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Culture

CULTURE is thought of in a variety of ways. It is a term used by people to describe the traditions and lifeways of populations other than their own (other than what they most closely identify with). It is sometimes thought to be the highest art forms of a population, like the ballet or the opera. It is even considered by some to be the new interests and creative expressions of youth (sometimes called the Counterculture).

More accurately, Culture is the ways of life and the influences - family, media, technology, religion, geography, language, arts, music, entertainment, etc. - on the ways of life of all of us. From occupations to religion and social life, Culture matters to all of us for our health, safety, quality of life, interests, social status, enjoyment, inspiration and productivity, how ever we view all of those goals and qualities.

Our Culture, our traditions and our ways of life may be responsible for our positive attitudes or poor health conditions. Culture is the most important consideration for all of us, even if it is so common to us in our daily lives that we barely recognize it.

Many people consider themselves to be part of diverse cultures, all living in a rapidly changing world. Their historic ways of life are under the pressure of mass media and efficient global transportation. They face an important question: will their children identify with the traditions, lifeways and living conditions of their ancestors?



DEFINITION

Culture: The integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief and behavior that depends on humankind's capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations.


So, what is cultural activity and identity?

The list of examples is endless.

A family night at the movies, a recipe for tamales, a favorite TV show, a mural artist's creation, a Powwow or social dance, a visit to a temple or mosque, a music lesson, a Thanksgiving dinner, a daily commute to work, a memorial service at a grave, a weekly soccer game, a high school graduation, a live music festival, a trip to Times Square or Disney World, a migrant farm worker's experience, a fast food lunch, a classical Indian dance performance, a black and white movie, a painted church, a tornado siren, a fishing trip, a bonfire, a prom date, a custom car, a soul food dinner, a veteran's story, a community garden...

There's more, much more!

A history book, a Spanish or French class, a craft beer, a visit to the nature center, a period of time for fasting, a child's school play, a credit card, a fireworks display, a quilt, a barbecue grill, a trip to the gym, a story told by a disaster survivor, a book about birds, a second or third job, a Halloween costume, a fortune cookie, a birthday cake, a hunting trip, a family album, a wedding dress, a gift of iconic jewelry, a youth program, a reed boat or a canoe, an antique electric train set, a radio show about car repair or political satire, a favorite band, a vegan meal, a senior citizens club, a genealogy website membership, a Christmas party at the office...

All are cultural icons and activities.

Human needs and lifeways are common to all of us, yet our specific and diverse cultural expressions and experiences are unique and fascinating to us.

All of these diverse traditions and activities can be presented, experienced and explored in an exceptional
Museum of Culture. It's a professional museum planner's dream. Audiences have access to informative displays, the highest quality international performances, local traditions, diverse music, documentary films, holiday celebrations, food demonstrations, interactive media, genealogy and DNA testing, creative arts, community workshops, lectures, educational exhibits, academic presentations, and much more.


Activities

A
Museum of Culture has a major advantage in its ability to interest audiences; it can present a wide range of exhibits from its endless subject matter, and it can interpret a significant amount of the subject matter as documentary media presentations and live performances. Additionally, interactive media displays, talks, panel discussions, workshops, demonstrations and guest receptions are key methods to attract visitors and present subjects related to Culture. Social interaction is critical in the modern world of mass media and rapid technological change. Academic activities and education conferences are also important to achieve the mission to improve cultural knowledge and understanding.


EXHIBIT HALLS AND GALLERIES


Professional museum staff will plan an overview of the subjects for permanent exhibition, with key halls planned for touring exhibits and rotating galleries. This will allow the museum to host worldwide touring exhibitions and to serve local communities by closely curating unique smaller exhibits from local interests.

Many exhibits will likely be created using new, data-based media technology and interactive displays. While others will provide close-up looks at historic and exotic cultural materials.



FESTIVAL GROUNDS


Festivals, performances, processions, social dances, gatherings and markets are such an important part of people's cultures that the world's most significant museums of culture rely heavily on these kinds of interactive opportunities to provide education and cross-cultural experience.

The Smithsonian Institution's annual Folklife Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Washington DC. Taking place every year on the National Mall, the free event requires a tremendous funding effort and coordination with many agencies, because it is not a space dedicated solely for festivals. Having an outdoor space of approximately three acres in the former Texas Rangers stadium dedicated for cultural activities is a highly innovative possibility and an invaluable aspect of the ballpark's configuration. This makes it possible to operate special events, from cultural celebrations and seasonal markets to popular concerts, for a wide variety of purposes, including educational benefits, audience development and fundraising.

There is an obvious stage position and backstage facilities. The seating capacity would likely be reduced to 25,000 - 30,000, though it is certainly useful at the current full capacity. Some seating areas might be converted to enclosed theatres and auditorium spaces, while others might be used to expand exhibit and activity space.



