New Benefit: Smithsonian Voices

We want to help share your story! Smithsonian Voices is a blog on Smithsonianmag.com, the online version of Smithsonian magazine. Millions of visitors browse the content online per month and learn about science, history, art, popular culture, and innovation. The blog shares the unique voices that make up the Institution and now will include our Affiliate partners. A new blog—Smithsonian Affiliations Voices—is in development specifically for our Affiliate partners.

Smithsonian Affiliates are currently the only organizations outside of the Smithsonian invited to join the hundreds of scholars, researchers, and curators telling stories about their work. Smithsonian Voices content doesn’t have to have a Smithsonian connection—although having one is encouraged. Here, we want to provide a platform for our Affiliates and feature the incredible work they are doing every day, how they are engaging their communities, and demonstrate the importance of our Affiliate network in reaching broader and more diverse audiences.

As we finish developing the page, we invite our Affiliate partners to submit story ideas to be be featured on our page. Visit  the Smithsonian Voices blog page to get ideas and see how other Smithsonian units are telling stories.

Are you interested in sharing a story on our Smithsonian Affiliate Voices page? Contact Elizabeth Bugbee for guidelines and more information- BugbeeE@si.edu. 

Affiliates Shine During the Pandemic

The world we knew two months ago has changed because of COVID-19 but our Affiliates continue to exemplify their purposes during unprecedented times.

HEEDING THE CALL

As the need for more personal protective equipment (PPE) has increased, Affiliates have stepped to the front to create equipment and supplies for the medical profession:

The Pinhead Institute (Telluride, CO) has turned its 3D printers to create 45 prototype face shields for the Telluride Regional Medical Center and the San Miguel County’s COVID-19 antibody test site. After delivering the initial batch, staff at the medical center provided feedback to improve the design.  The Pinhead team will make 50 face shields a week once they get production streamlined.

Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) has re-tooled their 3D printers to make 40 face shields a day for first responders on the South and West sides.

University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) is using industrial blending machines to make hand sanitizer. Scholars are also collaborating to design and make personal protective equipment to distribute to healthcare systems across Illinois.

Ellen Noel Art Museum (Odessa, TX) is using 3D printers to produce face shields and splitters that are used for ventilators as part of the West Texas 3D COVID-19 Relief Consortium.

RESEARCH

KingFisher, a state-of-the-art machine that helps animals thrive at the Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, IL) is being used to help humans fight the coronavirus outbreak. The instrument was loaned to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Chicago lab, where it’s being used to confirm the presence of the virus in patients. Samples are loaded into the KingFisher machine, which purifies and amplifies the viral RNA before the results are analyzed. After the samples are analyzed, scientists can determine if there is evidence of COVID-19.

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (Miami, FL) is contributing to global scientific research efforts to fight COVID-19 by enabling access TO its powerful, state-of-the-art Frost Planetarium computer servers for Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing researchers for use in the critical Rosetta@home (R@h) project from the University of Washington. The R@h project is looking to help accurately model important coronavirus proteins and predict their three-dimensional shapes. The collective computing power provided will assist academic research groups worldwide as they model protein structures.

The Cheyenne supercomputer will be used for research into the COVID-19 virus. Image courtesy of Carlye Calvin, UCAR.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, CO) is joining the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium by providing the NCAR-operated Cheyenne supercomputer to scientists across the country who are working to glean insights into the novel coronavirus that has spread worldwide. Researchers are mounting a massive effort to learn more about the behavior of the virus, such as transmission patterns and whether it is affected by seasonal changes, even as they work toward the development of treatments and vaccines.

Adler Planetarium is letting researchers use the planetarium’s computer servers to help construct models of the COVID-19 proteins to help develop a vaccine.

ACTS OF KINDNESS
Affiliates have made significant contributions in other ways.

The Durham Museum donated 10 boxes of gloves and more than 50 masks to the Nebraska Medical Center. Photo Credit: Durham Museum

Durham Museum (Omaha, NE), U.S. Space and Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL), The Health Museum (Houston, TX), Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO), Perot Museum (Dallas, TX), and Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH) donated organizational supplies to local medical facilities. Donations included face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, gloves, face shields, Tyvek suits, booties, biohazard bags, alcohol wipes and other cleaning materials.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (Merritt Island, FL) donated more than $10,000 worth of food, including a variety of produce and meat, to the Central Brevard Sharing Center to help assist the community during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

SUPPORT
Affiliates have turned their buildings into spectacular blue to honor those on the front lines:

San Diego Museum of Man bathed its tower in blue light and projected a “Thank You” slide as part of the #LightItBlue #LightItUpBlue movement to honor doctors, nurses, essential workers and everyone on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight. Photo Credit: SDMM

Union Station, Kansas City, Inc. in a spectacular blue light display to salute the healthcare community and first responders in the spirit of KANSAS CITY STRONG. Photo Credit: David Rainey

Kudos Affiliates!! March 2020

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

FUNDING

Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH) received a $500,000 pledge from Speedway LLC to open its Art Invites capital campaign. The museum is now reaching out to the public to help bring in the final $1.2 million needed to fulfill the campaign goal. The funds raised will be used to tear down the oldest parts of the museum building, while increasing the educational space, which will double in size.

