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TOP and Cultural Institutions

The Technology Opportunities Program has supported significant initiatives in the arts, as well as innovative projects focusing on a wide variety of cultural issues. Grants have been awarded to museums, state historical societies, independent arts organizations, universities, broadcasting entities, and state arts agencies. The range of problems addressed includes palliative care for children in hospitals, arts education, provision of access to regional cultural resources, and cultural involvement among older Americans.

In providing assistance to cultural organizations, TOP recognizes the central role that the arts, historical studies, and free expression play in strengthening and preserving our national identity, as well as the rich and exciting possibilities for innovative teaching, enhanced outreach, and cultural preservation that networking technologies offer to these institutions.

Museums

  • In the world of museums, the University of Alaska Museum's Museum Objects Library Interface Network (MoliNet) links materials and objects from the University Library's collections on Alaska and the Polar Regions, allowing users to access these resources through the University Library online catalog and database.

  • The Cleveland Museum of Art is using broadband to provide cultural programming for senior citizens and disabled adults where they live and congregate. Through IP transport technology, content from the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Orchestra, and other cultural institutions is being delivered to retirement homes and community centers.

Arts Education

  • In arts education, the California Institute of the Arts' Community Arts Partnership (CAP) Digital Arts Network (DAN) linked ten community-based arts organizations to provide communication technologies and arts training programs to underserved Los Angeles youth.

  • In the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, Dance Partners used interactive telecommunications technology to link master teachers with dance students in an innovative new method for delivering arts education.

  • The Vermont Millennium Arts Project (VT MAP), a project of the the Vermont Council on the Arts, connected students and teachers in Vermont schools to professional artists via the Internet. VT MAP recruited and trained artists to act as student mentors and allowed arts teachers across the state to offer feedback to student artists.

  • Finally, the Wolf Trap Educational Foundation in Vienna, Virginia, has launch the stART smART project to create an online community to sustain professional development opportunities in literacy and the performing arts for early childhood educators.

Cultural Heritage Preservation

  • The Maine Memory Network has created a statewide digital museum and educational service designed to make rare and often inaccessible materials – historical documents, images, maps, photographs, and stories — available to the public at large.

Arts Outreach and Marketing

  • The Station Resource Group in Takoma Park, Maryland, has launched the Public Radio Exchange, an Internet-based tool for peer review, acquisition brokering, and digital distribution of audio content.

  • The New England Foundation for the Arts' Online Cultural Marketplace links performing artists in a 6-state region with presenters, creating a transactional online booking service that allows artists to market their work and interact directly with a wider variety of presenters.

The Arts and Medicine

  • The University of Florida in Gainesville has developed Project HeArts & Hope to improve the well-being of ill children in and out of hospitals through a secure network that offers arts programming, palliative care, and peer mentoring.

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