Across the Pond webinar: Communities, Storytelling and Cultural Institutions

Join our webinar series called "Across the Pond", bringing together two Fulbright Scholars from either side of the Atlantic to discuss the intersection of their interests. Our transatlantic conversations address global challenges of all natures, and are a celebration of the civic engagement at the heart of the Commission's work.

Communities, Storytelling and Cultural Institutions will explore the role of cultural institutions – such as museums, art galleries and libraries – in wider society. People of all walks of life visit cultural institutions as part of everyday leisure activities, to appreciate and experience cultural artefacts. But digging deeper, what role do they have on shaping society itself?

What is their effect on communities, and how do they help keep citizens engaged in the conservation of culture and heritage? How would society change if cultural institutions disappeared completely?


Date: Tuesday 20 July 

Time: 5:00 PM (UK time)

Register here for this event


Jennifer Vanderpool is A native of the Mahoning Valley in Northeast Ohio, working in Los Angeles and the Midwest. She is a social practice artist, writer, and curator who investigates traumas in post-prosperity communities and the lives of the working-class. Her work has been featured in recent solo exhibitions at the National Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia, and Heritage Space in Hà Nội, Việt Nam. Currently, you can see her mural Comrades Nikifor and Ksenia on view in the group show Transformations: Living Room->Flea Market->Museum->Art at the Wende Museum and Cold War Archive in Culver City, California.

Alison Eardley is a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Westminster. She is working with the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum on a project exploring place-identity, belonging, memory, and the relationship between the museum and its local communities. What is surprising about this project is not that a cognitive psychologist is a Fulbright-Smithsonian scholar, but rather that more psychologists are not already working within museums. Alison’s research on attention, multisensory processing, mental representation and memory can enrich sector-wide understandings of visitor experience and audience engagement. Nevertheless, Alison has learnt that whilst scientists and museums may share some common language and goals, their respective understandings are often underpinned by different meaning and assumptions.


Across the Pond is a new initiative from the US-UK Fulbright Commission presenting transatlantic conversations between scholars, covering a wide range of topics that showcase the range of interests of this year’s cohort of Fulbright Scholars. Keep an eye out for future events in the series running through the summer and early autumn.