Part 3: Using Collections to Think About Immigration with the Smithsonian Learning Lab

After visiting three Affiliate communities in 2018, the staff at the Smithsonian Learning Lab wrapped-up their Teacher Creativity Studios at the City of Austin Asian American Resource Center (AARC), a Smithsonian Affiliate in Austin, Texas. As mentioned in Part 1, the goal was to increase digital access to museum collections and inspire students to investigate the world around them using objects, documents, videos and more, all available for free online. In this final installment, Hanna Huang, culture and arts education coordinator and acting supervisor at the Asian American Resource Center, shares her project, Austin’s Asian American Pacific Islander Roots.

Smithsonian Learning Lab in AustinThe AARC partnered with the Austin History Center to define Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) programming. Huang sees each AAPI community as special and unique in its makeup, much like the many cultures, ethnicities, and languages that comprise what we know as AAPI. To share this with a wider audience, the partners worked with the Learning Lab to create a collection for teachers based on a revived exhibition that covers Asian Pacific American history in Austin from the late 1800s past the 1980s.

As you work your way through, you can not only see all the images and texts from our exhibit but also find learning tools to help you with teaching topics such as Asian Pacific American history, immigration, Texas history, primary/secondary sources, and more!

Read Huang’s full blog– Austin’s Asian American Pacific Islander Rootshere.

And don’t forget about Part 1 and Part 2 in our Learning Lab Series!

Want to see more Learning Lab in Affiliate neighborhoods? Check out these blogs from past workshops at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh: Supporting Digital Innovation in Education with the Learning Lab
Every Collection Tells a Story
Creative Introduction to Geography
Smithsonian’s Home in Pittsburgh
Creating with the Learning Lab
Teach Digital Curation with Depth

The Teacher Creativity Studio program received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

f you are interested in learning more about the Smithsonian Learning Lab and how it could help your museum support teachers and students in your community, contact your National Outreach Manager.

Part 2: Using Collections to Think About Immigration with the Smithsonian Learning Lab

In Part 1 of our Smithsonian Learning Lab series we took you to the Tsongas Industrial History Center at the Lowell National Historical Park, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Lowell, Massachusetts, where teachers were exploring the question “Who belongs?” (You can read the full blog here.) This time we’re headed to the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, another Smithsonian Affiliate in Seattle, Washington, to explore immigration through the lens of Chinese immigrants.

Wing Luke Learning Lab title pageIn his blog Beneath the Text: Analyzing Letters from Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, Rahul Gupta, education and tours director at The Wing, developed his first Learning Lab gallery using the museum’s collection of letters to to discuss three areas of immigration– “push” and “pull” factors that bring immigrants to the country or that reject their presence, and the letters’ style, writing and format.

I am often amazed at what I learn at this job every single day—and this project opened my understanding of the personal impact of colonialism, Chinese nationalism, gender relationships, and changing gender roles—and more and more. There are brilliant gems within our museum collection, and I am restlessly waiting to place more of these archives and artifacts into the hands of teachers and students around the country.

Read his blog and view his Learning Lab collection here.

The Teacher Creativity Studio program received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

If you are interested in learning more about the Smithsonian Learning Lab and how it could help your museum support teachers and students in your community, contact your National Outreach Manager.

¡Escuchame! 5 Questions With Dr. Kathleen Franz

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is working on a new initiative, Escuchame: The History of Spanish Language Broadcasting in the U.S.  The museum has rich collections related to television, but few that tell the story of Spanish-language broadcasting in the U.S. This initiative will document stories from early Telemundo and Univision stations as well as other public and independent stations. Documenting these stories will help show the influence these stations have had on the national narrative and the way the history of American television is written.

Portrait of Dr. Kathleen Franz

Dr. Kathleen Franz, Chair of Work & Industry and Curator of Business History at the National Museum of American History.

To understand more, and how our Affiliate network may participate, I asked five questions of Dr. Kathleen Franz, Chair of Work & Industry and Curator of Business History at the National Museum of American History.

Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be interested in your area of expertise?
In graduate school, I studied with one of the leading historians of advertising history in the U.S. and really became enthusiastic about the history of television and advertising as business history but also as popular culture. My work sits at the intersections of those two things.

