5 Organizations That Use Art To Celebrate Culture

For centuries, cultures around the world have expressed themselves through painting, music, dance, and other forms of art. Whether you want to discover more about your own heritage or learn about a culture that you're not familiar with, the organizations listed here are a great place to start. They work to educate the public, showcase talented artists, and provide people with a supportive community. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Groups That Showcase Art & Culture

Organization Location Mission
San Diego Chinese Historical Museum San Diego, CA Educate and inspire by preserving and celebrating the richness of Chinese history, art, culture, and the contributions of Chinese Americans
Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute New York, NY Advance cultural equity and justice for African descendant communities through arts, culture, education, and media
Irish Arts Center New York, NY Project a dynamic image of Ireland and Irish America for the 21st century, build community with artists and audiences of all backgrounds, forge and strengthen cross-cultural partnerships, and preserve the evolving stories and traditions of Irish culture for generations to come
Hmong Cultural Center Saint Paul, MN Provide community outreach activities related to multicultural education for the purposes of promoting positive race relations in the Twin Cities community and teach visitors about the Hmong people, their history, their culture, and their experience in the U.S.
Russian American Foundation New York, NY Encourage interest in and understanding of Russian heritage among all communities in the US, and promote reciprocal interest in and understanding of American heritage among global Russian-speaking communities

Ways To Engage In Lifelong Learning

  • Visit a museum
  • Read both fiction and non-fiction as often as you can
  • Teach others what you know
  • Explore new places
  • Start a creative project, like a vlog or podcast
  • Get a good desk for your home
  • Join a study group
  • Take a hike through nature
  • Listen to different types of music
  • Look up words you don't know in the dictionary

Top 10 Large Vibrant Art Communities In The U.S.

According to DataArts as of 2018

Rank Metropolitan Statistical Area Region 2016 Population
1. San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA West 1,635,684
2. New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Northeast 14,398,700
3. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV South 4,840,523
4. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN South 1,865,298
5. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Midwest 3,551,036
6. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA West 10,137,915
7. Boston, MA Northeast 2,117,384
8. Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD South 1,291,454
9. Newark, NJ-PA Northeast 2,507,478
10. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA West 2,937,590

How Art Gives Shape To Cultural Change

In Depth

Culture manifests itself in many ways, whether it's in the food we eat, the traditions we observe, or how we treat each other. It's also evident in the art we make and appreciate. Engaging audiences in a range of geographically diverse music, crafts, and performances, the organizations included on this list demonstrate the multiple ways in which communities' heritages are reflected and perpetuated through creativity. In no particular order, here are five groups celebrating different cultures and the art forms that represent them.

For #1 we have the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. Encompassing three innovative museum sites, SDCHM seeks to educate, entertain, and inspire the public through the conservation and celebration of Chinese and Chinese American art and culture. Hosting an array of exhibitions, events, and education programs, it offers sundry opportunities for audiences of all backgrounds to get in touch with this rich national heritage. SDCHM serves as a vital contributor to the city's cultural life, and works to bring together its surrounding communities through celebrations of holidays such as the New Year and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.

Showcasing works in a variety of media such as painting, photography, and textiles, SDCHM's exhibitions explore all aspects of Chinese history and Chinese American cultural contributions. Programs and events include monthly lectures by special guest speakers, walking tours of the Asian Pacific Historic District, community workshops, and Tai Chi in the garden, which is held every Saturday morning. Education programs are available for both students and adults, and involve classes, lectures, and hands-on activities, with outreach curricula offered at schools and community centers. Support the Museum by joining as a member, and get benefits such as discounts.

Support the Museum by joining as a member, and get benefits such as discounts.

At #2 is the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute. Established in 1976, this East Harlem-based multi-disciplinary organization combines art, activism, and education to honor and uphold African Diaspora traditions, unite communities, and motivate social justice. Using art as a medium for transformation and empowerment, it presents public exhibitions, workshops, conferences, and performances that reach people from around the world. Through its robust programming and civic initiatives, CCCADI strives to cultivate an egalitarian global reality for all afro-descendent populations.

CCCADI enacts its mission through four core areas that emphasize the primacy of African Diasporic cultures. Its exhibitions and performances showcase eclectic works in mediums such as painting, dance, and digital media. Sacred traditions programs involve workshops, wellness circles, and expos, all of which foster an intimate understanding of indigenous and African-centered customs. Arts education and equity initiatives, meanwhile, nurture future advocates through school partnerships and youth leadership training. Finally, CCCADI's international exchange and travel programs offer tours and convenings around the globe. Help out by sending a donation online or by mail.

For #3 we get Irish Arts Center. Located in New York City, this organization strives to promote a modern, multi-faceted portrait of Ireland and Irish American culture. Featuring programming focused on the three primary areas of performance, visual arts, and education, it works to forge strong cross-cultural collaborations, develop diverse creative communities, and preserve national traditions. Audiences have a plethora of opportunities for education and inspiration through live music, film screenings, exhibitions, and myriad classes that teach Irish history, language, and art.

Featuring programming focused on the three primary areas of performance, visual arts, and education, it works to forge strong cross-cultural collaborations, develop diverse creative communities, and preserve national traditions.

Among the Center's many other offerings are dance performances, artist talks, a stand-up comedy series, the IAC Book Club, and a monthly variety show. There are also over forty classes offered each season for adults, families, and children, with topics covering dance, theatre, literary arts, and musical instruments such as the fiddle and the Celtic harp. Focused on everything from traditional singing to playwriting and politics, master classes and workshops further engage and enlighten the public through stimulating conversations and activities. Make a contribution to the Center's Education Fund to ensure its programming remains accessible to everyone.

Landing at #4 is Hmong Cultural Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Through a productive combination of art and education, HCC operates with the goal of championing Hmong culture and advancing cross-cultural understanding throughout the Twin Cities. To carry out its mission, the Center offers classes and exhibits in multiple artistic disciplines, supports refugees and immigrants with free language courses and job services, and provides educational community programs including workshops, presentations, and webinars.

Critical to HCC is the Hmong Resource Center Library, one of the most exhaustive collections of Hmong-related literature, dissertations, articles, and multimedia materials in the United States. Equally significant is the Hmong Cultural Center Museum, which features interactive displays and exhibitions that explore pertinent history, culture, and art. On display are such items as clothing, tools, jewelry, and musical instruments, as well as an embroidery room featuring an assortment of needlework done in different traditional styles. Do your part to sustain HCC's operations by donating through its site.

Critical to HCC is the Hmong Resource Center Library, one of the most exhaustive collections of Hmong-related literature, dissertations, articles, and multimedia materials in the United States.

Finally, for #5 we come to the Russian American Foundation, which was originated in 1997 to foster a mutual, reciprocal cultural appreciation between Russia and the US. Working to honor and promote both countries' heritages, RAF implements programs that advance social and economic development, enhance cultural awareness, and help Russian-speaking communities in New York and throughout the nation preserve their traditions. The organization's contributions come through a host of programs and initiatives related to education, sports, performances, and much more.

In partnership with Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet Academy, RAF offers intensive summer programs in New York and Connecticut that provide students with expert ballet training. Through merit-based scholarships given by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, young Americans can also gain valuable social and pre-professional experience by traveling abroad. International exchange is further facilitated through programs centered on basketball and hockey, as well as through the Annual Russian Heritage Month, which features events such as festivals, concerts, art exhibitions, and talks. Contribute to RAF online to assist its many endeavors.