Mars Wrigley announced that the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research Grant is being awarded to five institutions across the U.S. and Canada in the areas of research and chocolate programming, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon, VA). The grant will be used to create professional development workshops and field trips designed to reach 40 teachers and 600 students in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). A unit entitled Chocolate and Trade: The Americas will be developed in collaboration with DCPS to support and enhance the current 6th grade social studies curriculum. Students will learn about the history of chocolate.

Citizens Bank of Kansas will provide scholarships to eight students to experience hands-on STEAM learning at a camp offered by the Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS). Scholarship winners will attend the Cosmosphere’s Mars Academy Camp, a four-day, three-night camp where students will focus on building a habitat for another world, understand and overcome the challenges of gathering resources necessary for life, and practice skills like operating robots and drones. The camp activities culminate in a team mission to orbit Earth. In addition, The MAAM Foundation is offering scholarships to qualifying students to attend the 2020 Cosmo Camps. These multi-day resident camps are focused on STEM-based educational experiences with a focus on aviation, aerospace, and space activities.

Framingham State University (Framingham. MA) was awarded $26,667 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as part of the fiscal year 2020 Partnerships Matching Funds Program to improve trails in Ashland. The money will be used to replace a drainage pipe, regrade pathways and improve storm water runoff treatment.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded $750,000 over two-years to the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) for its landmark Artists + Residents program. Artists + Residents enlists national and international artists whose work centers on the complexities of Arab and Arab American representation and expression. Funds from the grant will be used to support residencies with a wide range of focuses and mediums and will include everything from artist talks and workshops to large-scale productions and exhibitions.

AWARDS & STAFF RECOGNITION

Robert C. Clark, President and CEO of Historic Annapolis, was awarded a 2020 Maryland Preservation Award in the Category of Outstanding Individual Leadership. Photo courtesy Historic Annapolis.

Historic Annapolis (Annapolis, MD) announced that Robert C. Clark, its President and CEO, was awarded a 2020 Maryland Preservation Award in the Category of Outstanding Individual Leadership. The Maryland Preservation Award Program, now in its 45th year, recognizes outstanding efforts in historic preservation, including education, restoration, and revitalization projects, as well as organizational and individual leadership. Mr. Clark was recognized for his effort in elevating the profile and visibility of historic preservation and cultural heritage programs in Annapolis.

The Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) received two awards at the annual Public Relations Society of America Pittsburgh Renaissance Awards.  Their submission for the successful #MoonBox campaign (implemented during the final month of Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission, an exhibition by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) won the first-place Renaissance Award for Best Social Media Campaign of 2019. They also won an Award of Merit (second place) for the entire Destination Moon exhibit integrated marketing campaign that helped draw more than 100,000 visitors to the History Center during the exhibit’s four-month run.

LEADERSHIP

Marta Mabel Pérez, has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (Santurce, Puerto Rico). Marta Mabel has been part of the MAPR’s team since 2005 when she founded, and managed for 12 years, the innovative Artist Assistance Program (PROA), a project of liaison with the artistic community in Puerto Rico. She recently served as the interim Executive Director for the museum.

The trustees of the Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) announced the selection of Christopher Newell as its new Executive Director and Senior Partner with Wabanaki Nations. Newell is a professional museum educator and a proud citizen of the Passamaquoddy Tribe. He has served since 2015 as Education Supervisor for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (also a Smithsonian Affiliate) where his team created educational experiences.

Coming Up in Affiliateland in March 2020

Spring is in full swing with so many great events nationwide. Happy Women’s History Month!

TEXAS
The John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science will feature a daily screening of the Smithsonian Channel film The Rise of the Killer Virus film as part of the Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World exhibition from the National Museum of Natural History, in Houston, 3.1-31.2020.

NORTH CAROLINA
The North Carolina Museum of History will screen the Smithsonian Channel film The Green Book: Guide to Freedom in Raleigh, 3.12.

National Museum of American History curator Barbara Clark Smith will give a talk on Reflections on American Democracy – in a Time of Political Uncertainty at the Greensboro History Museum, 3.18.

NEW MEXICO
The Hubbard Museum of the American West will screen the Smithsonian Channel film AERIAL AMERICA – The Wild West in Ruisdoso Downs, 3.14.

NATIONWIDE 
Twelve Affiliates will host Earth Optimism Teen Events in collaboration with the National Museum of Natural History on March 14. Participating Affiliates include the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK); Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY); Cape Fear Museum (Wilmington, NC); Frost Science Museum (Miami, FL); High Desert Museum (Bend, OR); Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA); Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR); New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (Albuquerque, NM); Pinhead Institute (Telluride, CO); Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, OK); U.S. Space and Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL); Western Science Center (Hemet, CA).

RHODE ISLAND
The Rhode Island Historical Society in partnership with the Community College of Rhode Island will host Dr. Ariana Curtis, curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, to give a lecture on Deliberate and Afraid of Nothing: Diversifying Women’s Representation, in Providence, 3.19.

