¡Escuchame! 5 Questions With Dr. Kathleen Franz

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is working on a new initiative, Escuchame: The History of Spanish Language Broadcasting in the U.S.  The museum has rich collections related to television, but few that tell the story of Spanish-language broadcasting in the U.S. This initiative will document stories from early Telemundo and Univision stations as well as other public and independent stations. Documenting these stories will help show the influence these stations have had on the national narrative and the way the history of American television is written.

Portrait of Dr. Kathleen Franz

Dr. Kathleen Franz, Chair of Work & Industry and Curator of Business History at the National Museum of American History.

To understand more, and how our Affiliate network may participate, I asked five questions of Dr. Kathleen Franz, Chair of Work & Industry and Curator of Business History at the National Museum of American History.

Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be interested in your area of expertise?
In graduate school, I studied with one of the leading historians of advertising history in the U.S. and really became enthusiastic about the history of television and advertising as business history but also as popular culture. My work sits at the intersections of those two things.

Your current project centers on capturing the history of Spanish-language television in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. What sparked that idea and why is it important to capture this story?
I grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and saw first-hand the long history and power of Spanish-language broadcasting in the U.S. through the pioneering station of KWEX whose roots go back to the 1950s. However, general and popular histories of television often leave out the history of Spanish-language TV in the golden era of the 1950s and 1960s. So, building an archive that housed, preserved, and made available the stories of women and men who created stations and the networks is really important, because the earliest Spanish-language broadcasting goes back to the era of radio in the 1930s, and the earliest television stations are there in the golden era with the first successful network, Spanish International Network (SIN), created in 1961.

A common thread to this huge collection of materials—time-worn press credentials, painted tennis shoes, photographs, mic flags, scripts—is that they represent decades of Spanish-language broadcasting from the network Telemundo. (NMAH)

What have you enjoyed most about this initiative? What has been an unexpected discovery, if any?
First, I have two wonderful collaborators at the museum, Dr. Mireya Loza, curator, Department of Work and Industry, and Melinda Machado, director, Office of Communications and Marketing, who have helped make contact with stations around the country and we’ve done the oral history and object collecting as a team. I’ve learned so much from working with them and meeting the various people who run the stations and put the programming on every day. We also had tremendous support from a private donor — of the Nicolas family in San Antonio who founded KCOR in 1954— the Smithsonian’s Latino Center, Telemundo, and Univision. I can’t name everyone here but I am so grateful for the support of the networks! This has been a serious collaboration to capture and preserve this history. One of the best, and unexpected discoveries, was a painting of the Televisa studios in Mexico City commissioned by Emilio Nicolas in the early 1960s. It’s so unusual to have an artist’s rendition of a TV set and the image captures the look and feel of that exciting era in television. Mr. Nicolas traveled regularly to Mexico City to produce programming at the studio and bring it back to the US Spanish-speaking market for SIN.

What would you like to share with Affiliates? And what would you like Affiliates to share with you?
I’m always delighted to talk to local audiences and I would be happy to talk about the collecting and sharing resources with Affiliates. In turn, it would help us to work with Affiliates to do collecting or memory days at their sites, especially ones who are in cities with long-running Spanish-language stations. We really want to capture what audiences thought and how they viewed and used the stations in their own lives.

What is your next project and what are you looking forward to with it?
Dr. Loza and I would like to publish an edited volume of the oral histories and we’ll be working on that over the next 18 months or so. I’m also currently working on the National Museum of American History’s major women’s history initiative exhibition for the centennial of Women’s suffrage. That exhibition will open at the museum in 2020 and then travel the country starting in 2021.

Dr. Franz is open to the possibility of visiting our Affiliate network in the fall to share more about this initiative. Do you have connections to Spanish-language television history? Contact your National Outreach Manager for more information about bringing Dr. Franz to your neighborhood.

