Kudos Affiliates!! October 2021

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 Park Service announced $7.27 million in Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants to support the preservation of historic buildings in rural communities across the country, including Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) ($750,000) for its Appalachian Region Historic Revitalization Sub-grant Program to rehabilitate and preserve historic buildings across Southeast Ohio.

The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City Council, and Staten Island Borough President’s Office announced FY 2022 capital funding for the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden (Staten Island, NY) ($1.1 million) to support key infrastructure and expansion projects that will help ensure the historic cultural campus will continue to support the needs of organizations, while attracting audiences to Staten Island.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced History Colorado (Denver, CO) ($207,478) was awarded funding for the National Leadership Grants for Museums program, which supports projects that address critical needs of the museum field and that have the potential to advance practice in the profession so that museums can improve services for the American public. History Colorado will lead a collaborative effort to expand the Museums for Digital Learning (MDL) platform, an online resource providing K-12 educators with access to authentic collections-based museum resources for use in and outside the classroom. History Colorado, in partnership with the Field Museum and Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields will recruit additional museums to provide content in the form of Resource Kits that include activities such as narratives, slideshows, timelines, hotspots, games, and annotation activities, as well as ebooks.

In addition, IMLS announced $2,921,766 in CARES Act Grants to support the role of museums and libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The following funded Affiliate projects were selected:

  • Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) ($198,760) will develop digital engagement experiences for 6th-8th graders in under-resourced neighborhoods in Chicago and rural communities of Illinois. The Adler will work with an interdisciplinary team of museum practitioners, educators, astronomers, and visualization experts to engage students in STEAM learning within 3-D immersive environments, with hands-on and digital pre/post activities to deepen the impact.
  • Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) ($320,666) will develop a digital learning initiative for preschool and K-8 teachers as an alternative to onsite field trips during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The “Conner Prairie in the Classroom” project will provide an array of digital programming, complemented by “HiSTEAMic” hands-on classroom kits to support digital learning, digital backpacks to close the digital divide, and supplementary pre- and post-educational materials for educators and parents.

The National Park Service, in partnership with IMLS, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), announced $15,500,000 in Save America’s Treasures grants including the following Affiliate preservation and conservation projects:

  • The Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO) ($206,933) will inventory, process, and catalog the Jones-Miller Site, a Paleoindian Hell Gap period (ca. 10,500–11,500 years ago) bison kill site.
  • The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Jackson, MS) ($291,109) will preserve its archaeological collections, which represent over 14,000 years of the state’s past.
  • Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) ($52,300) will preserve and make accessible the newly acquired Witherill Ocean Liner Collection, which documents the evolution of ocean liners during a heightened period of immigration to the United States in the early to mid-twentieth century. The collection includes 7,500 pieces of documents, letters, brochures, and other ephemera pertaining to broad themes of American maritime history and culture, including accounts and documents from the Titanic and Lusitania disasters.
  • The B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD) ($500,000) will undertake a 36-month project to restore and interpret its No. 3316 ‘Washington’ Tavern-Observation Car built by the Pullman Company in 1949.  The project will provide a unique opportunity to board and go inside the car and an interpretive space to explore the impact of streamliner railroading on everyday Americans. New educational offerings will provide further interpretive information about the railroad car, particularly in the context of African American contributions to and experiences with railroading.
  • The Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical Society (New York, NY) ($352,300) will digitize the Baron de Hirsch Fund Records. Founded in 1891 to support Jewish refugees fleeing pogroms and abject poverty in Russia, the Baron de Hirsch Fund trained immigrants in farming and trades and provided financial support for everything from meeting new arrivals at ports of entry and teaching English language classes to assisting with farm mortgages.
  • Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) ($336,000) for the replacement of roofing installed over newly added plywood sheath and include repairs to weathered rafters, replace deteriorating posts and beams, and re-surface a second-floor exterior balcony. Insulation between the roof and ceiling will be added to improve energy efficiency in the 70-year old structures.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS) won a 2021 Travelers’ Choice Award from Tripadvisor for being in the top 10% of attractions worldwide.

