How many places in the world can you go to find some of the finest Asian art on display, recreations of primitive coastal settlements and the oldest pair of shoes in the entire world?

One. And if you are a University student, you do not need to leave campus or pay a dime to see any of them.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History both offer unique educational opportunities for students in a modern and interesting manner. Both museums are intended for a student body in the 21st century, connecting the present to the various eras of history that are covered in the exhibits.

Both museums have made efforts to remain updated in the new age of technology, attempting to use the advantages of touchscreens @@http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=touchscreen&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8@@and video to provide a greater sense of hands-on learning and entertainment for the youthful generation on campus.

Ann Craig, the assistant director of education at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, wants students to be aware of the opportunities they have with the museums.@@http://comm.uoregon.edu/archive/news-release/2010/1/uo-museum-natural-and-cultural-history-offers-‘tot-time’[email protected]@

“We want students to know what an incredible resource they have here on campus and how accessible we are to them,” Craig said.

Several new collections from across the globe have been brought into the museums for fall term.

The Schnitzer museum has just unveiled their “Xiaoze Xie: Amplified Moments” exhibit as well as their “East/West: Visually Speaking” exhibition. Both of these collections of Asian art and documentation provide visitors a glimpse into the past of one of the world’s most intriguing cultures.

In addition to the exhibitions, the museum will host a number of lectures and events over the next few months that are intended to both educate and give students an opportunity to immerse themselves in history.

Once again it will host an event for the Mexican holiday El Dia de los Muertos,@@http://farstrider.net/Mexico/Muertos/index.htm@@ but due to great popularity in the past, event organizers have decided to spread out the festivities over two days (October 30 and November 1).

On the other end of campus, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History is also displaying new and interesting exhibitions.

The museum, which is the home to the world’s oldest pair of shoes, is currently showcasing various cultural masks gathered from across the globe. Several of the masks in the collection have never been available for viewing before reaching the University campus.

The Natural and Cultural History museum also has exhibitions on coastal weaving and numerous recreations of coastal living conditions from various time periods

Each museum is convenient for students to access on campus, and there is no admission fee for University students when presenting a student ID.

At the Schnitzer museum, students can become members for free, allowing them various discounts at Cafe Roma and the gift shop. Additionally, students will be given a complimentary lifetime membership to the museum after graduation.

The Museum of Natural and Cultural History offers students chances for involvement through volunteer opportunities and even a one-credit class offered each term that gives students hands-on experience. There is also an ambassadors program through the museum that students are encouraged to take part in for experience and eventual employment prospects.

Some students have already begun the fall term taking advantage of the museums.

“I had never taken the time to go to either museum before this year, but after giving them a chance, there is some cool stuff in there,” University sophomore Will Nelson said.

Going into either museum on campus is an opportunity for students to do more than just educate themselves. The experience can be exciting, interesting and enjoyable.

“We want students to know that we always have something new and fun,” said Debbie Williamson, communications manager at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

“Art can change your life if you let it, and we want our students to know that.”


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