International Museum of Cultures BLOG

Anthropology Museum Providing Education on Indigenous International Cultures

Just In Time! A New Sprinkler System and the Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day LIVE! September 26, 2014

Over the past several weeks, the International Museum of Cultures has been adding a new sprinkler system on the property. 

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We had to close our doors the public for a while which was disheartening for many, but we have good news! Though the process has been tedious, it was a success! We are proud to announce that the museum doors will be open tomorrow - Saturday, September 27th – just in time for the Tenth Annual Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live! smithsonian museum day live

 

Last year’s event brought in over 400,000 participants all across the United States! If you are looking for a reason to get out of the house this weekend and experience something new, tomorrow the International Museum of Cultures will open its doors for any and all interested in participating in Museum Day Live! 2014. A variety of exhibits will be on display.

 

You can download a FREE Ticket at: Smithsonian.com/museumdaylive. Each ticket is worth entrance for two individuals on Saturday only. Take advantage of this opportunity to educate yourself and your family or friends about global cultures. Learn about and connect with people from all walks of life!

 

Donation Drive for the 6th Annual North Texas Giving Day September 22, 2014

The International Museum of Cultures in collaboration with the Duncanville Outreach Center hosted a Donation Drive kick-off event last Thursday, September 18th for the 6th Annual North Texas Giving Day! From 7 am to 9 am in the IMC parking lot, free donuts and coffee were provided to those who stopped by and donations were accepted. For those who were unable to visit the museum, supporters were given the opportunity to donate online until midnight that day.

 

NTX Giving Day - Sept 18

 

The turn out for the event at the International Museum of Cultures was great! It was wonderful to see people coming together to consume copious amounts of delicious donuts and coffee for breakfast and offer their moral and monetary support to the local non-profit organizations striving to make a difference in their community. Not only did locals from the Duncanville and Dallas areas gather together to support organizations in their region, but well over 98,000 donations poured in from all 50 states, 6 territories and over 28 different countries across the globe to benefit 1,580 unique, non-profits.  Due to the numerous online donations as well as the performances and community events – such as the International Museum of Culture’s donation drive – spurring an awareness of need and excitement to lend support all over, this year was record breaking for the North Texas Giving Day!

 

If you have the desire to continue your support of local organizations, check out the Communities Foundation of Texas website - www.cftexas.org – to learn how to make a difference. And, if you have the desire to benefit the International Museum of Cultures, visit our website – www.internationalmuseumofcultures.org- to donate or get involved!

 

 

Thank you for your support!

 

Learn About the People of Mexico at the Museum or Through a Virtual Tour from Your Own School June 3, 2014

The International Museum of Cultures (IMC) explores the diversity of languages in Mexico.

The IMC has an exhibit that provides an overview of the richness and diversity of languages in Mexico. It highlights samples of the more than 150 native languages still spoken there. The exhibit additionally focuses on some social implications of this diversity of languages within the national life of Mexico.

Electronic Field Trip at the International Museum of Cultures

If you have students that are interested but not able to visit the museum in person, there is another alternative. The IMC also provides insight into Mexico in its Electronic Field Trip. In the IMC Electronic Field Trip, a Museum Docent of Mexican heritage explains to  students that are touring the museum the tonal importance of these languages. Below is a sample of the dialogue in the Museum’s Virtual Tour:

DOCENT: “You can see that most of the non-Spanish speakers live in the southern part of Mexico. Some of the languages are tonal which means that the only difference between “I’m going, and I’m not going” may be the tone of your voice. Likewise, some are also nasal, and you must say a vowel through your nose. If you don’t, you might say “chili pepper”, like I did when you really wanted to say “horse’s tail”!”
STUDENT: “That could be a problem if you were trying to make chili and put a horse’s tail in the pot.”
DOCENT: “You’re right. Languages, to some extent, are partially a result of need. Mixtec dialects can have as many as 20 different words for corn, like the Eskimos have many words for snow: soft snow, slushy snow, icy snow, etc. The Tzeltales in the state of Chiapas have 25 verbs for “carry”, depending on HOW you are going to carry something: on your back, over your shoulder, in a pocket, in your hand, etc. “

View the promotional video of the eField Trip that visits Mexico, South America, Africa, and Papua New Guinea. Learn more by visiting International Museum of Cultures or call us at (972) 572-0462.

