CultureNOW dedicates itself to celebrating our vast cultural environment as a gallery that exists beyond museum walls through cultural tourism and arts education. CultureNOW believes that the three facets to understanding the world around us are art, architecture and history. Mapping these empowers the public to better visualize the place they live in making it a powerful tool to understand the richness and diversity of a community.
The organization was formed in 2002 from work done by New York/ New Visions, a pro bono coalition of design professionals who came together in response to the tragic events of September 11th. Since then, cultureNOW has created and distributed over 650,000 free maps at civic and cultural institutions throughout New York City.
CultureNOW is powered by a network of professionals - scholars, artists, architects, urban planners, educators, curators, historians - who generously volunteer their time and expertise to advance our mission. Currently, over 35 public art collections across America are collaborating with cultureNOW to create a digital National Gallery of art and architecture in the public realm, in other words a "Museum Without Walls". Already one of the largest and most comprehensive compendiums in the country, the online collection encompasses more than 8000 sites and 12,000 images supplemented by over 350 podcasts by artists, architects, historians and curators. In addition, cultureNOW has adopted GPS technology to develop a sophisticated iPhone app that serves as a guidebook to the Museum Without Walls.
CultureNOW places education at the forefront of its mission. The internship program it offers to students is a culturally immersive experience. The program matriculates students from universities including Harvard University, Barnard College, City College of New York, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago and Dartmouth. cultureNOW has also participated in a variety of university-sponsored activities, from exhibitions at Columbia University to academic conferences, and has worked with Pratt Institute to provide content for a planning and architecture course.
While cultureNOW will always be committed to its founding ideals, it will also be open and willing to evolve and change. This will enable it retain its position at the forefront of the field in the years to come.