Smithsonian Affiliate Membership Drive Month

More than half of our 194 Smithsonian Affiliates participate in Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live, an annual program which will take place this year on September 27th.  If you haven’t registered yet, please email:

Many of those Affiliates offer the Smithsonian Affiliate Membership Program as a benefit to their museum members.  This year, we’re launching a Smithsonian Membership Drive in the month of September to provide Affiliates with ways to add new members to their membership programs.  We hope the following toolbox will help you turn visitors into new members!

  • Host an open house or behind-the-scenes tour of your collections and end the tour with a table with membership materials and staff to help visitors sign up.
  • Highlight artifacts on loan from the Smithsonian: we can help with language and images- use this information in an enewsletter with the Smithsonian Affiliate logo identifying your organization as a Smithsonian Affiliate.  Include a link to how they can become dual members of the Smithsonian and your organization.
  • Highlight upcoming Smithsonian programs and exhibitions- make the connection between the Smithsonian and your members.  (Email us if you would like to plan an Smithsonian collaboration- that’s what we’re here for!)
  • Screen Smithsonian Channel programming at an evening event; we can send free Smithsonian Magazines that you can give away  to visitors who sign up for membership.
  • Build the membership drive around already scheduled events, and host a new member raffle for a free Smithsonian membership (a one year membership courtesy of Smithsonian Affiliations.)
  • Tap into a different audience with a Scavenger Hunt, complete with Smithsonian objects that have been 3D printed.  Learn more here.
  • Set up a photo booth for new members to take a picture and use a Smithsonian Affiliate hashtag to share on social media.  On Museum Day, share these on a backdrop #smithsonianaffiliate or #museumdaylive !
  • Use our new Smithsonian Affiliate Membership Program logo on your materials.  Contact us to get the files.

We will send out a Smithsonian souvenir prize package to each Smithsonian Affiliate that sells more than 50 Smithsonian dual memberships during September.  If you sell more than any other Affiliate, your organization will receive a special program courtesy of Smithsonian Affiliations!

Want to know more about offering the Smithsonian Affiliate Membership Program?  Here are the benefits you can offer to your members:

  • Smithsonian Magazine (one year subscription) or Air & Space Magazine (six issues)
  • 10% discount on all Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
  • Travel and study tour opportunities from Smithsonian Journeys
  • Free admission to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City
  • A personalized Smithsonian-Affiliate branded membership card
  • 10% discount on all IMAX tickets at the Smithsonian
  • iPad App for Smithsonian Magazine subscribers
  • Reciprocal Membership to other Smithsonian Affiliate members, if your organization has signed up to participate. For a full list of Smithsonian Affiliates participating in the Smithsonian Affiliate Reciprocal Membership program, visit:

Would you like to chat?  In the next two weeks, Smithsonian Affiliations staff will be setting up regional calls to discuss details for the Smithsonian Affiliate Membership Drive Month.  We will follow up with an eAlert with dates and times.

For more information on the program and the membership, please contact your National Outreach Manager, or Christina DiMeglio Lopez,




Need an Exhibition Now?

Sometimes the best laid plans change. If you need to connect with new audiences, bring back regular visitors, or generate press coverage, the following traveling exhibitions, all with complete promotional , registrarial, and educational support, are available soon:

 X-ray Vision: Fish Inside Out

August 30 – November 23, 2014



I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story

September 20 – November 30, 2014 and

December 20, 2014 – March 1, 2015


Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America

December 13, 2014 – February 8, 2015 and

February 28 – April 26, 2015



Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight     3/28/15 to 6/21/15


The Evolving Universe      4/25/15 to 7/5/15


Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964      6/6/15 to 8/16/15

If you are interested in booking or getting more information on any of these exhibitions, please consult SITES website at or call 202.633.3140 or email

Affiliates in the news! Summer edition

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

Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum (McMinnville, Oregon) and U.S. Space and Rocket Center (Huntsville, Alabama)
TripAdvisor Counts Down The Top 10 U.S. Space-Themed Attractions

Courtesy Photo Shown are Guillermo Vela, left, from Mission; Erica Gonzalez, from Harlingen; Jennifer Becomes, from Phoenix; Adan Chavez, from Riverside, California; Lilliana Ascensio, from San Francisco and Gabe Vasquez, from Alberquerque.

