Past and Current Projects

Africa

From the Ground Up: Nutritional Values and Cultural Connections (2013)
Gidan Makama Museum Kano, Kano, Nigeria
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh, PA

High school students learn about nutrition, cooking and cultural food traditions by following local food from farm to table and creating recipe books that reflect the traditional recipes of their regions and cultures.

Next Stop: Brooklyn/Dakar (2012)
ImagiNationAfrika, Dakar, Senegal
Brooklyn Children's Museum, Brooklyn, NY

Young adults in the cultural hubs of Dakar and Brooklyn investigated the current and historical impact of migration in their two communities, as well as the roles of migrants in shaping a national cultural identity, by thinking about the issue from the perspectives of local youth.

P.A.U.S.E.: Pollinators/Art/Urban Agriculture/Society/and the Environment (2012)
National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya
Tohono Chul Park, Tucson, AZ
St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis, MO

Youth from three urban centers joined forces with community organizers to lead learning events on urban gardening, native pollinators and artistic creation. Teams of participants then worked together to design and build citizen-managed gardens and pollinator habitats on vacant or abandoned land in each city.

Community of Conservation: Research Exchange Experiences for Global Youth (2011)
National Museum of Niger Boubou Hama, Niamey, Niger
Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL

Middle school students conducted original conservation research projects that explored concepts in animal behavior and ecological biodiversity. As they shared their findings, they learned about the similarities and differences between their local wildlife experiences and their cultures. 

Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo's Community of Conservation project page.

International Legacy Youth Leadership Project (2010)
The Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg, South Africa
The Mandela House, Soweto, South Africa
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, AL

Youth from Alabama and South Africa explored the parallels between the civil rights movement in Birmingham and the anti-apartheid struggle in Soweto, the role of youth in promoting social change and the implications of their societies’ past on contemporary life.

In Their Own Voices (2010)
National Museums of Kenya, Lamu, Kenya
Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH

With the help of museums and local community members, children in Cincinnati and Lamu learned to document oral histories and traditions with digital and virtual tools. As they discovered more about their own cultural heritage, they shared their stories and learned from those of their peers abroad.

Young Women Speaking the Economy (2010)
The Women’s Museum in Denmark, Aarhus, Denmark
The Ayala Museum, Makati City, Philippines
Sudanese Women's Museum, Omdurman, Sudan
International Museum of Women, San Francisco, CA

Young women from four countries used social media and online applications to discuss their perspectives on everything from careers and work-life balance to weathering financial hardship and combating gender discrimination.

Visit the project's online exhibition.

Dear Mr. Mandela, Dear Ms. Parks (2008)
Nelson Mandela Museum, Mthatha, South Africa
Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, MI

Using letters written by children to Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela, the two museums and their partner communities raised awareness of the deep parallels between the struggles for racial justice in the United States and South Africa.

Americas

Forest Guardians (2013)
Sicán National Museum, Ferreñafe, Peru
Zoological Society of San Diego, San Diego, CA
Working with Three Mountain Alliance, Līhu’e, HI

Communities in Peru and Hawaii build ecological literacy, cultural knowledge and environmental stewardship using a new model for conservation education in a network of schools that demonstrate a commitment to environmental action and to developing students’ understanding of conservation in a global, multicultural context.

A Journey through the African Diaspora (2013)
Museu Afro-Brasil, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Prince George's African American Museum & Cultural Center, North Brentwood, MD

In celebration and exploration of the African American experience throughout the Americas, teams of high school students, teacher liaisons and teaching artists compare and contrast the history and impact of the African diaspora in Sao Paulo and Maryland’s Prince George's County and collaborate on mural projects and exhibits in each location to showcase their findings in their communities.

Scaling the Walls/Escalando Paredes: Creating Urban Green Spaces (2013)
Interactive Science Museum, Quito, Ecuador
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Teenagers in Quito and Pittsburgh explore the environmental, social and economic impacts of food systems on local and global communities to consider solutions to the health and environmental challenges facing their crowded, urban neighborhoods and create easily implemented designs for planters that can host edibles for residents with little access to fresh food or green spaces.

