New Year Kudos Affiliates!! January 2020

Congratulations to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments to begin 2020! Do you have kudos to share? Please send potential entries to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

FUNDING

The Bath Community Fund (BCF) of Akron Community Foundation (ACF) recently awarded $26,250 to 12 nonprofits serving the township including a $4,500 grant to Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) to create an orientation space inside the new Gatehouse Welcome Center at Hale Farm & Village. The interpretive space will educate visitors about the history of the Hale family farm and its journey of becoming a living history museum.

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque, IA) are the recipients of two grants. Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust awarded the museum $250,000 to support its River of Innovation exhibit. The exhibit will feature a 19th-century machine-belt shop theme and will have interactive attractions for guests and add STEM-based learning into its growing educational programs. Alliant Energy also awarded the museum $5,000 for a new otter pup exhibit and press on the importance of watershed ecosystems.

The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo announced the winners of grant funding totaling $28,000 including $1,100 to the Air Zoo (Portage, MI) to support participation in the 2020 International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo.

The Iowa West Foundation Board of Directors recently approved $4.7 million in grants and initiatives funding to 18 nonprofit organization and government entities in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska including the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE) The museum will receive $17,000 to develop and enhance after school STEM enrichment programs.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

HistoryMiami Museum (Miami, FL) announced that Michele Reese Granger, marketing director at the museum, is one of this year’s PRNEWS Top Women in PR Awards winners, a recognition for her accomplishment of increasing attendance at the museum by 40 percent between 2017 and 2019.

ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services) announced renowned scholar, respected author and passionate activist, Dr. Anan Ameri, as the recipient of its 2020 Arab American of the Year award. Dr. Ameri is the founding director of the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI).

The Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) has been recognized with a major award for its work in bringing together a team of women to provide technical support at SC, a leading super computing conference. The initiative won the “Readers’ Choice: Workforce Diversity Leadership Award” in the annual HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards. WINS is a collaboration among the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, CO), the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network, and the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research. Following a national competition, WINS selects women who work in IT departments at universities and national labs around the country to help build and operate SCinet, the very high capacity network at SC conferences.

Jay D. Vogt, director of the South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD), will be appointed to serve as an expert member of the President’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). As an independent federal agency, the ACHP works with federal agencies to promote historic preservation and oversees the historic preservation review process. It also advises Congress and the President on historic preservation policy. The members of the ACHP provide advice and policy direction to the federal agency with the same name.

The B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD) received the 2019 Greater Baltimore Committee Business Recognition Award for the First Mile Stable project: a state-of-the-art equestrian facility and community center for the Baltimore City Mounted Police Unit. Each year the mayor of the City of Baltimore joins with the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Baltimore Development Corporation to recognize businesses that have demonstrated significant corporate leadership and service to improve the quality of life in Baltimore.

LEADERSHIP

The York County Culture & Heritage Commission has named a new executive director for its museum group. Richard Campbell, who took over Aug. 6 as acting executive director, now assumes the roll permanently and oversees the Museum of York County (Rock Hill, SC),  Main Street Children’s Museum, Historic Brattonsville and the McCelvey Center.

The American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) has selected a new executive director to lead the institution. Rashida Phillips will take the helm in January. Rashida Phillips will relocate from Chicago, where she served as senior director of community ventures of the Old Town School of Folk Music, the largest community school of the arts in the United States.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC) has named Eric Dorfman as its next museum director. Currently the director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Powdermill Nature Reserve in Pittsburgh, he will join the museum in early 2020.

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe recently announced its appointment of Joe Baker as the new Executive Director of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (Mashantucket, CT).  Baker comes to Mashantucket from the Palos Verdes Art Center in Rancho Palos Verdes, California where he has served as Executive Director for the last six years.

2020 Invent It Challenge

Credit: Cricket Media, Inc.

The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and Cricket Media have partnered for the past nine years to bring the Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge to students across the globe. The challenge is a free, STEM-focused contest open to students ages 5-18 that inspires them to solve real-world global issues through creativity and exploration. Smithsonian Affiliates are invited to share this opportunity with their visitors and incorporate it into Affiliate programming!

Here are some easy ways to promote the Challenge to your visitors or use in your own programming:
  • Use this flyer to spread the word about the 2020 Invent It Challenge to your visitors, school groups, and teachers.
  • Post this image across your social media outlets to inform your audience of the wonderful opportunity the Challenge presents for students to use their creativity and knowledge of science to make a positive impact on the world around them.
  • Introduce students to the 7-Step Invention Process using this introduction video and challenge them to think of how it can be applied to help create a solution to a wide variety of local, regional, or global issues.
  • Set up a whiteboard and have students play this interactive game from Smithsonian called “Pick Your Plate” to stimulate conversation around healthy food and how people across the globe might access it.
  • Show this inspirational video for possible ways to help solve the global issue of accessing healthy food and hold a question and answer session with students to get them thinking about what they could invent to address this issue.
Want to learn more about how the 2020 Invent It Challenge aligns with your programming, and what resources are available to you to promote it? Join our webinar on January 22nd, 2020, from 2-3 pm (EST)! Featured presenters include:
  • Sharon Klotz, Head of Invention Education at the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
  • Laura Woodside, Senior Vice President of Education Products at Cricket Media, Inc.
  • Patricia Genovese, Teacher of Past Winners from California

RSVP for the webinar!