MEDIA FACILITIES


Expanding access to media technologies is an important aspect of the tremendous body of work that is produced around the world to promote greater understanding of cultural and social issues. From new electronic media created by citizen journalists to professional documentary films and complex virtual reality simulators, numerous small dedicated facilities are needed to maximize audience experience and interests. Sizeable facilities are required to present professional I-MAX films and elaborate four-dimensional film experiences.

Classrooms and workshop spaces are required to be equipped with media presentation capabilities and electronic conferencing technologies for in-house education, as well as remote audience participation. Facilities will have the capability to host and document talks and performances.



CONFERENCE FACILITIES


While the facility would not serve as a commercial convention center, to serve the museum's educational mission and improve cultural literacy in the Metroplex, it would be necessary to host academic conferences and local community summits, with the goal to maintain flexibility and affordability for local universities and school districts.



LABS AND CLASSROOMS


Spaces within the stadium will make suitable lab facilities, conservation studios and classrooms. These have the ability to involve youth and demonstrate academic processes for the public. Excellent examples of how these facilities accommodate visitors of all ages are found in the Field Museum's halls, from the hands-on children's area in the lower level, artist presentations in the main atrium and the DNA testing lab and environmental sciences offered on the upper levels.



Literacy

As the cultures of the world spread out to remote geographic locations all across the planet over hundreds of thousands of years, they developed extremely interesting, mostly necessary, somewhat practicle, similar and dissimilar ways of life - beliefs, languages, natural shelters and stylized dwellings, social orders, political systems, monuments, aesthetic ideas, agricultural systems, food traditions, tools, and more. Constant interests in trade and agonizing, slow exposure to others through early exploration and migration expanded rapidly with new transportation and communication technologies, only to increase exponentially with each passing year over the recent centuries and decades.

Today, our interconnected world requires tremendous Cultural Literacy for individuals to be successful, healthy, happy and secure. Because our differences are more than just geographic separation, but rather religious differences, diverse languages, histories, ethnic identities, generational divides, gaps in education and digital access, division of sexes in social status and work places, and much more, our situations will not entirely and favorably change with increased mass communication and social media.

A relative level (relative to the opportunity that exists in a community) of professional and social competency in a diverse world, described as Cultural Literacy, is best accomplished through cultural experience and interaction, along with an intentional level of education. A
Museum of Culture, with extensive educational and cultural activities, inclusive for people of all identities and backgrounds, is an excellent forum to inspire a more culturally literate population and minimize cultural conflicts.


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EXAMPLES OF POTENTIAL SUBJECTS AND ACTIVITIES (partial Lists, in random order)


SUBJECTS

Cultural Traditions
Food Traditions
Music
History
Civilizations
Folk Art
Fine Art
Art History
Health
Security
Social Sciences
Education
Literature
Sociology
Ethnology
Political Science
Public Policy
Journalism
Citizen Journalism
Philosophy
Geography
Heritage
Migration
Anthropology
Archaeology
Indigenous Studies
Social Studies
Climate
Future Studies

Genealogy
DNA Testing
Oral History
Media Arts
Languages
Religion
Connoisseurship
Outsider Art
Economics
Occupations
Social Life
Government
Legal Studies
Technology
Communication
Traditional Crafts
Architecture
Residential Design
Hospitality
Fiber Arts
Gardening
Athletics
Travel
Psychology
Media Literacy
Photography
Social Media
Civil Engineering
More


ACTIVITIES

Permanent Exhibits
Touring Exhibits
Rotating Exhibits
Community Exhibits
Academic Talks
Presentations
Author Talks
Book Signings
Food Demonstrations
Panel Discussions
Documentary Films
Music Performances
Dance Performances
Festivals
Festival Vendors
Seasonal Markets
Food, Wine Tasting
Classes
Workshops
Health Classes
Receptions
Touring Programs
Visitor Services
Tours and Travel

Youth Programs
School Tours
Summer Camps
Community Events
Film Screenings
Film Festivals
Art Exhibits
Education Topics
Conferences
Consulate Receptions
Touring Artists
Music Rehearsals
Master Classes
Documentary
Production
Recording
Digital Storytelling
Publications
Archive Conservation
Education Resources
Community Resources
Community Interaction
Student Internships
More



EXAMPLES OF CULTURAL INTERESTS


Classical and Traditional Dance
Classical and Traditional Dance


Clothing and Fashion
Clothing and Fashion


Oral History and Storytelling
Oral History and Storytelling


Education
Education


Health
Health


Music Classes and Recitals
Music Classes and Recitals


Athletic Events
Athletic Events


Theatre
Theatre


Regional Music Traditions
Regional Music Traditions


Science, Engineering and Technology
Science, Engineering and Technology




 
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