Museum of Pop Culture

MoPOP
EMPPano11.jpg
View of MoPOP from the Seattle Center with the
Established2000
Location325 5th Avenue N
Seattle, Washington
Coordinates47°37′17″N 122°20′55″W / 47°37′17″N 122°20′55″W / www.MoPOP.org
Monorail tracks going through the MoPOP building

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—which used to be known as Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (EMP|SFM) and later EMP Museum until November 2016—has founded many public programs including "Sound Off!", an annual 21-and-under battle-of-the-bands that supports the all-ages scene; and "Pop Conference," an annual gathering of academics, critics, musicians, and music buffs.

MoPOP, in collaboration with the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) presents the Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Film Festival, which takes place annually every winter at Seattle Cinerama Theater.

Activities

Nighttime view of MoPOP
Guitar sculpture at MoPOP

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.[1]
  • 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 Potter and developed by sound sculptor Trimpin. [2][3]
  • 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.