Your current project centers on capturing the history of Spanish-language television in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. What sparked that idea and why is it important to capture this story?
I grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and saw first-hand the long history and power of Spanish-language broadcasting in the U.S. through the pioneering station of KWEX whose roots go back to the 1950s. However, general and popular histories of television often leave out the history of Spanish-language TV in the golden era of the 1950s and 1960s. So, building an archive that housed, preserved, and made available the stories of women and men who created stations and the networks is really important, because the earliest Spanish-language broadcasting goes back to the era of radio in the 1930s, and the earliest television stations are there in the golden era with the first successful network, Spanish International Network (SIN), created in 1961.

A common thread to this huge collection of materials—time-worn press credentials, painted tennis shoes, photographs, mic flags, scripts—is that they represent decades of Spanish-language broadcasting from the network Telemundo. (NMAH)

What have you enjoyed most about this initiative? What has been an unexpected discovery, if any?
First, I have two wonderful collaborators at the museum, Dr. Mireya Loza, curator, Department of Work and Industry, and Melinda Machado, director, Office of Communications and Marketing, who have helped make contact with stations around the country and we’ve done the oral history and object collecting as a team. I’ve learned so much from working with them and meeting the various people who run the stations and put the programming on every day. We also had tremendous support from a private donor — of the Nicolas family in San Antonio who founded KCOR in 1954— the Smithsonian’s Latino Center, Telemundo, and Univision. I can’t name everyone here but I am so grateful for the support of the networks! This has been a serious collaboration to capture and preserve this history. One of the best, and unexpected discoveries, was a painting of the Televisa studios in Mexico City commissioned by Emilio Nicolas in the early 1960s. It’s so unusual to have an artist’s rendition of a TV set and the image captures the look and feel of that exciting era in television. Mr. Nicolas traveled regularly to Mexico City to produce programming at the studio and bring it back to the US Spanish-speaking market for SIN.

What would you like to share with Affiliates? And what would you like Affiliates to share with you?
I’m always delighted to talk to local audiences and I would be happy to talk about the collecting and sharing resources with Affiliates. In turn, it would help us to work with Affiliates to do collecting or memory days at their sites, especially ones who are in cities with long-running Spanish-language stations. We really want to capture what audiences thought and how they viewed and used the stations in their own lives.

What is your next project and what are you looking forward to with it?
Dr. Loza and I would like to publish an edited volume of the oral histories and we’ll be working on that over the next 18 months or so. I’m also currently working on the National Museum of American History’s major women’s history initiative exhibition for the centennial of Women’s suffrage. That exhibition will open at the museum in 2020 and then travel the country starting in 2021.

Dr. Franz is open to the possibility of visiting our Affiliate network in the fall to share more about this initiative. Do you have connections to Spanish-language television history? Contact your National Outreach Manager for more information about bringing Dr. Franz to your neighborhood.

Telemundo Microphone cubes

This series of microphone cubes used over the years by Telemundo 51 WSCV-TV in Florida was donated by Marilys Llanos, senior political reporter at at the station. (Photo by Laura Duff, Smithsonian Institution)

Affiliations at AAM 2018

Myriam Springuel

Meet Myriam Springuel, Smithsonian Affiliations Interim Director and SITES Director on Monday and Tuesday during the AAM Meeting. Photo by Dane Penland. [Apollo DestinationMoon-2-22-2017-0223] [NASM2017-00421]

Are you headed to the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting in Phoenix? Three Smithsonian Affiliations team members will be attending and have organized several opportunities to meet with Affiliates.

On Monday, May 7, brainstorm possible programs and events with the Smithsonian and fellow Affiliates around the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing in 2019. We’ll also talk about how we can work together to promote and leverage one another’s programming. 3:00 – 4:00 pm in the Curtis Room, 2nd Floor, Hyatt Regency Phoenix.

On Tuesday, May 8, meet the team at the SITES booth in the MuseumExpo! Interim Affiliations Director, Myriam Springuel; Interim Associate Director, Tricia Edwards; and National Outreach Manager, Laura Hansen, will be at the booth for an informal meet and greet. 3:00 – 5:00 pm, Booth 2814, MuseumExpo.

