Kudos Affiliates!! January 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 Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) and the California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA) are recipients of an Art Museum Futures Fund grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The emergency COVID-19 grants will be used to support general operations.

The Ohio State Controlling Board approved $1.2 million to Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) for the support of educational initiatives. The funding is part of Ohio’s response to the health and economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Guinness Open Gate Brewery is donating to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore, MD) as part of its Guinness Gives Back Baltimore Community Fund. As an extension of the brewery’s mission to contribute to America’s craft brewing scene in a positive way as makers and creatives, the brewery’s support will champion underrepresented artists to inspire the next generation.

Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH) received $61,200, an Ohio Arts Council CARES Act Economic Relief for the Arts award, to support salaries and operating expenses. In addition, the museum received $61,227 from the Park National Bank to support general operating expenses.

The Andrew W. Mellon and William Penn Foundations selected the African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) as one of 37 institutions to split an $8 million fund. The museum was awarded $200,000 to support general operating costs.

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission announced nearly $2 million in grants to museums and historical societies across the commonwealth including the following Affiliates:

Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded grants to the following Affiliates as part of its Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative. The funding will be used to develop exhibitions and education programs that accurately portray the role of religion in the U.S. and around the world.

  • Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) ($500,000) – to create a new storyline on the role of religion in African American history in the early 19th century.  The project will “explore the vital role of religion in the lives of antebellum Black settlers, who often thought of the Northwest Territory as their Promised Land.”
  • Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ) ($2,500,000) – to develop a permanent exhibition that will explore the origin stories of four North American indigenous tribes — the Seneca in the Northeast, the Yup’ik in the Arctic, the Akimel O’odham, and the Navajo in the Southwest — in an immersive and educational presentation that seeks to educate about the diversity and beauty of indigenous religion and spiritual practices.
  • Plimoth Patuxet Museums (Plymouth, MA) ($2,499,110) – to support The Light Here Kindled: Providence, Manitou and the Legacy of America’s Founding Faiths program that seeks to strengthen and expand the museum’s capacity to incorporate the crucial role of faith, particularly the beliefs and practices of Reformed Christianity, into its interpretations of Colonial Plymouth and the people of the indigenous Patuxet.

Putnam Museum (Davenport, IA) received a $35,000 grant from the Scott County Regional Authority to support the design and construction of a world culture gallery.

Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI) received a $138,000 State COVID-19 Cultural Organization grant to help sustain operations through challenges posed by the pandemic.

Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, IL) received $700,000 through the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program to support its STEM Inspires program for dome planetarium capital upgrades.

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (Cedar Rapids, IA) received a $10,000 Virtual Arts Experience grant through the Iowa Arts Council, to offer 15 virtual music performances by local artists for K-12 music classrooms and aging adults in care centers. Participating students and aging adults will engage in a virtual pen pal program. Students will submit music-related questions to adult learners who will record their responses with the help of care center staff.

Four Affiliates received a grant from the Iowa Arts and Cultural Recovery Program to provide relief for lost income or extra expenses incurred due to the pandemic. The grants may be used to offset operating expenses, as well as costs associated with reopening in person or adapting programs to virtual formats.

The Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) will renovate its library using a $3 million gift made by the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation. The gift allows for the continuation of the physical and cultural transformation of its main campus and headquarters by renovating the library’s first floor public reading room and consolidating staff workspaces.

LEADERSHIP

Dr. Kimberly Robinson, a 31-year NASA veteran, has been named the executive director and CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL). She will assume her role Feb. 15. Robinson is NASA’s Utilization Manager for Advanced Exploration Systems and was previously the Payload Mission Manager for Artemis I, the first integrated flight test of the NASA’s Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System rocket, and the Exploration Ground Systems at Kennedy Space Center.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore, MD) announced the appointment of Terri Lee Freeman, former President of the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN) as the new Executive Director. As a national leader, who brings an entire career in philanthropy, focused on fundraising and building strategic alliances, she will join the museum in February.

Ben Jones was named the new executive director of the South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD). Ben is the former Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education.

Dan Joyce announced he will retire as executive director of the Kenosha Public Museums (Kenosha, WI) at the end January following more than three decades at the museum.

Coming Up in Affiliateland in February 2021

Welcome to a new year of collaboration!

NATIONWIDE
Eight Affiliates present two more opportunities to view the Pandemic Perspectives: Stories through Collections virtual programs in collaboration with the National Museum of American History:
Race and Place: Yellow Fever and the Free African Society in Philadelphia on 2.2.21
Essential Workers: Prestige Versus Pay on 2.16.21

The eight participating Affiliates are:

Professional tennis player Althea Gibson in full motion hitting a difficult tennis shot.

RHODE ISLAND
The International Tennis Hall of Fame (Newport) will present a talk by Dr. Damion Thomas, Curator of Sports at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, on Althea Gibson and the History of Tennis on 2.24.21. Register here.

MASSACHUSETTS

The Springfield Museums (Springfield) will feature Dr. Dorothy Moss, Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery in a conversation with artists about their artistic processes as learning experiences, 2.11.21.  Later in the month, the Museums feature Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony, Curator at the National Air and Space Museum to discuss her new book, Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo on 2.25.21.

WISCONSIN

The Civil War Museum, part of Kenosha Public Museums (Kenosha) will host Doretha Williams, Program Manager for the Robert F. Smith Fund at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, for a virtual program in collaboration with the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative about Black Women in the Central Plains 1890-1920.