Telemundo Microphone cubes

This series of microphone cubes used over the years by Telemundo 51 WSCV-TV in Florida was donated by Marilys Llanos, senior political reporter at at the station. (Photo by Laura Duff, Smithsonian Institution)

Kudos Affiliates! June 2018

Congratulations to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments! Do you have a kudos to share? Please send potential kudos to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

Funding

Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana) announced a partnership with Ritz Charles to invest approximately $3 million to renovate and expand Eli Lilly’s historic Chinese House. Support for the project includes a $500,000 pledge from Jay and Nancy Ricker, the founders of Ricker Oil Company, Inc., and a $500,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc.

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities announced a total of $136,429 in new grants to 14 humanities initiatives across the state including the Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence). The Society received a $12,000 Documentary Films grant to support films that preserve Rhode Island’s stories and bring its history to life.  The funding goes towards the development of the film Triple Decker, A New England Love Story.

DaVinci at New Mexico Museum of Natural History and ScienceThe New Mexico Humanities Council awarded a $5,000 grant to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science to support its series of education programs, Da Vinci Dialogues. The Dialogues consist of public lectures, panel discussions, and workshops that illustrate the many facets of Da Vinci’s genius as an artist, inventor, and scientist.

Awards and Recognition

Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) has named the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, Iowa) the “Silos & Smokestacks People’s Site of the Year.”

During the Pennsylvania Museums Annual Statewide Museum Conference, the winners of statewide Institutional Achievement Awards were announced including two Senator John Heinz History Center sites. Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village was recognized for its newest educational curriculum, First Peoples: Archaeology at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter. The Fort Pitt Museum at Point State Park, Downtown, was recognized for its newest exhibition, From Maps to Mermaids: Carved Powder Horns in Early America.

Leadership Changes

W. James Burns has been named the new executive director of the Arizona Historical Society (Phoenix, Arizona). Dr. Burns comes to the Arizona Historical Society from the University of Arizona, where he served as Director of the Center for Creative Photography and the University of Arizona Museum of Art.

W. James Burns, Ph.D., Executive Director, Arizona Historical Society, Phoenix, AZ

Coming Up in Affiliateland in June 2018

ARIZONA

The Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum will open the Smithsonian exhibition Water/Ways which focuses on the relationships between people and water, in Bisbee, 6.2.

PENNSYLVANIA

The Heinz History Center hosts History on Tap featuring a talk by Theresa McCulla, historian of the American Brewing History Initiative at the National Museum of American History, on how Prohibition influenced the alcohol industry, in Pittsburgh, 6.3.

TEXAS

Space Center Houston hosts Allan Needell, curator of space history at the National Air and Space Museum, who will talk about the Saturn V rocket, in Houston, 6.7.

WYOMING

Soon to be on view in Wyoming, George Catlin’s, Buffalo Chase with Bows and Lances, 1832-1833, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West opens the exhibition Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West which features three George Catlin paintings on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in Cody, 6.8.

TENNESSEE

The International Storytelling Center will screen First Ladies Revealed: Twists of Fate, a program from the Smithsonian Channel, in Jonesborough, 6.11.

MARYLAND

The Smithsonian Associates lead a day-long Natural History of the Mid-Atlantic tour which will make a stop at Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center in Solomons, 6.16.

WEST VIRGINIA

The Heritage Farm Museum and Village will screen the Smithsonian Channel’s program  Aerial America: West Virginia in Huntington, 6.20, 23.

FLORIDA

The Polk Museum of Art opens the exhibition The Von Wagner Code featuring the etching Roman Chariot Race, on loan from the National Museum of American History, in Lakeland, 6.23.

Coming Up in Affiliateland in May 2018

Look at all the activity blooming in Affiliateland this spring!

PENNSYLVANIA
The Heinz History Center hosts a talk and tasting with National Museum of American History curator Paula Johnson on Making Wine at Home as a complement to their current exhibition on Prohibition, in Pittsburgh, 5.6.18.

The Mercer Museum will open Racing: A Need for Speed exhibition featuring 7 artifact loans from the National Museum of American History, in Doylestown, 5.12.18.

A new exhibition at the Center for Jewish History in New York City.

