The Culture Lab Cooperative (May 17-19) is a weekend-long immersive training for a carefully-selected cohort of local and national curators, education specialists, administrators, and other museums practitioners. The CLC begins with intimate site visits led by New Orleans-based design charity Shift, where participants will engage with New Orleans artists, community organizers, and cultural practitioners to cultivate tangible, applicable methods of community-centered museums practice. Participants will also get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s philosophy behind Culture Labs has helped institute innovative, socially-engaged museum programs nationwide. On May 18th, the CLC will converge with the Museum Innovation Forum at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the U.S. Mint, exploring the theme: Building More Equitable, Relevant, and Impactful Museums.

Finally, the Culture Lab Cooperative will culminate in the world premiere of a new musical art installation presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. A collaboration between renowned artists New Orleans Airlift and Christine Sun Kim, the yet-unnamed work will join the beloved Music Box Village’s campus of “music houses” in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood, as an interactive sound structure that explores how music can be created and experienced by Deaf and hearing communities together. This event will be open to the public, but CLC participants will be invited to an exclusive pre-opening meet-and-greet with the artists.