Cultural Experience Field Report #1

For this assignment, you will visit a cultural venue from the instructions below, talk with someone at the venue, and write a short 500-800 word report about your visit.


The purpose of this assignment is to introduce you to the process of engaging with the cultural venues and communities in your locality. This will inform you personally of art in your area and groups that support it.


This assignment will help you practice the following skills that will be useful to you in your professional and personal life beyond school.

  1. Identify local cultural venues and inform you with deeper knowledge about the art form chosen.
  2. Organize reflections about engaging with a cultural experience and community
  3. Use concepts and skills learned in class to describe and interpret cultural experiences and communities
  4. Use appropriate and proper grammar, organization, and academic-style formatting in order to communicate


This assignment will help you become familiar with the following important content knowledge in the Humanities.

  1. Available local cultural venues and communities
  2. Methods of interpretation within the Humanities


For your report, attend one venue from this list.

  • Visual art: art museum or sculpture garden or significant or notable architectural site (if there is explanatory material there to help you understand it) or art class
  • Music: music concert or class
  • Dance: dance performance or class
  • Religion: religious meeting, service or ceremony that is a different religion from your own. Note, this should be a different religion, not just a different denomination. (For example, Evangelical, Catholic and Anglican are all Christian denominations — if you are a Christian, attend a service from a different religion — Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc).

Restrictions:  The experience should be done in person during the current semester.  If this is a challenge, contact the instructor to arrange for an extension.  You may not report on a cultural experience from prior to this class.

Write a report after your attendance at the event or visit to a site.

Your report should include the following information. Include photos or links that help convey the information. As always, be sure to document all sources you consult in preparing your work. This includes brochures from the site or websites that informed you about the particular venue you visited.

  • Name and location of the museum, site, or performance event. and date of attendance. If there is on-line information about the site or performance, be sure to include a link to it within the text of your essay in an appropriate place.
  • Type of museum, site or event. For example is it a portrait or sculpture museum, a music concert, or dance performance? If you attended a performance, name the performer or the piece. Be specific about what you attended, when, and where.
  • Name and/or general description of the person you spoke with at the venue, and their answer to this specific question, “How did you become involved with this place/event/organization etc.?”
  • Briefly describe the general setting by talking a bit about the location, the number of people there, the general overall atmosphere of the place.
  • Describe several pieces or aspects of the experience in detail.
  • Describe at least one aspect of the experience that you found especially interesting. For example, you might write about a particular work of art, cultural artifact, song, dance section, costumes or lighting, a particular vocalist, etc. Explain what impressed or affected you, and why. Your reaction can be positive or negative, as long as you offer an explanation.
  • Identify and use several tools/concepts that you have learned about in this class and apply them to specific aspects of your experience/visit. For example, if you visit a museum, you might point out how color works in one of the paintings, or if you go to a concert, how rhythm works in one of the songs. Apply them specifically and with depth to the piece to demonstrate your knowledge of the tool and help the reader better understand the piece. Then, make sure to tell the reader how you interpret some elements of your visit with the tools.
  • Reflect on the relevance--if any–of your experience to your everyday life.  How did the experience engage your feelings or emotions, if at all? What does this tell you about human culture, and/or about yourself?

Due to the increasing precautions advised to slow the spread of COVID 19, I wanted to give you some alternative options for the Cultural Reports. How can you experience an event/gallery/concert when most venues are closed?

Firstly, all Cultural Reports are extended until the end of the course. That said, don’t let things pile up. There is a lot due in Week 8! I strongly encourage students to experience in person whenever safe and possible.

Here are some options (these may change as protocols evolve). Note that these need to be the equivalent of a cultural experience — gallery of pieces, hour+ of class experience, etc. Also, note that the interview is still a requirement. It can be conducted via email, phone or even receieved through an existing online interview. If no interview is referenced, there must be documentation that a vigorous effort was made to earn these points. Provide proof of attendance w/ screenshots of virtual galleries and emails with interviewee, or short video snippets that include you engaging in the experience.


Sculpture installation or notable architecture — there should be outdoor options for art that you can experience while maintaining safe social distancing. Remember, if you are using architecture or memorial sites, focus on the art, not the history. It may be difficult to find someone to speak with for the interview (keep a safe distance if you can find someone). If you can’t find someone to speak with, you can substitute online communication with someone associated with the venue, or a published interview.

Online art —  Must be based on a gallery collection. (No self-published works).  Note that photographs should be for artistic purposes, not journalistic. Email the gallery for interview information.

Online art opportunities are available vie TimeOut NY

Online art lessons– be sure to include an image of your work!

Gallerie d’Appollon virtual tour at the Louvre

London National Gallery Google virtual tour of Rennaissance paintings

London National Gallery 2011 Adobe Flash tour

New Orleans Museum of Art virtual tour

The British Museum of the World virtual tour with Google


Virtual religion service. Many churches, synagogues and houses of worship are taking services online. Drop an email via their website. Many will be happy to speak with you by phone. Remember, for religion, you need to encounter a religion that is different from your own (not just a denomination). Feel free to share other services in Discussions section.

Here are a few:



Jewish: Washington Hebrew Congregation

See also “6th and I” in music. I have not yet been able to find a Muslim service online.

Poetry & Literature

webcast poetry readings through Library of Congress. Check out webcast readings at:

Conduct the interview by contacting someone from the Library of Congress through their blogs or facebook page.

OR, organize your own virtual open mic event.  You can invite people and meet online via Zoom (it’s free and easy). If a group of you want to write your on poems and share in a virtual open mic. You can interview one another. Or, you can do this with friends outside class. (Or, if you find one already organized, you are welcome to join).


music made by synthesized sound  — electronica, ambient, techno, triphop, etc. is best. Must find a published interview with composer (or find a way to contact someone involved with the music and interview them online).

Here are some upcoming music events online:

Strathmore online (view through their calendar to see online events — note, not all events will relate to this assignment):

Kennedy Center at home (connecting for interviews may be difficult if there are not pre-recorded interviews that you can find).

6th and I Living Room sessions — local (DC) online concerts. You may also find Jewish Shabbat services. (please note: not all events relate to this assignment)

Music workshops (I don’t know if the recording focused workshops will give you enough to apply concepts to):

Online music lessons and classes would be relevant to this assignment. Look to see if a teacher near you is teaching online (or maybe one that isn’t near you)!


Take an online dance class (you dance in your home) —

Knock on Wood tap (home of Baakari Wilder) —

Maryland Youth Ballet — ballet and Afrobeat (Stretch classes do not fit the assignment):

You are highly encouraged to double check alternative options with me to make sure they will fulfill the assignment.

STOP: Before you hand in your assignment, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Have I provided the date, name and location of the museum, site, or performance event and URL, if available, identified the type of museum, site or event, and provided a general description of the setting?
  2. Have I identified an especially interesting aspect of the experience and provided details on several specific aspects of the experiences?
  3. Have I identified the person I spoke with and provided their answer to the required question?
  4. Have I identified and applied several tools of interpretation from learning resources to different examples from visit?
  5. Have I used examples to clearly explain the relevance of my visit to at least one of the following: 1) emotion 2) human culture 3) self-identity 4) cultural identity?
  6. Have I provided a list of resources and do all of my citations conform to MLA 8th edition guidelines?
  7. Have I proofread this assignment for grammatical, structural, and spelling errors?

This assignment is due by the end of the fourth week of class on Tuesday by 11:30PM ET. — UPDATE: this assignment may be extended, please ask.