LEADERSHIP

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) announced Dr. Ashley Jordan has been named as the next President and CEO. Dr. Jordan, who most recently served as Senior Director of Development at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, brings significant experience managing and leading cultural institutions focused on memorializing and celebrating the African American experience in the United States.

Smithsonian Affiliations at 25: Chapter 5: Moving Forward, Together

Affiliations Anniversary Series: 25 Years in Your Neighborhood
Chapter 5: Moving Forward, Together
#SmithsonianAffiliations25

smithsonian 150th anniversary logo

In 1996, the Smithsonian created this logo to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

In 1993, the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents established the Commission on the Future of the Smithsonian and tasked the group with “an examination of the Smithsonian, its mandate and its roles, and an examination of the cultural, societal, and technological factors that influence its capacity to act.” Two years later, the Commission issued a report that identified a range of strategies for the Smithsonian to consider as it approached its 150th birthday—strategies aimed at making the Institution more relevant and accessible to the American public and enabling it to fulfill its mission as a national organization.

The 1995 report concluded, “The Smithsonian cannot achieve the nation’s expectations by itself,” and set out a series of recommendations around education; collections, research, and exhibitions; governance; and the future. Embedded in this report were the following recommendations:

  • Emphasize education both on the Mall and across the country through electronic means, traveling and collaborative exhibitions, and public programs,
  • Build collaborative partnerships with other museums, research centers, and educational institutions throughout the nation, and
  • Shape a master plan for maintenance of the priceless collections, including the sharing of collections through long-term or permanent loans to partner institutions.
Crowd on National Mall in 1996

As the Smithsonian’s 150th birthday celebration draws to a close, the crowd gathers in front of the Castle for an evening performance. Photo by Richard Hofmeister. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Acc. 09-257.

Just a year later, on the occasion of the Smithsonian’s 150th anniversary, I. Michael Heyman, then Secretary of the Smithsonian, announced the Smithsonian Affiliations program as one of several outreach initiatives introduced to fulfill the recommendations of the Commission and expand the Institution’s national reach: “The Smithsonian of the future must provide access to its collections and its vast resources. There is no value in being just the largest if we do not share the Smithsonian with as many people as possible. It means making sure those who cannot travel to Washington can somehow experience and enjoy the Smithsonian.”

In addition to the Affiliations program, the Smithsonian launched its first-ever website and the traveling exhibition, America’s Smithsonian, which featured some of the Institution’s most prized artifacts, including First Ladies’ gowns, Arthur Ashe’s tennis racquet, and the Apollo 14 command module, and reached an estimated 10 million people across the nation.

The Affiliations program was formally approved by the Board of Regents on September 15, 1996: “VOTED that the Board of Regents adopts the statement of policy and guidelines…on the Smithsonian Institution’s collections-based affiliations…”

A person sits at a workshop desk with the Apollo 13 Odyssey command module in the shadows.

Master restoration specialist Greg “Buck” Buckingham oversaw the evaluation, identification and reinstallation of more than 80,000 components of the Apollo 13 spacecraft Odyssey. This view shows Buckingham inside Odyssey’s restoration lab, which was glassed in to allow the public to view the historic project. Photo courtesy of the Cosmosphere, Hutchinson, KS.

The first Affiliate joined the program in early 1997. By the end of that year, there were 21 Affiliate collaborators across the U.S . As we entered the 21st century, more than 50 mission-aligned organizations made up the Affiliate network and were collaborating with the Smithsonian to bring its resources to their communities. In these first years, the Affiliations program was primarily envisioned as a way to extend the impact of the America’s Smithsonian exhibition and reach communities across the nation with objects from the Smithsonian’s collections. Affiliate organizations could borrow objects on long-term loan, connecting the Smithsonian with their audiences in ways that were meaningful, relevant, and accessible. Working with the National Air & Space Museum, the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, KS began the restoration of the Apollo 13 Command Module Odyssey in 1995, as part of an effort to re-assemble the historic spacecraft. Made famous by the movie Apollo 13 which tells of the greatest rescue effort of a manned space flight, Odyssey went on display at the Cosmosphere in 1998, the same year the museum became an Affiliate. The command module remains on display today in the Cosmosphere’s Apollo Gallery, and the Affiliate continues to provide critical restoration services to the Smithsonian through its SpaceWorks division.