NEW YORK
The Center for Jewish History hosts National Air and Space Museum curator Dr. Valerie Neal for a talk on the history of Jewish astronauts and their achievements as part of their Jews in Orbit: Meet an Astronaut program in Manhattan, 5.7.18

MASSACHUSETTS
The Tsongas Industrial History Center will host Teacher Creativity Studios: Asian Pacific American Cultural Presence in the Classroom workshops in collaboration with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access on the Lowell National Historical Park site in Lowell, 5.12.18.

FLORIDA
The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science will host ¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert family day in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center in Miami, 5.12.18.

¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert family program will be coming to Miami with the Smithsonian Latino Center

Things Come Apart an exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service opens at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, 5.26.18.

MAINE
The Abbe Museum will host its inaugural Indian Market, with a film series curated by Elizabeth Weatherford, Founder and Emeritus Director of the Film and Video Center at the National Museum of the American Indian, in Bar Harbor, 5.18-20.18.

MARYLAND
Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center will open the exhibition Of a Feather: Birds in Art juried by Jennifer Daniels, landscape architect at the Smithsonian National Zoo, in Solomons, 5.25.18.

Kudos Affiliates! May 2018

Congratulations to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments! Do you have a kudos to share? Please send potential kudos to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

Funding

The PNC Foundation announced a five-year, $1 million grant to Union Station, Kansas City, Inc. (Kansas City, MO) in support of science education that will benefit approximately 14,000 members of the community, with a focus on Head Start preschool students, children, and families. The funding, made possible through the PNC Foundation as part of its signature philanthropic early education initiative, PNC Grow Up Great, will also support the establishment of a multipurpose classroom space at Science City and touch an additional 260,000 annual visitors to the science center. The grant is PNC’s largest to date in Kansas City.

Fred Beans Family of Dealerships donated $25,000 to Mercer Museum for its educational program, National History Day, through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program. This gift will fund the Mercer’s regional program for students in Pennsylvania’s Bucks and Montgomery counties. Students choose historical topics related to an annual theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research involving interviews and visits to libraries, archives, museums and historic sites. During the competition, they present their work in original papers, exhibits, performances and documentaries. Students who win at the regional level will go on to participate in statewide and national competitions.

NASA has awarded a $750,000 grant to a research effort led by Wichita State University to develop more efficient and compact thermal and water management systems. The grant will also support engineering outreach activities at the partner universities as well as the Kansas Cosmosphere.

Larimer County recently awarded 11 small grants totaling $20,646 to neighborhood and community projects designed to connect people to the outdoors and to promote education and sustainability. This includes a grant for $3,000 to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to study mass extinction and conduct geologic fieldwork and lab analysis of the Lykins Formation at Red Mountain Open Space.

L to R: George Guastello – Union Station; Kim Herman and Dale Klose – PNC Bank; Mayor Sly James – Kansas City, Missouri.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced $18.6 million in grants for 199 humanities projects across the country including the following Affiliate projects:

University of Arizona: $298,000
Project Title: Implementing a Consolidated Collections Information System
Project Description: The continued development and completion of a single, searchable public database for the Arizona State Museum‘s ethnographic and archaeological collections, which document 13,000 years of cultural heritage in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The database, which contains more than 360,000 entries, will include links to archival records of original excavation notes and reports.

Florida International University Board of Trustees: $91,309
Project Title: War and Healing: A Century of Veterans’ Reintegration
Project Description: A two-day intensive training seminar followed by two four-week discussion programs for veterans in the Miami, Florida, area.

Florida International University Board of Trustees: $6,000
Project Title: Balloon Flight and British Literature of the 18th and 19th Centuries
Project Description: Research and writing for a book on the emerging technology of ballooning in 18th-century England and its impact on literature and the techniques of omniscient narration.

Abbe Museum: $50,000
Project Title: Access to Native American Collections at the Abbe Museum                                              Project Description: The Abbe Museum holds 70,000 objects documenting the 12,000 year history of the five Wabanaki Nation tribes that inhabit northern New England, Maritime Canada, and Quebec. The project will develop a pilot program to work with local tribal leaders to digitize these artifacts, collect information about their history, and share the collections with the public in a way that respects tribal customs.

