Webcasting the Fourth Museum: A User Guide
By Mark Christal
A few definitions to begin:
webcast, n. The broadcast of an event over the Internet.
Fourth Museum, n. In the parlance of the National Museum of the American Indian, all of the efforts to provide access to museum programming and other resources to audiences outside the three “brick-and-mortar” facilities—the museum on the National Mall, NMAI in New York City, and the Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, Maryland.
Our museum is much more than just its exhibitions. We put on movies, musical performances, plays, dances, lectures, seminars, artist workshops, storytelling, and the like. Many of our potential audiences for these offerings cannot make it to the museum to enjoy them. Through the Fourth Museum/museum-without-walls/virtual museum concept, we want to bring the museum to the public, wherever people are, though computers and mobile devices.
One “gallery” of our Fourth Museum is webcasting. We have been working recently to expand our webcast offerings. I hope this brief guide will make NMAI’s webcasts easier to find and enjoy.
Finding NMAI's Live Webcasts
One way to find out if a particular program is being offered as a webcast is to look up the event on NMAI's calendar on our web site, which can be accessed from a link in the banner of the museum's home page.
The calendar can be filtered to show just webcasts. The filters are in the left column as you look at the calendar. A quick way to see just the webcasts is first to click "Select: None" at the bottom of the BY CATEGORY area, and then to check the “Webcasts & Webinars” box.
Clicking on the title of an event in the calendar will bring up a page with a detailed description of the event. If the program will be webcast, the page will include “Part of the Series: Live Webcasts” near the bottom of the detailed description. There is also a link to our webcast page in the description. All our live webcasts can be accessed on our webcast page at the time of the event,
The webcasts are recorded, and most of them will show up shortly after the event on NMAI's YouTube channel. Under Featured Playlists there are several playlists of past webcasts. New ones are added frequently, so visiting our YouTube channel is a great way to keep up with the programming at the museum.
Another way to keep track of our webcast schedule is to check out the NMAI blog. We will be putting up posts about upcoming webcasts here as well.
Upcoming Live Webcasts
Storyteller Julia Garcia, who was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia, has devoted herself to teaching the richness of the Quechua language through radio programs, dance, song, and theatre. From NMAI's imagiNATIONS Activity Center, Julia shares the story of Quwiwan Atujwan, the Andean Fox and the Guinea Pig, a bilingual family-friendly program.
From the beautiful Rasmuson Theater, the museum's Indian Summer Showcase bring you violinist and flutist Arvel Bird, who is known around the world for his dramatic connection between Celtic and Native American traditions. Dubbed “Lord of the Strings” by fans and music critics, Bird's music evokes the soul of North American history in a thoroughly entertaining, but also enlightening and humanizing, performance.
In conjuction with the exhibition Best in the World: Native Athletes in the Olympics, NMAI presents this fascinating lecture on Jim Thorpe (Sac and Fox), is the greatest all-around athlete of his age. Biographer Robert W. Wheeler will share stories and rare recordings and photographs about the athlete. Dr. Florence Ridlon will speak on the Jim Thorpe Olympic medals and records controversy and her role in the movement to get them restored to his name. Rob Wheeler will discuss the movement to return Thorpe's remains to be buried on Sac and Fox Nation land in Oklahoma.
Subjects of NMAI webcasts coming this fall and winter include Native American astronomy, American Indian mascots, President Richard Nixon’s legacy of Native American rights, and the Mayan Calendar. New webcast programs are being added frequently, so check out the NMAI Blog and our calendar regularly.
Mark Christal produces the museum's webcasts.