Over our 25-year history, Affiliations has grown far beyond its initial mandate to share objects with Affiliate organizations and has lived up to the Institution’s ambition to educate beyond the National Mall and build collaborative relationships with other museums and cultural organizations. Today, with more than 200 Affiliate collaborators in 46 states, Panama, and Puerto Rico, the Smithsonian is able to engage communities across the nation in myriad ways, many of which have been highlighted in our blog over the last several months. As a network, we are able to spark curiosity and learning, inspire a deeper understanding of our world, and work together to create a better tomorrow.

As the African proverb says, “If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” As we at Smithsonian Affiliations celebrate our 25th anniversary, we look forward to many more years of moving forward together with our Affiliate collaborators and continuing the Smithsonian’s important work grounded in the increase and diffusion of knowledge.

Smithsonian yellow sunburst with 175 to the right of it

Celebrate Smithsonian Affiliations’ 25th anniversary on social media with us September 15, 2021, #SmithsonianAffiliations25! All Smithsonian Affiliates are invited to share a memory as a Smithsonian Affiliate with us using the hashtag #SmithsonianAffiliations25. Make sure to tag @SIAffiliates on Twitter or @SmithsonianAffiliates on Instagram! Contact us for more info.

Catch up on our whole 25th Anniversary blog series here:

Kudos Affiliates!! September 2021

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

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) is part of a six university consortium, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, to receive a $441,367 grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) aimed at increasing the number of college courses utilizing free Open Educational Resources (OER) rather than costly textbooks. The project – Remixing Open Textbooks through an Equity Lens (ROTEL): Culturally Relevant Open Textbooks for High Enrollment General Education Courses and Career and Professional Courses at Six Public Massachusetts Colleges – will test the hypothesis that underrepresented students will achieve higher academic outcomes if free, culturally-relevant course materials that reflect their experiences are utilized. Student savings on textbooks over the three-year grant period are projected to be over $800,000, and the goal is to create a new model that provides continued savings long into the future.

The Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) received a $20,000 operational support grant from the Dubuque City Council as a result of the financial impact from the pandemic.

The Infusion Fund awarded Carolinas Aviation Museum (Charlotte, NC) an $80,573 grant to support the museum’s operating budget which was impacted by the pandemic. The Museum also received a $1.5 million gift from Honeywell to catalyze the launch of the The Lift Off Campaign to develop a new state-of-the-art facility in Charlotte.

The National Park Service announced the award of 17 projects of the Underrepresented Community Grant Program which is focused on working towards diversifying the nominations submitted to the National Register of Historic Places:

  • History Colorado (Denver, CO)- $46,930 to conduct a survey and solicit nominations for Women’s Suffrage Sites in Colorado.
  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH)-$50,000 to administer a nomination process for three Green Book sites in Ohio.
  • Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK)-$50,000 for the architectural/historic survey of Oklahoma’s All-Black Towns.

The following Affiliates initiatives were some of the 239 humanities projects awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities:

