Get involved!

CiH enthusiastically invites your collaboration in our 2016 project, “What is American Culture? A 50-State, 1-Year Exploration,” in any of the following ten ways:

1. Create your own answer

Using the hashtag #AmericanCultureIs, upload your own answer as a video to Vine, a tweet to Twitter, or the Reddit post on the topic. Create your own concert, art installation, flashmob, performance, panel discussions, show, dance, artwork, composition, and advertise it with the hashtag or upload it to YouTube.

2. Make a donation

We enthusiastically welcome donations of all sizes! Want to make a big gesture? The project will cost $50,000, so a donation of $1,000 designates you as the sponsor of the activities in one state!  Have $1 to contribute to this investigation of what American culture is? Donate it online!

3. Collaborate

Let’s initiate collaborations and discussions with musicians from any genre of music, from hip hop to country to folk to Western classical, as well as with artists from all disciplines: actors, painters, sculptors, dancers, writers, clowns. Also, groups are welcome to perform/contribute on their own, and performances can take place long before or after William comes to any given state. Let’s initiate a national conversation about what American culture is!

4. Host

William will be looking for a place to stay in each state. Thank you in advance for your hospitality. Please contact us about this.

5. Create video and social media content

It would be great if someone can help create weekly videos about the work of the project in each state for YouTube. Although ideally, the entire project would have one videographer throughout, we don’t have the budget for that at present, but if anyone is able/willing to help on a per-state basis, that would be fantastic.

6. Set up a performance or event

In each state, there will be at least one performance involving William and any local musicians, artists, dancers, actors, poets, writers, or circus performers who want to participate! Possible performance venues include sports stadiums (William’s happy to play the national anthem), churches & other places of worship, homeless shelters, hospitals, hospices, prisons, schools, parks, government buildings, and community centers.

7. Provide connections

The project will need a wide variety of people in all 50 states to make it a success. Do you know someone, anywhere in the US, who might be able to help? Let’s make this happen!

8. Conduct a discussion

At universities, community centers, houses of worship, discussion groups, and other places across the country, let’s discuss: what is American culture? Why is it challenging to try to define? Given the French origins of the Statue of Liberty, the English origins of our national anthem, or the Italian origins of pizza, how can we claim any aspect of our culture as uniquely our own? How inclusive is the phrase “American culture” anyway?

9. Educate

Got a connection to a kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, or college? Want to work together on a curriculum related to the project? Let’s inspire America’s youth, at all stages of educational development, to reflect on what American culture means to them, to examine, celebrate, and critique American cultural expression, and to create their own works of art.

10. Follow the project

Most importantly, we want lots of people to follow the work of the project on social media, so please follow the project on Blogger, Periscope (@cih2005), YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit,  Instagram, and Vine.

Thank you so much for your interest! In a year when politicians will seek to highlight our differences, let’s remember that in our diversity lies the source of our unity, that American culture may be the only one in the world for which so many infinite definitions are equally correct.