Throughout the meeting, look for Laura Hansen, National Outreach Manager. Laura works with Affiliate partners in the west and can answer any questions about the benefits of a Smithsonian Affiliation. Want to meet with her? Email her for availability- HansenL@si.edu.

Affiliates are featured in many AAM sessions.  We’ve compiled a list below of sessions in which Smithsonian Affiliates are presenting or moderating. Stop in and say hello, or stick around for the entire session. Don’t forget to mention us in any social media posts – we’re @SIAffiliates on Twitter and @smithsonianaffiliates on Instagram. Have a great time in Phoenix!

If you don’t see your session listed, please let us know.

Sunday, May 6 

1:00 – 2:15 PM
Room 226ABC
Beyond the Four Walls: Effectively Assessing Museum Programs in School Classrooms
Featuring the Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, California) and the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Room 125 AB
Case Study: Live-Tweeting a Century-Old Race Riot: Sharing Difficult History through Social Media
Featuring the Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

tricia edwards

Meet Tricia Edwards, Smithsonian Affiliations Interim Associate Director, on Monday and Tuesday too.

Room 128 AB
Education Collections: Connect with Me, and I Care
Featuring Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana) and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, Colorado)

2:30 – 3:45 PM
Room 225AB
A Tale of Three Buildings: The Things You Need to Know before You Start Your Renovation 
Featuring the Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)

Room 129 AB
Leaders in Education Leading Museums
Featuring the Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, Ohio)

Room 231ABC
Stop, Experiment, and Listen: A Fresh Approach to Creative Problem Solving 
Featuring the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, Tennessee)

Find Laura Hansen, Smithsonian Affiliations National Outreach Manager, throughout the entire AAM Meeting. Email her to set up a meeting- HansenL@si.edu

Room 229AB
Who’s the Boss? Examining the Relationship Between Exhibition Contractors and Staff
Featuring the National World War II Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana)

4:00 – 5:15 PM
Room 227 ABC
Engaging the Arctic: Working with Northern Communities to Tell Their Stories
Featuring the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, Alaska)

Monday, May 7

8:45 – 10:00 AM
Room 131 ABC
Decolonizing the Museum: Reflection, Vision, and Change
Featuring the Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, Maine)

Room 126 ABC
Equity at the Heart of Professional Learning
Featuring the Ohio History Connection (Columbus, Ohio)

Room 121 BC
From Leadership to Impact: Taking Risks, Redefining Success, and Finding Your Voice
Featuring the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, Alabama)

1:45 – 3:00 PM
Room 221 ABC
Straight to the Source: Connect and Engage with Teens in Your Community
Featuring the Bakken Museum (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Room 222 ABC
Museum Compensation: Best Practices in Design for Sustainability
Featuring the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, Alaska)

Room 225 AB
(Non)Profiteering: Mission Versus Margin
Featuring The Museum of Flight (Seattle, Washington)

Room 229 AB
The Role of the Community Engagement Curator
Featuring the Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)

Tuesday, May 8

8:45 – 10:00 AM
Room 228 AB
75 Ideas in 75 Minutes – Accessibility Edition
Featuring the John G. Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, Illinois)

Room 129 AB
Are Museums the Right Home for Confederate Monuments?
Featuring the North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Room 227 ABC
Breaking Free: Two Years of Curating Our Communities
Featuring the Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Room 226 ABC
A Dialogue with IMLS Reviewers: Tips and Techniques from the Experts
Featuring the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, Washington)

Room 229 AB
Making Space for (Other) Voices: Challenging Perceptions
Featuring the Arizona State Museum (Tucson, Arizona)

1:30 – 2:45 PM
Room 222 ABC
Membership on Center Stage to Deliver Financial Impact and Transform Museum Cultures
Featuring Space Center Houston (Houston, Texas)

Room 121 ABC
Case Study: Collections Inventories in Support of Object-Based Learning Programs
Featuring the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Room 122 AB
Case Study: The National World War II Museum Reimagines Its Digital Presence
Featuring The National World War II Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Room 122 AB
Case Study: Social Humanity Immersed in Technology: The Art of Modern Communication
Featuring the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, Alaska)

