Jewish-American Heritage Month

Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) is an annual recognition and celebration of Jewish American achievements in and contributions to the United States of America. In April 2006, President George W. Bush announced that May would be Jewish American Heritage Month, marking the moment as an achievement in the effort of the Jewish Museum of Florida and South Florida Jewish Community leaders for a celebration of Jewish Americans and Jewish American Heritage. May was chosen as the month of Jewish American Heritage Month because of the successful 350th Anniversary Celebration of Jews in America. Republican Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) were those who urged the president to proclaim a recognition of the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to America and the American culture. The Jewish American Heritage Month Coalition states that, “JAHM also enables the exploration of the meaning of religious pluralism, cultural diversity, and participation in American civic culture.”

JAHM

In celebration of this rich history of cultural unity and support, the International Museum of Cultures proudly proclaims a thank you to the nation of Israel. We desire to provide continued support for their small, courageous culture during these current times of political unrest in the middle east. We hope that during the month of May, fellow Americans will be reminded of the cross-cultural friendship we possess.

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

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

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

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

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

Tea and Talk with Carmen Goldthwaite at the International Museum of Cultures

Join us at the International Museum of Cultures (IMC) for Tea & Talk with Carmen Goldthwaite, author of Texas Dames, on Saturday, February 15th at 2:30 PM. Location: 411 US 67 Frontage Road Duncanville, TX 75137.

Carmen Goldthwaite, Texas DamesMs. Goldthwaite is a dynamic speaker, author and teacher. Her nonfiction book Texas Dames: Sassy and Savvy Women Throughout Lone Star History emerged from a column called “Texas Dames” that ran in newspapers around the state. The book highlights the women whose lives, lived in uncommon times by today’s standards, nudged and sometimes yanked Texas and Texans into gentler, more enlightened ways.

Contact the IMC to make your reservation. Reservations are required.
Individual tickets: $10 for non-members; $8 for museum members. (Sponsorship tables available with seating for six.)

The IMC Introduces a Business Class Membership

The International Museum of Cultures (IMC) is a unique cultural anthropology museum that features and provides education on contemporary peoples from around the world. We rely on good friends becoming members of the IMC to help foster greater understanding, appreciation and respect between peoples of differing cultures through exhibitions, events, and educational tools.

We have received tremendous support from the business community.  To recognize that support, in 2013 we introduced a Business Class membership as an addition to the IMC regular membership.International Museum of Cultures

A Business Class provides membership cards for up to ten of your employees.  They may visit the museum at anytime during hours of operation using these membership cards.  Additionally, your business may use the Community Room (seats 75) for three events or company meetings during the year.  The Conference Room is equipped with video technology and available via reservation for your use.

A BUSINESS CLASS membership is only $250.00. Providing the following benefits:

  • A certificate of membership
  • Your business name will be listed on the poster displayed in the lobby
  • Your business name listed on other promotional pieces throughout the year.
  • Admits  you and employee card holders to FREE admission to over 700 museums across America.

We hope you will view this invitation as an opportunity to be involved in the arts and culture programs that act as a window into diverse cultures within our communities and throughout the world.

Please contact us for more information at (972) 572-0462. (For information on other Membership opportunities at the International Museum of Cultures, please visit us at InternationalMuseumOfCultures.org)