affiliates in the news- November 2014

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.

Poverty Point State Historic Site (West Carroll, Louisiana)
Poverty Point to celebrate World Heritage Site designation Saturday
According to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Poverty Point is the 22nd World Heritage Site in the United States. Dardenne’s office states that 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. 

George Catlin, Buffalo Chase, Bulls Making Battle with Men and Horses. 1832-1833, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

George Catlin, Buffalo Chase, Bulls Making Battle with Men and Horses. 1832-1833, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mennello Museum of Art (Orlando, Florida)
Mennello Museum opens final exhibits in 15th-anniversary season
The Mennello Museum of American Art is wrapping up its 15th-anniversary year with two exhibitions that opened Oct. 3. The two new exhibitions are “George Catlin’s American Buffalo,” on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and “The Taos Society of Artists,” an original exhibition curated by museum executive director Frank Holt. The exhibitions run through Jan. 4, 2015.

The Majesty of the Buffalo, Captured on Canvas [16 Images]
In Great Falls, the exhibit was received enthusiastically, and the museum saw an uptick in attendance. “We’re delighted to have this quality of an exhibition from the Smithsonian,” Burt said, adding that the scenes provided Native Americans with “a great opportunity” for insight into their ancestors’ lifeways and the scenery of the plains.

space-center-houston-smithsonianSpace Center Houston (Houston, Texas)
Space Center Houston is 1st Smithsonian Affiliate in Houston
Space Center Houston is now a member of the Smithsonian’s crew. Space Center Houston, which serves as the official visitor center for NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Texas, is officially the first museum in Houston to be named a Smithsonian Affiliate.

Another giant leap for Space Center Houston
In a giant leap toward preserving the history of space exploration, Space Center Houston became the city’s first Smithsonian Affiliate on Oct. 8

Witte Museum (San Antonio, Texas)
Witte Museum announces Smithsonian partnership
We purposely waited to become a Smithsonian Affiliate because we’re in a great transformation right now at the museum and we thought it would be the perfect way to say we’re a top-tier museum,” said Marise McDermott, Witte Museum president and CEO.

Witte now a Smithsonian affiliate
The Witte Museum is now a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. As a member of the program, the Witte will be able to borrow objects from the Smithsonian’s permanent collection and tap into its resources. “It’s such a great time for the Witte to have an affiliation,” said Marise McDermott, president and CEO of the Witte, who will announce the affiliation at a news conference this morning. “Before we were so focused on growing our campus, and now we’re ready to integrate with a national museum.”


Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield, Massachusetts)
Smithsonian Leaders Hail Berkshire Museum SparkLab Partnership
“We think that real innovation will happen in this space,” according to Claudine Brown, Assistant Secretary of Education & Access at the Smithsonian. “Every SparkLab is different, and this one is architecturally beautiful.”

Spark!Lab is hands-on science at Berkshire Museum
Berkshire Museum Executive Director Van Shields said, while tinkering on his own Snap Circuits project, that Spark!Lab will “stimulate the kind of creativity and innovative thinking that was the beginning of the journey” of bringing the museum into the 21st century.

biomuseoThe Biomuseo (Panama)
Biomuseo Showcases Panama’s Ecological Diversity
Panama, the Biomuseo proclaims, became a “bridge of life” (the title of its permanent exhibition) and a fountain of biodiversity. Just a bit bigger than Ireland, it has more species of birds, amphibians and animals (if insects are included) than the United States and Canada combined, according to George R. Angehr, a research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. (The Biomuseo is an affiliate of the Smithsonian, which along with the University of Panama helped develop its scientific content.)

Wondrous or hideous? Frank Gehry-designed natural history museum opens to fanfare in Panama
A natural history museum designed by famed architect Frank Gehry opened in Panama City this week. The Biomuseo – a project first conceived nearly 15 years ago and hampered by all kinds of issues – welcomed in the public for the first time Thursday.

Idaho Museum of Natural History (Pocatello, Idaho)
Asian Pacific American History exhibit on display at IMNH
Asian and Pacific Americans make up more than five percent of the U.S. population–more than 17 million people–and those numbers are growing. Their ancestral roots represent more than 50 percent of the world, extending from East Asia to Southeast Asia, and from South Asia to the Pacific Islands and Polynesia. In commemoration of this important history, “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story” opened at the Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH), on September 20 and will run through November 30. “I Want the Wide American Earth” was created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). The exhibition is supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Smithsonian exhibit heads to local museum
“It’s pretty exciting because we are a Smithsonian-affiliated museum…and we only get it for ten weeks so it’s here before it heads-off to California, so unless you are planning on traveling to California, you won’t get to see it,” Tews said.