Turning the Table: Understanding Cross-Cultural Movements (2013)
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Ateneo de Yucatán, Mérida, Mexico
Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, San Antonio, TX

Using tables as a metaphor for bringing people and cultures together—whether to eat, create or resolve differences—high school students from Mérida, Mexico and San Antonio along with local artists explore their communities’ cultural movements and adaptations over time through community meetings and workshops as well as oral history collection and present their artistic interpretations of community change through local and virtual exhibitions.

Girl Ambassadors for Human Rights (2012)
Corporacion Parque por la Paz Villa Grimaldi, Santiago, Chile
Sri Lanka Plantation Workers' Museum, Paradeka, Sri Lanka
The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, Fayetteville, NY
International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, New York, NY

Using the unique histories of women's struggles for gender equality and human rights represented by three members of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, young women in New York, Chile and Sri Lanka engaged in ongoing virtual and in-person dialogues about gender issues past and present as well as across cultures.

Object Stories Exchange (2012)
Museo Nacional de San Carlos, Mexico City, Mexico
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR

Middle school students engaged in a year-long dialogue about their heritage, community and traditions by telling stories about objects, both their own personal possessions and those in the museums' collections. Using these objects as a starting point, the youth shared information about people, places, events and personalities important to them and to their larger communities.

Rainforest Leadership Academy: Cross-Cultural Teacher Training and Mentoring (2011)
Maloka, Bogota, Colombia
California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA

Mentor teachers from urban- and rainforest-based school districts collaboratively developed materials for teacher trainings and student activities. As the teachers trained their colleagues in inquiry-based science lessons, cross-cultural teams of students shared information about the diversity of the rainforests and cultures in their regions.

Visit the Rainforest Leadership Academy's website.

Two Museums, Two Nations, One Identity (2011)
Museo de Arte de El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC

Youth in El Salvador and Salvadoran-American youth used art as a means to communicate about themes such as self, family, tradition, community and migration while creating awareness of their personal and collective identities and cultural heritage.

From the Adirondacks to the Middle of the World (2010)
Museo de la Ciudad, Quito, Ecuador
World Awareness Children’s Museum, Glens Falls, NY

Through art and video conferencing, youth in Ecuador and New York explored the challenges faced by their communities and their own role in addressing them. The partners developed traveling culture kits filled with art, videos and an associated curriculum for use in the museums’ outreach programs.

Sharing Biodiversity and Culture (2010)
Tin Marín Children’s Museum, San Salvador, El Salvador
The Discovery Museums, Acton, MA

Using art, autobiographies and video conferencing, third and fourth graders in these two countries learned about one another’s cultures and traditions, explored the biodiversity of their regions, and expanded their knowledge of the environmental concerns in their local communities.
 
Inside/Outside/North & South (2008)
El Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore, La Paz, Bolivia
Gallery "Casa del Caballero Aguila," Puebla, Mexico
Museo de las Americas, Denver, CO

High school students from local majority and minority ethnic groups created visual, oral and literary components representing their personal experiences with stereotyping and prejudice for a multimedia art exhibition that traveled to all three museums.

Central and South Asia

Girl Ambassadors for Human Rights (2012)
Corporacion Parque por la Paz Villa Grimaldi, Santiago, Chile
Sri Lanka Plantation Workers' Museum, Paradeka, Sri Lanka
The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, Fayetteville, NY
International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, New York, NY

Using the unique histories of women's struggles for gender equality and human rights represented by three members of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, young women in New York, Chile and Sri Lanka engaged in ongoing virtual and in-person dialogues about gender issues past and present as well as across cultures.

Nuclear Weapons Testing Legacy: The Tale of Two Cultures (2011)
Karaganda Ecological Museum, Karaganda, Kazakhstan
National Atomic Testing Museum, Las Vegas, NV

Students living near former nuclear-testing sites collected oral histories and radiation data, interpreted the lingering effects of the testing and explored how their two very different societies respond to their common challenges.

