Houston Museum of Culture
    Step 1: Vision and Concept
    Step 2: Program Development
    Step 3: Museum Demonstration
    Step 4: Permanent Location
A Brief Overview of
the Development Plan
and Progress



Navigation Redevelopment Plan
East End Cultural District and Navigation Boulevard redevelopmemt plan. [ Enlarge Graphic ]



   Summary
The Houston Museum of Culture will be the most provident and visionary cultural institution based in Houston, serving as a prominent international attraction.

At this early stage, museum founders, advisors and supporters must imagine a time when the first seeds were planted to establish the Smithsonian Institution ("for the increase and diffusion of knowledge") and the National Geographic Society ("for the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge"). Ahead of their time, there were few examples to look to in order to envision the world's leading broad educational institutions. And that is true today for those who are building the great institutions of the future.

Since the founding of those historic institutions, the world has changed at an exponential rate over the past 100 years that was not even possible in the previous 100,000 years, during which civilizations (human lifeways, traditions, agriculture methods, arts, languages, governments, education systems and beliefs) developed and diversified somewhat slowly. Due to the rapid transformation of the world in the modern eras of technology and information, our ways of life are moving away from our geographic and environment based cultures, faster than ever before. As new identities, cultural challenges and increased needs for education emerge, Houston is an ideal city to interpret and understand the past and present, and shape the future of the world.

At the center of an abundant cultural region that spans from the Rio Grande to the Mississippi River, Houston has overcome many historical and cultural challenges. It has the diversity of the world in its communities. It has a large base of young people who need greater understanding of the past, present and future in order to make a better world. Houston has captured the attention of the nation through its industries, arts and new-world humanities. And it ranks among the cities most connected to the world.

The concept and development plan are moving forward as described in the steps below. As we develop programs for the Houston East End Museum, we are building strengths and resources for it and the Houston Museum of Culture. These visionary institutions will debut in the East End Cultural Center and Cultural District, which are being developed by organizations in partnership with the Greater East End Management District.

The Houston Museum of Culture will expand to serve Houston and the world in almost unfathomable ways, including interpretation of potentially dire situations (climate change, global health concerns, religious conflicts, economic matters, natural resources, genetics/DNA, personal identities in the digital age, and more), through extensive resources, programs and exhibits. Taking National Geographic's motto a step further, "inspiring people to care about the planet", the Houston Museum of Culture will serve as a living museum, with substantial live and interactive content, which will examine compelling global and regional issues and interests about the ways we live for the benefit of future generations.


Portions of programs are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and Texas Commission on the Arts.
Navigation Redevelopment Plan


Vision and Concept    Program Development    Museum Demonstration    Permanent Location



   Step 1: Vision and Concept
Houston Institute for Culture developed a vision, concept and plan for the Houston Museum of Culture to provide the greatest potential benefits for the city and create an outstanding international attraction.

Houston Museum of Culture Passport

Houston Museum of Culture Passport (1.98 MB)

HMOC Schedule for Saturday (Concept) (146 KB)


Benefits of the museum will include:
It will be Houston's most dynamic education resource, focusing on: diverse cultures and ways of life; development of human civilizations, including diverse religions, languages, food traditions and unique arts; media and technological advancements that have rapidly transformed our ways of life; environment, including weather and climate impacts; and the information age, including demographics, statistics, genealogy, DNA, and even knowledge of the universe.

The museum will provide a tremendous community resource that will serve organizations and advocates to improve quality of life and conditions in Houston communities, with the potential to improve communities worldwide by transmitting the best, most effective practices to address cultural and social issues.

Through its innovative approach to interpreting the world's most interesting and important subject matter, our ways of life, the museum will gain a national and international reputation for Houston. Going far beyond the common realms of history, art and science, the Houston Museum of Culture will rank among the world's most innovative and visionary cultural institutions, like the Smithsonian and National Geographic Society.

By presenting a high concentration of subjects of interest to the nation and world - many of which are uniquely connected to Houston as a modern confluence of peoples, lifestyles, traditions, arts and technologies - the museum will be a major factor in increasing tourism for the city and region.

By adding a major museum to Houston's cultural assets, the Houston Museum of Culture will increase visitation and support for Houston museums and most all of its cultural resources.

Through numerous arts and education opportunities offered for the public daily, adding up to thousands annually, the museum will drastically benefit creative industries in Houston.

Houston Institute for Culture conducted extensive community outreach to gain feedback and insight into community interests, and refined the museum's operating principles to provide the best services for Houston.

Staff and volunteers met with university faculty, community and neighborhood associations, civic and professional organizations, educators, community leaders, interested individuals, and others to refine the vision and concept of the museum based on community needs and interests. The Houston Museum of Culture plan, though highly innovative and complex, was well understood and received overwhelming favorable support.

Houston Institute for Culture formed a diverse group of Houston Museum of Culture founders and advisors. The vision for the museum is well suited to the multi-cultural, leading international city Houston strives to be in the future.

