About five years ago, during our first museum gallery renovation, we installed a touchscreen interactive display called the Global Spotlight Wall in the Museum’s fifth gallery. Its purpose was to celebrate NAMM’s ever-expanding global reach, and to introduce our visitors to musical traditions and innovations of diverse cultures from around the globe. Inspired by the positive reaction of our visitors, we embarked on what we call the Global Spotlight 2.0 Project, an initiative to expand the content of the interactive display and to update the technology used to run it.
We are thrilled to report that now, thanks to generous funding from The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, the interactive touchscreen includes 50 video clips from 25 countries on a platform that has enhanced graphics and a cleaner, more intuitive user interface. Visitors can now hear and see musical selections, musicians and instruments representing Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Scotland, South Korea, Taiwan, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. While not definitive examples of a country’s musical tradition, these excerpts are intended to stimulate interest, provoke thought and further the discussion of musical expressions across geographic boundaries.
At a recent kick-off celebration, we expressed our heartfelt thanks to Kamau Kenyatta and Bernard Wang for sourcing the musical clips and to Dan Kessler, Joshua Leonard and Adam Allen for upgrading the software platform. We also applauded Lorenzo and Isaias, two young philanthropists who raised the money to fund the clips representing the Philippines. And we thanked the Norris Foundation for their generous and ongoing commitment to the Museum and its programming.
So come on by and spend a few minutes traveling our musical globe! Discover how our differences and similarities work together to create our rich global musical expression.