 

Museums Teach Through Stories May 23, 2014

Mary Catherine Bateson is an American writer and cultural anthropologist. She is known for making the statement that “The human species thinks in metaphors and learns through stories.”

When a person attends a museum, they learn through stories. When a student visits a museum, that student hears and even experiences the story of people from far away lands. Museums have a great deal to offer the educational process in America. Within museums, there is a tide change from the traditional passive contemplation role that was very popular through the majority of the last century and the modern role of the museum to be an active participant in community and education. Museums are recognizing the value they can offer education and are reaching out to the community.

As is stated in The Foundation’s post on Why Museums are Important, “Museums provide a unique interactive experience of getting up close to things we usually only see in books, newspapers or on the television.” 

The International Museum of Cultures is able to bring the stories through artifacts right to the student anywhere in the Continental United States so that the student can have a personal experience with tools, clothes, and instruments from far away lands. The student is then better able to understand different cultures without pre-judgement when encountered by a person of an unfamiliar culture.

These artifacts can be shipped to the educational facility with a complete curriculum that fits into any Project Based Learning initiative. The shipped artifacts to the educational facility is called a Discovery Box. Discovery Boxes allow students to experience cultures around the world in a unique and interactive way.

Artifact Discovery box

Artifact Discovery box

Discovery Boxes

Discovery boxes come in 12 different themes and include a variety of genuine artifacts from the museum’s collection. Students are able to touch and examine the artifacts while completing activities and worksheets that encourage them to think critically about the world around them using Project Based Learning (PBL) methods.

For more information about Discovery Boxes from the International Museum of Cultures, please call us at 972 572-0462 or email us at info@internationalmuseumofcultures.org

 

Multi-Sensory learning at the Museum April 21, 2014

Learning through discovery is a powerful form of learning. Often times a question is answered that was not asked creating knowledge beyond the expected. In addition, the result is often more questions and the pursuit of further understanding. Museums offer this valuable form of learning, discovery.

Museums are recognizing that there is even more that they can do. They can lengthen the retention of the knowledge learned. Retention can be extended through the use of multi-sensory learning.

The rhetorical question is asked in Trendswatch 2014, “Remember when you looked at a painting, listened to music, tasted your food, smelled
perfume and touched a (real, physical) object?” The human senses encourage memory retention. The report goes on to say “The demand for multisensory experiences is accelerated by discoveries documenting the utility as well as the artistic challenge and the sheer fun of engaging all the senses.”

The International Museum of Cultures (IMC) recognized the advantage of a multi-sensory experience quite a long time ago. The IMC has touch screen videos in select exhibits where the visitor can interact directly and choose to experience what the indigenous people see and hear. An example would be listening to the sound of a “Talking Drum“. The IMC also provides “Discovery Boxes” where the visitor can handle artifacts while following instructions that increase the engagement of the visitor with the daily lives of people living in far-away lands.

Discovery Boxes and the Electronic Field Trip are available for educational institutions to use at their locations. Engage the senses to encourage discovery and the retention of the information learned. For more information contact the International Museum of Cultures at 972-572-0462.Cultural context education

 

 

The IMC Continues its Mission Through Programs Seminars and Exhibits March 31, 2014

The International Museum of Cultures (IMC) is “A Center for Global Awareness”

Building on the past and looking to the future, the Board of Trustees of the International Museum of Cultures adopted an updated mission statement.

Mission: The International Museum of Cultures provides a venue for opportunities to enhance the public’s understanding, involvement and appreciation of contemporary world cultures through programs, seminars and exhibits. International Museum of Cultures

Below are other important facts about the IMC:

Location: The International Museum of Cultures is located on the access road of Highway 67 in Duncanville, TX. Situated conveniently between all of Southwest Dallas’ major suburban cities and only minutes from downtown Dallas, the IMC is easily accessible to all.

