Museum of Pop Culture expanding beyond Seattle

  

Museum of Pop Culture expanding beyond Seattle

The Museum of Pop Culture, also known as MoPOP, is a nonprofit museum “dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary popular culture. Founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, ever since it opened in 2000, the museum welcomes nearly 700,000 visitors every year.

Its statement of mission displayed on its website claims that MoPOP “serves as a gateway museum, reaching multigenerational audiences through our collections, exhibitions, and educational programmes, using interactive technologies to engage and empower our visitors.”
With its roots in rock ‘n' roll, the museum was previously known as the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. “At MoPOP, artists, audiences and ideas converge, bringing understanding, interpretation, and scholarship to the popular culture of our time.”
Ever since its foundation, MoPOP has organised dozens of exhibits, 17 of which have toured across the US and internationally. EMO Museum has also founded many public programs including Sound Off! - an annual 21 and under battle-of-the-bands - and Pop Conference - an annual gathering of academics, critics, musicians, and music buffs. In collaboration with the Seattle International Film Festival, MoPOP also organises the Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Film Festival.
In June 2018, MoPOP announced they were expanding beyond seattle and opening a second Museum of Pop Culture in New York City. With this initiative, MoPOP would become the first museum in the City dedicated to contemporary pop culture. The New York City outpost will take over a 100,000-square-foot space in the old B. Altman building that is home to the New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library, located at 188 Madison Ave. near 24th street.
The library was acquired by City Investors LLC - an affiliate of Mr. Allen's Vulcan Inc. company - in 2016 for $93.5 million, property records show.
Chris McGowan, Vice President of MPOP & President of Vulcan Arts + Entertainment, said although the cost of developing and building out the New York museum hasn't been finalised, it would be in the nine-figure range. This figure makes the museum one of the most ambitious cultural projects slated in the city that never sleeps.
Mr. McGowan claimed on a statement: “our motivation for MoPOP in New York City will be the same as MoPOP in Seattle: inspiring multigenerational audiences through the popular culture of our time. New York City is the centre of American culture and MoPOP's possible expansion presents a unique opportunity for future generations of New York City creators from all five boroughs to learn from the pioneers that preceded them.”
He continued: “we are committed to creating something profoundly new, immersive and exciting, consistent with the diverse and creative dynamism of New York. We are working now with a breadth of local stakeholders to learn how MoPOP NYC might serve as a sustainable engine of creative expression, a celebration of popular culture, and an educational resource to all five boroughs.”
This wouldn't be the first expansion of the museum. Back in 2000, the institution launched as the Experience Music Project, with a focus on rock ‘n' roll. Today, the Museum of Pop Culture serves as an umbrella for all aspects of its subject. Exhibitions are dedicated to everything related to pop culture, ranging from Marvel comics to horror films to the rock band Nirvana.
This is not Mr Allen's first expansion in the cultural realm. In fact, he has been increasing his presence in this area in recent. For instance, back in 2015, he founded the Seattle Art Fair, an event that attracts buyers and dealers from all over the world. Despite his recent ventures in the cultural real, Museum of Pop Culture signifies his first major foray into New York City's arts scene.
Mr. McGowan also talked about MoPOP's impact on students. “Over the past 18 years, visitors have discovered their passions through life-changing creative experiences at MoPOP in Seattle. Local students and educators explore their own creative experiences at MoPOP in Seattle. Local students and educators explore their own creative process and strengthened their critical thinking skills through MoPOP's education programs, which emphasize hands-on arts-integrated learning. We are proud to serve more than 150,000 students and youth each year through these opportunities in Seattle, and we are already in conversation with local educators in NYC to learn more about how we could serve their students.”

 

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