ARIZONA
The Desert Caballeros Western Museum will host Art and Advertising in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, a public lecture by Smithsonian scholar Dr. Michelle Delaney, in Wickenburg, 3.21.

Famous Pittsburgher Andy Warhol, one of the portraits soon to be on view at the Heinz History Center. By Hans Namuth, 1981. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution: this acquisition was made possible by a generous contribution from the James Smithson Society

PENNSYLVANIA
The Heinz History Center will open Smithsonian’s Portraits of Pittsburgh: Works from the National Portrait Gallery, an exhibition of nearly 60 works of art on loan from the Smithsonian, in Pittsburgh, 3.21.

NEW YORK
Dr. Dwan Reece, curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, will speak on What it Means to be Free: The Woman’s Revolution in American Entertainment as part of the Rockwell Museum’s Advancing Women lecture series, in Corning, 3.17.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden will screen the Smithsonian Channel film Blondie’s New York in Staten Island, 3.28.

Jennifer Brundage, National Outreach Manager will join the director and staff of the Rockwell Museum in the Silo Breakdown: Internal Collaboration and Activating A Smithsonian Affiliation session at the Museum Association of New York conference in Albany, 3.29-31.

Wiki + Affiliates Part III: Nuts and Bolts of an edit-a-thon

KellyDoyle [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Since October 2019, we have been working with Smithsonian Affiliates to learn how Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons can help raise awareness of underrepresented women in American history. With the help of the Smithsonian’s Open Knowledge Coordinator, Kelly Doyle, and in conjunction with the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative (AWHI), we’ve hosted two webinars introducing the platform and how our Affiliates can contribute content. Together, we aim to illuminate women’s pivotal roles in building and sustaining our country.

In our third webinar, we’ll take all we’ve learned and focus on the nuts and bolts of planning and hosting a Wikipedia edit-a-thon at your organization. We know there are incredible women represented in Affiliate collections and we want to help give you the resources and skills to share their stories on Wikipedia and connect with your local community in a new way.

RSVP to join us on Thursday, February 27 at 3 PM Eastern and learn how to gather together editors of all skill levels around American women’s history. During the webinar, you’ll learn:

  • How to structure and organize your event
  • Best practices
  • Tips and tricks

Fuzheado [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Looking to jump ahead and do some reading before the webinar? Kelly has compiled a few resources to help you understand what an edit-a-thon involves:

And catch up by reading these blogs:
Wiki + Affiliates: Help Represent the Under-Represented!
Wiki + Affiliates Part II: Wikimedia Commons and Image Releases

We hope you can join us on February 27 and learn more! RSVP here.

SAVE THE DATE! We’re excited to announce that we will be co-hosting an edit-a-thon on Sunday, June 28, 2020 from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM at the National Museum of the American Indian to kick off our Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference. Kelly and Wikimedia District of Columbia will be on hand to help everyone add content!

Questions? Comments? Contact us!

ProtoplasmaKid [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Kudos Affiliates!! February 2020

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

FUNDING

The National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA) announced that Capital BlueCross has awarded $2,500 in funding through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program to the museum’s youth educational initiatives. The initiatives will provide access to meaningful science, technology, engineering, math, and social history learning opportunities for public school students in the Lehigh Valley community.

Science City’s Children’s Museum, part of Union Station, Kansas City, Inc. (Kansas City, MO) received combined donations of $402,750 to support the Early Learning Initiative. The gifts were from Mike and Millie Brown, the Sosland Foundation and the Harry Wilson Loose Trust Bank of America, N.A., Trustee. Scheduled to open in March 2020, Science City’s Children’s Museum will offer three brand-new experiential, hands-on exhibitions, each intentionally designed to translate into the beginning of a STEMful education for young explorers.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Nora Hernandez of the the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum (Clewiston, FL) has been named to the Museum Computer Network Advisory Board for diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.

Jameson McDermott, Museum Educator, at Cape Fear Museum (Wilmington, NC) was presented with the 2019 North Carolina Science Teachers Association (NCSTA) Distinguished Service in Science Education Award Non-School Setting at the annual NCSTA Conference. The  award is given to a person exhibiting leadership in science education; contributing to improvements in science education; and excelling in the aspects of science education in a non-school setting.

LEADERSHIP

The Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission announced that Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL), has stepped down from her position at the Center. Dr. Barnhart had led the Rocket Center for the past nine years. Louie Ramirez, a long-time Center leader who has served as its Chief Financial Officer, will serve as interim CEO until Dr. Barnhart’s replacement is named. Dr. Barnhart has been named CEO Emeritus, and she will advise and support the recruitment and hiring of a new CEO.

The Springfield Museum of Art announced Jessimi Jones as their new Executive Director.

Jessimi A. Jones has been named the new executive director for the Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH). Jessimi brings over 20 years of arts institution experience having served at both the Columbus Museum of Art (Ohio) and the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, OK. Most recently, Jessimi served as the Bernsen Director of Education and Public Programs for the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma.