All Aboard! Welcome to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

Affiliations Director Harold Closter gives remarks to welcome the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvanian to the Smithsonian family.

Affiliations Director Harold Closter gives remarks to welcome the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania to the Smithsonian family.

On November 4, Smithsonian Affiliations welcomed the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania into the Affiliate network.  The Museum, located in Strasburg, is the first member of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) properties to join the Smithsonian family.  At the affiliation announcement ceremony, representatives from the state and federal legislatures gave remarks, as well as the director of PHMC and president of the Lancaster County Community Foundation.

Smithsonian Affiliations thanks Senator Patrick M. Browne of the Pennsylvania State Senate, 16th District, for the thoughtful comments he provided at the event (below) to mark this celebration and remind us of the power of history and partnerships in shaping the American experience.

“I can only guess how many of you recently shared something with me. I am proud to say that I was totally engrossed in the baseball drama of the Cubs and Indians for the last two weeks. Of course, the drama was created by the fact that the Chicago Cubs, until two days ago, were the longest standing major professional sports franchise in America without a championship. Not since 1908 were the Cubs at the top of Major League baseball.

To highlight this fact, during the contest, Fox Sports was running special interest pieces to put 1908 in perspective, such as in 1908, Al Capone was 9 years old, Thomas Edison was 62, Mark Twain was 72 and a loaf of bread cost 2 cents.

Senator Browne delivering his remarks at the affiliation announcement.

Senator Browne delivering his remarks at the affiliation announcement.

But as railroad enthusiasts tend to do, we can put all of our experiences in a railroad perspective. So, what I was thinking while these special interest pieces were running, was that 1908 was two years before Penn Station first opened in New York City. By 1908, the great Pennsylvania Railroad had yet to conquer Gotham.

I was thinking that during their last championship year, if the Cubs were traveling from Chicago to face the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds in Harlem, they probably and unfortunately rode the New York Central. Everyone knows, however, how easy it was to build a bridge across the Hudson River in Albany.  Some rivalries never die. If they were traveling from the south or from Chicago, their journey on the trains of the Pennsylvania Railroad concluded in Jersey City.  A ferry waited there to take them for the final mile across the Hudson to Manhattan for there was, of course, no railroad tunnels under the Hudson in 1908.  The “Sand Hogs” were still working, sometimes dying, to complete those tunnels.

The fact is that one of the greatest achievements in human history — Penn Station — a building for the ages, was born, lived and died more than 40 years before the Chicago Cubs again won the World Series.  That is a long time, or is it?

The interesting question is why this World Series was so compelling to so many? Why so many baseball and non-baseball fans, 40 million strong, were captivated by it?  The simple answer is that it provided a bridge to the past, a connection to those whose achievements, no matter how long ago, helped in their own way to build what and who we are in 2016. In short, it served as a collective celebration of ourselves.

Well, within the walls of this “best of its kind in the nation” facility, the many who come here experience the same thing. For our past achievements in no other area but railroading define us better. Railroads have defined who we are, the communities that we live in and the quality of life that we enjoy. 

Achievements in railroading took human innovation to new heights, collapsed time and space by connecting people and communities across distances never before possible, removed for the first time the shackles that Mother Nature had on human progress, provided a permanent venue for the integration of the America’s collage of culture and capacity and advanced the standard and wellbeing of millions like no other industry before or since.  In short, the railroads were the epicenter of American human and technological achievement and, upon reflection, an inspiration of what the American spirit can always achieve.

With more railroad companies, more rail miles per square mile, more tonnage and more passengers, Pennsylvania railroading, of course, as the slogan goes, is the standard for the country and the world.  In no other place than in Pennsylvania is the journey of railroading in the American conscience more compelling. With the Keystone State at the pinnacle of railroad lore and legacy, no Pennsylvanian can truly understand the state that they live in and its place in the world without having a knowledge and appreciation of the story told within these walls.

The Olomana locomotive, on loan from the National Museum of American History.

The Olomana locomotive, on loan from the National Museum of American History.

