Kudos! October 2010

In these times of economic challenges, it’s nice to see some bright spots!

Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences (Peoria, Illinois) has been awarded a $10,000 Arts Education Invitational Grants Initiative grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to digitize the Picture Person Program, an art appreciation outreach program in which parent volunteers borrow art kits from the Museum and present them in K-6 classrooms monthly throughout the school year.

The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook (Long island, New York) announced it has received accreditation from the American Association of Museums, the highest honor awarded by the national organization.

The PNC Foundation announced $3 million in grants to four of Chicago’s premier institutions including the Adler Planetarium, to enhance science education for underserved students in preschool programs operated by Chicago Public Schools and the Big Shoulders Fund.

The Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre (Davenport, Iowa) won RK Dixon’s Make My Nonprofit Run Better contest and a $20,000 grand prize of an office technology makeover. 

Blogathon for “October is American Archives Month”

Smithsonian Affiliates are invited to join Smithsonian archives staff in the 31-day blogathon in October!  Raise awareness of your archival collections by sharing stories on your blog about who you are, what you do, and how you work.  Show off the little-known gems in your collection, tell us about your research, or take us behind-the-scenes in your archives. Smithsonian archives staff will also be writing about what happens in their archives, describing projects they are working on, and telling stories about particular items in their collections.

Montana Historical Society Archives stacks. Photo courtesy Jeff Malcomson, Government Records Archivist, Montana Historical Society.

Affiliate Montana Historical Society (MHS) has already signed up to participate in the blogathon.  Their blog Montana History Revealed will look back at the MHS Archives’ own history of preserving Montana’s historic documents.  And during an evening program on Oct 7 called “Who Do We Think We Are?,” MHS Archives staff members will explore the dramatic and sometimes humorous history of the archives collection and the people who have cared for it.

We’ve already got MHS on the list…Your Archives could be next!

It’s easy! Simply write a blog on your own page and forward Elizabeth Bugbee the link. We’ll include you in a list of participating bloggers on the “Archives Month at the Smithsonian” website.  In addition, Smithsonian Affiliations will cross-promote your post on the Affiliate blog and Smithsonian In Your Neighborhood Facebook page.

Be sure to use “Archives Month” as a label or category in your blog so it’s easily tagged. And stand out even more by Tweeting about your post using #archivesmonth.

Film archived at the Center for the History of Psychology (Akron, Ohio).

Our Smithsonian Archivists are eager to learn more about Affiliate archives, and what better way than telling your story. As affiliates of the Smithsonian Institution, you’re our ambassadors in neighborhoods across the country, so let’s spread the word about how fascinating your archival collections are!

About “October is American Archives Month”
Archives throughout the Smithsonian will be celebrating 2010’s American Archives Month with the first-even Smithsonian Archives Fair and a 31-day Blogathon. More information is on the “Archives Month at the Smithsonian” web page. October is American Archives Month, has been developed to focus on the importance of the Smithsonian’s vast collections of archival and historical records and to highlight the many individual Smithsonian archival units responsible for maintaining these rich and complex documentary resources. 

About Smithsonian Institution’s archives
The Smithsonian Institution’s archives preserve memories, tell stories and solve mysteries every day. The public may visit the Archives’ websites here, search their holdings at the Smithsonian Collections Search Center and read the Smithsonian Collections Blog here.

For further questions on how your blog can participate in the 31-day blogathon, contact Elizabeth Bugbee (202) 633-5304.

si authors on the road

Just in time for the holidays, two new books featuring the Smithsonian will be available this fall, with authors ready to travel to Affiliates for programs and book signings.  For more information or to pursue a booking, please contact us at affiliates@si.edu.

NMAI's new cookbook features historical descriptions and artifact links

Mitsitam = Let’s Eat! 

The Mitsitam Café Cookbook documents America’s truly indigenous foods, as featured at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI).    Anyone who has visited this groundbreaking museum resource – a destination in its own right – knows that the Native story told in the Museum’s galleries is brilliantly complemented by the culinary traditions available to savor in the museum’s café.  Written by the Mitsitam café’s executive chef Richard Hetzler, this cookbook showcases 90 home-tested recipes.  Each dish was researched and developed to highlight indigenous foods that are the staples of five Native American regions in North and South America.  The book features a historical description for each of these recipes that have been enjoyed by NMAI visitors since its opening in 2004.  In addition, images of artifacts from NMAI’s collection, as they pertain to Native foodways, appear throughout.

