National Youth Summit: Freedom Summer



Freedom Summer: National Youth Summit
freedomsummerA collaborative program at the National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Affiliates

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH) announces the next grant opportunity for its popular National Youth Summit series. Smithsonian Affiliates are invited to apply to join the conversation during Freedom Summer on February 5, 2014.

Nearly 50 years ago, college students from across the country came together in Mississippi for a large scale, grassroots education and voter registration project known as Freedom Summer. Working in collaboration with PBS’s AMERICAN EXPERIENCE series and through the Smithsonian Affiliate network, NMAH will engage young people with the powerful story of this campaign in the strategies of the civil rights movement and their lessons for modern day activism.

Eight (8) Affiliates will be awarded $3,000* for implementation of a Regional Youth Summit.

To qualify, your organization must agree to the terms in the Expectation Form which include:

  • Maintain or have partnerships with local school districts to organize a regional conversation at the Affiliate organization in conjunction with the national webcast.
  • Have a facility which can host a discussion immediately following the webcast to include students and Freedom Summer movement veterans and scholars.
  • Have the technical capacity to watch the live webcast of the National Youth Summit at the Affiliate organization.

Freedom Summer: National Youth Summit
Students across the country will join together for a virtual National Youth Summit on Freedom Summer and civic engagement. At the NMAH in Washington, D.C., or at a location in Mississippi, civil rights activists and scholars will participate in a panel discussion about the 1964 youth-led effort to end the political disenfranchisement of African Americans in the Deep South, and discuss the role of young people in shaping America’s past and future. Students will be invited to submit questions for the panel online.  Participating students will be encouraged to think of themselves as makers of history and asked to consider their ability to be active and engaged citizens. The National Youth Summit webcast will be preserved on the NMAH website, enabling students and teachers to continue to explore this important topic.

Regional Youth Summit at Affiliate organizations
Over the past fourteen years, the Smithsonian has reached audiences nationwide through its partnership with more than 175 Affiliate museums and educational and cultural institutions. Eight (8) Smithsonian Affiliates will work with their local high schools to organize a Regional Youth Summit in conjunction with the webcast of the National Youth Summit. Immediately following a live viewing of the National Youth Summit webcast, the Affiliate organization will host a discussion between Freedom Summer movement veterans, scholars, and young people. In preparation, participating schools will receive screening copies of The American Experience film Freedom Summer, as well as a Conversation Kit to support classroom discussion and to encourage students to use the lessons of history to make a more humane future.

How to apply: (Note:Applying for the grant is not mandatory to participate in the program. Affiliates are encouraged to include the event in their programming even if a grant is not received)

  1. Fill out the Application Form
  2. Sign the Expectation Form
  3. Freedom Summer FAQs

Questions? Contact Aaron Glavas, Smithsonian Affiliations National Outreach Manager or Elizabeth Bugbee, Smithsonian Affiliations External Affairs Coordinator.

**Final award based on proposed itemized budget.


promote your smithsonian affiliation on your website

Gemini 11, which is currently on loan from the National Air and Space Museum to the California Science Center in Los Angeles

Gemini 11, which is currently on loan from the National Air and Space Museum to the California Science Center in Los Angeles

Smithsonian Affiliates are spotlighting their Affiliation on websites and visual communications.  As so many museum visitors log onto a museum’s website before they come through the doors, this is an amazing way to emphasize your ongoing partnership with the Smithsonian to your community and visitors.  We wanted to share some great examples and let you know how you can highlight your Smithsonian partnership!

The California Science Center mentions the ongoing projects with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum that even precede their Smithsonian Affiliation.  They describe the collaboration that has led to their hosting many space history objects, including Gemini 11.

Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center mentions the special tagline that Affiliates may use: In Association with the Smithsonian Institution.  After uses are approved by your National Outreach Manager, you may use the tagline on many different media including your own enewsletters, as seen here as used by The Mexican Museum.

The Mexican Museum's enewsletter with the tagline, "In Association with the Smithsonian Institution."

The Mexican Museum’s enewsletter with the tagline, “In Association with the Smithsonian Institution.”

