alice was Associate Museum Director at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C Warm, engaging, and willing to listen to others, Yet, with a velvet fist, she decides which ideas get built. Period.
Lou Mendes – SVP Design and Construction
Lou is a rough, hard nosed construction worker turned boss. He was at the WTC the night of 9/11 and then ran the site during the rescue and recovery. He has sharp elbows – and uses them.Contractors, staff, co-workers are the target of a constant barrage of gruff commands, which is what he says they need.
Jan Ramirez – Museum Curator
The most emotional job of the team goes to Jan Ramirez. As the Museum’s Chief Curator, Ramirez is front and center in the emotional minefield that is the survivor families.The artifacts are like her children, and she knows that not all of them will fit inside the finished museum. Choosing is personal and painful.
Amy Weisser SVP, Exhibitions
Amy’s role changes as the museum shifts into high gear. She begins as a project manager, running meetings with crisp efficiency. But and budget pressure and deadlines grow, she takes on a more editorial role. Team members wonder if she is acting on Alice’s instructions, or exerting her own editorial opinions and ideas.
Tom Hennes, Lead Exhibition Designer
Tom Hennes, founder of Thinc Design, was recruited by Greenwald to design, create, and install all of the Museum’s exhibits. And very much like Shulan, he set out to create a museum of questions. But as time went on, Hennes found himself at odds with Greenwald. A new designer was hired, and Hennes and his team quit, twice. He returned and fought the growing pressure to impose a much narrower, predictable narrative frame, along with increasing density and closure in the design that he was convinced would provoke unnecessary anxiety and potential retraumatization, which he had sought to avoid In the end described his treatment as a “betrayal.” The most critical piece of the Museum’s design, which asked questions about the future, was taken from him.