We, the People: Afghanistan, America & the Minority Imprint (2009)
National Museum of Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan
National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA

A diverse group of high school students from Philadelphia and Afghanistan captured images reflecting their interpretations of concepts such as dissent, freedom and democracy in their countries. The photos turned into an exhibition that highlighted the amazing similarities the students found between citizens of these two very different multiethnic societies.

View the project's online exhibition.

Indo-U.S. Science Center Diversity (2008)
National Council of Science Museums, Kolkata, India
Science City, Bangalore, India
New York Hall of Science, Queens, NY

Museum staff worked together to increase access to science and science-education careers for underrepresented youth in both countries by sharing youth-program best practices and creating new and innovative demonstrations to improve the experiences of young volunteers and audiences.

Promoting Volunteerism in Dushanbe
(2008)
Dushanbe Zoo, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Black Pine Animal Park, Albion, IN

After one of their Tajik pen pals was injured while visiting the Dushanbe Zoo, students in Fort Wayne, Ind. found a nearby sponsor organization, the Black Pine Animal Park, with whom they could work to help the zoo prevent future accidents. Partners developed youth-run volunteer corps to improve the safety of the animal exhibits and provide a more family-friendly visitor experience at both locations.

East Asia and the Pacific

Ancient Shores, Changing Tides – Developing Local Archaeological Heritage Expertise (2013)
Palawan State University Museum, Palawan, Philippines
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Seattle, WA

Local residents work together to develop resources to protect their fragile marine environments, preserve their archaeological heritage and revitalize traditional cultural practices while exploring methods for sustainable tourism.

Flag Stories: Citizenship Unbound (2013)
Islamic Art Museum of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA

Youth from Muslim, intercultural, refugee and immigrant communities in Kuala Lumpur and San Francisco interpret flags and cultural insignia through hands-on art production and storytelling; create new visual and multimedia representations of national, personal and cultural identity; and present public artworks in target community locations.

Rethinking Home: Climate Change in New York and Samoa (2013)
Museum of Samoa, Apia, Samoa
American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY

Residents from both regions with homes in coastal areas impacted by hurricanes share their personal and community experiences through in-person dialogue sessions and virtual conversations to produce an online exhibition, a mobile app and cross-cultural educational resources to better adapt to changing weather patterns and manage the impact and resources in the aftermath of severe storms.

Coral Reef Ambassadors (2012)
National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, Checheng, Pingtung, Taiwan
Birch Aquarium at Scripps, La Jolla, CA

Classrooms in Pingtung and San Diego utilized live coral reef tanks representing systems from the two countries to engage youth in hands-on, cutting-edge science and develop cross-cultural research and conservation skills critical to the future of these crucial marine ecosystems.

Digital Skies Student Partnership (2012)
Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong
Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland, CA

Cross-cultural teams from Oakland and Hong Kong explored differences and commonalities in Western and Chinese astronomy and participate in career development workshops that highlight career paths in astronomy and space sciences.

Muslim Women's Art and Voices (2012)
The Women's Museum in Denmark, Aarhus, Denmark
The Ayala Museum, Manila, Philippines
Museum of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
International Museum of Women, San Francisco, CA

Through an online exhibition, a new generation of Muslim women shared their perspectives and ideas, addressing myths and prejudices and fostering understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims in the U.S. and globally. Participants created and curated art and multimedia to raise public awareness in their communities and beyond about the richness and diversity of their lives, ideas and identities.

View the Muslima exhibition.

North-South: Art as a Tool to Mediate Political and Social Conflict (2012)
Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Gyeonggi-Do, Korea
Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, CA

Teenagers living near the Demilitarized Zone in Korea and in neighborhoods affected by the Norteno-Sureno gang warfare in northern California explored the realities of one another's lives, reconsidered their environments from the perspectives of their peers abroad and created collaborative art that reflects their circumstances, identities and communities.