  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) ($75,000) for planning for Cruising J-Town: Nikkei Car Culture in Southern California, an exhibition on Japanese Americans’ car culture throughout the 20th century in California.
  • Florida International University (Miami, FL) ($250,000) for preparation of a collection of essays on the architecture of the African diaspora in the United States entitled Architecture of the African Diaspora in/of the United States.
  • Florida International University ($349,646) for the rehousing of works on paper, photographs, and textiles from an offsite storage facility to new compact shelving and cold storage at The Wolfsonian.
  • Kona Historical Society (Kealakekua, HI) ($10,000) for the purchase of storage materials and installation of shelves to house a collection of historical photographs, unpublished diaries, journals, letters, family records and memorabilia, land documents, and selected Kona newspapers and articles documenting regional history and vanishing cultural traditions.
  • Krannert Art Museum (Champaign, IL) ($200,000) for implementation of a reinterpretation of the museum’s permanent gallery of Andean art and the creation of a digital portal allowing deeper exploration of the collection.
  • Plimoth Patuxet Museums (Plymouth, MA) ($163,742) to develop a two-week, residential institute Ancient Stories, New Neighbors: Decolonizing Indigenous Homelands and 17th-Century New England for 25 K–12 teachers on the history of Indigenous peoples in southern New England.
  • Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) ($263,415) for the digitization of 100,000 pages of Montana newspapers to increase geographic coverage, especially of Native American newspapers published on or near reservations, as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program.
  • City Lore, Inc. (New York, NY) ($75,319) for the development of a feature-length film The Colfax Massacre about a Reconstruction-era conflict between southern whites and African Americans and its legal and social legacy.
  • The Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX) ($75,000) for the planning for a reinterpretation of the museum’s permanent exhibition Where Nature, Science and Culture Meet on the history of Texas.
  • Hermitage Museum & Gardens (Norfolk, VA) ($9,366) for a preservation assessment of the collections representing more than 30 global cultures and 5,000 years of world history, from the Neolithic era to the early 1950s.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced grant awards through the agency’s largest competitive grant program, Museums for America, and its special initiatives, Museums Empowered and Inspire! Grants for Small Museums to improve services to their communities:

Museums for America

  • History Colorado ($249,886) to strengthen the implementation of the “Museum of Memory” project by maximizing community-led collective memory work and its contribution to social wellbeing. This public history program brings community together to remember and document their experiences, creating opportunities for those historically impacted by systems of oppression and inequality to explore their past through memory sharing, storytelling, grassroots collecting efforts, and art-based community share backs. 
  • North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC) ($250,000) to add a new, permanent paleontology exhibition, Dueling Dinosaurs, and a public lab that will allow middle school students to explore a variety of fossils using hands-on tools and techniques.
  • Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK) ($181,143) seeks to decolonize its collection through the dissemination of images and materials related to the Chickaloon Native Village. The project will expand access to collections with digital surrogates and newly created metadata made available online through both the village’s and the museum’s online image databases. The museum will hire an archivist, a collections technician and involve village elders to work on the project. Although this is the first project of this kind undertaken by the museum, it will serve as a model for future relationships with other Alaska Native villages.
  • Wing Luke Museum (Seattle, WA) ($178,311) to develop a new program series, Wing Luke Community Connections, of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) art workshops, art talks, free public readings, film screenings, and discussions. The series will feature a variety of artists, authors, filmmakers, and scholars who have been exploring the diverse AAPI immigrant experience to bring greater understanding to historic roots, heritage and culture, socio-political issues, and ongoing identity formation.
  • Plimoth Patuxet Museums ($212,742) to develop History in a New Light: Reimagining Wampanoag and Indigenous Museum Education, a series of educational programs, resources, and events responding to increasing demand for nuanced and fact-based histories told from indigenous perspectives.
  • Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) ($245,639) to partner with the Science Museum of Minnesota—creators of the Race: Are We So Different? exhibit—for the “Ground on Which We Stand” project. The initiative will distill the themes of the Race exhibit through the lens of local history so that participants can learn about, build pride in, and embrace the collective identity of their diverse community.
  • Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT) ($167,830) to create an exhibit exploring the region’s Native people. “American Indian Voices: Natives of the Northern Plains and Rockies” will examine cultural history, language and storytelling, and contemporary art and voices. The museum also will create a K–12 curriculum in accordance the Montana Office of Public Instruction that will assist teachers in interpreting American Indian culture and prepare students to visit the exhibit.
  • Arizona State Museum (Tucson, AZ) ($190,953) in partnership with The Poetry Center and Center for Digital Humanities will create a digital museum with exhibit locations in diverse areas of Tucson as well as accompanying activities for K-12 classrooms, families, and adults. The collaborative virtual outdoor museum will use geolocation technology and offer augmented reality encounters with curators, educators, poets, and community tradition bearers.
  • Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) ($170,332) to improve storage conditions for a large and diverse collection of apparel and textiles that are used for teaching and research. 
  • High Desert Museum (Bend, OR) ($217, 350) to develop design plans for a new 4,500 square-foot permanent exhibit entitled “Creating Together”, to help visitors better understand the indigenous plateau region, ancestral homeland of many indigenous communities and plateau tribes.
  • Michigan Science Center (Detroit, MI) ($105,499) to purchase a portable planetarium that will bring planetarium shows to more than 2,000 children through its Traveling Science Program.
  • Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, CT) ($219,385) to create a new public-facing initiative, the Community Historian Project. This contemporary collecting project—which gathers items of the recent past as well as from events happening today—will develop community historians to identify, document, and preserve their experiences as residents of Connecticut, and share these experiences during a series of community presentations.
  • Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (Spokane, WA) ($249,589) to expand access to its collections of inland northwest history, art, and cultures with a long-term plan and policies for digital preservation of collection materials.
  • History Colorado ($249,725) to create an exhibition on the Sand Creek Massacre. The museum will partner with three tribes: Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, Northern Arapaho Tribe, and Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. This exhibition will be the first in the U.S. to share the culturally vetted history of the massacre with the general public through the voices of Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal members.
  • Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (Easton, PA) ($120,734) to conduct a wall-to-wall inventory of the museum’s main collections storage facility and physically and digitally improve access to the objects stored there.
  • Museum of Us (San Diego, CA) ($229,940) to reimagine the exhibit, Race: Are We So Different? and provide complementary educational programming to meet community needs. This will expand the museum’s culture of community collaboration and serve as a framework for community-centric activities, tours, workshops, and public programs.