About the Invent It Challenge
Each year, the Lemelson Center and Cricket Media develop a theme related to an important global issue. By choosing themes that address significant global issues, the Invent It Challenge allows students to realize they can make an important difference in their world by applying their skills, knowledge, and creativity to come up with solutions to the challenges people around the world face daily. The 2020 theme focuses on what students can invent to help improve people’s access to healthy food. The fact that approximately 25% of the world’s 7.8 billion people struggle to access safe, nutritious food illustrates the importance and global nature of this issue.

Credit: Cricket Media, Inc.

To submit an entry, students have to follow the Lemelson Center’s 7-Step Invention Process and document their progress through each step in a PowerPoint or video. To help them get started, students should review the Entry Guide, which includes everything they’ll need:

  • A list of Topics and Resources to help them generate ideas,
  • an Inventor’s Notebook to help them keep track of their progress through the seven steps,
  • and a Rubric to help them self-assess.
When students are ready, they can use this PowerPoint template to document their journey, or they can create their own presentations or videos. Judges at the Lemelson Center and Cricket Media evaluate each entry according to how deeply students engage with each step and how well they document their journey. In addition to great prizes from Faber Castell, Cricket Media, and others, students can win a multi-day trip to Washington, D.C. where their inventions get permanently displayed at the Spark!Lab! Entries are due by 11:59 pm (EST) on April 10, 2020.

Questions before the webinar? Email affiliates@si.edu.

Credit: Cricket Media, Inc.

Coming Up in Affiliateland in January 2020

Happy new year all! We look forward to a collaborative and engaging 2020.

NORTH CAROLINA
The North Carolina Museum of History will screen the Smithsonian Channel film Civil War 360: Fight for Freedom in Raleigh, 1.8.

MASSACHUSETTS

View of the new Spark!Lab maker space for youth at the Springfield Museums in Massachusetts

The new Spark!Lab at the Springfield Museums, a dynamic learning space for families to explore invention and innovation.

The Springfield Museums open a new Spark!Lab Smithsonian, followed by a lecture on Springfield as a Place of Invention by Eric Hintz, historian at the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History, in Springfield, 1.17.

IOWA
The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium will screen several Smithsonian Channel films including Epic Yellowstone: Down the River Wild, Aerial America: Wilderness and more, in Dubuque, 1.18-20.

OKLAHOMA
The Oklahoma History Center will screen Smithsonian Channel films Drinks, Crime and Prohibition-Gangsters and G-Men and Drinks, Crime, and Prohibition-Flappers and Bootleggers, in Oklahoma City, 1.18.

 

Coming up in Affiliateland in December 2019

Happy holidays to all!

MASSACHUSETTS
Framingham State University wraps up its 18-month series on the Moon Landing in Context with a day-long symposium entitled, Sustainable Space, Sustainable Earth: From Ideas to Action, featuring comments by Affiliations National Outreach Manager Jennifer Brundage in Framingham, 12.6.


NORTH CAROLINA

The American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service opens at the Greensboro History Museum in Greensboro on 12.7.

 

The Cape Fear Museum will be screening several Smithsonian Channel films throughout December, including Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink; The Green Book: Guide to Freedom; David Attenborough’s Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates; and Polar Bear Town: Quest for Cubs in Wilmington, check website for exact dates.

 

Wiki + Affiliates Part II: Wikimedia Commons and Image Releases

Following up on our successful call in October, we’re hosting a second webinar on Monday, December 16 at 3 pm Eastern focusing on another aspect of Wikipedia. After this webinar, we’ll announce dates for our next session covering the nuts and bolts of hosting your own edit-a-thon! Need a refresher on what we discussed in Part I? Read the Wiki+Affiliates: Help Represent the Under-Represented blog post.

Wikimedia Commons is an online repository of free-use images, sounds, and other media. Files from Wikimedia Commons can be used across all Wikimedia projects in all languages, including its most popular platform, Wikipedia. Wikimedia Commons contains over 55 million free media files, managed and editable by global volunteers. The Smithsonian has been contributing images to Wikimedia Commons for almost a decade. You can view some of the images and media files on the Smithsonian Commons page.

During this presentation we will build on the initial Wikimedia conversation from October with the Smithsonian’s Open Knowledge Coordinator, Kelly Doyle. She will highlight the ways in which Wikimedia Commons functions in the information landscape and how GLAM organizations (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) use and interact with this platform. We will discuss the nuances of image copyright, releasing, and practical implementation guidance. A walk-through of image tagging, search functions, and tracking image metrics over time will be presented.

 

5 Questions With Barbara Clark Smith

What do we love more than helping you navigate the Smithsonian? Sending someone from the Smithsonian to your neighborhood! Our people are our greatest resource and when new curators join the Smithsonian family, we like to share their stories with our network.

