The Baghdad Museum Project
The Baghdad Museum Project is a non-profit organization with a 4-part proposal to help save the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad, following the looting of the museum in April, 2003. The Baghdad Museum Project seeks to (1) establish a comprehensive online catalog of all cultural artifacts in the museum's collection, (2) create a virtual Baghdad Museum that is accessible to the general public over the Internet, (3) build a 3D collaborative workspace within the virtual Baghdad Museum for design and fundraising purposes, and (4) establish a resource center within the virtual Baghdad Museum for community cultural development.
John Simmons is a developer of online communications and Internet technologies, with a particular interest in building online communities devoted to progress and social change.
His proposals for the Baghdad Museum Project stem from his experience as a national television producer-director, as a publisher of fine art by contemporary masters, as an educator, as a designer of groundbreaking 3D environments, and as an organizer of high-impact cultural events.
To help establish November as National American Indian Heritage Month in 1990, he created Artists for American Indians, a fundraising program that generated art works featured at the 1992 World's Fair in Seville, Spain, and twice honored at the United Nations during the International Year of the World's Indigenous Peoples.
From 1996 to 1999, he was Director of Project ADEL at George Mason University where he developed new applications for the Internet. His contributions include a language that activates 3D human models in real-time over the Net, a mobile sound authoring and conferencing system, and a Web-delivered and Web-administered lab for new product development. His work was highlighted at the 1998 World Congress on Information Technology, and his 3D human animation system was further developed at Stanford University for a method of transmitting American Sign Language.
From 2000 to 2001, Simmons served as Chief Technology Officer and developed Internet learning systems for various commercial clients. Afterwards, he developed "Dialogue Technologies" for the Cultural Strategies Institute in answer to a call by the United Nations for a "Dialogue Among Civilizations."
To all of his endeavors, Simmons brings over 30 years experience as a producer. He is an Emmy-nominated producer-director of dozens of national television programs for PBS, MTV, first-run syndication and the owned-and-operated NBC stations. In the area of interactive media, he has specialized in creating feature attractions for the Internet. He created the world's first fully functional 3D museum on the Net for the American Indian Heritage Foundation as well as the music industry's first large-scale interactive 3D Web site, for PolyGram Music, and was among the first to develop on-line collaborative environments using agents with gestural expression like actors on a stage.
Watercolor sketch by Margaret Griffith