Museums Empowered

  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO) ($137,930) to develop an evaluation tool that measures the meaningfulness of the visitor experience. Project activities focus on developing, testing, and disseminating a tool to understand what makes visitors choose a museum, how that experience is remembered and shared, and how to create experiences to which visitors will want to return.
  • Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI) ($26,618) to increase organizational capacity to address inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) issues across the museum, building upon existing institutional assessments of programming, interpretation, hiring processes, facilities, and vendor relationships.
  • Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA) ($217, 427) to hire a full-time diversity, equity, access, and inclusion (DEAI) coordinator who will further the museum’s strategic DEAI goals.

Inspire! Grants for Small Museums

  • The Dennos Museum Center (Traverse City, MI) ($47,100) to address the issue of overcrowding in their collections storage area which was identified through a 2020 Museum Assessment Program (MAP) report.
  • Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning (Framingham, MA) ($49,964) to implement a team mentorship and project-based learning program for local high school students. Program participants are tasked with creating campaigns (exhibits, videos, and presentations) that increase awareness of environmental challenges helping participants to develop knowledge, analytical and communication skills, and ethical viewpoints that guide their actions on local and global environmental issues.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, IL) and the Greensboro History Museum (Greensboro, NC) were recipients of the Media & Technology MUSE Awards, presented by The Media & Technology Professional Network of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM):

Digital Campaign

GoldAs Shedd Aquarium Closed, Penguins Waddled into the Limelight
Shedd Aquarium

Research and Innovation

GoldPieces of Now: Murals, Masks, Community Stories and Conversations
Greensboro History Museum

2020 Response

SilverPieces of Now: Murals, Masks, Community Stories and Conversations
Greensboro History Museum

Kudos Affiliates!! August 2021

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 Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs awarded a grant to Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) for general operating support as part of a statewide effort to help fuel the resurgence of Iowa’s arts, film, heritage, humanities, and creative sectors as they continue to rebound from substantial financial losses as a result of the pandemic.

The African American Cultural Heritage Action fund from the National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded History Colorado (Denver, CO) a $50,000 grant to help preserve Black history. History Colorado is planning to create a statewide African American Heritage trail that will include virtual reality-based markers through a phone app in historical Black destinations.

Blue Origin and its foundation, Club for the Future, have awarded U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL) and Space Center Houston (Houston, TX) a $1 million grant each to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and help invent the future of life in space.

