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United States Art and Culture

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The United States is a country adorned with vibrant cultures and arts, mainly swayed by Native American, African, Asian, Polynesian, and Latin American cultures. The country is aptly described as a "melting pot", a home to several ethnic groups and all the cultures amalgamate together to form a unique characteristic. The conventional American culture is the Western culture, which is a distinguished tradition, influenced largely by the traditions of early European explorers, slaves from Africa and other origins. The miscellaneous culture of the United States is also derived from the various immigrants coming in the country every year as a result of large scale migration from various countries of the world, thus, introducing a racially and ethnically diverse Western American culture. The United States diversified cultural characteristics is elevated by its unique social attributes, such as dialect, arts, music, cuisine, and folklore. Americans are defined and well known of possessing a strong work ethic, lively, independent and competitive people who have a stable believe in equality, liberty and value socioeconomic achievement. 

United States Department of Art and Culture

The U.S. Department of Art and Culture (USDAC) is established with the help of many art lovers with the mission to preserve and safeguard the nation's art and culture. The USDAC vibrant members are dedicated to spark a grassroot and create a creative wave among the people to promote and educate about the art and culture of the United States. The USDAC comprises of a network of artists and cultural workers who assists creative individuals and offers creative services and initiatives to connect art lovers to wider genre of people with resources. The USDAC is partnered with Imagining America, the Blue Mountain Center, Bowery Arts Science and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council which support the several projects of the department.

Learn more: United States Department of Art and Culture

United States Fine Arts

The United States, dating back to the 18th and 19th century, has manifested its artistic facet that covers a varied range of art forms. New York city art exhibitions in the early 1900s has introduced modern art in the country and post World War II, New York evolved as the world's art center. The American Folk art Museum in New York City is one of the world's famous museums with comprehensive collections and exhibitions of folk art forms. The work of fine arts are distinctly projected in the nation's architecture, paintings, theater, music, dance and cinema. The US architecture is a blend of modernity and influences from indigenous people, that is showcased in many magnificent skyscrapers, museums, towers, shopping malls and hotels. 

Dances in USA

Dances in the United States come in many forms, which is a blend of native and modern styles. American theater dance has gained its popularity at present and many talented American artists of stature are emerging. The United States is acclaimed of its notable hip hop, rock-and-roll and square dance forms. The country features many major concerts, social dance events and broadcasts several reality shows (such as So You Think You Can Dance, Americas Best Dance Crew, and Dancing with the Stars), that have highlighted dance as a popular and desirable art form in the Unites States.

Some of the major dance forms in USA include-

Square Dance

It is a dance style involving four couples, who are placed in a square. Square dance has been designated as the official state dance by 19 states of USA and also has been acclaimed as a popular folk dance. 

African American Dance

The African American communities have developed African American dance, which is a freestyle casual dance performed in their everyday spaces, mainly encompassing "Hip Hop" and "Lindy hop" dance styles. 

Swing Dance

As jazz music gained popularity in the 1900s in USA, "Swing dance", a partner Lindy hop dance style, developed and became famous. In the early 20th century, modern dance evolved. This a sophisticated choreographed form of dance. 

Rock and Roll

During the 1940s and early 1950s, "Rock and Roll", which is a dance style associated with rock and roll music, swept the country. It is originated from a combination of music and dance styles which are predominantly African-American genres such as blues, jump blues, boogie woogie, jazz, and gospel music, coupled with country music and Western swing.

Other notable dance forms in USA include:
  • Modern dance
  • American folk dances
  • Ballet
  • B-boying
  • Cakewalk
  • Cha-cha-cha
  • Jazz dance
  • Maxixe
  • Turkey Trot
  • Harlem Shake
Some of the top dance schools in USA include
Juilliard School
60 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023
(212) 799-5000
Website: http://www.juilliard.edu/

Fordham University
Rose Hill Campus
441 E. Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458

Fordham University
Lincoln Center
33 W. 60th Street
New York, NY 10023

Fordham University
Westchester Campus
400 Weschester Ave.
West Harrison, NY 10604

Fordham University
Lincoln Center
113 W. 60th Street
New York, NY 10023

Fordham University
Law School
140 W. 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023

Phone Lines:
(212) 636-6000 Lincoln Center / Manhattan
(718) 817-1000 Rose Hill / Bronx
(914) 367-3426 Fordham Westchester Campus
Website: http://www.fordham.edu/

New York University Tisch School of the Arts
721 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
Website: http://www.tisch.nyu.edu/

Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas 75275-0100
Website: http://www.smu.edu/

Dominican University of California
50 Acacia Avenue
San Rafael, California 94901
Phone: 415-457-4440 | 1-888-323-6763
Website: http://www.dominican.edu/