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making the smithsonian-affiliate connection


Offering the Smithsonian Affiliate Membership is a great way to connect the Smithsonian and your local audience.

This year, Affiliates and the Smithsonian have worked together to develop the Smithsonian Affiliate Membership Toolbox. The Toolbox is a marketing package chock- full of Smithsonian resources and actionable ideas to make the connection between the Smithsonian and members.

What is the Toolbox?
In September, Smithsonian Affiliations launched the first annual Smithsonian Membership Drive and delivered the Toolbox to Affiliates.
The Toolbox includes:

  • Smithsonian media resources
  • Websites and program schedules from the Smithsonian to share with new and renewing members
  • Activities to engage visitors with Smithsonian loans, exhibitions and connect them through social media across the Affiliate network

SA_rack_card-Offering a Smithsonian Affiliate Membership as part of your organizational membership program is an exclusive benefit of a Smithsonian affiliation.

  • Exclusive Affiliate Benefit
    Are you one of the 100+ Affiliates attracting and renewing local members annually with the inclusion of the Smithsonian Affiliate membership in your museum’s membership package? Share the full list of Smithsonian Affiliate membership benefits with your audience.
  • Regional Ambassadors
    Affiliates are the Smithsonian’s regional ambassadors across the country – the Smithsonian looks to your organization to steward, engage, and renew joint Smithsonian – Affiliate members annually. Coordinate your Smithsonian programs and events with a Smithsonian Affiliate membership to bring added value to your membership package and build ongoing support.
  • Share your Smithsonian connection with your local members
    Your members may not make it to Washington, D.C., but can experience the Smithsonian at your organization. Joint benefits and programming make the link between the Smithsonian and your members.
  • Unique Membership Benefits
    Extend national benefits to your members who enjoy local benefits at your affiliated museum.

Want more information? Contact Christina DiMeglio Lopez, External Affairs Manager.

Logo Lowdown: Everything You Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask

We’re excited to begin using the sunburst logo!…but is this correct? It’s a question we often get at Smithsonian Affiliations, and one we are always eager to chat about. With a 95% recognition rate, the Smithsonian sunburst is one of the most widely recognized brands in the U.S. And Affiliates are the only organizations authorized to use these Smithsonian branding materials!

An exclusive benefit of being a Smithsonian Affiliate, your organization may use these logos and a special tagline for marketing materials, brochures, and signs. So as a refresher or a quick intro for our new Affiliates, here’s an overview of the logos you are approved to use, how to use them correctly, and a few other tips.

What logos are approved to use?
All Affiliates are strongly encouraged to use the Smithsonian Affiliate logo. This logo may be used on all marketing materials, websites, newsletters, brochures, and more. **Please contact us directly if your promotional material coincides with any fundraising, donation, or giving event as different rules apply.

mbrshplogo2Only those Affiliates participating in the Smithsonian Affiliate Membership Program may use this logo. If you are not including a Smithsonian membership in your own membership program offerings, ask us how you can begin!

What logos are not approved for use?
We have phased out the use of Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program logo. If you are still using this, please contact us for updated materials. In addition, Affiliates should no longer use the Smithsonian Affiliations logo in favor of the new, Smithsonian Affiliate logo. Our office will continue to use the Smithsonian Affiliations logo, but to provide you with a clearer representation of your organization in our national network of Affiliate partners, we ask you only use Smithsonian Affiliate in the future.

Where do I find the logos?
You can find the Smithsonian Affiliate logo on the Smithsonian Logo Guidelines page under Unit Logos. On this page, you can download the Smithsonian Affiliate logo package and browse the logo guidelines. Again, please do not download the Smithsonian Affiliations logo; it is for office use only. If you cannot find a file type you are looking for, contact us and we can help.

What is the tagline?
Smithsonian Affiliates are encouraged to use the tagline In Association with the Smithsonian Institution on building signage, websites, press materials and more. In addition, we encourage adding “a Smithsonian Affiliate” to your press boilerplate to easily distinguish your organization as part of this unique network.