Description: The International Museum of Cultures is the only contemporary cultural anthropology institution in the state of Texas to focus on indigenous peoples and to understand the challenges of existing communities in remote locations of the world. Through exhibits, educational programs, and public events, the IMC celebrates people of diverse cultures in an effort to embrace and promote understanding of cultural differences found both in isolated areas of the world and in our own community. Our focus on living peoples rather than on those of the past provides a rich platform from which to address questions of ethnic and cultural diversity – the Museum’s central interest.

History: The IMC was developed by linguists and anthropologists associated with SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) and chartered in 1979 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the supervision of Dr. William Merrifield. The Museum exhibits are taken directly from the experiences of field linguists. They are rich in the detail and understanding that can only come from first hand knowledge of living in these remote communities and in sharing and appreciating their cultures and friendships. Facility: The Museum occupies its own 20,000 sq. ft. building on highway 67 in Southwest Dallas County. We have a community room that seats 50-75 and conference room available for rental. Our upstairs’ facility is in the process of being developed as a children’s lab. Along with all the usual IMC events, we have the space for meetings, parties, performances, and lectures.

Exhibits: Exhibits include several African cultures including West Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo; South America; eleven countries of Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea, China, Mexico, Central America, and Native American as well as an extensive display of weapons and drums from around the world. Short-term exhibits are regularly displayed in the reception area. Traveling exhibits are in place at neighboring libraries and government buildings.

Come visit us at 411 US 67 Frontage Road Duncanville, TX 75137.

If you are an Educator, contact us about our Electronic Field Trip and Discovery Boxes. They come with complete curricula covering TEKS for K-12 science, social studies, English language arts, fine arts, and math. For more information, call us at (972) 572-0462

 

Sharon Tennison Presenting Her Views on Russia at the International Museum of Cultures February 20, 2014

Filed under: Events,Museum — imcblog @ 2:52 pm
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Sharon Tennison is a familiar person to the supporters of the International Museum of Cultures (IMS) and followers of this Blog. Ms.Tennison will be speaking at the IMC on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.

Sharon Tennison on SochiMs. Tennison is founder and President of the Center for Citizen Initiatives (CCI) in San Francisco. Ms.Tennison has worked for 25 years in Russia and the CIS, creating numerous multi-year, multi-million dollar TA programs to provide training for Soviet and Russian citizens to gain independence and skills designed for self governance. She lives and travels extensively part of the year in Russia. Sharon Tennison’s book The Power of Impossible Ideas is available from Amazon.com.

MS. Tennison has written her views about the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Upset with this apparent obsession to discredit Russia’s “day in the sun,” Ms. Tennison wrote the following at the start of the competitions: If your 12-year-old son or grandson came home from school saying that classmates were spreading misinformation about him, making fun of his family, ideas, interests, inclinations, or whatever could taunt …. what would you call it?  Bullying, I assume?  How would it make you feel?
Bullying, demeaning, rumor making, ridiculing, isolating, whether from children in schools, NFL football players on the field, or nations with whom we have to live on this small planet, the tactics are similar––and these behaviors are never appropriate.”

Ms. Tennison offers the question “Do you see ways we can promote more civility with Russia from the bottom up?
Or ways to encourage our mainstream media and public officials to display more civility between our countries?”

Ms Tennisson also adds: “Nothing in the above intends to present that Russia is a perfect country. It has poor people, disadvantaged people, people who are unhappy with their lots in life, with their government, in about the same ratio that we have here in the U.S.  They are still working through many more disadvantages as a society, than we. They got a very late start. Can you imagine what they have gone through since 1990 when they overthrew communism? They started from scratch or worse — having the burden of an old corrupt system buried in the minds of most of the people––and a country full of worn out housing, schools, hospitals, manufacturing equipment and an ineffective Soviet legal system. This was just a few years ago.  It’s a miracle they have done as well as they have. “

Come to hear Ms. Sharon Tennison speak at the IMC on February 25, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.. Contact the International Museum of Cultures for more detail or call (972) 572-0462.

 

 
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