Several Affiliates, such as The Freedom Museum and the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History use the Smithsonian Affiliations logo to discuss the Affiliation.  Only Smithsonian Affiliates may use the logo in these ways so be sure to take advantage of this and shout your Affiliation partnership!  We have recently updated our logo, which can be found here on a new page with several easy-to-download files in different formats.  All logo uses must be approved by your National Outreach Manager, who can help with logo and tagline guidelines.


Use the logo and tagline!

Finally, we can also help with press releases for Smithsonian Affiliate collaborations by providing examples and suggestions, or boilerplate that can be included on every press release you send out.  We found Affiliates doing this wonderfully: here’s the Berkshire Museum and Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Other terrific examples of Affiliates devoting web site space to their Affiliation and how it supports their missions are: National Museum of American Jewish History, Irving Arts Center, Frost Art Museum and the Springfield Museum of Art.

Kudos to all the Affiliates who are telling their visitors about our unique partnership!

kudos affiliates! july-august 2013

2013 continues to be a successful one for our Affiliates!


Three Affiliate museums received support from Smithsonian Community Grant program sponsored by MetLife Foundation.

  • Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, ME-$4,000: To fund honoraria and travel expenses for participants in the museum’s planned public programs for their hosting of IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas. Programming includes a panel discussion examining different perspectives on the blood quantum vs. lineage debate.  Additionally, funding will support a genealogy workshop; and a lecture featuring the exhibit curator, Gabrielle Tayac (Piscataway).
  • Institute of Texan Cultures, University of Texas at San Antonio in San Antonio, TX-$5,000:To fund honoraria for speakers in the Institute’s planned public program for Native Words, Native Warriors,  providing audiences with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the American Indian Code Talker story. Additionally, funding will support craft and educational materials for a family day.
  • Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, CA-$5,000:To fund eight live performances that will serve as inspiration and as a backdrop for sharing stories of Asian Pacific Americans who have shaped and been shaped by our nation’s history. Two actors will deliver monologues that will expand upon content in I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story.

South Dakota State Historical Society Press in Pierre received $2,500 from the South Dakota Humanities Council for research related to the potential creation of a contemporary profile of Yankton emphasizing the city’s relationship with the Missouri River and investigating the state of farming in the Yankton region.

The Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District will receive $240,000 from ArtPlace America, and a three year grant for $712,000 from the Kresge Foundation for general operating and the completion of The Façade project. The funding will help Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District transform a historic eight-story Greek Revival façade into a 600-person outdoor venue and urban farm.

The Kansas Cosmosphere has been awarded a $15,000 grant to develop new educational curriculum to interweave arts and science. The grant money, provided by the Alcoa Foundation, will be used in program development, core curriculum material development and outreach to teachers in Kansas to encourage field trips.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded $248,600 to the Ohio Historical Society to continue the digitization of Ohio’s microfilmed newspapers, an undertaking that will include three historic area publications.

The Montana Historical Society received a $10,000 donation from Burlington Northern Santa Fe to assist in the acquisition of nearly 32,000 postcards dating from 1898 into the 1970s and covering a wide range of topics – from railroads, mining and agriculture to commerce, Western life and Native American.

A collaborative effort, including the Milwaukee County Historical Society, to create The Encyclopedia of Milwaukee, a coffee-table book and interactive website chronicling the history of the Greater Milwaukee area has received a $250,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant will support research and development of the book and website, which are intended to become a first-stop resource for K-12 teachers, students, the media, historians, scholars, and even families conducting genealogy research.

The Museum of Nature and Science in downtown Las Cruces received brand new solar experiment kits from Sunspot Solar to assist children in understanding the technology.

The Tsongas Industrial History Center, Lowell National Historical Park’s educational partnership with the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Graduate School of Education, has been selected to receive a 2013 “Ticket to Ride” grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF). The Ticket to Ride program, supported by a $500,000 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, helps students explore the outdoors by providing transportation and program support to national parks around the country.

The Michigan Humanities Council (MHC) approved $15,000 in funding to The Michigan State University Museum to create a multimedia program and performance tour commemorating the 75th anniversary of American folklorist Alan Lomax’s historic field collecting trip in Michigan.

The Museum of American Finance announced that Southport Lane, a New York-based private equity and asset management firm, will be sponsoring free Saturday admissions for the remainder of 2013.

