The Roles of Museums and Anthropology

The International Museum of Cultures (IMC) is an anthropology museum. This puts the IMC at the center of two role advancements, one that is occurring in the museum industry and the other that is affecting anthropological study.

Cultural context educationWithin the industry of 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. In Anthropology, there is an increased emphasis to apply the findings discovered in the field to the present culture and economic environment of the observer.

Museum 2.0

Regarding the advancing role of the museum in society, Nina Simon posted Participation, Contemplation, and the Complexity of “and” in Museum 2.0 “To me, the backlash against participatory and community-centered experiences is not surprising. I’ve always understood that participatory experiences are not for everyone. I’ve always known that some people feel that social work means mission creep for museums. What surprises me is the argument that participatory and community-centered initiatives, offered alongside many other interpretative strategies, program types, and projects, can erode the value of an institution and the experiences it provides.”

Museums are continuing to increase their role in communities and education by expanding beyond their brick and mortar. Museums are bringing their experiential abilities to the attendee rather than having the attendee physically enter the museum.

Anthropology Advancing

The traditional methods of anthropological study have been to visit far away cultures, report on them and then return to report on the findings. Many of us laymen have fond memories of watching documentaries depicting people living, in our context, within strange and exotic cultures. Anthropology is advancing its role in applying the findings to our contemporary world and our local cultural and economic environment.

The challenge is the acceptance of the fact that all of our perspectives are filtered through our respective traditions and culture. The advanced Anthropological studies understand the human condition of the observer and properly shares the observations in the proper context.

In a post call A Major Value of the Anthropological Project (as I see it), agamwell writes “Sharing our stories with others too, can be helpful, as long as we are able to also understand views as partial, as one among many, and as long as we allow the space for multiple stories, even if contradictory, to exist at the same time. While each of us might not be able to change the world, we can at least change ourselves.”

So museums and Anthropology are moving to expand their roles and, consequently, expand our understanding of the world. The International Museum of Cultures is moving along in step by being a true partner in education. The IMC ships genuine artifacts to educational organizations with related curricular and also offers an electronic field trip delivered to any Web enabled device, also accompanied with related curricular. The purpose is to bring the cultures of the world to our students, in the context of and to improve the student’s world.

Looking for Meeting or Conference Rooms for Your Next Event in Southwest Dallas County?

If you are looking for that perfect location to host your holiday party or host a meeting, contact the International Museum of Cultures in Duncanville, Texas.
IMC OutsideWe have several options available for your convenience in planning your next business, social meeting, or hosting a holiday event.
Our Community Room will accommodate up to 100 guests for a seated function. You are welcome to bring your own food and/or refreshments or contact our staff for securing the catering requirements you have.
We also have a conference room for meetings of 15-20. The conference room is equipped with electronic equipment for computer presentations.
Docent guided tours of the museum coordinated with your event and discounted shopping opportunities in the International Gift Shop are also available.
It’s not too early to make your reservations! Call the museum at (972) 572-0462 for cost and openings.
We look forward to having you and your guests enjoy our facility!

DonorBridge for the International Museum of Cultures

NORTH TEXAS GIVING DAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2013

International Museum of Cultures is participating in the Donor Bridge North Texas Giving Day.Donor Bridge

September 19, 2013, the North Texas Giving Day, is a day when nonprofits with an approved DonorBridge profile are eligible to receive matching funds when donations are made online through DonorBridge.com.

Mark your calendars for the North Texas Giving Day, which will be held from 7 a.m. to midnight on September 19, 2013.

DonorBridge is run by Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), with the support of the Center for Nonprofit Management.

The Value Cultural Anthropology Brings to Our Educational System

Ngbaka People educatingWhat is Anthropology?

Anthropology is the study of humankind. Anthropologists can be found in a number of settings, such as hospitals, schools, national parks, and even studying our oceans.

The International Museum of Cultures is a cultural anthropology museum. We focus on the ways in which people live around the world. Culture involves the beliefs , attitudes, knowledge and social structure of a group of people. The study of culture can include food, clothing, language, celebrations, education, and religion.

Due to the rapid globalization and imperialism, many people whose ancestors have lived in a location for thousands of years have historically been oppressed. However, indigenous groups hold rich histories and traditions that are very interesting and diverse. Our museum’s goal is to shed light onto the many different ways that indigenous people live around the world in and effort to learn from them and positively represent them.

