Core of Culture

Core of Culture is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that for the past 15 years has dedicated itself to safeguarding intangible world culture and assuring the continuity of ancient dance traditions where they originate.

For more information about Core of Culture's ongoing efforts and how you can help, please subscribe to our Newsletter.

Core of Culture educates the public and practitioners about disappearing cultural heritage, and raises money to support cultural preservation projects.



Core of culture exists to assure the continuity of dance traditions in endangered cultures where they originate and for world culture as a whole. Core of Culture advocates for the importance of preserving ancient dance traditions and is a resource for dancers, scholars and the general public.



Core of culture offers design solutions in all areas of cultural stewardship and institutional transformation, with an emphasis on building cultural communities. Focusing on global artistic practice, Core of Culture combines traditional and progressive means of artistic production. Core of Culture collaborates with museums, libraries, monasteries, and other relevant bodies.



Core of culture responds to cultural need in the world, and funding is critical for providing timely research and response. To address this socio-economic reality of our work in remote and undeveloped cultures, Core of Culture has established the Core Endowment Fund to support local initiatives with international methods.

Completed Projects

Core of Culture’s efforts have spanned the globe, conducting projects throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. What began as a rare opportunity to document the Tibetan Buddhist Cham dance traditions in Bhutan has expanded into a world wide mission to preserve and protect the history and practice of ancient dance.

The Core of Culture Team

Joseph Houseal


As Director of CoC, Joseph Houseal has overseen dance preservation and research projects in Ladakh - from where CoC’s first Buddhist Cham dance restoration DVDs were produced - Pakistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, and the Kingdom of Bhutan, where CoC executed a 5- year project culminating in a touring exhibition of Buddhist art and Cham dance, presented by Honolulu Academy of Arts. Joseph is also Director of the Ballet Society app project and has recently completed a research fellowship at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Nicholas Alguire

Design Consultant

Nicholas resides in New York City and oversees CoC's ongoing projects, web outreach, and publications.

Liz Kidera

Director of Design

An Architect, Exhibition Designer, and amateur paleontologist, Liz Kidera is an expert in the fields of art and science. Liz has worked alongside Joseph Houseal for several years, helping with issues of dance and design at all levels. Recently, Liz worked as the exhibition designer for the newly completed 9/11 Museum in New York City and is the lead designer of the Ballet Society app project.

Gerald Horton

Special Projects Director

Gerald Horton has spent the last ten years using his skills as a videographer to document and archive ancient dance traditions in the Himalayas. Horton designed the Bhutan Dance Database housed at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Nathan Whitmont

Associate Field Director

Nathan Whitmont is a wilderness guide, horse trainer, filmmaker, writer, and dance photographer from Bozeman Montana. As Associate Field Director of CoC, Nathan directs and performs remote field work.

Tashi Lundup

Field Research Specialist

Tashi Lundup is a Ph.D Research Scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Tashi is Ladakhi, works in the tourism industry in the summers in Ladakh, and is uniquely positioned to understand the delicate balance of religious rituals and tourism in Ladakh, possessing an activist’s passion for the integrity of his own culture.

Our partner

The New York Public Library

for The Performing Art






Core of Culture.

A sustainable service organization.

15 Years of Work.

15 Years of Support.

It is only because of dedicated and generous support that Core of Culture has been able to sustain the research and documentation over the last fifteen years, and earned the organization a reputation as the foremost purveyor of ancient dance worldwide. As Core of Culture continues to build and expand, so does the need for further development and support, for both the organization and the areas where CoC conducts work. We encourage anyone interested in the preservation of intangible world culture to reach out to us and learn how you can help.

Currently, Core of Culture is raising the funds for a Tourism Education Campaign throughout the Himalayan rim. It is important that the region have a sustained program in place to handle the ever-growing rate of tourism throughout the region and responsibly educate the tourists about what they are seeing and how to properly interact. Take a moment to view our project page above to out more about the campaign and learn how your donation will help insure these traditions last.

This year, Core of Culture has produced and published the inaugural 2015 Annual Design Review. This publication marks CoC's venture into publishing and book making, please take a moment to view the digital version below. If you would like to acquire the limited-edition, soft bound copy of this annual, feel free to contact us.

Core of Culture would like to thank some of it’s many generous supporters over the last several years. It is because of you we are able to continue our efforts in sustaining global cultural heritage where it is most needed.

Join us moving forward!



  • 1100 Pratt Blvd, Chicago IL 60626
© Core of Culture, 2014.|