The Museum of American Finance (MOAF) is "the nation's only independent public museum dedicated to celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship and the democratic free market tradition which has made New York City the financial capital of the world." Nowadays, many people may believe the free market system is broken, but regardless, understanding the foundation and history of our nation's financial markets can only lead to a better informed consumer and citizen.
MOAF boasts an interactive monetary exhibit, a gold Monoploy set, a historical display of piggy banks, interviews with 16 modern-day entrepreneurs, the Alexander Hamilton Room dedicated to our first Secretary of the Treasury, information on the current credit crisis, and information on past financial scandals.
The museum also offers classes at the Center for Financial Education. Classes range from "Real Fake" with Inspector Collector, aimed at grades K-6, to The Secret Life of Money: Currency Exploration for Adults, designed for college students and adults.
Hours, admission rates, and directions are available at http://www.moaf.org/contact/index.
For more field trip ideas,check out GHF's Virtual Field Trips page.
Unfortunately, at a time when our need for financial education is stronger than ever, the MOAF, which offers just the information we need, isn't doing well. Perhaps, people are intimidated by the name "American Finance." Or, maybe, people believe money is boring. Or, perhaps, folks believe they know all they need to about how money works. Regardless of the reason, one of the more important aspects of our modern lives is completely neglected in traditional teaching, so people must make the effort to seek out the information to teaching both themselves and their children. Only with knowledge will we avoid the mistakes of the past.
So, whether you're an argentum-phile (money lover) or argentum-phobe (money fearer), MOAF sounds like wonderful place to learn more about and experience the fascinating world of finance.
With a little luck, and money, maybe we'll see you there!
Article by Sarah J. Wilson