As our world becomes more unified Globally, it is imperative that we understand various worldviews rather than forcing our worldviews on others. Because of this global context, our goal as a museum is to foster cross-cultural interest, openness and appreciation of cultural diversity.

Understanding and appreciating indigenous cultures from around the world allow us to better appreciate the diversity within our own country, State, and community. This is exceptionally important for young people developing their world views on their way to adulthood.

What are the Benefits of Cultural Anthropology to our Educational System?

The International Museum of Cultures wants to open the mind of the student to other ways of living; to other cultures. Although the museum highlights people that live outside the United States, the diversity of the world is parallel to the diversity we see within our own country and communities. Our museum aims to teach children and adults alike that no way of living is any better than another. We want to foster an appreciation of the diversity of the world.International Museum of Cultures Music Discovery Box

Discovery Boxes

We provide educational tools, such as PBL Discovery Boxes that allow students to experience cultures around the world in a unique and interactive way. 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.

Electronic Field Trip

The Electronic Field Trip is entirely online and is designed as an interactive learning tool. The eField Trip is a series of videos delivered over the Web that provide an entertaining tour of different sections of the museum. The tour focuses on the Peoples of Africa, South America, Papua New Guinea, Asia, and Mexico.

Understanding diverse cultures from around the world help us all to better understand our own community. Cultural Anthropology can provide the way to that understanding.

For more information on the educational tools from the International Museum of Cultures, call (972) 572-0462.

Interns Learn the Value of a Museum in the Educational Process

These are such exciting days at the International Museum of Cultures. Everything is abuzz with interns from TCU and OCU, as well as a graduate from Iowa State. We also have high school students earning their Community Service hours, a graduation requirement for certain High School students here in Texas.

What is exciting about having these young interns is that they will experience, first hand, the value that a museum brings to the education process. 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.” These interns will see how incredibly important it is for young people to see and touch artifacts from different cultures that they have only been able to read about.International Museum of Cultures Music Discovery Box

Bring the Museum to the Student

The International Museum of Cultures is able to bring those 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 are 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. Discovery boxes come in 12 different themes and include a variety of genuine artifacts from the museum’s collection with a complete curriculum for the teacher. Students are be 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.

Boxes include:

  • a teacher’s guide with detailed object descriptions
  • curricula covering TEKS for K-12 science, social studies, English language arts, fine arts, and math
  • eye-opening activities that guide your students through understanding the objects

Learn More about Discovery Boxes

If you would like to learn more about the Discovery Boxes from the International Museum of Cultures, please contact the Museum at (972) 572-0462

DonorBridge North Texas Giving Day for the International Museum of Cultures

NORTH TEXAS GIVING DAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2012

International Museum of Cultures is participating in the Donor Bridge North Texas Giving Day.Donor Bridge

September 13, 2012, the North Texas Giving Day, is a day when nonprofits with an approved DonorBridge profile are eligible to receive matching funds when donations are made online through DonorBridge.com.

Mark your calendars for the 4th annual North Texas Giving Day, which will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 13, 2012.

All credit card donations of $25 or more made online through DonorBridge will be eligible for matching money, making money received on North Texas Giving Day go even farther in supporting our community.

Check out the Donor Bridge profile for the International Museum of Cultures.

DonorBridge is run by Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), with the support of The Dallas Foundation and the Center for Nonprofit Management.

Corporations Support Arts and Culture

Many corporations match employees donations to non-profit organizations. The International Museum of Cultures is the recipient of dollars from several large corporations.

As a supporter of the International Museum of Cultures, please request matching funds from your corporation. Or, if you know of someone that is an employee of a large corporation, please ask them to consider supporting the efforts of the Museum.

Dallas Arts & Culture and related businesses generate $298 for every dollar the City spends on programming and facilities. Total economic impact of the arts and cultural entities in Dallas was $322 million in 2011. Surrounding communities enjoy residual benefits in relative amounts. Annually, arts and culture organizations provide learning opportunities for more than 579,000 school children in the North Texas area according to a study done by Deloitte in 2011.

Museum of International Cultures, Dallas, Texas

The International Museum of Cultures has over 30,000 visitors each year and the majority of this number are children on school tours. We provide the Travis Anthropology Summer Camp and Art Explosion, Electronic Field Trip, Discovery Boxes and more. Become a Member of the IMC. Contact us for more information at (972) 708-7406.