Today, GALACTIC presents artists, healers, cooks, and storytellers in virtual and face-to-face classrooms.They conduct professional development workshops that lie at the intersection of arts, indigenous leadership, cultural heritage policy, decolonization, compassionate listening, and conflict management.

Bridging local culture is out of this world.

GALACTIC’s star players

GALACTIC is a collaboration among:

Current projects

Balfour Scholars

The Balfour Scholars Program, based in the IU School of Education, educates and supports 150 students from at-risk communities during a week-long summer retreat at IU. The Balfour Scholars develop skills to prepare them for higher education and community engagement. GALACTIC and others parterned with the Balfour program to develop a new workshop, "Global Infusion through the Arts."

Meet the Balfour Scholars


At this living classroom at the Smithsonian Institute’s annual Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., small groups discuss the survival of the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples in the Navajo nation, Kenya, and China, among others.

The groups explore connections across global and local conflicts to come up with cultural strategies for justice-based resolutions and to define the role of indigenous and disenfranchised community leaders. For example, at a recent Folklife Festival, a Peruvian weaver discussed the impact of water access, land disputes, tourism, and indigenous rights on her traditional practice. Navajo participants compared Peruvian issues to local concerns facing Navajo weavers. A Navajo medicine man traded indigenous healing practices with an Andean practitioner.

Attend the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival

Navajo Nation

In partnership with GALACTIC, the Navajo Technical University engages in video conferencing with IU students to share cultural practices. The university’s dean of graduate studies anthropologist Wesley Thomas has participated in the Center's ICCI program for two years, and in 2016 acted as a guest speaker and presenter for the event. Currently, IU and the university are working to develop a course focusing on comparative sheep herding that will connect Navajo, IU, and Middle Eastern students.

Explore the Navajo connection

Living Jerusalem

In this semester-long course, offered alternately at Ohio State University and Indiana University, undergraduates study the complex and variegated cultural, economic, and social fabric of Jerusalem via videoconferencing and blogging before undertaking a life-altering two-week study tour of Jerusalem.

Immerse yourself in Jerusalem