The Massachusetts state Senate recently passed a $33.99 billion balanced budget for fiscal 2014, which includes $100,000 for the restoration of Mayflower II. Honored as a premier tourism attraction at the 2012 Massachusetts Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism, Plimoth Plantation and Mayflower II are considered a major force in the state’s economy, attracting more than 360,000 visitors to the commonwealth each year.

Awards and Recognition

The Peoria Riverfront Museum has been awarded the LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council signifying the building is both environmentally and energy efficient.

New England Museum Association (NEMA) awarded the U.S.S. Constitution Museum its highest honors in its’ annual publication award competition:

  • First Place in the Book Category = MEN OF IRON: USS CONSTITUTION’s WAR OF 1812 CREW
  • First Place for Fundraising Materials = 2012 CHAIRMAN’s DINNER & AWARDS CEREMONY
  • Second Place for Educational Materials = OLD IRONSIDES ACTIVITY BOOK

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) announced the winners, including the following Affiliates, of the 68th annual Leadership in History Awards, the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history:

  • History Colorado  (for excellence in preserving and interpreting the history of Colorado; and for the publication of A Civil War Scrapbook: I Was There Too!)
  • HistoryMiami  (for the exhibit The Guayabera: A Shirt’s Story)
  • Peoria Riverfront Museum (for the exhibit Skirting Convention: Illinois Women Artists, 1840-1940)
  • Lowell National Historical Park and The University of Massachusetts, Lowell (for the exhibit Dickens and Massachusetts: A Tale of Power and Transformation)
  • U.S.S. Constitution Museum (for the project A Sailor’s Life for Me!)
  • North Carolina Museum of History (for the exhibit History in Every Direction: Tar Heel Junior Historian Association)
  • Heinz History Center (for the publication The Civil War in Pennsylvania: A Photographic History; and for the exhibit From Slavery to Freedom)
  • Museum of History and Industry (for the exhibit True Northwest: The Seattle Journey)

Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden received a 2013 Neighborhood Achievement Award from NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg in recognition of the organization’s successful revitalization of its Artist Residency Program and its Heritage Farm Program.


Riverside officials selected Sarah Mundy as director of the Riverside Metropolitan Museum and head of the city’s arts and culture department, a position she has held on an interim basis since late December.

Devon Akmon has been appointed Director of the Arab American National Museum.

Ellen Noël Art Museum announced George Jacob has been named the new executive director.

The board of directors of the Milwaukee County Historical Society named longtime philanthropy leader Deborah Fugenschuh as the society’s new executive director.

2013 Affiliations National Conference Resources

Thanks to everyone who joined us at the 2013 Affiliations National Conference! We had a record-breaking 119 attendees from 74 Affiliates in 31 states and Puerto Rico join us! We know we learned a lot from you and hope you learned something new, met a new colleague, or discovered new possibilities while you were in town. Feel free to share the below post-conference resources with your colleagues who weren’t able to join us this year. And stay tuned…we’ll be uploading the digital recordings for many other sessions shortly. For now, enjoy the webcasts from our two keynote addresses and our one session on mobile marketing as well as the PowerPoint presentations from most sessions (Click on each speaker’s name to find the presentation). View the conference guidebook here and check out photos on our Flickr Photostream too! Contact Elizabeth Bugbee with any questions, comments or other feedback. Thanks for a seriously amazing conference!

Tuesday, June 11
Keynote Address:
Re-purposing the Museum: Using Digital Tools to Re-engage Young Audiences
Stephen Brown, President and Executive Producer at Mobile Digital Arts and General Manager of the New Learning Institute

Linking the Landscape: Digital Outreach to Small Towns and Rural Communities
Tom Falvey, Director of Education, South Carolina State Museum
Carol Harsh, Director, Museum on Main Street, Smithsonian Institution
Sonchia Jilek, Executive Director, The Pinhead Institute

Digital Trends: Crowdsourcing, 3-D, and Badging, Oh My!
Herbert Maschner, Director, Idaho Museum of Natural History
Lynn-Steven Engelke, Director of Programs, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Kathryn Burke, Museum Technician, National Postal Museum