University of Massachusetts, Boston: $181,000
Project Title: Digitizing Plimoth Plantation’s 17th-Century Historical Archaeology Collections
Project Description: Cataloging, digitization, and creation of access to the archaeological collections connected to the early colonists of Plimoth Plantation. The project encompasses field notes, plans, drawings, and photos associated with the excavations of four key sites. Materials will be made accessible to the public, teachers, students, and scholars via an online database and finding aids.

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center (Ohio History Connection) (Fremont): $1,000
Project Title: NEH on the Road: Jacob Riis

Upcountry History Museum (Greenville): $1,000
Project Title: NEH on the Road: Power of Children

NEH on the Road is a traveling exhibition program presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities and Mid-America Arts Alliance, to strengthen communities and improve lives through extraordinary cultural experiences.

Leadership Changes

After 13 years, Devon Akmon will leave his post as director of the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn). Akmon’s last day is May 31. A national search is underway to select the next leader of the museum, the first and only of its kind focused on Arab-American history and culture.

Dr. Doug Bradburn, new president and CEO of George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

 

The Pacific Aviation Museum Board of Directors named Elissa Lines new Executive Director for the museum. Lines, who joined the Museum in 2013, previously served as the executive director of development at the museum.

The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association announced the selection of its current library director, Dr. Doug Bradburn, to serve as the new president and chief executive officer of George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Affiliations at AAM 2018

Myriam Springuel

Meet Myriam Springuel, Smithsonian Affiliations Interim Director and SITES Director on Monday and Tuesday during the AAM Meeting. Photo by Dane Penland. [Apollo DestinationMoon-2-22-2017-0223] [NASM2017-00421]

Are you headed to the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting in Phoenix? Three Smithsonian Affiliations team members will be attending and have organized several opportunities to meet with Affiliates.

On Monday, May 7, brainstorm possible programs and events with the Smithsonian and fellow Affiliates around the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing in 2019. We’ll also talk about how we can work together to promote and leverage one another’s programming. 3:00 – 4:00 pm in the Curtis Room, 2nd Floor, Hyatt Regency Phoenix.

On Tuesday, May 8, meet the team at the SITES booth in the MuseumExpo! Interim Affiliations Director, Myriam Springuel; Interim Associate Director, Tricia Edwards; and National Outreach Manager, Laura Hansen, will be at the booth for an informal meet and greet. 3:00 – 5:00 pm, Booth 2814, MuseumExpo.

Throughout the meeting, look for Laura Hansen, National Outreach Manager. Laura works with Affiliate partners in the west and can answer any questions about the benefits of a Smithsonian Affiliation. Want to meet with her? Email her for availability- HansenL@si.edu.

Affiliates are featured in many AAM sessions.  We’ve compiled a list below of sessions in which Smithsonian Affiliates are presenting or moderating. Stop in and say hello, or stick around for the entire session. Don’t forget to mention us in any social media posts – we’re @SIAffiliates on Twitter and @smithsonianaffiliates on Instagram. Have a great time in Phoenix!

If you don’t see your session listed, please let us know.

Sunday, May 6 

1:00 – 2:15 PM
Room 226ABC
Beyond the Four Walls: Effectively Assessing Museum Programs in School Classrooms
Featuring the Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, California) and the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Room 125 AB
Case Study: Live-Tweeting a Century-Old Race Riot: Sharing Difficult History through Social Media
Featuring the Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

tricia edwards

Meet Tricia Edwards, Smithsonian Affiliations Interim Associate Director, on Monday and Tuesday too.

