Museum dedicated to contemporary popular culture
The Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP (previously called EMP Museum) is a nonprofit museum dedicated to contemporary popular culture. It was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2000 as the Experience Music Project. Since that time MoPOP has organized dozens of exhibits, 17 of which have toured across the US and internationally.
The Museum of Pop Culture’s mission is to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities.
MoPOP is home to exhibits, interactive activity stations, sound sculpture, and various educational resources.
A 140,000-square-foot (13,000 m2) building, designed by Frank O. Gehry, that houses several galleries and the Sky Church, which features a Barco C7 black package LED screen, one of the largest indoor LED screens in the world.
Exhibits that cover pop culture, from the art of fantasy, horror cinema, and video games to science fiction literature and costumes from screen and stage.
Interactive activities included in galleries like Sound Lab and On Stage where visitors can explore hands-on the tools of rock and roll through instruments, and perform music before a virtual audience.
IF VI WAS IX, a guitar sculpture consisting of more than 500 musical instruments and 30 computers conceived by UK exhibit designer Neal Potterand developed by sound sculptor Trimpin.
The largest collections in the world of artifacts, hand-written lyrics, personal instruments, and original photographs celebrating the music and history of Seattle musicians Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix.
Educational resources including MoPOP's Curriculum Connections in-museum workshops and outreach programs; STAR (Student Training in Artistic Reach); Creativity Camps for Kids; Teen Artist Workshops; Write Out of This World, an annual sci-fi and fantasy short story contest for 3rd to 12th graders; and the Hip-Hop Artist Residency.
Public programs such as MoPOP's Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival, Pop Conference, the Youth Advisory Board (YAB), and Sound Off! the Northwest's premier battle-of-the-bands.
MoPOP was the site of the concert and demo program of the first NIME workshop, which subsequently became the annual International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, a leading venue for cutting edge research on music technology.
The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame was founded by Paul Allen and Jody Patton and opened to the public on June 18, 2004. It incorporated the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame which had been established in 1996.
A fusion of textures and myriad colors, MoPOP’s exterior conveys all the energy and fluidity of music. Three-thousand panels, made up of 21 thousand individually cut and shaped stainless steel and painted aluminum shingles, encase the outside of the building. Their individual finishes respond to different light conditions and appear to change when viewed from different angles, reminding audiences that music and culture is constantly evolving.
When Frank O. Gehry began designing the museum, he was inspired to create a structure that evoked the rock ‘n’ roll experience. He purchased several electric guitars, sliced them into pieces, and used them as building blocks for an early model design.
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