Courtesy Photo
Shown are Guillermo Vela, left, from Mission; Erica Gonzalez, from Harlingen; Jennifer Becomes, from Phoenix; Adan Chavez, from Riverside, California; Lilliana Ascensio, from San Francisco and Gabe Vasquez, from Alberquerque.

International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, Texas)
Leader lessons: Erica Gonzalez
Erica Gonzalez learned a lot during her trip to Washington D.C. Now she’s applying what she learned at the International Museum of Art and Science in McAllen. She is one of 22 high school graduates accepted to the Smithsonian Latino Center’s Young Ambassadors Program.

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, Massachusetts)
Archaeologists seek exact site of pilgrims’ Plymouth colony
About 360,000 visitors a year come to Plimoth Plantation, the Smithsonian-affiliated museum featuring historical reenactments of life in the colony settled by Mayflower pilgrims in 1620. But nobody knows exactly where the Plymouth colony was located. Now, Smithsonian magazine’s online site reports, researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Boston have begun an excavation to pinpoint the site.

New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, New Mexico)
He said that the museum is updating the Imax Theater. Orwoll said the theater will be getting new walls and lights. “The old decrepit Imax letters on the building are coming off,” he said. “They’re finally coming off and we are going to repaint the top of that building with Smithsonian blue colors.” Orwoll added that the museum is planning to get new exhibits. He said the museum will be getting a Smithsonian exhibit called “Earth from Space” and a new solar system exhibit.

Ellen Noël Art Museum (Odessa, Texas)
MUSEUM MATTERS: The Star Spangled Banner: Fourth of July
When I first received the notification from the Smithsonian to be the Project Director for the production of the original Star Spangled Banner permanent exhibit – the most treasured national icon at the National Museum of American History in 2007, I felt deeply humbled. A year later, President George W. Bush and the First Lady Laura Bush re-dedicated the exhibit to the nation. Ironically, his childhood home is yards away from my office at the Ellen Noël Art Museum.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Bombay Natural History Society project to track mammals, promote nature education
The project called e-Mammal will be implemented under AAM’s Museums Connect programme. The other collaborators are North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and Smithsonian Institute, USA and Museo de Paleontologia, Mexico.

Poverty Point State Historic Site (Baton Rouge, LA)
Poverty Point approved to join World Heritage Site listing
Poverty Point was the U.S. Department of the Interior’s lone nomination for world heritage status–adding to the site’s accolades as a National Historic Landmark, National Monument and Smithsonian Affiliate.

Scott Wheeler | The Ledger Jeff Brodie, deputy director of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution, announced plans for Innoskate at the Lakeland Skate Park.

Scott Wheeler | The Ledger
Jeff Brodie, deputy director of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution, announced plans for Innoskate at the Lakeland Skate Park.

Polk Musuem of Art (Lakeland, FL)
Take a ride into skateboard culture at Innoskate in Lakeland
Innoskate is a celebration of the innovation and creativity of skateboarding. It started in 2013 Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation in Washington D.C.

All Decked Out! celebrates the art of the skateboard at Polk Museum of Art
The trend makes a local stop on Friday and Saturday when the Polk Museum of Art, part of the Smithsonian’s network of affiliate museums, presents Innoskate Lakeland. The event, conceived by PMoA curator Adam Justice, is one of only two offshoots of the original event; the other takes place at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry in August.

Polk Museum, Smithsonian And City of Lakeland Collaborate for Innoskate
“The decision to go to Lakeland was easy,” said Jeff Brodie, deputy director of the Lemelson Center and historian. “We knew we wanted to extend Innoskate and we already had relationships in place in Lakeland.”