Room 128 AB
Education Collections: Connect with Me, and I Care
Featuring Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana) and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, Colorado)

2:30 – 3:45 PM
Room 225AB
A Tale of Three Buildings: The Things You Need to Know before You Start Your Renovation 
Featuring the Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)

Room 129 AB
Leaders in Education Leading Museums
Featuring the Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, Ohio)

Room 231ABC
Stop, Experiment, and Listen: A Fresh Approach to Creative Problem Solving 
Featuring the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, Tennessee)

Find Laura Hansen, Smithsonian Affiliations National Outreach Manager, throughout the entire AAM Meeting. Email her to set up a meeting- HansenL@si.edu

Room 229AB
Who’s the Boss? Examining the Relationship Between Exhibition Contractors and Staff
Featuring the National World War II Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana)

4:00 – 5:15 PM
Room 227 ABC
Engaging the Arctic: Working with Northern Communities to Tell Their Stories
Featuring the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, Alaska)

Monday, May 7

8:45 – 10:00 AM
Room 131 ABC
Decolonizing the Museum: Reflection, Vision, and Change
Featuring the Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, Maine)

Room 126 ABC
Equity at the Heart of Professional Learning
Featuring the Ohio History Connection (Columbus, Ohio)

Room 121 BC
From Leadership to Impact: Taking Risks, Redefining Success, and Finding Your Voice
Featuring the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, Alabama)

1:45 – 3:00 PM
Room 221 ABC
Straight to the Source: Connect and Engage with Teens in Your Community
Featuring the Bakken Museum (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Room 222 ABC
Museum Compensation: Best Practices in Design for Sustainability
Featuring the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, Alaska)

Room 225 AB
(Non)Profiteering: Mission Versus Margin
Featuring The Museum of Flight (Seattle, Washington)

Room 229 AB
The Role of the Community Engagement Curator
Featuring the Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)

Tuesday, May 8

8:45 – 10:00 AM
Room 228 AB
75 Ideas in 75 Minutes – Accessibility Edition
Featuring the John G. Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, Illinois)

Room 129 AB
Are Museums the Right Home for Confederate Monuments?
Featuring the North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Room 227 ABC
Breaking Free: Two Years of Curating Our Communities
Featuring the Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Room 226 ABC
A Dialogue with IMLS Reviewers: Tips and Techniques from the Experts
Featuring the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, Washington)

Room 229 AB
Making Space for (Other) Voices: Challenging Perceptions
Featuring the Arizona State Museum (Tucson, Arizona)

1:30 – 2:45 PM
Room 222 ABC
Membership on Center Stage to Deliver Financial Impact and Transform Museum Cultures
Featuring Space Center Houston (Houston, Texas)

Room 121 ABC
Case Study: Collections Inventories in Support of Object-Based Learning Programs
Featuring the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Room 122 AB
Case Study: The National World War II Museum Reimagines Its Digital Presence
Featuring The National World War II Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Room 122 AB
Case Study: Social Humanity Immersed in Technology: The Art of Modern Communication
Featuring the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, Alaska)

Wednesday, May 9

10:15 – 11:30 AM

Room 231 ABC
10 Practical Actions to Museum Accessibility
Featuring the Saint Louis Science Center (St. Louis, Missouri)

Room 128 AB
A Change in Elevation: Museums Rising to the Challenge of Equity
Featuring the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan)

Room 229 AB
Measuring Visitor Motivation, Expectations, and Satisfaction
Featuring the Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Room 129 AB
Museums and Race Report Card: Looking Back to Move Forward
Featuring the San Diego Museum of Man (San Diego, California)

Room 125 AB
Project Management: It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore
Featuring The Museum of Flight (Seattle, Washington)

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM

Room 124 AB
Inspiring Latinx Community Engagement through a Traveling Exhibition Mentorship
Featuring the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (Austin, Texas)

Room 125 AB
Inclusionary Museums: Paths to Elevation in Descendant Communities
Featuring the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum Seminole Tribe of Florida (Clewiston, Florida)

Room 231 ABC
Teaching Teachers: Using Evaluation to Develop Effective Professional Development
Featuring Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, Connecticut)

Room 131 ABC
(Not as) Easy as 1,2,3: The ABCs of Collections Moves
Featuring The National World War II Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Room 128 AB
Not for Sale: Preserving a Community Collection
Featuring the Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, California)