Richard Hetzler is available to travel to Affiliates for book signings, and can talk about a range of topics, including preparing food from Native ingredients and traditions; developing a local seasonal menu;   developing the café’s concept with Museum staff, and more.  Program ideas could range from a simple lecture and cooking demonstration, to a cooking class, or a “meet/eat with the chef” meal for your members, or a dialogue with a content specialist from your museum or region.   

NASM's Autobiography, coming out October 2010

A Soaring Museum and its Treasures 

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM) welcomes eight million visitors a year and holds vast collections of aircraft, rockets, spacecraft, and related artifacts–so many, in fact, that they all add up to the world’s largest aerospace collection.  Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: An Autobiography is the first and only complete history and behind-the scenes tour of this great museum.

 Beautifully illustrated with over 70 photographs and artworks, and engagingly telling the history of 150 years of flight development, the Autobiography does full justice to the soaring museum and its treasures.  Written by curators and scientists who protect and work with these collections, the book reveals the stories of many of the artifacts.  It shares the untold narratives between the Smithsonian Institution and the heroes working in the fields of aeronautics and space exploration.  In addition, innovative features have been specially designed for this book, including “Superlatives”–record makers and record breakers; and “Curator’s Choice” – selected objects deemed most fascinating.

The book was edited by Michael J. Neufeld, chair of the Space History Division at NASM.  Michael Neufeld is available to visit Affiliates to discuss and sign this extraordinary book, at once a stunning keepsake of a world-class museum experience, a fitting tribute to the legends of aviation, and a colorful resource on the history of flight.

affiliates in the news: week of september 20

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week!

Museum of American Finance (New York, NY)
The Museum of American Finance will unveil the display of an 18-karat solid gold Monopoly set covered with hundreds of precious gemstones, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. READ MORE

Museum of American Finance To Display Jeweled Monopoly Set and Host Tournament. READ MORE

Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland, FL)
Polk Museum of Art is pleased to announce that it has been accepted into the Smithsonian Affiliations Program. READ MORE 

Polk Museum Gets Affiliation With Smithsonian. READ MORE

Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences (Peoria, IL)
Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences has been awarded a $10,000 Arts Education Invitational Grants Initiative grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to digitize the Picture Person Program educational kits. READ MORE

Hunt Hill Farm (New Milford, CT)
. The Smithsonian curator who got the ball rolling was Rayna Green, curator and director of the American Indian Program, Division of Home and Community Life, who will present “In Julia’s Kitchen”. READ MORE

The Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages (Stony Brook, NY)
The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook announced Thursday it has received accreditation from the American Association of Museums, the highest honor awarded by the national organization. READ MORE

The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar (Richmond, VA)
Richmond visitors have a new starting point for the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War and the end of slavery: Historic Tredegar. READ MORE

Historic Tredegar: The Region’s Gateway to the Civil War. READ MORE

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA)
On November 12th, the National Museum of American Jewish History will reopen in its new location at Independence Mall. The weekend of celebration will feature performances by Jerry Seinfeld and Bette Midler. READ MORE

Two of the country’s most famous Jewish performers will highlight the opening of one of the most ambitious Jewish museum projects in years. READ MORE

North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, NC)
Exhibit in North Carolina Shows the Real George Washington. READ MORE

National Mississippi River Museum (Dubuque, IA)
Foundation awards river museum $1 million grant for river center. READ MORE

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day
Everybody loves a freebie and this Saturday, September 25, marks Smithsonian magazine’s 6th Annual Museum Day, when more than 1,500 museum and cultural venues across the United States will honor Smithsonian.com’s special get-in-free ticket for two. READ MORE

September 25 is Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

On Saturday, September 25, 2010, Smithsonian Affiliates across the country will participate in the sixth annual Museum Day, presented by Toyota on behalf of the redesigned 2011 Avalon.  More than 90 Smithsonian Affiliates will open their doors free of charge to all visitors who download the Museum Day Ticket from Smithsonian.com. Find a participating Affiliate in your neighborhood! 

And check out the Around the Mall blog to learn where you can find Smithsonian artifacts at an Affiliate near you during Museum Day.

Here’s a sample of what a few Affiliates are doing to bring the Smithsonian to their neighborhoods on Museum Day: 

Greensboro Historical Museum (Greensboro, North Carolina) will host The Smithsonian Associates Discovery Theater’s traveling show, African Roots, Latino Soul, a vibrant play that explores what it means to grow up in the American melting pot. Filled with laughs and surprises, and written with the Young Playwrights’ Theater, the play is a look into the triumphs of today’s multicultural kids. There will be two performances at the museum on Museum Day. The performance will highlight their new permanent exhibition, Voices of a City, which emphasizes the expression of voice and their multicultural local story.  

Rayna Green, curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History (NMAH), will give a series of talks at two Affiliates over the weekend. At The Silo at Hunt Hill Farm Trust (New Milford, Connecticut) on Friday, September 24, she’ll discuss her experiences as co-curator of the Julia Child exhibition at NMAH, followed by a reception featuring some of Child’s favorite desserts, prepared by The Silo Cooking School. Next, Rayna travels to The Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages (Stony Brook, New York) for an evening “Dinner with Julia” event on Saturday, September 25. She’ll speak about Julia Child’s Kitchen at the Smithsonian and its acquisition.  On Sunday, September 26, to complement their exhibition of America’s Kitchens, organized by the New England Historical Association, she’ll discuss her experience with the Smithsonian’s Julia’s Kitchen exhibition during a public lecture on the social history of kitchens. 

Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, Virginia) will be presenting a series of special Smithsonian films in the Walker Lecture Hall on Museum Day. The programs to be shown are part of the Stories from the Vaults series presented by Smithsonian Networks. In the series, host Tom Cavanagh (“Ed”) takes you on an entertaining insider’s tour of the private rooms, high-tech vaults, and cutting edge labs of the Smithsonian Institution, revealing some of the amazing artifacts and rarely seen treasures that visitors can’t see. 

Spacecraft Model

Challenger Space Center (Peoria, Arizona) opens their new exhibition, An Astronaut’s Life: Articles Flown In Space, including 23 items on loan from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Nineteen of the artifacts have flown in space on Gemini 8, Skylab 2, and several STS (Shuttle) missions. The artifacts tell the story of how astronauts live in space. Included are personal hygiene items such as a Gemini Survival Kit, a washcloth from the first Space Shuttle, STS-1 Columbia, clothing and bio-belt worn on Skylab 2 by astronaut Paul Weitz, space food from STS-27 Atlantis, and an actual heat shield fragment from Gemini 8 which carried astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott into orbit on March 16, 1966.  Photo: Spacecraft Model, Gemini. Courtesy National Air & Space Museum. Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Museum Day 2010 is poised to be the largest to date, outdoing last year’s record-breaking event.  Over 300,000 museum-goers and 1,300 venues in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico participated in Museum Day 2009. Last year, two million visitors logged on to Museum Day’s website to learn more about the program.

affiliates in the news: week of September 13

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week! 

RUSS KENDALL | BELLINGHAM HERALD - Curtis Mahle, left, exhibit preparator and Scott Wallin, exhibition designer, hang one of the 55 pieces of art loaned to Whatcom Museum by the Smithsonian that make up the exhibition "1934: A New Deal for Artists."

Whatcom Museum of History and Art (Bellingham, WA)
First Smithsonian exhibit at Whatcom Museum showcases Depression-era art. READ MORE

National Jazz Museum in Harlem (New York, NY)
Breaking News from the 30’s Jazz World- Loren Schoenberg of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem joined us to discuss the newly uncovered “Savory Collection”. READ MORE

Durham Museum (Omaha, NE)
Get the “Dirt” on Soil this Fall at Omaha’s Durham Museum. READ MORE

The Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA)
Checking Out the Museum of Flight in Seattle. READ MORE 

Anniston Museum of Natural History (Anniston, AL)
‘I’m never bored’: Naturalist Dan Spaulding always has an interesting chore or mission. READ MORE

Julia's kitchen

Julia Child's kitchen kitchen at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Behring Center.

Hunt Hill Farm Trust (New Milford, CT)
Bon Appétit! Julia Child’s Kitchen Topic of Silo Talk- The great Julia Child (1912-2004) will forever be remembered for introducing French cuisine and cooking techniques to the mainstream American public…READ MORE