The Houston Museum of Culture will support the values Houstonians seek according to Blueprint Houston, through research conducted by Rice University's Kinder Institute, including:
-A vibrant, internationally recognized center of artistic and cultural excellence
-A diverse city of opportunity where we live in harmony and in a healthy environment
-Lifelong educational opportunities, improving conditions and self-determination for communities, beautiful neighborhoods, and development that balances economy, community and environment
-Resources for underserved communities and community improvement

The Houston Institute for Culture director visited and toured numerous important and heavily utilized cultural resources across the United States to develop plans for the successful operation of the Houston Museum of Culture.

Executive director Mark Lacy surveyed the world's most prominent cities and leading cultural institutions to confirm the potential impact of the Houston Museum of Culture on the fourth largest U.S city. Report on Visitors to International Museums (.56 MB)

Lacy, who has extensive experience utilizing parks, museums, public programs and events across the nation for the benefit of students and educational tour groups, made visits to many institutions to determine effective operating practices for the Houston Museum of Culture. The best and most interesting ideas in promoting education and attracting visitors, from the Santa Monica Pier to the Miami Beach Art Deco District Visitor Center, the Museum of New Mexico to America's first national park, Yellowstone, and closer to home, the Jean Lafitte and New Orleans Jazz Heritage National Historical Parks, were surveyed. Important roles for experts, education and community advocates, philanthropists and business leaders were identified.

In addition to museum exhibits, media programs, performances and events operated by professional staff, museum programming will be advised and augmented by Friends of Houston Museum of Culture and additional support for facilities and touring exhibits will be developed by the Houston Museum of Culture Foundation. Substantial programming will be developed in collaboration with educational institutions and community organizations.


Resources
Report on Visitors to International Museums (.56 MB)
Houston Museum of Culture Passport (1.98 MB)
HMOC Schedule for Saturday (Concept)
Please note: The Schedule for Saturday presents a concept for the museum in the form of permanent and revolving programs and exhibits that would be available to its visitors. The schedule lists 75 proposed programs, including:

23 (30.7%) - WE HAVE PRESENTED PREVIOUSLY
19 (25.3%) - WE ARE ABLE TO PRESENT CURRENTLY
2 (2.7%) - OTHERS HAVE PRESENTED IN HOUSTON
13 (17.3%) - PROGRAMS NOT PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE IN HOUSTON
18 (24%) - REQUIRE PROPER SPACE AND RESOURCES TO DEVELOP

5 Restaurant Vendor Operations are not included in count.


Benefits of Houston Museum of Culture
Houston Museum of Culture website: www.hmoc.org
Houston Museum of Culture Overview Booklet (PDF)
World Cities Culture Report 2012 (PDF)

Request PDFs by email. Contact mark@houstonculture.org


Vision and Concept    Program Development    Museum Demonstration    Permanent Location



   Step 2: Program Development
Houston Institute for Culture will develop programs for the Houston East End Museum and other facilities on Navigation Boulevard, currently under construction by the Greater East End Management District.

The Houston East End Museum, which will begin as a small center in the historic East End's second oldest house, will eventually move into new facilities in the East End Cultural Center. The house, which is currently just a few blocks from Navigation Boulevard, will be strategically relocated and will continue to serve visitors to the area.

The house will be moved closer to the new East End Cultural District (Guadalupe Park or Old Town plaza) and will continue to serve as a historic site, exhibit space and visitor center.


Houston Institute for Culture will develop unique, scalable programs for the small museum

Drawing from more than ten years of excellent program experience, Houston Institute for Culture (HIFC) will lead the program effort in the historic East End house, offering 200 - 250 days of programming per year.

HIFC is uniquely qualified to create successful programs in the historic house. From its first small venue in the Rice Village (2004-05), where the organization hosted readings, lectures and media presentations, to expanded exhibits and forums presented in its Montrose facility (2006-07), to its current location (2008-present), which hosts an extremely popular East side art gallery and provides facilities for community organizations, HIFC has presented an average of 30 programs per year and developed an extensive archive. Along the way, HIFC has worked on many productions and media documentary projects in partnership with The Artery, a small house surrounded by sculptures and an outdoor amphitheatre in the Museum District. The Artery Media Project has produced an extensive archive of multi-track recordings and broadcast-quality videos.

It is important to note that while HIFC has offered hundreds of programs in small facilities, the organization has also produced many major city-wide events and festivals in larger venues, including Miller Outdoor Theatre, Discovery Green and the Hobby Center.

The origination of the Houston East End Museum is an exciting challenge. Activities planned for the facility include:
-Oral history recording
-History research
-Documentation and archive building
-Feature media productions
-Exhibits and media presentations
-Performances
-Lectures and workshops
-Education tours
-Community support
-Topical meetings and conferences

Programs will focus on the area's unique cultural arts, social life, occupations, industries and immigration histories.