University of North Carolina School of the Arts
1533 South Main St.
Winston-Salem, NC 27127-2738
Phone: 336-770-3399
Website: http://www.uncsa.edu/

Oklahoma City University School of American Dance and Arts Management
2501 N Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK 73106-1493
Phone: (405) 208-5000
Website: http://www.okcu.edu/Dance/

Boston Conservatory
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: (617) 536-6340
Fax: (617) 912-9101
Website: http://www.bostonconservatory.edu/

University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona 85721
Phone: (520) 621-2211
Website: http://www.arizona.edu/

Butler University
4600 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46208
800-368-6852, ext. 9469
Phone: 317-940-9469
Email: gifts@butler.edu
Website: http://www.butler.edu/

Carl Perkins Music Notes

By Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Music in USA

Music in United States is an assortment of various music, mainly influenced by West African, Mexican, Irish, Scottish and Cuban music traditions. The nation is home to many famous music industries and has the largest music market in the world. The famous American music form is called the " blues", which is a native American musical form. USA's notable music genres are jazz, blues, ragtime, country, rock, bluegrass, rhythm and blues, hip hop, barbershop, pop, techno, experimental, house, boogaloo, dance, salsa, and rock and roll.

United States music history comprises of many forms of popular folk and classical music. Music in USA dates back to the pre European era, closely associated with the Native American population. Religious musical was very popular among the Native Americans. With the arrival of the European settlers in USA, several new musical groups such as Christian choirs, musical notation and broadsides evolved. The 19th century music style were mainly ragtime and minstrel songs. In the late 19th century, African American blues and gospel music became very famous. Jazz music form swept the country in the 20th century until the introduction of new version of instrumental jazz called be-bop, which gained massive popularity among the American audiences. Rock and Roll evolved with the amalgamation of rhythm & blues with country and western music. 

The internationally recognized music awards which are held to honor the notable artists of the music industry are Grammy Awards, Country Music Awards, Gospel Music Awards and Tejano Music Awards. The popular music in USA are rated on music charts such as Billboard Music Chart and American Top 40. Some of the famous American music festivals include Jazz Fest, Lollapalooza, Ozzfest and Monterey Jazz Festival. The national anthem of the United States is "The Star-Spangled Banner".

Music is an important subject in all the education system in the United States. Most or all school systems in USA incorporate music education in singing and instrumentation, and it is made mandatory in public elementary schools. The country is home to many fine music schools. Conservatories is the most popular and individual type of music school in USA, which is exclusively centralized on music and do not specialize in anything else. The main music genre which they emphasize are on either "Classical" or "Contemporary" studies and some also offer lessons in drama and dance. 

United States Accomplished Classical Conservatories are:

United States Accomplished Contemporary Music (Jazz and popular styles) Conservatories are:
Also read: Music of the United States of America

Theater in USA

Eugene O'Neill, a four-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for drama and the only American playwright to win the Nobel Prize for literature, is regarded as the father of American drama. American theater in the early centuries were dominated by styles such as Vaudeville acts and minstrel shows, but today, such styles of theater have been replaced by contemporary and broadway productions. Theater still serves as an important and adored art form in the United States. Drama is also taught in colleges and high schools because of the increasing fondness of theatrical art in America. 

The arrival of the Lewis Hallam troupe in Virginia in 1752, marked the birth of professional theater in USA. The Europeans introduced theatrical art forms to the various colonies of the United States. They brought in many fine plays which were popular in London, such as Othello, Hamlet, The Recruiting Officer, and Richard III. The first theatrical performance shown by them was "The Merchant of Venice". During the American Revolutionary War, plays were banned in many states of the country. The early history of theater in the United States were mostly melodrama, minstrel shows, shows depicting hedonism and even violence, Vaudeville and comical theater. 

Broadway is one of the world's largest theater communities and is the embodiment of commercial theater in the United States. Regional or resident theater is a famous theater company in the US that produces its own seasons. USA is also internationally known for being the massive exporter of modern musical theater. Some of the notable musical producers include Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Lerner and Loewe, Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Kander and Ebb, and Stephen Sondheim. The country has many notable contemporary American playwrights, namely Edward Albee, Tony Kushner, August Wilson, John Guare, David Henry Hwang, and Wendy Wasserstein. 

Also read: Theatreworks USA

Cinema in USA

The United States has contributed immensely to world entertainment in the field of motion pictures. "Hollywood" is the word coined to the cinema of the United States. The country's film industry is mostly located in the vicinity of Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Today, the American cinema has set a remarkable benchmark in the world of entertainment. The American film industry produces several movies annually and has generated huge gross revenue. The cinema in USA has been broadly grouped into four main eras, namely, the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period.