Telluride Historical Museum (Telluride, CO)
America in 101 objects
Tuesday’s event is organized through the Telluride Historical Museum, which last summer became a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. That means the small museum at the top of Fir Street can borrow items from the Smithsonian’s collection and has the opportunity to host scholars like Kurin.

America in 101 objects: Smithsonian scholar Richard Kurin presents book, lecture Monday
From the Smithsonian Institution’s vast collection of 137 million items, Richard Kurin has culled just 101 things that tell the story of America from the days of George Washington to the Internet Age and everything in between.

New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM)
New Mexico Museum Of Space History Is Local Spot For Nationwide Singing Of The National Anthem
As a Smithsonian Affiliate, the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, New Mexico, is proud to be a national partner and serve as an official location for “Raise it Up! Anthem for America,. ”

Sonoma County Museum (Santa Rosa, CA)
Sonoma County Museum joins national Flag Day sing-along
Closer to home, the Sonoma County Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, will host a mass singing of the anthem at midday that same day.

Frazier History Museum (Louisville, KY)
Happy Birthday to our national anthem
In honor of both, the Frazier History Museum willhold special events Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m. and culminating in a nationwide sing-along of the national anthem, sponsored by the Smithsonian National Museum of America History.

Smithsonian Affiliations Director welcomes the Hagley Museum and Library to the Smithsonian Affiliate network. Photo courtesy Hagley Museum and Library.

Smithsonian Affiliations Director welcomes the Hagley Museum and Library to the Smithsonian Affiliate network. Photo courtesy Hagley Museum and Library.

Hagley Museum and Library (Wilmington, Delaware)
Hagley Museum and Library designated as official Smithsonian Affiliate
“We’re certainly known regionally in Delaware and the Philadelphia area as a wonderful place to come and learn about the history of innovation,” Cole said. “But we really would love to cultivate a national audience for what we think is a national-caliber collection.”

Hagley named Delaware’s 1st Smithsonian Affiliate
“Hagley is a place where people can experience the history of innovation and be inspired to innovate in their own lives,” Hagley Executive Director David Cole said in a press release. “The Smithsonian offers an unmatched set of resources that we can use to fulfill our vision.

Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, Alaska)
Anchorage Museum becomes first Smithsonian Affiliate in Alaska
“We look forward to new opportunities to work with the Smithsonian’s unparalleled staff, collection and scholarship,” said Julie Decker, Anchorage Museum director. “We are looking for additional ways to collaborate with the Smithsonian and its affiliates nationwide on education opportunities, shared exhibitions, artifact loans and more.”

Alaska’s Largest Museum Named Smithsonian Affiliate
This new relationship opens a lot of doors for the Anchorage Museum according to museum director Julie Decker. “It means we can have those conversations about other museums within the Smithsonian network, with other museums that have affiliate status as well, so it means we may be able to bring new things to Alaska and export other things from Alaska to these places “

Anchorage Museum becomes first Smithsonian Affiliate in Alaska
The Anchorage Museum has a long history of partnership with the Smithsonian. In 1994, the museum worked with the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center to open an Anchorage office. In 2010, the museum debuted a world-class exhibition of 600 Alaska Native artifacts on long-term loan from the Smithsonian Institution

Frost Museum of Art (Miami, Florida)
‘Our America’ exhibit at the Frost Museum strikes familiar chords in South Florida
As Frost director Carol Damian explains about the international student body, “Our job is not only to educate our students about what the art of their countries and this country may represent, but also to instill a sense of pride in their history by showcasing works of artists that have achieved tremendous respect and renown all over the world, and to say ‘This is our story. This is your story.’ ”

Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, Wyoming)
Buffalo Bill Center of the West Awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for Second Consecutive Year
“The 2014 Certificate of Excellence is again a ringing endorsement of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and the experience we provide our visitors,” says Bruce Eldredge, the Center’s Executive Director and CEO. “It’s also a testament to the wonderful work our staff and volunteers do in service to our public.”