Program staff and Houston Museum of Culture Friends Committees will develop and lead programs.

Friends Committees, focused on a variety of specific subjects (such as history, anthropology, food traditions, etc.), in cooperation with program staff, will develop program efforts in the fledgling Houston East End Museum, eventually leading to even more substantial programs in the East End Cultural Center and the Houston Museum of Culture.

The following programs will transition to Step 3:
-Rotating exhibits about history, art, social sciences and cultural interests
-Educational media production similar to "Story Corps" and "This American Life"
-Lectures, workshops and demonstrations produced by "Friends of Houston Museum of Culture"
-Additional educational programs produced by "Friends of Houston East End Museum"
-Academic conferences in innovative fields, like Future Studies and Visual Anthropology
-Library of oral histories, digital resources and archival documents
-Listening station for historical and regional music and dialogue
-Viewing station for educational and documentary projects, including the Artery Media Project
-Public exposure through feature media projects like "Houston Story"

Resources
Houston Institute for Culture Ten Year Program Overview
To volunteer, please visit: Vision for Houston


Vision and Concept    Program Development    Museum Demonstration    Permanent Location



   Step 3: Museum Demonstration
The Houston Museum of Culture will operate its first physical location from the East End Cultural Center.

The Houston Museum of Culture (HMOC) will provide a valuable service for East Houston communities, as well as a major attraction for all of Houston. The East End Cultural Center site will serve as an excellent lab to demonstrate potential Houston Museum of Culture exhibits and programs for the future.

Activities planned for the Houston Museum of Culture include:
-Continued building of media resources and archives
-Presentation of local and major touring exhibits
-Production and presentation of feature media
-Cultural arts performances and demonstrations
-On-site festival and cultural/artistic market productions
-Lectures, demonstrations, workshops and conferences
-Houston city-wide community improvement initiatives
-Educational tours and youth conferences

The Houston Museum of Culture Board of Directors is currently being established.

The museum's Business Plan will be developed and approved by the HMOC Board of Directors, and professional museum staff hired, in preparation for its opening in the East End Cultural Center.


Support organizations for the Houston Museum of Culture will be established.

Important to the operation of the Houston Museum of Culture, in programming and financial stability, will be the Friends of the Houston Museum of Culture and Houston Museum of Culture Foundation, as well as advisory committees, and active and ongoing Friends Committees to represent academic and community interests in the museum.


Important transitional activities will occur between Step 2 and Step 3.

Projects that will stem from the development of the Houston East End Museum include:
-Debut of Houston Museum of Culture
-Expanded Houston East End Museum
-East End Visitor Center and gift shop
-Exhibit halls and conference facilities
-Houston Museum of Culture bookstore
-Academic resources and library archives
-New city-wide festivals and markets
-Local and national marketing campaign
-National Park Service connections

Resources
A Vision for the East End Cultural District (Request PDF)
HMOC Prospectus and Plan of Action (Request PDF)
HMOC Overview and Building Blocks for Success (Request two PDFs)
HMOC Business Plan (Request PDF)

Request PDFs by email. Contact mark@houstonculture.org


Vision and Concept    Program Development    Museum Demonstration    Permanent Location



   Step 4: Permanent Location
The Houston Museum of Culture Founding Board will determine the museum's location.

In consultation with the Houston Museum of Culture Foundation, Friends of the Houston Museum of Culture, and other major stakeholders, the HMOC Founding Board will determine the most effective site for the museum to operate as a major regional institution. In addition to the satellite location in the East End Cultural Center, the strategic plan may include a single, well-located complex or multiple locations across the greater Houston area.


Programming for the Houston Museum of Culture is being planned and developed.

Well in advance of the museum opening in its permanent location, programs and resources are being planned and developed. Many of these will likely debut in the museum's first, satellite location in the East End Cultural Center. These include, but are not limited to:
-Celebrate Houston! Music and Arts Festival
-Carnival Connection, cultural exchange program
-Houston Zydeco and Roots Music Festival
-Houston Story, radio and Internet feature media
-Probanza Ofrecidas, digital storytelling festival
-Cultural education youth camps and school programs
-Students for a Better Houston, youth advocacy
-Houston Cool, environmental education program
-And many more

Resources
HMOC Projected Facility Inventory (Request PDF)

Request PDFs by email. Contact mark@houstonculture.org


Social Media Resources
Houston Museum of Culture: On Twitter @HMOC
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/houstonmuseum

Houston Institute for Culture: On Twitter @hifc
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/houstonculture


This site will be updated periodically with additional resources and progress information about the Houston Museum of Culture. We ask that you request PDFs so that we may provide additional updates as they become available.


Vision and Concept    Program Development    Museum Demonstration    Permanent Location




View a Report on Visitors to International Museums (.56 MB)



Houston Museum of Culture    Contact info@hmoc.org for more information.