"Hollywood " is the entertainment hub which is located in the vicinity of the central part of Los Angeles, California. In 1910, it was officially integrated with the city of Los Angeles. Hollywood is acclaimed world wide for its eminent entertainment industry along with its several renowned studios. Hollywood is globally recognized as a densely populated swank region, which is ethnically and economically diverse. Today, "Hollywood" is famously associated to the motion pictures of the United States. 

Motion Picture Patents Company of Thomas Edison, in New Jersey was one of the notable film makers in the early 1900s. Later, Los Angeles became the capital and hub of film industry because of its beautiful and easily accessible shooting locations, good weather conditions and growing economy. The first director to make a motion picture in Hollywood was D. W. Griffith. It was a 17 minute short film. The Nestor Motion Picture Company was the first Hollywood studio that made the first motion film. 

The Capitol Records Tower is located at Vine Street, in the northern side of Hollywood Boulevard. It was built in 1956. Also, in 1958, the famous "Hollywood Walk of Fame" was established honoring the renowned artists and other significant contributors in the filed of entertainment.

The most celebrated American award ceremony, called the "Academy Awards" (Oscars) are usually held in late February or early March annually, paying tribute to the notable cinematic achievements in the entertainment industry. The Oscars are held at the Dolby Theater at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, since 2002. The Oscars was first held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in 1929. The other notable awards ceremony, honoring significant contributors in the field of arts, music, dance and entertainment include the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for theater, and the Grammy Awards for music and recording.

Also read: American Film Institute (AFI). AFI is a film organization which offers programs to educate filmmakers and conserve the heritage of the arts of motion picture in the United States. 

United States Culture and People

The family tradition mostly followed in the United States is nuclear family, involving two married individuals and off springs. Traditionally, American society has the trend in which youths (children) past "college age" move out of their parental home. At the present trend, children or young adults choose to live in their parental home until their mid-twenties. Americans show a tendency to delay marriage. A recent survey has also shown an increase number of children living with single unmarried parent. Marriage laws and divorce laws in USA are guarded by individual states. Many states in the country legalized same sex marriage or domestic partnerships. 

Social class demarcation based on income, educational attainment occupational rankings and individual's home within the country is manifested by the American society. This cultural influence categorizes the society into social classes, such as high class, upper middle class, middle class and working class. Generally, Americans are popular of their amicable and frolic attitude. USA is also a trend setter in fashion and is the headquarter of many leading fashion industries. American's dressing style is quite casual, besides professional business attire.

Languages Spoken in the United States

At the federal level, the United States has no designated official language but at the state level, 28 states have accepted English as their official language. The American English is known as the national dialect of the US. There are many other regional dialects and the four major dialect regions in the US are the North, the South, the Midland, and the West. 

The percentage of native languages spoken in the United States, 2011 estimation are- [1]
  • English - 79.2%,
  • Spanish - 12.9%
  • Other Indo-European languages - 3.8%
  • Other Asian or Pacific Islander languages - 3.3%
  • Other languages - 0.9%Native language statistics for the United States

Racial and Ethnic Groups in USA

The various racial groups in the United States consists of White, Black or African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian alone, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander and Hispanic or Latino. The massive influence of immigrants from Asia is reflected on the culture of Hawaii and the West Coast, but the Asian migration also led to the establishments of predominant Asian neighborhoods in several notable cities across the nation. Additionally, the Southwest regions of USA is influenced by immigration from Mexico and existing Latino groups. The larger percentage of Native Hawaiians population who have migrated to the mainland U.S. have established settlements in California. The varying degree of intermarriage between ethnic and racial groups mark the ancestry of people in USA.

The largest ancestries in the United States according to 2010 census are German, African, Irish, Mexican, English, American, Italian, Scottish, Scotch-Irish, Amerindian, Dutch, Puerto Rican, Norwegian, Polish and French.

Festivals in USA

United States celebrate many festivals round the year which represent the country's varied cultures and ethnic groups. Festivals in USA mainly serve to commemorate specific purposes and ancestries, an occasion of feasting the country's arts, crafts, cultural, heritage, theater, film, music, nature and food. Holiday festivals in the country, such as Christmas on the River, New Orleans Mardi Gras and Spirit of America Festival are grand community festivals which are celebrated with much galore. Carnival is a vibrant festive public celebration or parade, which is usually held during February every year. The people wear masks and dressed up in vibrant colorful attires, also combining some elements of public street party and circus. The United States cultural and ethnic mix are reflected in all the festivals celebrated in the country, in which people of different races come together and offer their typical heritage elements in the form of culture, tradition, cuisine, attires and fashion.