Buffalo Bill Center of the West Invites Interaction With Its Online Collection for Both Virtual and On-site Visitors
In the most ambitious project to date, the Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has completely revamped its online collections database. Now, nearly every artifact that has been photographed–more than 20,000 objects from the Center’s extraordinary artifact collection–appear online.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, Alabama)
Lawrence Pijeaux reflects on nearly two-decade career at Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Much of Pijeaux’s work at BCRI has come down to core values, especially with his staff. “I heard the messages growing up: the importance of an education, hard work, treating people the way you want to be treated, helping our own in times of need. Our staff embraces that.”

Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, TN)
Nashville stars to help commemorate opening of Bristol Sessions museum
“This new museum will not only tell the story of the Birthplace of Country Music, it will help pull back the curtain on the region where the music still resounds, and it will help introduce new generations, and we are all excited about that,” BCMA Board President Jim Tench said. “Our new museum has the potential (to inspire and bring people together through music) year round.”

National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA)
Will $3M anonymous donation save National Museum of Industrial History?
The donation fills the funding gap that museum officials have been working to close for 17 years in order to open the tourist attraction in south Bethlehem.

Multiple Affiliates
‘A Look Into The Sixties’ Opens in Grand Central Terminal with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker will officially open, A LOOK INTO THE SIXTIES, a museum-style installation in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal,curated for the public in cooperation with 11 Smithsonian Affiliates.

CNN and Smithsonian Affiliations partnered to take “A LOOK INTO THE SIXTIES” at Grand Central Terminal in NYC
In cooperation with eleven Smithsonian Affiliate museums from around the country, CNN installed a museum-style exhibit in Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal in New York City celebrating the spirit of the 1960s.

CNN brings ‘The Sixties’ to New York
The collaborative process between CNN and Smithsonian Affiliations has allowed us to bring together iconic treasures from across the Smithsonian Affiliate network. This has been a groundbreaking collaboration bringing these museums together on a national stage provided by CNN.

kudos Affiliates! August 2014

Great news from Affiliateland!  Bravo to all!


The National Civil War Museum (Harrisburg, PA) received a $5,000 donation from the Hall Foundation to support educational programming. The Hall Foundation is the title sponsor of the new exhibit “In the Hands of the Enemy: The Captivity, Exchange & Parole of Prisoners of War,” that highlights the brutal conditions of prisoner of war camps, Confederate and Union. The exhibit will have rare artifacts from the National Civil War Museum’s collection on display, and information panels will address and explain the conditions of the camps and daily prisoner life.

The Hawai`i State Legislature approved $500,000 in State Grant-in-Aid funding toward the new Island Heritage Gallery exhibit at the Lyman Museum (Hilo, HI).  The new exhibit will explore a historical timeline of the many people, cultures, events, and ideas that left their mark on Hawai`i Island and contributed to the rich, diverse mosaic of modern Hawai`i.

The Hall Family Foundation has donated $4 million to help fund capital improvement projects at Union Station Kansas City (Kansas City, MO). The funding will be used to make improvements to Science City as well as the development of a pedestrian bridge and a new lower-level entrance.

Two Affiliates recently received Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC) from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS):

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore, MD) Award Amount: $69,674

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture will hire a curatorial graduate student intern, create a postdoctoral fellowship in African American history, and establish a professional development fund that will allow staff at all levels to take advantage of training programs relevant to their work as museum professionals.

American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) Award Amount: $133,050

The American Jazz Museum will hire a registrar to enhance the accessibility of the museum’s collections and create four semester-long paid internship positions focusing on collections and education.

The Ellen Noël Art Museum (Odessa, TX) received a grant from the Junior League of Odessa for the “Little Free Library”, a decorative receptacle and will be filled with books for children and young adults to “take a book, leave a book.”  In addition, the Ellen Noel Art Museum has received a $20,000 grant from National Endowment for the Arts for their innovative research in the 3D printing lab meant to assist the visually impaired.

