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.

Thanks in part to Affiliates, the Smithsonian is on a Summer Road Trip

A new 40-page activity booklet for young explorers.

Summer vacations may look differently this year, but families can still have fun no matter where they spend the summer. With its new 40-page activity booklet, Summer Road Trip, the Smithsonian invites kids and their families to follow their curiosity through a variety of activities that can be done at home, on the road, at a campsite, in the backyard… or wherever they let their minds wander.

Developed and distributed in collaboration with USA Today, the Summer Road Trip invites students to explore puzzles and games, make art and identify wildlife among other hands-on activities. Travelers can follow the tracks of Monarch butterflies, invent new modes of transportation, create a mini-exhibit of objects in their homes, or create a gallery of artworks, all inspired by Smithsonian exhibitions, programs, collections and research.

Smithsonian Affiliates proved to be key partners in helping the Institution to distribute the printed booklets in their communities. As anchors in cities and towns across the nation, Smithsonian Affiliates energized their local networks of school districts, youth organizations, housing partners, recreation centers and more to offer these free resources to students in all corners of their communities. Through Affiliates, the Smithsonian was able to distribute over 20,000 additional booklets. THANK YOU to all the Affiliates below for your help in sharing our educational resources with kids nationwide.

Download your free Summer Road Trip here. (Adults are welcome to use it too by the way.)  Share your “souvenirs” and pictures with us at #SmithsonianEDU. Have fun and bon voyage!

Booklets were distributed in 20 states, thanks to:

Playing with the Smithsonian’s Summer Road Trip booklet at the Oklahoma History Center. Credit: Oklahoma History Center

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Los Angeles, CA
History Colorado, Denver, CO
HistoryMiami, Miami, FL
Peoria Riverfront Museum, Peoria, IL
Conner Prairie, Fishers, IN
Kentucky Historical Society, Frankfort, KY
National World War II Museum, New Orleans, LA
Framingham State University, Framingham, MA
Springfield Museums, Springfield, MA
American Jazz Museum, Kansas City, MO
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC
University of Nebraska State Museum, Lincoln, NE
City of Las Cruces Museum System, Las Cruces, NM
National Atomic Testing Museum, Las Vegas, NV
Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH
The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology, Newark, OH
Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma City, OK
African American Museum of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Children’s Museum of the Upstate, Greenville, SC
South Dakota State Historical Society, Pierre, SD
Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol, TN
City of Austin-Parks & Recreation, Austin, TX
Witte Museum, San Antonio, TX

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. 

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)]