The Museum of Pizza Has Minnesota Ties

Todd about Town: New York’s new museum dedicated to pizza came from a U of M alum

I recently sat down with former-Twincy media savant Kareem Rahma to find out what life has been like since he traded the skyways of Minneapolis for the streets of Manhattan. Rahma worked for Vice and the New York Times before launching the Nameless Network, a millennial-focused video content developer. His next venture intrigued me, and if the press buzz is any indication, the Museum of Pizza has many others curious, as well.

A little background: The Museum of Pizza is, just as it sounds, an interactive experience devoted entirely to pizza. It’s being described as the world’s first experiential pizza adventure, featuring interdisciplinary programming ranging from immersive, large-scale, pizza-inspired rooms to film, music, and art. Some of the highlights include a pizza art gallery, a cheese cave, a pizza beach, and pizza meditation. The 15,000-square-foot Manhattan location is under wraps, but plans are to reveal the hot spot later this month. To reserve tickets, and for a sneak peek, click here. Also, follow the excitement on Instagram @themuseumofpizza. The museum opening will be October 13–October 28.

Kareem, let’s jump back a bit and talk about your career and life since moving to New York six years ago at the age of 25 and what your professional life has been like in Manhattan.

In Minnesota, I worked in many different positions doing social media and online marketing. I always found it to feel quite inauthentic. When I moved to New York City, I landed a job at VICE, which taught me how to really integrate brands into content in a meaningful way. I took my knowledge from VICE and went on to work for the New York Times, where I helped launch and bring to life the vision for Times Video. Eventually, the draw of entrepreneurship was too strong, and I decided to start my company, the Nameless Network. We make smart videos for the smartphone generation. I’m always up for a challenge, so after we conquered digital media, I thought why not conquer the real world as well.

So that brings us to the Pizza Museum. What kind of need is the Museum of Pizza filling?

We love how the experiential aspects of a children’s science museum and the zany, fun quality of Pee-wee’s Playhouse makes learning fun. With the Museum of Pizza, we see an opportunity. We are going to add new layers of playfulness to the current art, food, and learning experience. We want to celebrate pizza, New York, and the world around us.

How is this different from other pop-ups and museums? 

Social media inspires an emotional connection to people, places, foods, and cultures that we often wouldn’t be able to experience. We feel that the gap between looking at art onscreen and looking at art on a wall has closed. Artists are great at creating experiences, and we think museums are catching on. The world tour of Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors is a great example of a successful new exhibition concept. This museum is a very artist-driven concept.

What can we expect to see at the Museum of Pizza?

The Museum of Pizza is about infusing knowledge and discovery with fun. Our visitors will learn more about their relationship with pizza and art, and walk away with some really great memories and photos. People want to learn and take selfies, so we’re creating an opportunity to do both at the same time.

What inspired you to create the Museum of Pizza?

White-box museums forbid you to touch the art, which for me personally inspired a long-, long-burning desire to touch all the art! When I was young, my favorite museum was the Science Museum of Minnesota. I couldn’t wait to visit so I could interact with the exhibitions, and I thank my mother for taking me. The Museum of Pizza is the second coming of the interactive science museum. We’re leveling up from interactive to a fully immersive space, with many different experiences all in one.