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Smithsonian Launches Latino Museum in Second Life (video)

I got last minute word from SLballyhoo's Twitter Feed that the Smithsonian was launching today in Second Life a virtual Latino Museum!

I happened to pop over just as they were cutting the ribbon and playing the introductory video, and managed to capture some jerky footage of it. Looks like this has a lot of interesting potential for expanding the reach of the Smithsonian's holdings and engaging a broader public. And from a quick scan of the place, I see lots of multimedia and interactive content that will be a lot of fun to explore.

I wonder what their plans for engaging the wider Second Life community are?  Given the large numbers of Spanish residents of Second Life, from Spain, Mexico and other parts of Latin America, as well as Latino-Americans, there might be lots of opportunities for inter-cultural dialogues and exchanges at the Latino Museum.  At Global Kids we work with many Latino youth in New York City, so it will be nice to have a place we can send them to when they age out of the Teen Grid.

Head to this teleport link to visit the museum yourself. More info after the jump...

Launch event for the Smithsonian Latino Museum in SL

Museum Web 3.0
The New Frontier in Education and Online Learning


The Smithsonian Latino Center, in partnership with Ohio University Vital Lab and Second Life’s Linden Labs are pleased to present the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum (LVM), an avatar-based 3D virtual learning environment whose unique navigational features will provide access to the vast and rich collections, research and scholarship, exhibitions and educational activities of the Smithsonian Institution as they relate to U.S. Latinos and Latin America. 


We invite you to join us in this adventure to explore Smithsonian world-class collections, superb scholarship, exciting programs and exhibitions through the lens of Second Life, a multi-user avatar based 3D (learning) virtual world environment.

Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum (LVM) opens its virtual doors to the public on March 19, 2009...releasing three of its islands: Smithsonian Latino Lobby, Smithsonian Latino Music, and Smithsonian Latino Expeditions.


*Click here for avatar application setup and entry into LVM 

*For March 19, 2009 at 1:30Eastern time ribbon cutting event, those who are already set up in Second Life go to:

Visit Smithsonian Latino Music (121, 190, 35)

To learn more about this Smithsonian digital initiative, explore the links below:



 Upcoming in-world events in LVM:

Machinima video release, virtual tours and real-world speaking engagements


  • March 22, 2009, Virgina Beach, VA. Virginia Association of Museums 2009 Conference (Panel: Manifest Technology)
  • April 23, 24 2009, London. 2009 Immersive Education Summit sponsored by the Grid Institute in Boston and hosted by the London School of Economics. (Guest Speaker: Paradigm Shift_ Immersive Education and Virtual World Environments)


The Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum in Second Life is not only the digital future of the Smithsonian Institution…it is the new frontier in immersive education. We, SLC, are at the cutting edge of defining immersive cultural experiences and enabling new models of learning for a diverse community of users. We are also changing the way museums collaborate with one another. For the Smithsonian alone, this is a first of its kind, representing immersive learning, online community and collaboration among its diverse community of creators, developers, educators, scholars and researchers. The SLC leads the Smithsonian Institution into new realms of exploring cultural identity through engagement and simulation.

  (Melissa Carrillo, Creative Director of LVM, Smithsonian Latino Center)


The project is the brainchild of the Smithsonian Latino Center, a pan-institutional research center of the Smithsonian Institution. In collaboration with the LVM Advisory Committee, the SLC selected Ohio University VITAL Lab to help create the technical infrastructure and serves to provide the necessary design support to implement the curatorial team’s vision of what is LVM into the three-dimensional space of Second Life.

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