Sound Lab reopens at the Museum of Pop Culture

The Museum of Pop Culture is a leading nonprofit museum in Seattle dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary pop culture. Currently, the traveling exhibit, Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop, along with a host of main exhibits covering science fiction, music, video games, and more. are on display. See the full list here. For tickets and information, visit

MoPOP recently announced the reopening of its popular Sound Lab hands-on exhibit and that Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design will open on June 18, featuring over 60 works from films including Black Panther, Do the Right Thing, Selma, Malcolm X , and more. More information at

The Museum is also participating in GiveBIG today and tomorrow, May 3 and 4. To learn more about supporting the work and programs produced by the Museum, please visit us here.

Here’s what else is happening this month at MoPOP – both in-person and virtual:

17th Annual Sci-Fi + Fantasy Short Film Festival

May 21-22

Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival (SFFSFF) is an annual event organized by MoPOP and SIFF to celebrate new and innovative additions to science fiction and fantasy film arts. Now in its 17th year, SFFSFF screens animated and live-action sci-fi and fantasy films from around the world, which are then judged by nationally recognized film critics.

This hugely popular festival has sold out for the past ten consecutive years, filling the room with enthusiastic fans from the area’s sci-fi, fantasy and film communities. Last year we hosted our first-ever digital showcase, inviting fans around the world to see the latest and greatest in genre films. This year we have two in-person screenings in addition to a virtual option. SFFSFF’s films have also received international distribution and garnered interest from a wide network of moviegoers – even receiving Oscar nominations, museum exhibits, and more.

Sensory evening at MoPOP

May 12

Join us for our sensory programs, an opportunity for adults and families to experience the museum with reduced volume and light levels. Sensory programs are a free opportunity for anyone who can benefit from a low-sensory museum environment.

MoPOP Matinee takeover with community screenings from other local nonprofits in Sound + Vision Theater

From March to June, Three Dollar Bill Cinema is in the director’s chair, showcasing the best in queer horror shorts. MoPOP’s Sound + Vision Theater will play programming chosen exclusively by our partner for two screenings each opening day.

Take a break from our exhibits, see something you’ve never seen before, and find out what’s happening with our friends in Seattle. Screenings are included in your general admission ticket at no additional cost, making MoPOP Matinee Takeovers an easy and fun addition to your museum experience.

Awaken your curiosity about pop culture: MoPOP launches an online collection vault

While several hundred items from the MoPOP collection are on display in the museum at any one time, over 80,000 pieces are in our custody. MoPOP’s permanent collection – much of which is stored in a physical “vault” – spans the breadth of the pop culture canon and also showcases one of the finest assemblages of popular music-related artifacts that exist. We invite you to spark your curiosity about pop culture with our online collection vault which features a sampling of objects from our permanent collection, selected by our curators and organized into content areas.

Graphic Novels Student Clubs

MoPOP’s virtual Graphic Novels Club offers students a unique opportunity to connect with other nerds while cultivating a natural love for reading. Each month, we’ll use a graphic novel (or two) to explore social justice topics and issues such as LGBTQ+ and black histories, climate change, immigrant equity, and more. With separate tracks for readers ages 9-11 and 12-14, sessions will alternate between book discussions and creative art inspired by our favorite cartoonists and graphic novelists.

Meetings are held April through June via Zoom on Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT. Sign up for any (or all!) of the months you want. MAY DATES: May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31

Summer Camps – ON SALE NOW

Professional teacher artists lead MoPOP experiences where campers create original music videos, explore fantasy worlds, learn about the world of drag or design their own exhibits. Programs begin in July for students in grades 2 through 12. Get more information here >>

Camp rock ‘n’ roll music video

July 18-22, 8:45 a.m.-4:00 p.m., 10-13 years old

Create a fantasy camp

July 25-29, 8:45 a.m.-4:00 p.m., ages 7-10

Make a museum camp

From August 1 to 5, from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., from 10 to 13 years old

*WAITING LIST* Drag-tastic Summer Camp: The Art of Drag

August 8-12, 8:45 a.m.-4:00 p.m., 12-18 years old


Homeschool Days – FUNdamentals of Hip-Hop

MAY DATE: May 19

MoPOP provides a unique opportunity for homeschooled students and their families to participate in themed and hands-on experiences centered around museum exhibits and content.

Each homeschool day includes a different student-centered workshop led by a professional teaching artist, a guided gallery experience, and free time to explore our exciting and interactive exhibits. Your family will be encouraged to work together, ask questions and interact with the content of our museum.

*VIRTUAL* Introduction to Graphic Novels and Comic Drawing


Join comic book artist Kane Lynch for a special live workshop focused on the “how to” of graphic novels and comics! From technical terms to panel structures and drawing basics to pencil effects, we will explore the art of drawing and storytelling. Take this course alone or apply what you’ve learned to our From Sketches to Scrwls workshop series

*VIRTUAL* From Sketches to Scribbles: Graphic Novel Workshop Series

MAY DATES: May 20, 27

Have you ever wanted to learn the work behind comics and graphic novels? Join us and professional comic artist Kane Lynch as we explore the world of graphic novels and other longer-form comic projects in this special series of 3-week Livestream Workshops! We’ll go hands-on and in-depth to learn pencil drawing and character design, background inking and coloring, lettering techniques, story structure, and more. Students will leave this series of workshops armed with the tools they will need to create their own graphic novels or comic books.

Contact High: A visual history of hip-hop

October 16, 2021 – March 2023

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and that’s especially true for one of the most language-sensitive musical genres: hip-hop. Contact High explores four decades of photography, from the late 1970s to the present day, documenting a revolution not only in music, but also in politics, race relations, fashion and culture. Through over 170 iconic images of hip-hop’s most influential artists (Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, Tupac, and more) – including contact sheets that give us rare insight into the creative process of a photo shoot – Contact High examines the evolution of hip-hop, connecting us with the experiences, identities and places that have shaped the world’s most popular musical genre.

Exhibition highlights include:

Exclusive footage of some of hip-hop’s biggest influences, including Missy Elliot, Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, Kanye West and Tupac Shakur.

Over 75 never-before-seen contact sheets ranging from iconic Notorious BIG portraits of Barron Claiborne to images of Aaliyah, the Wu-Tang Clan, Sir Mix-A-Lot and Kanye West.

The Dapper Dan jacket made for Rakim and MF DOOM mask.

In addition to photographs, artifacts from MoPOP’s permanent collection such as early rap fight flyers, Grandmaster Flash turntables, Tupac Shakur manuscripts, Flavor magazines, and costumes from Sha-Rock and The Notorious BIG, add to our understanding of hip-hop culture.

A short documentary featuring Contact High photographers at work and in conversation, including Barron Claiborne, Brian “B+” Cross, Eric Coleman, Estevan Oriol, Jorge Peniche, Jamel Shabazz, Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo, Jack McKain, Dana Scruggs and Danny Pick Up. The film is produced by the Annenberg Foundation and Radical Media.


MoPOP is a leading nonprofit museum in Seattle dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary pop culture. With a mission to make creative expression a life-changing force by providing experiences that inspire and connect our communities, MoPOP reaches multi-generational audiences through our collections, exhibitions, educational programs and community partnerships. At MoPOP, artists, audiences, and ideas converge, bringing understanding, interpretation, and scholarship to the pop culture of our time. For more information, visit


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