Happy 2014 Affiliateland!

prezi22013 was an exciting year for Smithsonian Affiliates. If you saw our recent e-Affiliate newsletter, our Year in Review Prezi took you on a coast-to-coast road trip through a Seriously Amazing year in Affiliate neighborhoods. But there was so much good news to tell we couldn’t fit it all in to one Prezi. So here are some more 2013 Affiliations by the numbers fun facts for you. Happy New Year! We are looking forward to a collaboration-filled 2014 with all of you.

There were 183 Affiliates in 43 states, Puerto Rico and Panama. Nine new Affiliates joined our network in 2013!

Our social media platforms grew and helped us engage with more than 670,000 people  interested in the Smithsonian in their neighborhood:

7,481      Blog Visits (unique visits)

2,175      Facebook Fans

2,818      Twitter Followers

671,178     YouTube views

 12,000   new museum members joined the Smithsonian through the Smithsonian Affiliations Membership Program offered at their local Affiliate.

Our National Outreach Managers helped facilitate 80  new Artifact loans for Affiliates. There are now 1,359 Smithsonian artifacts currently on view in Affiliate communities.

17 Smithsonian exhibits at 20 Affiliates opened in 2013. Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service organized 10 of them for travel. Four of those Affiliates were awarded Smithsonian Community Grants, sponsored by MetLife, to plan programming to go along with the SITES exhibits at their museum.

Our Affiliates hosted 66 Smithsonian speakers and experts in 2013, sharing stories about Citizen Science, DNA an its influence on modern discoveries, Thomas Jefferson’s Bible, the art of boat-building, Elvis, Asian American portraits and much, much more.

In September 2013,  89 Affiliates participated in Museum Day Live!, opening their doors to visitors for free thanks to Smithsonian magazine.

The 2013 Affiliations National Conference was one of our highest attended events in Affiliations history! 119 attendees from 74 Affiliate organizations in 31 states and Puerto Rico joined Smithsonian colleagues in Washington, D.C.  18 Affiliate colleagues participated as panelists, and spoke about topics including digital outreach, 3-D imaging, mobile apps, traveling exhibits, and collaborative fundraising. (Mark your calendars for this year’s conference- June 23-24, 2014!)

Thanks to all of our Smithsonian and Affiliate colleagues who helped make 2013 such a success!


starting the new year off right! Affiliate kudos for January 2014


The PPG Industries Foundation announced a $5,000 donation to the Frontiers of Flight Museum (Dallas, TX) to support aviation and space-flight education programs for Pre-K through 10th-grade students.

The Putnam Museum (Davenport, IA) has received a $300,000 grant to develop a Science and Technology Innovation Center. The Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant from Vision Iowa will support the $2.2 million STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning center that will provide hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore, MD) received a $128,000 grant award through The Star-Spangled 200 (SS200) Grant Program in the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 for maximum benefit to Marylanders. The funding will go to support the exhibition “For Whom it Stands: The Flag and the American People” highlighting Grace Wisher’s contribution to the original Star-Spangled Banner and investigates the broader history and representation of the United States flag as an icon of our nation and its people

The Schiele Museum of Natural History (Gastonia, NC) received a $1,000 Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Service Smithsonian Community Grant, sponsored by MetLife Foundation.  The award will be used to fund speakers’ fees for “Bugapolooza,” the museum’s annual celebration of the contributions made by insects to the natural world. Programs will include hands-on activities, interaction with entomologists, museum displays, and presentations by insect researchers in order to increase interest in entomology, as well as an awareness of the value of biological research programs. All programming relate to the themes of Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants.

 A citizen science initiative led by the Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) and Oxford University won $1.8 million from Google’s Global Impact Awards. Zooniverse, a nonprofit collaboration between the two institutions that has already had close to 1 million volunteer scientists participating, links ongoing research to willing volunteers who, in most cases, comb through data that requires human interpretation. The 18 current projects include searching for lightcurve anomalies in telescopic images to help discover distant planets and classifying animals caught in Serengeti National Park camera traps. Zooniverse will use the money to rebuild its platform to make it easier for more science projects to take part. The money will also help the Adler extend the project to schools and youth and community groups locally. 

Historic Bethlehem Partnership  (Bethlehem, PA) will hire and train costumed docents to act as historic ambassadors to Bethlehem’s Moravian history, thanks to a $45,000 allocation in 2014 by the Northampton County Council.

Awards and Recognition

The New England Museum Association (NEMA) elected Susan Funk, executive vice president of Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT), as president of its board of directors.

The American Alliance of Museums has announced that eight museums were newly accredited including  an Affiliate, the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History (Albuquerque, NM).

Assistant Superintendent Peter Aucella of the Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA) received the
Department of the Interior’s Superior Service Award in recognition of his 23-year career with the National Park Service and his stewardship of the Lowell Summer Music Series. 

The Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm (New Milford, CT) was awarded the honor of 2013’s Best Cooking Classes by Connecticut Magazine. 


The Executive Board of Trustees of the International Museum of Art & Science has appointed Danella Hughes as its new Interim Executive Director.