Wednesday, May 9

10:15 – 11:30 AM

Room 231 ABC
10 Practical Actions to Museum Accessibility
Featuring the Saint Louis Science Center (St. Louis, Missouri)

Room 128 AB
A Change in Elevation: Museums Rising to the Challenge of Equity
Featuring the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan)

Room 229 AB
Measuring Visitor Motivation, Expectations, and Satisfaction
Featuring the Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Room 129 AB
Museums and Race Report Card: Looking Back to Move Forward
Featuring the San Diego Museum of Man (San Diego, California)

Room 125 AB
Project Management: It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore
Featuring The Museum of Flight (Seattle, Washington)

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM

Room 124 AB
Inspiring Latinx Community Engagement through a Traveling Exhibition Mentorship
Featuring the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (Austin, Texas)

Room 125 AB
Inclusionary Museums: Paths to Elevation in Descendant Communities
Featuring the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum Seminole Tribe of Florida (Clewiston, Florida)

Room 231 ABC
Teaching Teachers: Using Evaluation to Develop Effective Professional Development
Featuring Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, Connecticut)

Room 131 ABC
(Not as) Easy as 1,2,3: The ABCs of Collections Moves
Featuring The National World War II Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Room 128 AB
Not for Sale: Preserving a Community Collection
Featuring the Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, California)

Five questions with Amanda Moniz, Curator of Philanthropy at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

Headshot of Amanda MonizWhat 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. This week, I had the chance to ask a few questions of Amanda Moniz, Curator of Philanthropy at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, about her career. Read on to learn why she’s eager to share her passion with Affiliates. Interested in bringing a Smithsonian speaker to your organization? Contact your National Outreach Manager!

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got to the Smithsonian. What exactly is a curator of Philanthropy?

I’m an early American historian specializing in the history of philanthropy. My first book, From Empire to Humanity: The American Revolution and the Origins of Humanitarianism, explores how Americans and Britons rebuilt their relationships after the Revolutionary rupture through humanitarian collaboration and, in the process, transformed philanthropy.

Before I joined the staff of the Smithsonian, I worked at the National History Center of the American Historical Association. Its mission is to bring historical perspectives into public and policy conversations so that job provided great experience for this position with its emphasis on engaging the public in exploring history.

A lot of people ask what a curator of philanthropy is! My job entails collecting objects that tell stories about the history of Americans’ gifts of time, talent, and treasure for the public good; working on exhibitions; researching and writing, and sharing stories about the history of giving in other ways such as through social media.

It has been a little over a year since you began at the Smithsonian. What have you enjoyed most about working at the National Museum of American History? And what are you looking forward to?

I love hearing people’s stories about giving. Most Americans give their time or resources in some way, shape, or form. I’ve talked with visitors, colleagues, well-known philanthropists, and people who work in nonprofits, and heard amazing stories about what giving and receiving has meant in their lives and their families’ lives. Their stories inspire me as I think about my work.

I’m really excited about building the philanthropy collection. A lot of people are initially surprised at the idea of exploring the history of giving through objects. I think the collection has the potential to open new perspectives on the role of philanthropy on the forming and re-forming of our nation.

So far, what is the most amazing artifact you’ve come across and why? What story does it tell?

I recently acquired a basically unknown portrait of Eliza Hamilton, the widow of Alexander Hamilton. She and other women founded a charity known as the Orphan Asylum Society of the City of New York in 1806 when women in the United States were new to organized benevolence. (The organization is still in existence and now known as Graham Windham. The painting was generously donated by Graham Windham.) The portrait was painted in the mid-1800s and shows her as an older woman. Her resolute look and direct gaze are captivating. I also love the portrait because it helps us tell the story of the emergence and development of women’s philanthropy.

How does one collect philanthropy?

The history of philanthropy is the story of people mobilizing resources (of time, talent, and treasure) to support causes and institutions in hopes of having an impact. I’m looking for artifacts that help us understand the various dimensions of those developments from a range of perspectives.

The first object I collected was a nest box used in bluebird conservation. Nest boxes provide habitats for bluebirds and have helped revive the populations of the bird, which had fallen because development had disrupted the birds’ habitats. The nest box is a great object because it helps to effect the change bluebird conservation advocates are pursuing.

