Pandemic Perspectives

The National Museum of American History is launching an engaging series of free virtual colloquium presentations that combine questions raised by the current pandemic with explorations of historic objects in the national collections. Topics to be explored include Voting During a Pandemic and How Your Ancestors Had Fun at Home While Quarantining. Curators and historians will virtually share objects, using them as a springboard to dialogue.

Colloquium schedule (each program to be held via Zoom 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM)

Affiliates, if you would like to invite your audiences or stakeholders to join, please email affiliates@si.edu to register your interest.

Online Programs in 2020:

  • September 29, 2020: Fear and Scapegoating during a Pandemic
    Moderator: Alexandra Lord, Chair and Curator, Division of Medicine, National Museum of American History
  • October 6, 2020: Pandemic Pursuits: How Your Ancestors Had Fun at Home While Quarantined
    Moderator: Arthur Daemmrich, Director, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History
  • November 3, 2020: Voting During a Pandemic
    Moderator: Peter Liebhold, Curator, Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History
  • November 24, 2020: Finding Comfort in a Pandemic: Chocolate, Alcohol, Bread, Pizza, Sushi, and other Comfort Foods
    Moderator: Peter Liebhold, Curator, Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History
  • December 1, 2020: How Are Museums and Governments Collecting Around COVID-19?
    Moderator: Alexandra Lord, Chair and Curator, Division of Medicine and Science, National Museum of American History
  • December 15, 2020: Looking Good on that Zoom Call: Cosmetics, Personal Care, Clothing, and Decoration of Space
    Moderator: Arthur Daemmrich, Director, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History

Online Programs in 2021

  • January 5, 2021: Racing for Vaccines
    Moderator: Arthur Daemmrich, Director, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History
  • January 19, 2021: Mask Up!
    Moderator: Peter Liebhold, Curator, Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History
  • February 2, 2021: Race and Place: Yellow Fever and the Free African Society in Philadelphia
    Moderator: Alexandra Lord, Chair and Curator, Division of Medicine and Science, National Museum of American History
  • February 16, 2021: Essential Workers: Prestige Versus Pay
    Moderator: Alexandra Lord, National Museum of American History, Chair and Curator, Division of Medicine and Science

If you are interested, please email affiliates@si.edu or contact your National Outreach Manager directly.

Kudos Affiliates!! September 2020

Congratulations to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments during some very trying times! Do you have kudos to share? Please send potential entries to Aaron Glavas.

FUNDING

The Durham Museum (Omaha, NE) received a $5,000 grant from Cooper Foundation as part of a cycle of Rapid Response COVID-19 grants.

Humanities Nebraska awarded grants to 73 organizations including Durham Museum-$10,000, Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE)- $7,500 and University of Nebraska State Museum (Lincoln,NE)-$3,500 as part of a COVID-19 response initiative.

Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) was one of fifty regional arts and culture organizations to receive $10,000 in relief funding as part of a grant program administered by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and CultureSource.

Mass Humanities distributed more than half a million dollars in coronavirus relief funding, to more than 100 libraries, museums, art galleries, cultural centers and other nonprofit organizations throughout Massachusetts including $10,000 to the Springfield Museums (Springfield, MA).

Maine Initiatives awarded $516,920 to grassroots organizations responding to COVID-19 which included a grant to the Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME).

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) received a $50,000 grant from Pennsylvania Council for the Arts to help pay for staff salaries, facility costs and fees for artists or contractual personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded a series of CARES Act economic stabilization grants to support essential operations at more than 300 cultural institutions across the country including the following Affiliate projects:

Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ)-$87,121-The retention of seven staff members to develop digital tours of the museum’s signature exhibitions.

Arizona State Museum (Tucson, AZ)-$71,699-The retention of seven staff members to preserve and catalog two dendroarchaeology collections at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, one that derives from the U.S. Southwest, and the other, from the Aegean.

History Colorado (Denver, CO)-$175,000-The retention of six jobs to work with community partners and the public to collect oral histories from the Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano populations of Colorado about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, CT)-$45,049-Continued employment for the seven members of the historical society’s education department to expand distance learning programs and develop K–12 curriculum and learning activities.

Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL)-$298,908-Retention of six staff positions to further digital engagement with humanities collections and sustained development of a crowdsourced transcription platform.

National World War II Museum (New Orleans, LA)-$200,000-Retention of up to nine salaried staff positions within the Education and Access Division of the National World War II Museum to support existing digital content and programming, and increase access to collection materials through digitization of correspondence and oral histories.

USS Constitution Museum (Boston, MA)-$232,468-The retention of ten positions to launch the All Hands Online Virtual Exhibit and develop digital field trips and education programs for summer camps, school groups, and families.

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA)-$299,953-Retention of humanities staff to interpret the English and indigenous people’s impact on the New England landscape for “Seeds of Change: Transforming the Landscape of Seventeenth-Century” project.

Springfield Museums (Springfield, MA)-$141,300-The retention and creation of fifteen positions to rehouse, digitize, create online access, and incorporate into exhibitions the archives of the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, which contain correspondence, photographs, and other documentation of its Gilded Age art collection.

Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI)-$165,532-The retention of nine staff members who would enable the museum to transform its educational resources and exhibitions to an online delivery system in order to sustain and increase access to Arab American collections and services.

Durham Museum (Omaha, NE)-$175,000-Employment of 12 staff across four departments, as well as eight
summer interns, in order to preserve museum collections and enhance digital programs.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum (Las Vegas, NV)-$32,107-The retention of six staff members to develop online programming and on-site programs for re-opening.

Center for Jewish History (New York, NY)-$298,500-The rehiring of two employees, and restoration of hours and salaries for 21 other core staff, who would ensure ongoing and expanded access to sources held by the nation’s largest repository of archival materials on Jewish-American history and culture.

City Lore, Inc. (New York, NY)-$132,000-The retention of four staff members to create an archive on the coronavirus in New York City.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem (New York, NY)-$43,500-Retention of a senior scholar to curate the museum’s online content including, Harlem Speaks: Jazz for Curious Listeners, and Jazz for Curious Readers online public programming.

Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH)-$292,560-The retention of 10 staff members in the Ohio History Connection’s Cultural Resources Division to prepare collections for a large-scale move to a new storage facility and to create online content with collections pertaining to the state’s history and its residents.

High Desert Museum (Bend, OR)-$191,920-Retention of seven staff members to develop virtual tours and programming based on the museum’s collections.

Upcountry History Museum (Greenville, SC)-$19,297-Two staff members for an in-progress project to move the permanent collection from an at-risk location to a new storage space that adheres to collection stewardship guidelines.

International Storytelling Center (Jonesborough, TN)-$219,109-Retention of seven staff members to develop a new storytelling platform enabling scholars, students, educators, and the public to access ISC’s digital archives project-Resilience through Story: Advancing the Power and Possibilities of the Humanities through Online Storytelling.

Burke Museum (Seattle, WA)-$107,812-The retention of three staff members to develop educational programing and community collaborations to promote understanding of Native American culture.