Affiliates in the news! January-February 2013

Each month we’re highlighting Affiliate-Smithsonian collaborations making headlines. Congrats to these Affiliates making news this month! If you have a clipping you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

BCMA-VI-SmithsonianBirthplace of Country Music Alliance (Bristol, Tenn.)
Astrophotography students to exhibit work, share enthusiasm about VI and BCM-hosted program

American Textile History Museum (Lowell, Mass.)
Ex-astronaut fits the bill at Lowell textile museum 

South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, S.D.)
South Dakota State Historical Society, Smithsonian announce agreement
Smithsonian Affiliation program strengthens ties to South Dakota
South Dakota State Historical Society and museum to be affiliated with Smithsonian Institution
South Dakota State Historical Society Museum becomes affiliate of Smithsonian Institution
South Dakota state museum becomes affiliate of Smithsonian
Museum of South Dakota State Historical Society announces new status as Smithsonian Institution Affiliate 

National World War II Museum (New Orleans, La.)
Congressional Gold Medal goes on national tour

what’s an SA-Q?

question-markLast year, the Smithsonian launched its first-ever advertising campaign, Seriously Amazing.  As part of the effort, seriouslyamazing.org asked a number of fun “SI-Q” – questions designed to peak your interest in our collections, research and exhibitions.

Affiliations staff has decided to start asking our own intriguing questions – SA-Q – that seek to expose all the treasures embedded in the Affiliate network.  Each month in our e-newsletter, you’ll see a new feature, posing a question that will expose all the ways that Affiliates contribute to the diffusion of knowledge.  First to email a right answer wins a prize!

January’s SA-Q asked: It’s inauguration time! Which Affiliate has presidential-related exhibits or artifacts on view?

The winner was Janet Hedrick, Eastern Regional Development Manager at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, who pointed to the Booth Western Art Museum, an Affiliate in Cartersville, Georgia, and their presidential exhibit.  Do you know of other Affiliates with presidential-related exhibits or artifacts on view?  Let us know!  Comment here, or drop us a note at affiliates@si.edu.

February’s SA-Q will be related to Black History Month, so put on your thinking caps!

affiliations conference preview: spaces for learning

Do you operate an education center at your museum, or thinking about it?  Join us at the Affiliations National Conference on June 10-12  to meet colleagues who are opening or running new spaces for learning on the Smithsonian campus.  Through tours of these spaces, frank discussions with colleagues, exchanging resources and research, and hands-on activities, discover and share what makes an education center such a vital place in a museum.

Affiliations staff is currently working with the following museums to feature their education spaces:qurious

  • The National Museum of Natural History will be opening Q?RIUS in 2013, a new interactive 10,000 square foot programming space.  Q?RIUS will have access to a 20,000 specimen collection representing all departments of the museum, innovative programming and distance learning opportunities.
  • The National Museum of the American Indian’s imagiNATIONS activity center invites families to explore how Native peoples have adapted to natural environments with innovation.  Visitors can explore different kinds of transportation (snowshoes and skateboards), homes (tipis, adobes, igloos), hands-on activities (basket-weaving, Native percussion), and more.
  • The National Museum of American History is undergoing a major renovation that will result in new education spaces when they reopen in 2015.  Affiliates can talk to the staff about their planning and prototyping process, the “Object Project” and demonstration spaces, and explore possible collaboration opportunities.
  • The National Air and Space Museum’s Moving Beyond Earth gallery is an immersive space that puts visitors “in orbit.”  Affiliates can enter their Shuttle mock-up to learn about life in orbit (including the space toilet), or play the interactive SpaceFlight Academy, a group quiz that tests flight readiness.
  • The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s very popular ARTLAB+ is a digital media studio forARTLAB teens.  Staff will share how they provide access to professional technology and art, coupled with mentorship, to develop a community of young creators and innovators.   

Come to the Affiliations National Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 10-12, and bring your own experiences with education spaces to share with Smithsonian and Affiliate colleagues in these hands-on tours.  See you there!

The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee for more information.

introducing the mobile app clinic

Nancy Proctor, Head of Mobile Strategy & Initiatives at the Smithsonian Institution and the staff of Smithsonian Affiliations invite you to participate in a Mobile Clinic, a new opportunity as a benefit of your Affiliation that will introduce you to developing mobile tour apps.  On Wednesday, February 27 (3-5 pm EST), Nancy will present two open source platforms that Affiliates and Smithsonian staff can use: one for crowdsourcing, and the other for creating museum tours. We’ll also talk about data feeds and APIs that give greater access to Smithsonian collections, exhibition, event and other data available that may be of interest. Join us and begin an online conversation about mobile possibilities.

Photo courtesy Smithsonian EdLab.

Photo courtesy Smithsonian EdLab.

What will we discuss?
In our first Mobile Clinic, we’d like to introduce Affiliates to the available open source platform that the Smithsonian uses for developing basic museum tour apps, the supported access that will be provided, and updates to these tools and platforms as we move forward. In addition, we’d like to begin the conversation on partnership opportunities on mobile projects that may be available. Most importantly, we’d like to hear directly from Affiliates about what resources you have and those you’d like to see available. 

How will we get together?
We’ll be using Vidyo. It’s a video conferencing application that installs a small component on the desktop which allows for active engagement via web camera and microphone.  Click here to access the Vidyo conference room with your webcam and mic. 

What if I don’t have a web cam or mic?
The Vidyo platform will allow us to provide those without a web cam or microphone with a unique URL to access the meeting. The URL will show a live stream of the event—you’ll see and hear everything—but you won’t be able to live chat. You can still participate and ask questions though! While viewing the web stream, you can email your questions to affiliates@si.edu where we’ll be monitoring them as they come in to share with the online group. Click here to access the webcast.

nmai_ny_app

The National Museum of the American Indian’s new app for the exhibit “C. Maxx Stevens House of Memory.”

Is there an example of a mobile tour created with this tool?
Yes! Check out the free app from the National Museum of the American Indian in New York.

We hope the Mobile Clinic will be useful to you. We certainly look forward to hearing about Affiliate projects using mobile technology and how we might create a community of practice to discuss our ongoing challenges and successes.

coming up in affiliateland in february 2013

FLORIDA
The Mennello Museum of American Art opens the African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era and Beyond exhibition, with 100 artworks on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in Orlando, 2.1.

PENNSYLVANIA
The Heinz History Center opens 1968: The Year that Rocked America exhibition which contains three artifacts on loan from the National Air and Space Museum, in Pittsburgh, 2.2.

CALIFORNIA
The Sonoma County Museum opens SITES’ Mail Call exhibition in Santa Rosa, 2.10.

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum opens its Native FilmFest with National Museum of the American Indian guest programmer Elizabeth Weatherford in Palm Springs, 2.27.

OHIO & PENNSYLVANIA
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the Heinz History Center will take part in the National Youth Summit on Abolition, in partnership with the National Museum of American History, in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, 2.11.

kudos Affiliates! february 2013

2013 begins with success for our Affiliates!

Funding

Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) announced the museum has been awarded a $12 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and plans to open a new exhibit area for young children. The new 21,000-square-foot exhibit space will be devoted to children between 3 and 6 years old. The museum also plans a new main entrance and lobby along with improved parking and updated landscaping.

Mystic Seaport (Mystic, Connecticut) was awarded a $100,000 grant by the Beagary Charitable Trust which the museum will use to create activities and learning tools for use in school, at the museum and online.  The funding will be used to develop educational programs to coincide with the completed restoration and 38th voyage of the museum’s 1841 whale ship, Charles W. Morgan. The designation will afford students across the state an opportunity to learn about Connecticut maritime history, the significance of the whaling industry and the importance of the state’s maritime heritage.

The Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan) received $750,000 as part of the investment in Detroit arts and culture from the Knight Foundation. The grant will enhance the annual Concert of Colors free global music festival, of which the museum is lead producer. In particular, the Knight funding will restore the summer festival’s annual Forum on Community, Culture & Race and help rebuild the Cultural Exchange Network of 50 arts groups that originally facilitated the Concert of Colors.

Pennsylvania Humanities Council recently funded a film and art series to complement “Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges,” at the National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). The exhibit focuses on the story of Jewish professors who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s and found positions at historically black colleges and universities in the Jim Crow South.

The Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, California) received a $25,000 donation from Hyundai Motor America that will go toward the purchase of a bus to be used to provide free tours and art workshops to students from the Los Angeles area.

AAM Accreditation

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) announced that 10 museums have been newly accredited and 13 museums earned re-accreditation at the November 2012 meeting of the Accreditation Commission. Accredited status from the Alliance is the highest national recognition achievable by an American museum. The following Affiliate museums were awarded accreditation.  Congratulations!

Executive Transitions

  • Smithsonian Affiliations would like to extend our best wishes to Robert Ellis, who served 35 years at The Air Zoo (Portage, Michigan).  Former Da Vinci Science Center executive director and CEO, Troy Thrash has been named new chief executive at The Air Zoo.
  • We bid a fond farewell to Paul Knappenberger  who served 22 years at the Adler Planetarium (Chicago, Illinois). Astrophysicist Michelle Larson has been named as the next president of the Adler.
  • Affiliations welcomes Mark Lizewskie, new executive director at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (Hershey, Pennsylvania).