United States Culture, Heritage and Folk Festivals

  • Aloha Festivals - Hawaii: Annually during the month of September
  • Arlington International Film Festival — Arlington, Massachusetts: Annually, in October
  • Borderfest — Rio Grande Valley, Texas: Annually
  • Dublin Irish Festival — Dublin, Ohio: Annually in first weekend in August
  • Cleveland Feast of the Assumption Festival — Cleveland, Ohio: Annually around August 15
  • Feast of San Gennaro — New York City, New York: Annually during September
  • Festival Latinoamericano — Provo, Utah: Annually, three-day Labor Day weekend festival
  • FinnFestUSA: Annually during summer
  • Folkmoot — Waynesville, North Carolina: Annually
  • Greek Food Festival of Dallas — Dallas, Texas: Annually
  • Hungarian Festival — New Brunswick, New Jersey: Annually, First Saturday in June
  • Indy Irish Festival — Indianapolis, Indiana: Annually
  • International Children's Festival — Washington, DC: Annually every May
  • Johnny Appleseed Festival — Fort Wayne, Indiana: Annually, usually in September or October
  • Kansas City Irish Fest — Kansas City, Missouri: Annually
  • Little Italy Festival — Clinton, Indiana: Annually on Labor Day weekend
  • Lowell Folk Festival — Lowell, Massachusetts: Last full weekend of July annually
  • New Jersey Folk Festival — New Brunswick, NJ: Last Saturday in April, annually
  • New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival— New Orleans, Louisiana: Last weekend of April and first weekend of May, annually
  • North Texas Irish Festival — Dallas, Texas: First weekend in March
  • Northwest Folklife Festival — Seattle, Washington: Begins on Memorial Day, annually
  • Pepper Jelly Festival — Thomaston, Alabama: Last Saturday in April
  • Pittsburgh Folk Festival — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Annually
  • Portugal Day Festival — Newark, New Jersey: Weekend nearest June 10, Portugal Day
  • Riverfront Irish Festival — Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio: Annually during the second weekend of June
  • Texas Folklife Festival — San Antonio, Texas: Annually during June
  • Tulip Time Festival — Holland, Michigan: Annually in mid May
  • Taste of Polonia — Chicago, Illinois: Every Labor Day weekend, annually
  • World of Nations Celebration — Jacksonville, Florida: Every May, annually
  • World's Largest Disco — Buffalo, New York: Annually, the Saturday after Thanksgiving
  • Ypsilanti Heritage Festival — Ypsilanti, Michigan: Annually on late-August weekend

Also read: Kids Arts and Music

United States Cuisine

The diversity in people, culture, religion of the United States are reflected in the cuisine of the country. Several culinary traditions are brought in by varied immigrants, which blend in to form the "American cuisine". United States gastronomy is an amalgamation of many types of cuisines and cookery variants. Among the many other ethnic cuisines, Italian-American food and Chinese food dominate the USA culinary market.

Some of the dishes which are included in traditional American cookery list are-

Clam chowder, roast beef, fried chicken, grilled steak, stuffed turkey, meatloaf, baked potato, yams, corn on the cob, potato salad, apple pie, hamburgers, hotdogs and hot wings. 

American cookery style and food vary from region to region within the country due to its culinary and cultural mix. 
  • Northern region cuisine
    The New England states are well known for seafood and dairy products. The northern regions are famous for potatoes, maple syrup, and wild blueberries and also proudly presents popular dishes such as lobster roll, clam bake and baked beans.

  • Southeastern region cuisine
    The southern states cuisine are commonly known as "southern cooking" mainly consists of wholesome farm-style cooking and include lots of deep fried foods and many condiments of heavy delightful sauces and sweet desserts. The Afro-American style of southern cooking is called "Soul food", which is literally translated as southern cooking with soul. Soul food consists of same southern states dishes which are prepared with African-American fusion and with lots of love and intensity. 

  • Northwestern region cuisine
    New Orleans embraces the European culture and has its own distinctive cuisine. New Orleans' Creole and Cajun cuisine are very famous and is a unique blend of French and Spanish cookery, with a touch of African and West Indian spicy flavors. 

  • Southwestern region cuisine
    The cuisine of the southwestern states of the USA is basically cowboy food which is a composition of Native Americans, Spanish and Mexican food. Tex-Mex is a famous southwestern cooking, which is a version of barbeque and chili. The food here is prepared with local fresh ingredients, using Mexican spices. 

  • West coast region cuisine
    California adopts a healthier cuisine, incorporating lots of fresh fruits, fish and sea foods, vegetables etc. California cooking is a culinary mix of several ethnic food styles. Los Angeles is globally famous for its sophisticated style of cooking and the region is also a home to several popular cosmopolitan dining places.


  1. Languages Spoken in USA
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