GAR Foundation distributed awards to teams of Ohio educators through its annual Educator Initiative Grant program. The awards support teacher-initiated, classroom-based projects and methods that demonstrate gains in student achievement and include the following affiliates:

  • National Inventors Hall of Fame (Akron, OH) STEM Middle School, $9,500, for “STEM E5d.”
  • Akron Public Schools, National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM High School, $4,999, for “Survivability of an Impossible Situation.”
  • Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) $10,000 for Hale Farm & Village’s Adopt-a-School Program at Leggett Elementary.
  • Western Reserve Historical Society, $5,000 for Hale Farm & Village’s Wetmore Barn Preservation.

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) announced that the Massachusetts budget for 2015 includes $2 million funding for the restoration of Mayflower II, a replica of the original ship that brought the Pilgrims to Massachusetts.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) received a $50,000 award from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation  to enhance two current art exhibits: the photography of “Distant Echoes: Black Farmers in America,” and the sculpture of “Syd Carpenter: More Places of Our Own.” The Knight-supported programming, dubbed “Beyond Sustenance,” will encompass interactive storytelling, art-making, community dining, and workshops centered on African-American traditions in farming, cooking and more.

Mystic Seaport and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center (Mystic, Mashantucket, CT) received a $30,095 grant from Connecticut Humanities to support a project called Connecticut Indian Whalers: Work, Community, and Life at Sea.  The project features digital, exhibit and program offerings designed to raise school and public awareness about the men of color from Connecticut who labored on 19th century whaling ships, in particular Native American men whose work experience was strongly intertwined with their social and kinship networks.

Staten Island City Council allocated $3.7 million to Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden for building renovations.


The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced that North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC) was one of 10 recipients of the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community.

Charlene Donchez Mowers, executive director of Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites (Bethlehem, PA), received the Strategic Partner Award from the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce.  Historic Bethlehem has recently been designated a National Historic Landmark site.

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announced the winners of the 69th annual Leadership in History Awards, the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. Below are the Affiliate recipients for the 2014 Awards:

Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) has been chosen by FlipKey Vacation Rental as one of its “Top Family Attractions Worth Traveling For.”

The Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point state park (Pioneer, LA) have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This prestigious designation is a global recognition of the site’s outstanding universal value.

PA Museums announced that the Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) received the President’s Award for its national award-winning exhibit From Slavery to Freedom.


The Board of the Western Reserve Historical Society announced that Kelly Falcone-Hall has been selected to be the new CEO. Falcone-Hall had been serving as interim CEO during the selection process.


coming up in Affiliateland in August 2014

The lazy end of summer is seeing no slowdown of activity in Affiliateland.  Get out there and experience some terrific Smithsonian programs in your neighborhood!

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum hosts its grand opening weekend with concerts, contests, exhibits and more in Bristol, 8.1-3.

Union Station will open a satellite Spark!Lab, developed by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, in Kansas City, 8.5.

History Miami opens SITES American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music exhibition in Miami, 8.6.

Celia Cruz, Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan, some of the artists featured in the American Sabor exhibit.

Celia Cruz, Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan, some of the artists featured in the American Sabor exhibit.

Hunt Hill Farm hosts two public programs by photography curator Shannon Perich from the National Museum of American History, who will discuss photography during the Civil War, and sign copies of the Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collections publication, in New Milford, 8.10

The Museum of History and Industry hosts Innoskate, a day-long celebration of skateboarding innovations, including demonstrations, clinics, and talks by skateboard artists in Seattle, 8.16.

The South Carolina State Museum will open Windows to New Worlds, a newly-expanded complex that includes a planetarium and 4-D theater in Columbia, 8.16.



Antje Neumann, conservator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, will participate in Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, 8.17.

Robbie Davis, Project Director for the Smithsonian’s Museums on Main Street will serve as a juror for Annmarie Garden‘s upcoming exhibition Feast Your Eyes: Food as Art in Solomons, 8.20.


The U.S. Space and Rocket Center opens SITES Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight exhibition in Huntsville, 8.24.

The Kenosha Public Museum hosts a lecture on Mr. Lincoln’s Air Force: Civil War Ballooning on Both Sides of the Line by National Air and Space Museum curator Dr. Tom Crouch in Kenosha, 8.26.