You’ve mentioned that sharing is “perhaps the most fun part of a curator’s job.” We have Affiliates in 46 states, Puerto Rico, and Panama and we are always looking for ways to share Smithsonian resources with them. What would you like to share with them?

I’d love to let our Affiliates know about some of our online resources.

Later in March, we’ll be adding a section on “Giving and the Arts” to the online version of Giving in America. (“Giving and the Arts” will replace the case on environmental philanthropy in the physical exhibition on March 22.) In addition to the online exhibition, we have a website for the Smithsonian’s Philanthropy Initiative with videos, links to blog posts, and more. We also have robust social media focused on philanthropy, and I hope folks will join the conversation. I love sharing what I’m learning and am eager to learn from others!

Follow us at:

• Philanthropy Blog Posts: http://s.si.edu/PhilanthropyBlog
• Facebook: National Museum of American History
• Instagram and Twitter: @amhistorymuseum

BONUS: Read Amanda’s blog from April 2017 shortly after she joined our Smithsonian family.

Amanda Moniz is the David M. Rubenstein Curator of Philanthropy in the Division of Home and Community Life. The Philanthropy Initiative is made possible by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and David M. Rubenstein, with additional support by the Fidelity Charitable Trustees’ Initiative, a grantmaking program of Fidelity Charitable.

News from SITES

Our friends at SITES have some exciting new traveling exhibitions to share with you, and some last-minute booking opportunities for those looking for a great exhibition to fit in to your schedule.

New Exhibitions

100 Faces of War
An exploration into the meaning of service, the exhibition features 100 portraits of veterans from every state and the District of Columbia who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Accompanied by a personal, unedited statement from each sitter, the portraits are an homage to these individuals who collectively represent a cross section of those who have served.

Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic
This exhibition provides a rare glimpse into the music icon’s public and private life just two years before her untimely death at the age of 44. Includes 65 framed pigment prints, panels, ephemera, and vinyl excerpts from the work of author Zadie Smith.

Woodcut by Robert Blackburn

Robert Blackburn Blue Things, 1963–1970 Woodcut 20 x 26 Wes and Missy Cochran, Cochran Collection Photograph by Karl Peterson

Robert Blackburn & Modern American Printmaking
Robert Blackburn (1920-2003) was a key artist in the development of printmaking in the twentieth century. His masterful expertise with the medium helped define the overall aesthetic of the American “graphics boom.” This exhibition examines Blackburn’s life and work, and features original prints by Blackburn and the artists with whom he collaborated, including Robert Rauschenberg, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Grace Hartigan, and Will Barnet.

Men of Change
Men of Change will present for new generations the stories of approximately 25 African American heroes—both the known and unknown– who stand as icons on the nation’s historical landscape. Features large-scale photographs, collage, video, freestanding 3-D art reproductions and more.

A New Moon Rises
Featuring large-scale, high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface taken since 2009 by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). These striking images help answer our questions about the Moon’s formation, its continuing geological evolution, and its relationship to Earth and the solar system.

 

School girls reciting the pledge of allegiance

School girls reciting the pledge of allegiance
Dorothea Lange, Courtesy of National Archives

Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II
After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the nation was overcome by shock, anger, and fear—a fear exaggerated by long-standing prejudice against Asians. In response, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which sent 75,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry and 45,000 Japanese nationals to incarceration centers. This is the powerful story of the incarceration and the people who survived it.

Last Minute Booking Opportunities at a discounted rate!

Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project
May 19 – July 29, 2018 ($3,500 for 10 weeks, plus shipping) and
August 18 – October 28, 2018 ($3,500 for 10 weeks, plus shipping)

Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard
June 16 – August 26, 2018 ($2,750 for 10 weeks, plus shipping) and
September 15 – November 25, 2018 ($4,125 for 10 weeks, plus shipping)

 

A Very Young Crater

A Very Young Crater. Courtesy NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

A New Moon Rises
February 2 – April 28, 2019 ($15,000 for 12 weeks, plus shipping)

For questions about any exhibition, please contact the SITES Scheduling Department: 202.633.3140, or sites_schedule@si.edu