in the Public Realm
Cultural Mapping

Physical Maps: The core of cultureNOW's programs are the Maps that we create. Each map is a snapshot of a community at a moment in time. And each begins with a research effort to ascertain the unique aspects for a community. It involves gathering information, physically visiting the community and meeting the people. It develops into a physical printed map. To date, 5 physical maps have been produced: DowntownNOW (in 5 updated editions), DowntownWaterfrontNOW, ManhattanArtNOW, AroundManhattanNOW.

Mapping Technology: Since 2006 cultureNOW has been collaborating with Adobe. With Google Maps, we can now offer a website with a map that plots art and culture entries virtually anywhere in the world. The same maps are available - and portable - with our iPhone application.

Exhibitions: cultureNOW has organized and participated in many exhibitions. Maps have been exhibited at Columbia University, the Center for Architecture, and the New York Historical Society. They are also in the permanent collection of the Oklahoma National Historical Monument, the New York Historical Society, and the Library of

Cultural Tourism

Cultural Tourism Partnerships: CultureNOW partners with other cultural organizations to produce events participating in Open House New York. Another significant partnership is with the National Park Service. To date, cultureNOW has provided over 650,000 free maps at every National Park Service site in New York City. Partnerships with NY C & Co, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, the Center for Architecture and the Museum of the City of New York, Maps have also been given out to visitors at all information centers as well as hotels, museums and cultural institutions. cultureNOW has recently expanded its cultural partnerships beyond New York City; the Kansas City Municipal Art Commission, for instance has posted its entire collection online.

Tours: cultureNOW has many tourism initiatives. Walking tours of downtown were initially developed in collaboration with the Municipal Art Society after 9/11. These maps were given to Jurors. cultureNOW has developed its own walking tours and participated in other organizations' tours by providing maps, volunteers, expertise. cultureNOW has organized formal tours such as the walking tours of Harlem or last year, a tour of the New School Art Collection. cultureNOW has recorded some of the most original and wonderful walking tours of New York including the always sold out annual all night tour of Revolutionary War New York which is traditionally given on July 4th under the sponsorship of the Fraunces Tavern. The latest Map, aroundManhattanNow printed in June, 2010 accompanies the Architectural Boat Tour of Manhattan.

Cultural Connections: Artists in Place was initially conceived as an opportunity to demistify culture and bridge connections. The concept was for people who view art to meet people who make it. Originally held as part of Open House New York in 2008, it led to cultureNOW recording hundreds of podcasts of artists, architects, and other stakeholders sharing their visions about their work and the city they live in.

Websites: since 2002 cultureNOW has collaborated with and to provide interactive websites.


In the Classroom: Several of the maps, in particular, Harlem which was begun as a class project at Pratt Institute, are the product of semester long research projects.

Maps as Tools: All of the maps have been used as teaching tools. They have been used in schools ranging from New York City Elementary schools to many private schools to universities


Internships: CultureNOW maintains a project based internship program for students. Since 2002, cultureNOW has hosted over 40 interns.

Design Charrettes: CultureNOW views culture as the glue which defines communities. cultureNOW grew out of the New York New Visions pro bono initiative to replan New York City post 9/11. The maps have been used widely and were distributed at all the formal and grass-roots planning focus groups such asImagine New York. cultureNOW participates in many design charrettes such as Listening to the City and most recently for AmeriCorps in Harlem.

Lectures & Symposia: CultureNOW has organized and symposia on urban cultural planning issues that have arisen from the mapping. HarlemNOW inspired a symposium on Harlem as a community in transition at the Center for Architecture in August 2009. cultureNOW has providedmany maps for planners and preservationists to use at conferences.