Kudos Affiliates!! June 2019

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


The Air Zoo (Portage, MI) announced a $57,000 grant from the Margaret Dunning Foundation to support the renovation of its existing classroom spaces. The grant matches the investment already committed by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs in September 2018, supporting a complete $114,000 renovation of the Air Zoo’s existing classroom spaces. Renovations will enable the Air Zoo to provide an immersive, hands-on space for the more than 90 science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics educational initiatives.

The Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) has launched its Indianapolis History Collecting Initiative, supported by a $100,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment. The initiative is part of the Indiana Historical Society’s Indianapolis Bicentennial Project which hopes to identify resources about the people, places and events that have shaped the city over the past 200 years.

An $8,600 grant was awarded to the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE) by the Cass County Board of Commissioners.  The purpose of the grant is to improve the space suits exhibits and displays to encourage more tourism there.

National Inventors Hall of Fame (Alexandria, VA) received a $5,000 from Duke Energy Foundation to help keep vital resources flowing into K-12 classrooms and programs at the museum.


The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the recipients of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. The winners of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service including Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, FL) and National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel (Memphis, TN) are addressing unique issues and opportunities within their communities through their programs, services and partnerships.

Williams-Mystic, the maritime studies program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT), were presented with the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The 42-year-old program brings undergraduate college students to the museum for a semester of interdisciplinary research and travel centered around the ocean. More than 1,600 students have attended the program. Williams-Mystic is receiving the award from the National Maritime Historical Society and the National Coast Guard Museum Association.

The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico was awarded the American Alliance of Museums Chair’s Leadership Award, accepted by the museum’s director Marta Mabel Perez at the 2019 AAM Annual Meeting. The award was given to recognize the museum’s work in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.


The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC) Board of Directors unanimously voted to appoint Hillary Spencer, a former director of operations for global business development at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, as the museum’s new director. Spencer will take over the position on May 1.

American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) announced that the board named Ralph Caro to lead the museum as interim executive director and to focus on implementing key recommendations from a consultants’ report issued in April 2018.

Coming up in Affiliateland in June 2019

The staff of Smithsonian Affiliations is thrilled to welcome colleagues from across the Affiliate and Smithsonian networks for four days of sharing and networking at our National Conference.

Sessions, tours, receptions and more will bring hundreds of colleagues together to talk about strengthening our collaborations and to learn from each other. Register now! And peruse the agenda to get ready. See you soon! June 23-26.

Dr. Sunae Park Evans, Senior Costume Conservator at the National Museum of American History, will lead a talk on the Preventative Conservation of the First Ladies’ gowns in the Smithsonian’s collections at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, 6.13.

The Upcountry History Museum opens Down the Rabbit Hole: Imagining Alice’s Wonderland exhibition, which includes five drawings on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in Greenville, 6.15.

A star, ripped apart by the gravitational forces of a black hole about 290 light years from Earth, as captured by the Chandra X -ray Observatory.

As part of the Moon Landing in Context series, Framingham State University will host a planetarium production co-created by Kim Kowal Arcand of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The planetarium show will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the launch of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, in Framingham, 6.21.

The Young Ambassadors Program sponsored by the Smithsonian Latino Center will kick off with a week in Washington, exposing students to Latino leaders of all kinds in many disciplines. Students will then return to their hometowns to complete internships at the following Affiliates: California Science Center (Los Angeles); Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA); History Colorado (Denver); HistoryMiami (FL); Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (Miami, FL); Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, FL); Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL); Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (TX); The Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX), 6.24.

The College Park Aviation Museum will be displaying three artifacts on loan from the National Postal Museum related to Benjamin Lipsner, the First Superintendent of the world’s first regular permanent civilian air mail service, in College Park starting 6.17.

The National Museum of American History is bringing its popular professional development program for teachers, Let’s Do History, to Rhode Island with two workshops – one at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, 6.17 and at the Museum of Work and Culture (a site of the Rhode Island Historical Society) in Woonsocket, 6.18.


Affiliates, if you have collaboration news to share on the monthly calendar (must have a Smithsonian connection!), please contact Jennifer, National Outreach Manager, at brundagej@si.edu.