May I use the logo and tagline together?
No. The logo and tagline are two separate marketing items for Affiliate use. They cannot be used together. However, you may use the tagline under your logo and Smithsonian Affiliate logo at the bottom of your marketing material. The logo and tagline may not be used in the same sentence.

hagleyAre there any specific tips for Affiliates?
Yes! Check out these documents to help guide you in communicating about your Affiliation:

  • Tips for adding Affiliations information to your press materials
  • 10 Tips to help promote your partnership
  • Smithsonian Affiliations Fact Sheet
  • Checklist: Take Advantage of These Smithsonian Affiliations Resources

What else should I know?

  • Anytime you are considering using the tagline or logo, please forward a draft to Elizabeth Bugbee or your National Outreach Manager. All mentions of the Smithsonian must be approved before being used.
  • The Smithsonian is always Institution, never Institute.
  • The sunburst must never be black.
  • The logo may not be used as part of a sentence.
  • Visit our Logo/Tagline section of our website for more examples.

As brand ambassadors to the Smithsonian, you are the connection to the national brand in your own community. Aligning yourself with this trusted and widely recognized brand can easily increase your recognition and raise awareness of your organization in our national network of Smithsonian partners. For questions, approval, and anything else, please contact External Affairs Coordinator, Elizabeth Bugbee (202.633.5304).

call for ideas for the 2015 Affiliations Conference

Affiliate staff enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour at the 2014 Affiliations conference.

Affiliate staff enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour at the 2014 Affiliations conference.

Mark your calendars now for the annual Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, June 15-17, 2015.  The conference strives to engage Affiliate and Smithsonian colleagues in dialogues about current issues, best practices and collaboration potential.

Most conference sessions feature both Affiliate and Smithsonian staff, and highlight timely and relevant topics facing the field today.  The staff of Affiliations is in full planning mode now, and would love to hear from you.  Below are some topics we have been discussing as possible sessions and/or tours.  What would you add to the list?  Can you lend expertise or perspective to any of the topics?

Thanks in advance for helping us plan the best conference possible!

Ideas under consideration as tours or sessions:

  • Millenials – how to attract and engage them, and make them members.
  • Branding – Ideas for Affiliates as brand ambassadors, and as SI highlighted content
  • Visiting Professional alumni – what did they do with their SI experience?
  • Music Initiative – what SI and Affiliates are doing, and how can we do it together?
  • Connecting art and science
  • Mentorship writ large
  • Cocktail history as a hot new programming tool
  • Crowdsourced projects – can we grow them together?

If you have other ideas to share for the 2015 conference, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee at

coming up in affiliateland in november 2014

Even though the weather is turning chilly, Affiliates are keeping things hot with events from coast to coast.

General John Dailey, Director of the National Air and Space Museum, will be inducted into the International Air and Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air and Space Museum, 11.1.

pins on loan

Environmental pins on loan from the Smithsonian to an Affiliate in California

The Sonoma County Museum will present Hole in the Head: The Battle for Bodega Bay and the Birth of the Environmental Movement exhibition, featuring 13 protest buttons on loan from the National Museum of American History, in Santa Rosa, 11.2.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame will participate in the Smithsonian Innovation Festival in Washington, 11.1-2.

Organized by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, an exhibition titled Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College opens at the Smithsonian, presented by the National Museum of African American History and Culture in their gallery at the National Museum of American History in Washington, 11.7.

The Heinz History Center presents jazz innovation as part of its Places of Invention ongoing project with the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center, in Pittsburgh, 11.1.

Undersecretary Richard Kurin presents a talk and booksigning on The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects at the Durham Museum in Omaha, 11.4.

Earth from Space exhibition in New Mexico

Earth from Space exhibition in New Mexico

Dr. Andrew Johnston, geographer and curator at the National Air and Space Museum, presents a public talk at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, 11.6.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens presents The Face of the Nation: George Washington, Art, and America symposium, featuring National Portrait Gallery curator Wendy Wick Reaves and curator emerita Ellen Miles, at Mount Vernon, 11.7.

National Portrait Gallery researcher and author Warren Perry presents a public lecture on Guns, Horses, Uniforms, and More Guns: Themes of American Civil War Visual Culture at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, 11.13.

