Cultures Capsules are
multi-sensory, cultural portraits;
immersive storytelling experiences.
- Format – An individual Cultures Capsule is a point-in-time cultural portrait, an interactive, immersive time capsule made up of recipes, playlists or live music videos, and written or recorded stories, all centered around a theme.
- Platform – As we continue to capture, curate and collect them, we build a digital gallery and archive intended to inspire offline connections. We hope this gallery inspires you to step into someone else’s story, and tell your stories in this new-multi-sensory format.
- Service – By helping you tell your story, we are also offering the world a way to step into the experiences of others using all of their senses.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the multi-media encapsulation of a Cultures Capsule should be worth a few million words, so perhaps the best way to understand might be to dive into a favorite example: this multi-media portrait in tribute to the late Dr. John, a legend in New Orleans music.
Or continue below for a taste of the different types of Cultures Capsules you’ll find here.
cultures capsules come in many flavors
Wondering what a Cultures Capsule might look like?
Here in our online gallery, we’ve gathered a wide range of Cultures Capsules we’ve curated, hosted or produced over time, so that you can have a taste at home. It is just a small sample of the Cultures Capsules we’ve curated, hosted or produced, but with many corners of the already globe represented in various formats, the depth and breadth of the Cultures Capsules mission begins to take shape.
The below represents some example formats you can use to tell YOUR story, along with fan favorites that you can try at home.
- Family Portrait – Just as we take photos at certain celebrations, a multi-sensory Cultures Capsule can represent a certain time, place and memory for a family. The Soufi Family’s Syrian Brunch Feasts in Toronto is one great example. Tip: it’s even more fun to see how they change over time!
- In Memorial – Multi-sensory portrait makes a great tribute to a loved one’s life. We can feel, taste and hear the love Beryl had for her Sunday dinner attendees by making her Jamaican Curry Goat, hearing some of the songs she’d have on, and learning little anecdotes about what it would have been like to sit at her table.
- Celebrate the Unfailing Family Recipe – Trace the preparation of this family recipe for Carnitas across 3 generations, learning the required beverage traditions and soundtrack, lest the food take on a bad taste. Or…
- Celebrate the Evolution of a Family Recipe – Just as often recipes take on lives of their own as location change, availability of ingredients, mixed families… all sorts of things. Here we trace the evolution of the Butter Chicken recipe that is a family favorite of Megs, paired with music that parallels the evolution.
- Portrait of a Place – Virtually transport yourself slopeside for apres ski at a typical mountain in the USA, by eating chili in a breadbowl, blasting some particular tunes, and maybe blasting your air conditioning or fan.
- Try on a Tradition – Maybe you want to try a tradition outside of your own, and perhaps weave certain aspects into your own traditions. We did that for Rosh Hashanah one year, atoning for our sins and hoping for a sweet year ahead while dipping apple slices and freshly baked Challah into honey.
- Variations on a Theme – When you are curious about a tradition outside of your own, rather than a cut and dry Wikipedia definition, take a multi-sensory tour of various expressions of certain holidays or traditions. For example we’ve collected Ramadan traditions here in NYC that have roots in Palestine, Nigeria, Malaysia, and there are more coming!
- Open your Home – We’ve shared a simple format to host your Muslim friends and neighbors for an iftar.
- … and so many more.
“It was insightful and delightful to attend the Diwali Cultures Capsule. Great food and great music all in a cozy atmosphere and intimate atmosphere. It was a great way to immerse in another culture and foster a spirit of understanding.” – Amir
“That’s so nice of you to share the Eid with us, and that makes me feel like I am back with my family in Yemen.” – Aasma
“I LOVE it!! You did a wonderful job capturing my mom and the day we made the meal. You have an excellent memory because you mentioned things that I don’t remember us discussing. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” – Aretha
“Thank you so much for a lovely iftar; we loved it. Such a warm welcome. Really, you were all great hosts, we couldn’t ask for more.” – Zuhra & Maryam