Visit Somona County Museum's North-South project page.

Past to Present: U.S.-Sino Bridge of Connection (2012)
Jianchuan Museum Cluster, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, HI

Using the era of American-Chinese collaboration in the 1940s as a backdrop, high school students acted as amateur historians, conducting research on the American Volunteer Group/Flying Tigers of the Chinese Air Force and interviewing elders in their communities about World War II and its impact.

iShare: Connecting Museums and Communities East and West (2010)
National Taiwan Museum, Taipei City, Taiwan
University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, Boulder, CO

Two indigenous communities—Navajo Nation in the U.S. and the Paiwan people of Taiwan—guided the development of iShare, a collaborative online application intended to provide remote access to collections of tribal objects, document aspects of intangible cultural heritage and share information with the public.

Visit the iShare website.

Young Women Speaking the Economy (2010)
The Women’s Museum in Denmark, Aarhus, Denmark
The Ayala Museum, Makati City, Philippines
Sudanese Women's Museum, Omdurman, Sudan
International Museum of Women, San Francisco, CA

Young women from four countries used social media and online applications to discuss their perspectives on everything from careers and work-life balance to weathering financial hardship and combating gender discrimination.

Visit the project's online exhibition.

Carrying Traditions Across the Waters of Time: Ainu & Pacific Northwest Cultural Collaborations (2009)
Ainu Association of Hokkaido, Sapporo, Japan
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Seattle, WA

With a shared desire to preserve their unique cultures in a fast-paced, technologically advanced world, tribal representatives from indigenous coastal communities in Washington State and Sapporo, Japan worked together to preserve and promote traditional cultural knowledge for future generations.

Europe and Eurasia

emPOWER Parents: Fostering Cross Cultural Networks between Families with Autism (2013)
Museo ICO, Madrid, Spain
Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY

Museums in Madrid and Queens support the creation of a bi-national network of parent advocates, giving parents of children with autism the resources to affect institutionalized change in both countries, request improved programming in schools and include their children’s learning styles in community programs. Participating parents gain skills in teaching and behavioral methods, lead programs with other local families and maintain and disseminate resources in both English and Spanish to share their knowledge with a global audience.

Muslim Women's Art and Voices (2012)
The Women's Museum in Denmark, Aarhus, Denmark
The Ayala Museum, Manila, Philippines
Museum of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
International Museum of Women, San Francisco, CA

Through an online exhibition, a new generation of Muslim women shared their perspectives and ideas, addressing myths and prejudices and fostering understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims in the U.S. and globally. Participants created and curated art and multimedia to raise public awareness in their communities and beyond about the richness and diversity of their lives, ideas and identities.

View the Muslima exhibition.

Written in Rock: Collaboration among Azerbaijani and Pueblo Indian Communities (2012)
Gobustan National Historical Artistic Preserve, Baku, Azerbaijan
National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Office of Policy and Analysis, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
In collaboration with the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM

Members of the Pueblo Indian communities in Albuquerque and individuals from Azerbaijan worked together with archeologists and conservationists specializing in the study of petroglyphs—human-made carvings on rock surfaces—to tackle preservation challenges, share cultural perspectives and generate techniques for community outreach to ensure the future of these powerful yet fragile monuments of our common human history.

At the Table: Connecting Culture, Conversation and Service in Latvia and the U.S. (2011)
National History Museum of Latvia, Riga, Latvia
National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA

Through oral histories with community leaders, service projects and meaningful dialogues, high school students worked together to increase understanding across cultures, foster a sense of civic responsibility and inspire acts of civic engagement.

Not Just Another Building on the Street (2011)
Not Just Another Brick in the Wall: Engaging Italian & American Teens (2009)
Parco Astronomico InfiniTo, Pino Torinese, Italy
Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center, Shreveport, LA

Two years after Italian and American teens collaborated on a planetarium rock opera that reflected both their individual cultures and their knowledge of science and technology, astronomy teachers in the two regions reconnected to develop a planetarium program that addressed educational needs in their classrooms and provided students with formal and informal learning opportunities.

