3D Virtual Bethel | Historical and Cultural Preservation Using Virtual Reality.

Zeb Wood, Lecturer, Media Arts and Science, Co-Director, Media Arts and Science Undergraduate Program, IUPUI

In November of 2016, Bethel AME Church, which has housed the congregation since 1869, was sold. Without proper and immediate action, the history and heritage of this building (a state and national landmark) will be lost. In December of 2016, undergraduates in the School of Informatics and Computing completed a 3D virtual environment of the physical church to preserve the cultural heritage. The “3D Virtual Bethel” will be used as a learning space for documenting local history. Methods for preserving historical artifacts, cultural spaces, and utilizing existing archives in virtual reality will be discussed and highlighted.