The 2021 grant cycle of the Nissan Foundation dispersed a total of $697,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations that promote cultural diversity:

  • Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) received $20,000 to support AANM Public Programming Series 2021-2022.
  • Museum of Us (San Diego, CA)received $15,000 to host Race: Are We So Different? virtual workshops.
  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) received $30,000 to fund its School Visits program, which enables school groups from throughout Southern California to visit the museum and witness the experiences of Japanese Americans from early immigration in the 19th century through the present.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM) was awarded a “One Small Step” grant from the SPACE 3.0 Foundation. The grant will allow the museum’s curatorial department to digitize more than a dozen space related 16mm films from the 1960s that reside in the museum’s collection, including several associated with the Gemini and Apollo programs.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) received a 2021-2022 NEA Big Read grant of $19,970 to support a community reading program focusing on An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo, the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

USS Constitution (Boston, MA) was named winner in the “Historic Sites & Tours” category for Boston Parents’ Family Favorites. It is the fourth year in a row that the museum has received this award from the readers of Boston Parents Paper.

North Carolina Museum of History (Greensboro, NC) was the recipient of an Award of Excellence by the American Association for State and Local History for the multimedia project How We Got That.

The Education Professional Network of the American Alliance of Museums presented the Pandemic Innovation and Education award to the Durham Museum (Omaha, NE), recognizing the museum’s Museum Live! program. The Durham received the award in the mid-sized museum category that honored education efforts created, re-invented or revamped in response to supporting audiences during the pandemic.

Plimoth Patuxet Museums announced that Mayflower II has been named a recipient of the 2021 Paul and Niki Tsongas Award by Preservation Massachusetts, the statewide non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Commonwealth’s historic and cultural heritage.

LEADERSHIP

The National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN) has named Dr. Russell Wigginton as the museum’s next president.  Dr. Wigginton will begin his new position on August 1. He brings 29 years of experience in education, philanthropy, executive management, and program development, as well as strategic planning and partnership building.

Dawn DiPrince was named the new executive director of History Colorado (Denver, CO) and will assume the role on Sept. 1, 2021. She succeeds the retiring Steve Turner. Dawn has worked at El Pueblo History Museum and with all the other History Colorado Community Museums, moving to Denver in 2019 to become the organization’s chief operating officer.

Devon Akmon, director of Michigan State University’s Science Gallery Detroit, has been appointed to the role of director of the Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI), effective July 1. Before coming to Science Gallery Detroit, Akmon served as a senior consultant with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. Prior to that, he served as the second director of the Arab American National Museum.

Smithsonian Affiliations at 25: Chapter 4: Supporting the People that Make Us Strong

Supporting our network of Affiliate partners is a keystone of our work at Smithsonian Affiliations. As we continue to reflect on our past 25 years, it is the strength of the people we work with at Affiliate organizations that truly makes an impact on the work that we do. This month we are focusing on the professional development collaborations with Affiliate colleagues. Here we take you on a visual journey of the ways in which we have helped to make an impact furthering the professional growth of staff at our Affiliate partner organizations.

Coming Up in Affiliateland in June 2021

Enjoy these summer offerings!

Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo book coverWASHINGTON
Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony, curator at the National Air and Space Museum, will give a virtual lecture on her new book Operation Moonglow for the Museum of Flight, Seattle, 6.3. They also collaborated on a podcast, here

CALIFORNIA
The USS Hornet- Sea, Air and Space Museum in Alameda will screen Smithsonian Channel’s Battle of Midway: The True Story virtually, 6.6.

Jon Grinspan headshot

National Museum of American History Curator Jon Grinspan

NATIONWIDE
Affiliates across the country will co-host our latest Virtual Scholar Talk, What America’s Greatest Father-Daughter Political Dynasty Teaches Us About Fixing Democracy.  National Museum of American History curator Dr. Jon Grinspan will share this story from his book, The Age of Acrimony: How Americans Fought To Fix Their Democracy, 1865-1915, 6.17.

From Miami to Alameda, Indianapolis to San Antonio, Smithsonian Affiliates all over the country will disseminate thousands of copies of Inspiration Nation, a summer activity guide for K-8 students presented by the Smithsonian in collaboration with USA Today. Filled with stories from the Smithsonian, students can use the publication to step away from their screens and find inspiration everywhere around them.