Building a Transatlantic Bridge (2010)
LVR-Industriemuseum, Oberhausen, Germany
Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PA

Connected by their common industrial heritage, high school students in Greensburg and Oberhausen used blank journals as a platform to share art, poetry and stories about themselves and their cities. The journals formed the basis of student-curated and marketed exhibitions in both museums.

Connecting Finnish and Adirondack Communities (2010)
Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre, Vantaa, Finland
The Wild Center, Tupper Lake, NY

Responding to a shared concern about the effects of climate change on their winter cultures, lifestyles and economies, museums and communities in the Adirondacks and Finland joined forces to increase awareness and explore how they can work to limit the impact of this trend.

Navigating Difference: Transatlantic Dialogues on Immigration (2010)
Le Bois du Cazier, Marcinelle, Belgium
Galata Maritime Museum, Genoa, Italy
International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, New York, NY
Ellis Island Immigration Museum, New York, NY

Members of three immigrant communities shared their experiences of identity, assimilation and discrimination through dialogue and public programs while an interactive installation at each museum collected visitors' personal reflections and opinions on immigration.

Young Women Speaking the Economy (2010)
The Women’s Museum in Denmark, Aarhus, Denmark
The Ayala Museum, Makati City, Philippines
Sudanese Women's Museum, Omdurman, Sudan
International Museum of Women, San Francisco, CA

Young women from four countries used social media and online applications to discuss their perspectives on everything from careers and work-life balance to weathering financial hardship and combating gender discrimination.

Visit the project's online exhibition.

Water: Using the Common Tie that Binds (2009)
Bendery City Museum of Ethnography & Natural History, Bendery, Moldova
Rodger Ehnstrom Nature Center, Wahpeton, ND

Residents of river cities in North Dakota and Moldova joined forces to learn how to better manage their waterways, raise awareness of water conservation and evaluate its impact on their environments, cultures and sustainability.

Middle East and North Africa

Design Diaries International (2013)
Palestinian Heritage Museum, Jerusalem
Minnesota Historical Society, Saint Paul, MN

Young women representing diverse populations in Jerusalem and Minnesota’s Twin Cities investigate the subtext of clothing in their regions and reflect on their museums’ rich textile collections along with historical context provided by older generations to design garments that reflect their unique identities. Using their knowledge and designs, they dialogue with their partners about the meaning of clothing in their lives and how it shapes their personal, and even national, identities.

Muslim Women's Art and Voices (2012)
The Women's Museum in Denmark, Aarhus, Denmark
The Ayala Museum, Manila, Philippines
Museum of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
International Museum of Women, San Francisco, CA

Through an online exhibition, a new generation of Muslim women share their perspectives and ideas, addressing myths and prejudices and fostering understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims in the U.S. and globally. Participants create and curate art and multimedia to raise public awareness in their communities and beyond about the richness and diversity of their lives, ideas and identities.

View the Muslima exhibition.

Identities: Understanding Islam in a Cross-Cultural Context (2011)
Creating Community Collaboration (2009)
Ben M’Sik Community Museum, Casablanca, Morocco
Museum of History and Holocaust Education, Kennesaw, GA

Citizens of Georgia and Casablanca explored what it means to be Muslim in the US and Morocco by collecting oral histories and sharing their findings with members of their own communities and with their partners abroad in hopes of moving beyond stereotypes and judgment.

Visit the Identities website

Watch Your Waste e-Museum (2011)
The Children’s Museum Jordan, Amman, Jordan
Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, MI

To call attention to the worldwide dilemma of increasing waste production and foster solutions, middle school students acted as amateur archaeologists, photographing, filming and describing their own families’ garbage and researching how the approach to waste has changed over generations.

Visit the Watch Your Waste e-Museum.