A Smithsonian Affiliation of course, as it does for a multitude of outstanding historical assets nationwide, provides endless possibilities to improve the value and offerings of this facility to the maximum benefit of all our citizens. But at its core, it is much more than that. Most important and most fundamental is what the partnership communicates, what it elevates in the hearts and minds of Pennsylvanians and all Americans about the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and its compelling core mission: a venue for personal reflection, through the stories of people and property of railroading, of our collective journey. A path forged on steel rails to what we have become and, as Americans, what we are always capable of being. As will be the legacy of the 2016 World Series in American folklore, this facility is a timeless celebration of ourselves.

“Trains are wonderful, wrote railroad enthusiast and author Agatha Christie.  “To travel by train is to see nature and human beings, in fact, to see life.”

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Senate, to the Smithsonian and the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, thank you and congratulations for allowing our citizens to see and appreciate the value that railroading plays in their lives and the life of our state and our nation.”




Affiliates in the news

Here’s a recap of our Affiliate news makers in October. If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. (Tamika Moore |

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. (Tamika Moore |

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL)
Birmingham Civil Rights District should be designated a national park
While I walked through NMAAHC and shared information with my two daughters, I was reminded of Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s long connection with the museum. Before there was one brick in place, BCRI collaborated with NMAAHC on numerous projects, including showcasing one of its traveling exhibitions, “Let Your Motto Be Resistance,” back in 2009. Our staff has supported its efforts in planning, the securing of objects and community support.

Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH)
New Smithsonian museum has Dayton connection
A traveling exhibit “A Place for All People” is also designed to pique interest in the new museum. That show, a collection of posters, is currently on display at the Springfield Museum of Art. Ann Fortescue, the Springfield museum’s executive director, says one of the many benefits of being a Smithsonian Affiliate museum is sharing what’s happening at the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. with audiences in the Miami Valley.

"Star Wars and the Power of Costume" showcases not only the outfits that have become iconic, but the process behind the creation of the characters and their adornments. In the exhibition, you'll see both concept art (left) and the final looks (right), including these of C-3PO and R2-D2 from "Star Wars: A New Hope" and "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back." —Photo © & ™ 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization

“Star Wars and the Power of Costume” showcases not only the outfits that have become iconic, but the process behind the creation of the characters and their adornments. In the exhibition, you’ll see both concept art (left) and the final looks (right), including these of C-3PO and R2-D2 from “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.” —Photo © & â„¢ 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization

Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Behind the Scenes of the DAM’s Upcoming “Star Wars” Exhibit
It’s been a few days since the latest Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer was released, and it’s another two months until the film hits theaters—but don’t despair. You can get your fill of the Star Wars world in the interim with Star Wars and the Power of Costume, which takes over the second floor of the Denver Art Museum (DAM) from November 13 through April 2.

New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM)
New Exhibit to Showcase Gene Roddenberry’s Vision
But the smallest exhibit cases may be the ones that hold the real treasures, straight from the vault of the Smithsonian. The Star Trek episode The Trouble With Tribbles, written by David Gerrold who will be a special guest on opening night, revolves around furry little critters that multiply at an incredible rate and who also have a serious dislike for Klingons. Although the Starship Enterprise was overrun by tribbles at the time, only a very few remain in existence today. The tribble visitors will admire inside its eight inch case was actually used in that episode and is on loan to the museum from the Smithsonian.

National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN)
The Smithsonian Names the National Civil Rights Museum as an Affiliate Museum
The National Civil Rights Museum has been named a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. The Museum is the second Smithsonian Affiliate in Memphis, and seventh in the state of Tennessee. 

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA)
National Museum of American History Examines Religion in America
Led by Richard Pickering, deputy executive director of Plimoth Plantation, the documentary theater program will explore the intersection of two musical traditions: hymns and psalms from the Church of England and Calvinist congregations and the sacred songs and dance of the Wampanoag, the indigenous people of Cape Cod, the Islands and southern Massachusetts.

Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, IL)
Peoria Fine Arts Society hosts lectures on new national African American museum
Author, lecturer and teacher John W. Franklin will speak at the Peoria Riverfront Museum on Oct. 13 about the National Museum of African American History and Culture that recently opened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.


Researchers simulated a gannet plunging into water, capturing the process with a high-speed camera. (Image by Sunny Jung/Virginia Tech)

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
To analyze the bird’s body shape and neck musculature, the team used a salvaged gannet provided by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. They also created 3-D printed replicas of gannet skulls from the collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, which helped them measure the forces on the skull as it enters the water. 

DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
What’s Ahead for Chicago’s DuSable Museum (VIDEO)
The DuSable Museum of African American History was founded in 1957 and it continues to showcase a rich and sometimes difficult history. Over the last year, two new executives have taken charge of the DuSable Museum. President and CEO Perri Irmer and chief curator Leslie Guy join host Eddie Arruza in discussion.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum (Las Vegas, NV)
Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Introduces World’s Largest Snake
Slithering in at 48 feet long and weighing an estimated one-and-a-half tons, a realistic replica of the world’s largest snake will on exhibit at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum from Oct. 14 through Jan. 8.



November in Affiliateland

Is the Smithsonian in your neighborhood? Probably so! These Affiliates are bringing the Smithsonian to communities across the U.S. in November!


From Clay to Copper: The Story of the Etowah Valley, a new exhibition at the Tellus Science Museum, includes 64 Native American artifacts and minerals from the National Museum of Natural History, in Cartersville beginning 11.5.


Washington, D.C.

National Museum of American History features Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) in Waking the Ancestors: Recovering the Lost and Sacred Sounds of Colonial America, a public program at the museum on 11.5-6.



Daniel Piazza, curator at the National Postal Museum will present a lecture on communicating during the Revolutionary War at St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, in St. Augustine 11.10.



Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Warsâ„¢ and the Power of Costume opens at the Denver Art Museum, in Denver 11.13. The exhibition was developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in partnership with the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and Lucasfilm Ltd.



The Civil War Museum, part of Kenosha Public Museums, will display Changing America:  The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963, an exhibition presented by the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History, in Kenosha 11.16.

Button for the 1941 March National Museum of American History, gift of Rita Jaros

Button for the 1941 March
National Museum of American History, gift of Rita Jaros

Kudos Affiliates

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments!

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced grants for 206 museum projects totaling $21,149,000, including the following Affiliate initiatives:

Historic Annapolis (Annapolis, MD) Award: $150,000.00
Historic Annapolis will design, fabricate, and install the proposed exhibition, “A History of Annapolis in 99 Objects.” The exhibition will tell the broad, inclusive story of Maryland’s capital city.

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA)  Award: $150,000.00
The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) will develop a small-scale traveling exhibition to broaden access to stories of the American Jewish people for schools, synagogues, and museums across the country. “Let My People Go: The Movement to Free Soviet Jews” will feature custom curricula, a programming handbook, and pre-designed marketing materials to inspire dialogue on contemporary issues of immigration, refugees, and religious freedom.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO)  Award: $128,506.00
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will deliver, expand, and evaluate whole-school museum education experiences for all students and teachers in elementary and K-8 schools in two under-resourced school districts.

Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT)  Award:  $24,971.00
Mystic Seaport will extend the reach, impact, and diversity of its first-person interpretation program which is a hallmark of the museum experience. New interpreters will conduct extensive historical research, participate in professional development opportunities, and create costumes to develop their characters.

Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR)  Award:  $25,000.00
The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico will continue its Art and Technology for Youth at Risk initiative which provides learning opportunities for at-risk young adults by integrating museum programming and exhibits, and partner organization programming, into an afterschool program.

San Diego Natural History Museum  (San Diego, CA)  Award:  $148,239.00
The San Diego Natural History Museum will design a program entitled SPECTRUM, which will provide a structured opportunity for high-functioning, verbal young adults (ages 18-25) with autism spectrum disorder to collaborate with their peers in practicing social skills and participate in organized fieldtrips.

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque, IA)  Award:  $148,795.00
The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium will catalog, inventory, document, and re-house approximately 6,200 undocumented or under-documented objects in their collection, representing 35 percent of their total collection. This documentation is critical to the continued understanding of the people and cultures of the Mississippi River.

B & O Railroad Museum  (Baltimore, MD)  Award:  $150,000.00
The B&O Railroad Museum will undertake the restoration and treatment of B&O #51, the first streamlined diesel locomotive put into service, which in 1937 represented a major shift in locomotive technology. Project activities include research and documentation, asbestos abatement, preservation of original materials, inspection and restoration of subassemblies, and restoring original locomotive finishes to their 1937 appearances.

Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Indian Museum  (Clewiston, FL)  Award:  $105,600.00
The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Indian Museum will install high-density moveable shelving in the museum’s main building vault. The proposed shelving will double the vault’s storage space, allowing materials to be properly stored and creating much-needed room for future collection growth.

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA)  Award: $148,531.00
In anticipation of a new museum facility, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Washington will improve the collection care, management, and accessibility of its malacology (shell) collection, considered the most extensive and valuable in the Pacific Northwest.

Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)  Award:  $149,164.00
The Arizona State Museum will re-house 2,000 archeological basketry specimens with high scholarly significance and interest to the museum and its audiences and will treat 116 high-priority archeological items identified as unstable and threatened with further deterioration.

San Diego Museum of Man  (San Diego, CA)  Award:  $149,534.00
The San Diego Museum of Man (SDMoM) will improve stewardship and collection management of its ethnographic weapons collection by re-housing 3,000 artifacts for long-term preservation.

Museum of History and Industry (Seattle, WA)  Award:  $149,977.00
The Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) will create high-quality digital images with metadata tags for 5,287 artifacts, archival materials, photographs, and oral histories relating to the diverse history of the Seattle and Puget Sound region. Images will be searchable by the public and staff through the museum’s online collections management system and through a shared regional online repository hosted by the University of Washington.

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA)  Award:  $149,245.00
Plimoth Plantation will partner with Mystic Seaport’s Henry B. du Pont Preservation Shipyard to restore 27 planks along the lower port side of the Mayflower II’s hull as part of the larger effort to return the vessel to U.S. Coast Guard operational status, scheduled for 2020.

San Diego Air & Space Museum  (San Diego, CA)  Award:  $150,000.00
The San Diego Air & Space Museum will improve its management of and broaden access to 30,000 collection objects in phase two of its Great Explorations project. Project activities will include connecting this database to the museum’s digital asset management system; and making the data and images available via Flickr, the museum’s website, and its online catalog, AeroCat.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO)  Award:  $149,975.00
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will conduct conservation stabilization treatment for 375 high-priority objects in its American Ethnology Collection of materials from 420 American Indian tribes, including clothing and accessories, cradleboards, musical instruments and toys, kachina, household items, horse gear and travel, and weapons.

Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)  Award:  $128,065.00
The Denver Art Museum will catalog, document, migrate, and rehouse 425 electronic media artworks in four of its art and design collections. This collection includes artworks with video, audio, digital image, software, and website components contained on a range of storage media including videotapes, audiotapes, optical media, computer diskettes, and external hard drives.

Michigan State University Museum  (East Lansing, MI)  Award:  $50,607.00
Michigan State University Museum will conduct general conservation surveys of the museum’s natural science and cultural collections and begin to implement short-term care and rehousing improvements.

Springfield Museums (Springfield, MA)  Award:  $106,592.00
The Springfield Museums will stabilize and restore twenty Tiffany stained glass windows that are original to the main facade of the historic George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum which opened in 1896. The goals of the project are to stabilize the windows and to restore them, as closely as possible, to their original appearance and condition, using appropriate conservation techniques and materials.

International Museum of Art & Science (McAllen, TX)  Award:  $24,946.00
The International Museum of Art & Science will improve the storage conditions for their framed art collection of approximately 600 pieces. The museum will purchase five mobile art racks and nineteen art storage shelves that will be installed in the museum’s storage room.

History Colorado (Denver, CO) has been awarded a $2.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning program. The project explores the integration of Native American knowledge with Western science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The five-year grant will engage 128,000 STEM learners, educators, and experts across Colorado and Utah in: cutting-edge archaeological and ethnobotanical field work;  interactive exhibits and videos; public programs for families and adults; statewide K-12 education outreach programs, digital badges, and teacher training; and findings for museums, tribes, and scientists.

University Corporation For Atmospheric Research (UCAR) (Boulder, CO) has been awarded a $228,110 grant from NSF. The project, Integrating Indigenous and Western Knowledge to Transform Learning and Discovery in the Geosciences, uses the principles of collective impact to create new partnerships between tribal communities and STEM institutions that promote the participation and inclusion of Native American scientists in the geosciences.


October 2016 is BUSY in Affiliateland!

Thanks to all our Affiliates for such great work!

Affiliations program Director Harold Closter will announce the new affiliation with the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, 10.5.

The Dubuque Museum of Art will hold a videoconference on En Plein Air with the American Art Museum in Dubuque, 10.11.

The Smithsonian Associates will be working with three Affiliates – the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the St. Louis Science Center and the Museum of Arts and Sciences on GEAR UP, a science education program for 8th graders in Lafayette, 10.11-13.

National Outreach Manager Aaron Glavas will announce the new affiliation with the St. Louis Science Center, and National Air and Space Museum educator Tim Grove will present a book talk at a Member Open House event in St. Louis, on 10.13.

The Pacific Aviation Museum will host an astrophotography workshop with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, in Honolulu, 10.13-14.

The Heard Museum will open the exhibition Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist from the National Museum of the American Indian, in Phoenix, 10.13

Staff from the National Museum of Natural History will be giving talks at a private event for the Atlanta Regional Host Committee at the David Sencer Centers for Disease Control Museum in Atlanta, 10.13.

The Las Vegas Natural History Museum will open the SITES exhibition Titanaboa in Las Vegas, 10.15.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will host the Board meeting and associated activities of the Smithsonian Science Education Center in Raleigh, 10.17.

Over 120 Affiliate staff will help celebrate the 20th anniversary of Smithsonian Affiliations at the annual conference in Washington, 10.17-20.

John Franklin from the National African American Museum will announce the new affiliation with the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, 10.20.

National Outreach Manager Jennifer Brundage will give comments at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology groundbreaking, dedication and dinner event in Akron, 10.22.

American Art Museum curator Virginia Mecklenburg will present a talk on Seeing America with Norman Rockwell at the Springfield Museum of Art in Springfield, 10.25.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Smithsonian Science Education Center will collaborate on workshops on Building Awareness for Science Education in Denver, 10.24-25.

National Museum of American History curator Katherine Ott will attend and offer commentary at the Making of Modern Disability conference at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, 10.28.



Affiliates in the news: September/October edition

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, HI)
Civil Geeks: Aviation Museum Tackles Astronomy
Adjacent to the World War II fighter jets at the Pacific Aviation Museum is a classroom not many visitors know even exists. The facility is used for student groups usually interested in aviation and flight simulators but lately the museum is going beyond the limits of our earth’s atmosphere and exploring objects in deep space. The workshop is called Astrophotography and geared for students from 5th to 8th graders. According to the PAM press release, “The workshop is part of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos III (YCCC III) program, offering students the opportunity to research, explore, and photograph the cosmos using telescopes owned and maintained by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.”

National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA)
VIDEO- PBS39 FOCUS (NMIH story runs from 11:13-19:29)

Springfield Museums (Springfield, MA)
Smithsonian link huge boost for Springfield (Editorial)
This is a win-win for everyone and truly a historic occasion. The efforts of political leaders, museum officials and MassMutual Foundation will be rewarded, every time the Smithsonian brings its message to Springfield or tells its story to an America and world that needs to hear.

Springfield Museums Named Smithsonian Affiliate (Radio spot)
WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Springfield Museums President Kay Simpson

Springfield Museums Named Smithsonian Affiliate
For us to continue to develop a culturally rich community, it is important that all of us — especially our children — have access to some of the world’s most treasured art collections, artifacts, and perspectives of the most renowned experts in the country,” said Roger Crandall, chairman, president, and CEO of MassMutual.  “The MassMutual Foundation’s support of the partnership between the Springfield Museums and the Smithsonian helps strengthen the cultural fabric of our community, and we are proud to do our share to provide opportunities that inspire people to never stop learning and growing.”

Springfield Museums named Smithsonian affiliate; new opportunities for exhibits, education
The Smithsonian Institution has named the Springfield Museums an affiliate, opening up new opportunities for cultural and historical exhibits and a wealth of educational programs.

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (Los Angeles, CA)
Smithsonian Highlights Latino Players as Part of Baseball’s Racial History
“The stories that are resurfacing as a result of this project are prime examples of its importance,” Caballero said. “Without regional projects and a strong national project, such as the Smithsonian’s ‘Latinos and Baseball’ project, most of these stories, as well as the history of their communities, would not be documented for current and future generations.”

National Museum of African American History and Culture opening celebration
DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago,IL)
DuSable Museum Celebrates Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture with special Watch Party and Smithsonian Poster Exhibition
The DuSable Museum of African American History will “Lift Every Voice” and celebrate the Grand Opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on Saturday, September 24, 2016, by hosting a free “Watch Party” beginning at 8:30 AM. The event will take place at the Museum located at 740 East 56th Place (57th Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue) in Chicago.

Watch Party: Grand Opening of New Smithsonian Museum

National black history museum could spur interest locally
On Chicago’s South Side, it will be viewed during a free watch party Saturday at the 55-year-old DuSable Museum of African American History, one of the oldest museums of its kind. Officials there — and at other local and regional venues that offer more local stories on the struggles and contributions of blacks in the United States — expect the new national museum to spur interest and steer more visitors their way.

Chicago woven throughout Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History
If you can’t make the trip to Washington D.C. for the opening ceremony, Chicago’s Smithsonian affiliate invites you to watch on its big screen. The viewing party starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning, at Dusable Museum

DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL) and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL)
African-American museum to open in Washington
DuSable Chief Curator Leslie Guy says the new museum has “become an incredible opportunity in terms of raising awareness.” In Alabama, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute President Andrea Taylor says that after experiencing the national museum, visitors “will want to know more about what’s happening in their local community.”

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL)
New African American History Museum prepared to deal with visitors’ emotions
Museums have to be prepared to deal with a variety of emotions when dealing with charged subjects like slavery and civil rights, said Priscilla Hancock Cooper, vice president of institutional programs at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama. After going through the Birmingham museum, visitors are offered a chance to talk with volunteers — many of whom lived through the turbulent civil rights era in Birmingham — to help process their thoughts and feelings, Cooper said.

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore, MD)
6 Things to Do If You Don’t Have a Timed Pass for the National African American History Museum
Baltimore’s Reginald F. Lewis Museum is hosting its own event Saturday in celebration of the grand opening of the newest Smithsonian. During the event, parents and kids can join award-winning illustrator Shadra Strickland for storytime of her book, “Bird,” a tale about a young boy facing family struggles. A drawing workshop with the artist will follow.Participants will also receive a free commemorative poster, while supplies last.

B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, Maryland) (VIDEO)
Hometown Hotspot
The B & O Railroad Museum is hosting a special exhibition to celebrate the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on September 24, 2016. This Saturday is also the Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Live Day when you can sign up and get free admission to the B&O Railroad Museum!

Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, Virginia) (VIDEO)
“Lift Every Voice” Concert Series and Museum Day Live! at Birthplace of Country Music Museum Sept. 24
This year’s Museum Day Live! is special as BCMM will also be honoring the Grand Opening of the Smithsonian’s newest museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, DC. To celebrate this opening, the museum will offer several programs throughout the day as part of the NMAAHC’s “Lift Every Voice” initiative

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)
New museum on National Mall tells sweeping story of black experience – with a Philly twist
Says Lonnie Bunch, the national museum’s founding director: “I think the museum needs to be a place that finds the right tension between moments of pain and stories of resiliency and uplift.” The African American Museum in Philadelphia, at Seventh and Arch Streets, a Smithsonian affiliate, will host a video “watch party” of opening-day celebrations for the mothership on the mall, said Patricia Aden, AAMP president and CEO. 