In this edition, we spotlight Barbara Clark Smith, an internationally known historian inImage of a book with a red cover, the Jefferson Bible, Smithsonian edition the field of Revolutionary America. She has spent her career at the National Museum of American History (NMAH) as a curator of early American social and political history. She has curated and co-curated major exhibitions, including The Jefferson Bible; After the Revolution: Everyday Life in America, 1780-1800; and Jamestown, Quebec, and Santa Fe: Three North American Beginnings. She has written both popular and scholarly books and essays and has been a frequent speaker at museums, book festivals, and other public history venues.

  • What was the moment or experience you had that made you interested in Revolutionary America?

My father was a mechanical engineer who loved reading history books in his spare time, so I learned from a young age that studying the past could be fascinating. Luckily, first-rate teachers at Montclair High School in New Jersey fed my love of history. It was the opportunity to work with a truly inspiring historian in graduate school—Prof. Edmund S. Morgan at Yale—that led me to choose the Revolution as a field of study. The Revolution is an exciting topic because events and ideas provoked the participation of men and women of many different backgrounds, beliefs, and social positions. The era shows us both unprecedented unity among North American colonists and profound differences and conflicts as well. There is no simple way to sum it up, and I know I will never fully understand every aspect of the Revolution. It is endlessly fascinating.

  • What excites you about coming to work in the Division of Political and Military History at NMAH?

Through political action, people try to bring their ideas about what is fair and what is right to bear in their societies. While some elements of political history have focused largely on a powerful elite, I enjoy tracing the relationships between political elites and more ordinary Americans. I enjoy working with NMAH museum collections that have long included attention to the political forms used by everyday people, such as protests and petitions as well as the vote. Colleagues in the division focus on different aspects of political history while sharing a dedication to exploring the past in new ways and to bringing our findings, perspectives, and enthusiasms to the public.

  • Since you oversee a vast collection of artifacts, which one is the most special to you and why?

That is impossible to answer! I love Paul Revere’s print of “The Bloody Massacre” of 1770, as it represents a dramatic (if flawed) political claim about the value of ordinary American lives. Along the same lines, I treasure Thomas Paine’s 1776 pamphlet Common Sense, where he introduced radical ideas that caught fire among an unprecedented number of readers. Then there’s a Bible that belonged to Stokeley Sturgis, an ordinary farmer in Delaware who converted to Methodism during the Revolution at the urging of his enslaved man, Richard. Methodist belief moved Sturgis to allow Richard to buy his own freedom. That man, Richard Allen, later founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. Sturgis’s Bible represents a connection between two men of faith who changed each others’ lives.

  • You’re interested in visiting Affiliate communities, what would you like to share with them?

I grew up in the Jersey suburbs and have since traveled and learned from people in many parts of the country and some other parts of the world. I love hearing different perspectives and grappling with some of the contradictions of our national history. That means learning more and more local and regional history, so as to include the variety and richness of US history as much as possible. I am married and have two adult children—one in California, the other in New York. So my husband and I travel fairly often coast to coast. We have built the Midwest and, to a lesser degree, the Southwest into our travels, and we have recently been exploring the deep south. We have so much more to explore and learn, of course!

  • What projects are on the horizon you are most excited about working on?

The public talks that I am presenting are also occasions for me to learn from audiences who offer new perspectives and questions about the founding era. Besides those presentations, I am working with my colleague Kenneth Cohen on a small exhibition case that treats the encounter between Wampanoag people and the Separatists (or “Pilgrims”) who landed at Patuxet / Plymouth in 1620. The 400th anniversary of that encounter offers an opportunity to revisit and rethink those extraordinary events.

The image shows Smithsonian scholar Barbara Clark Smith and her new book, The Freedoms We Lost

Barbara Clark Smith spoke on her new book at the Durham Museum, a Nebraska Affiliate, earlier this year.

Barbara offers the following presentations to Affiliates:

1. “A Freeborn People”: Slavery and the Founders

New findings and insights have transformed historians’ understanding of chattel slavery in the nation’s founding era. During years of revolution and nation-building, Americans both white and black confronted slavery’s powerful impact on their economy, society, and political world. Both slavery and opposition to slavery shaped the era’s most important documents and institutions. A white historian of 18th-century politics and society considers this history and its legacy for today.

2. “Hanging Together”: Unity and Disunity in America’s Founding Era (Available early 2020)

“Now we must hang together, or we shall assuredly hang separately.”
—attributed to Benjamin Franklin, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence

Today’s experience of deep divisions in US society, culture, and politics makes the history of 18th-century nation-building more pertinent than ever. The founding generation needed to reconcile people of divergent religious beliefs, economic interests, social positions, and ethnic backgrounds to create a revolution and form a “more perfect union.” How—and how far—did they hang together? A historian finds answers in English political traditions; an ideal of economic patriotism; ideas of racial identity; African American acts of community-building; and Native American practices of confederation. A Smithsonian curator offers timely perspectives on the founding era.

Interested in bringing Barbara or other Smithsonian scholars to your organization? Contact your National Outreach Manager!