Jeff Post, Curator at the National Museum of Natural History will present a public lecture on the Hope Diamond at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, 11.21.

Affiliations Director Harold Closter leads a workshop on Designing Museum Budgets at the Museo y Centro de Estudios Humanísticos in Gurabo, 11.15.

25 Smithsonian artifacts from the film industry will be on view soon in North Carolina

25 Smithsonian artifacts from the film industry will be on view soon in North Carolina

The North Carolina Museum of History will present Starring North Carolina! an exhibition of the state’s role in the film industry featuring 25 artifacts on loan from the National Museum of American History, in Raleigh, 11.15.

Undersecretary Richard Kurin presents a talk and booksigning on The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, 11.18.


road report: the smithsonian in sunny california

On the road in sunny California!

On the road in sunny California!

Three and a half days, 559 miles and visits to eight Smithsonian Affiliates in southern California, only just begins to describe my recent trip to the west coast.  I had traveled to Los Angeles to attend the opening event for Cahuilla Continuum: Túku, Ívax, Túleka, the Riverside Metropolitan Museum’s exhibition telling the story of a Southern California Native people, the Cahuilla.  This gave me the welcome opportunity of visiting the Smithsonian Affiliates in and surrounding Los Angeles.  The following is a recap of my whirlwind tour.

Cerritos Library

Cerritos Library

I should start by saying that with 23 Smithsonian Affiliates, California has more Smithsonian Affiliates than any other state in the union.  Most states have three or four (and we have yet to Affiliate with a few states) but the diversity of California’s cultural landscape is certainly well represented in our west coast partners.

Cerritos Library, is a library (and Smithsonian Affiliate) like few others.  There is an aquarium, reading labs, exhibition spaces and an art collection. It was terrific to see the community using this resource so thoroughly.


The garden at LA Plaza through the grey metal gates.

On day 2, I visited LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, a wonderful space in a historic building- often so rare in the west.  The garden takes advantage of the hot California sun to teach students about nutrition and agriculture.

The Apollo Boilerplate at Columbia Memorial Space Center, on loan from the National Air and Space Museum.

The Apollo Boilerplate at Columbia Memorial Space Center, on loan from the National Air and Space Museum.

In the afternoon, I visited the Columbia Memorial Space Center, home to an Apollo “Boilerplate,” on loan from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.  Then I headed towards northeast toward Alta Loma to visit one of our newest Smithsonian Affiliates, the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts.  The visit to this woodworker artist’s home gave me a better understanding of the huge impact his work has had in the art world.

Here I am in a Sam Maloof chair.

Here I am in a Sam Maloof chair.

The next day, my morning began with a visit to a school on an Indian reservation; the Riverside Metropolitan Museum had brought two scholars from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian as part of their annual Smithsonian Week in Riverside.  The students asked great questions and shared their own experiences with the visitors from DC.  We stopped in at the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum in Palm Springs, also a Smithsonian Affiliate, to see their latest exhibition, Through You, Our Ancient Leaders, We Became: Birth of the Agua Caliente Band.

Michael Hammond, Director of Agua Caliente Cultural Museum and Sarah Mundy, Director of Riverside Metropolitan Museum in front of the display case holding the artifacts on loan from the National Museum of the American Indian.

Michael Hammond, Director of Agua Caliente Cultural Museum and Sarah Mundy, Director of Riverside Metropolitan Museum in front of the display case holding the artifacts on loan from the National Museum of the American Indian.

On the last day of my visit I

Students explore study collections after Jill Norwood and Emil Her Many Horses from the National Museum of the American Indian spoke to students during Smithsonian Week in Riverside.

Students explore study collections after Jill Norwood and Emil Her Many Horses from the National Museum of the American Indian spoke to students during Smithsonian Week in Riverside.

stopped in on two Affiliates: Millard Sheets Art Center in Pomona and the Western Science Center in Hemet, both doing great work connecting their communities with educational resources.  I ended my day with the event that had brought me to California: the Riverside Metropolitan Museum was celebrating the opening of their Cahuilla Continuum exhibition, which included three artifacts from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.  They were deservedly proud of their work and we were proud of the wonderful partnership between Riverside (and all of the terrific Affiliates in California) and the Smithsonian.