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
The biggest challenge in opening up a national museum about African American history? How to talk about slavery
“You can’t cover everything of the black experience, and you’re always going to find someone who says something should be there or should not be there,” said Black, the director of African American programming at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh.

Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day LIVE!
Idaho Museum of Natural History (Pocatello, Idaho)
Idaho Museum of Natural History joins Smithsonian magazine’s 12th Annual Museum Day Live!

History Colorado (Denver, CO)
Revel in the Smithsonian Legacy on Museum Day Live!
“We are proud to be a Smithsonian Affiliate and celebrate Smithsonian Day Live with museums all across the country,” says the director of education at History Colorado, JJ Rutherford.

The Rockwell Museum (Corning, NY)
The Rockwell Museum Join Smithsonian Magazine’s 12th Annual Museum Day Live!
As the only Smithsonian Affiliate in Upstate, NY, The Rockwell actively seeks ways in which we can bring dynamic programming from the Smithsonian Institution to Corning and the Finger Lakes…  This year’s Museum Day Live! marks the Grand Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Rockwell joins in support of this momentous occasion by displaying a traveling exhibit, A Place for All People, a historic poster exhibit that explores African American history, culture, and community.

Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI)
Over 20 R.I. museums offer free admission Saturday
Many of the exhibits, performances, and events will celebrate the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opens the same day.

The Old Governor’s Mansion (Milledgeville, GA)
Original presidential ballots on display at Old Governor’s Mansion
The Old Governor’s Mansion at Georgia College, a Smithsonian affiliate, will house four original presidential ballots from the election of 1860 to view until Nov. 8. The loans are provided by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, IA)
Critical Wildlife Conservation and Research Projects Funded by AZA-Accredited Zoos and Aquariums
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) today announced AZA Conservation Grants Fund (CGF) grants totaling nearly $250,000 to be awarded to 13 projects. After a competitive review of 79 applications, 13 projects were chosen to be funded for 2016.

Booth Western Art Museum (Cartersville, GA)
Booth nets two top Shining Example Awards
Along the museum’s director of marketing, Tom Shinall, capturing the Rising Star Award, the Booth was named Southeast Tourism Society Escape to the Southeast Travel Attraction of the Year.

Upcountry History Museum (Greenville, SC)
14 Pieces Of Dissected Technology That Will Blow Your Mind
The Smithsonian’s “Things Come Apart” is a traveling exhibition that takes a fascinating look inside the technology we know and love.

These Photos of Deconstructed Devices Reveal Their Hidden Beauty
Both static and kinetic visions of disassembled hardware populate McLellan’s new exhibition, now on view at South Carolina’s Upcountry History Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate through February 19, 2017. The show will then hit the road traveling to Kansas City first on an ambitious 12-city national tour.

National WWII Museum (New Orleans, LA) and Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex (Titusville, FL)
TripAdvisor Showcases the World’s Best Museums With Travelers’ Choice Awards
“From awe-inspiring art galleries to thought-provoking memorials, Travelers’ Choice Museums provide enlightening experiences whether a traveler is visiting for the first time or the fiftieth…”

Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, TX) (VIDEO)
Giant Gems of the Smithsonian at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Springfield Museums (Springfield, MA)
Museum Mind-Meld
To celebrate a new partnership between the Smithsonian and Springfield Museums, come out on Saturday for the kick-off of Smithsonian Week, with guest speaker John Grant, planetary scientist at the National Air and Space Museum and member of the Mars Rover Team

Stafford Air & Space Museum (Weatherford, OK)
Oklahoma Small-town Promotes Aviation
Named a Smithsonian Affiliate in 2011, the museum started as a simple display case in the Weatherford Airport Terminal. It now displays more than 3,500 artifacts, many of them having logged real time in the atmosphere and beyond it. A number of them are on loan from the Smithsonian, including the pressure suit Stafford wore on Apollo X.

Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, FL)
Museum curators gather, preserve Pulse history
This touched thousands of lives,” said Michael Perkins, manager of the center’s museum. “We are trying to preserve it for generations.”Perkins said he consulted with experts from the Smithsonian Museums and visited the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Site as he prepared his staff for the challenge of preserving Pulse.