SITES=Success: Transforming Museums Through Traveling Exhibits
Micah Parzen, Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Museum of Man
Betsy Gordon, Project Manager, National Museum of the American Indian
Jonathan Stevens, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Textile History Museum
Jennifer O’Keefe, Special Assistant to the Director, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service

Establishing Deeper Connections: Creating a Culture of Membership
Christi Janssen, Executive Director, The Durham Museum
Laurie Pillman, Membership Coordinator, Peoria Riverfront Museum

Make It Mobile: The New Museum is in Your Hand
Richard Cooper, Manager of content Development & Interpretation, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Heather Foster, Writer, Editor, Web Content Manager, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
Nancy Proctor, Head of Mobile Strategy & Initiatives, Smithsonian Institution

What’s The New Normal? Strategies for Survival and Reinvention
Thomas Stoneback, Executive Director, National Canal Museum
Jose Santamaria, Executive Director, Tellus Science Museum
Camille Akeju, Director, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum

Wednesday, June 12
A Peek at “Object Project” at the National Museum of American History (Workshop Tour)
Howard Morrison, Director of Education and Interpretation
Judy Gradwohl, Assistant Director for Education and Public Programs
Click here for a diagram reporting on visitors’ responses to questions about their connections to history, motivations for visiting, expectations for their visit, actual visit experiences, and perceptions of benefits.
Click here for the front-end evaluation report for the new National Museum of Natural History learning center.

Keynote Address:
Envisioning a National Network of Early Learners
Kimberlee Kiehl, Executive Director, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center
With an introduction from Marsha L. Semmel, former Director of Strategic Partnerships, Institute of Museum and Library Services

Full STEAM Ahead: Integrating Science, History and Art
Ellen Rosenthal, President and CEO, Conner Prairie
Brian Mancuso, Director of Exhibits, Conner Prairie
Jeff Dunn, Planetarium Supervisor, Mystic Seaport
Deborah Stokes, Education Specialist, National Museum of African Art

Collaboration Block: Seriously Amazing Opportunities

  • Places of Invention: The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
    Julia Swan, Adult Public Programs Manager, Museum of History and Industry
    Anna Karvellas, Places of Invention Affiliates Project Coordinator, The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
    Kate A. Lukaszewicz, Lead Educator, Senator John Heinz History Center
  • Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    Combined session presentation
    Lindsay Bartholomew, Miami Science Museum, Moderator
    Christopher Myers, U.S. Space & Rocket Center
    Chelsea Dorman, Educator, College Park Aviation Museum
    James Wells, Education Program Manager, York County Culture & Heritage Museums
  • Our American Journey
    Elizabeth Bly, Director of Grants, Japanese American National Museum
    Magdalena Mieri, Director, Program in Latino History & Culture, National Museum of American History
    Pino Monaco, Director of Program Evaluation & Audience Research, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
  • Smithsonian Science NOW: National Museum of Natural History
    Combined session presentation
    Margaret Benson, Online Community Manager
    Colleen Marzec, Managing Producer Web Portal

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

early learning in museums


Students from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center explore shapes in a nearby sculpture garden.

In 2012, the Institute of Museum and Library Services hosted a series of meetings to inform the development of a groundbreaking report on the role of libraries and museums in early learning.  Among the advisors to those meetings were representatives from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, a model school on the Smithsonian campus that combines the best practices in both early childhood and museum education.  

In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama declared, “Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road… I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America.”

Given the increased interest and discussion at all levels about the importance of early learning, the timing is prime for museums and libraries to articulate and advance their participation in this arena.  The IMLS report, to be released this month, will make the case for decision makers at the local, state, and federal levels to fully use the capacity of libraries and museums in their early learning efforts.  The role (both current and potential) that museums and libraries play in the effort to educate our youngest children is immense, powerful, and inspiring.

As the executive director of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, Dr. Kimberlee Kiehl is well-positioned to discuss how museums can take a leadership role in supporting early learning.  In her keynote talk at the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference on June 12, Dr. Kiehl will focus on collaboration ideas between the Smithsonian and the Affiliate network, and how such partnerships can change the face of early learning in our country. 

Do you have ideas to share about what your organization is doing with young learners? 

Do you have specific questions about integrating early learning into your museum?

Take a few minutes to let us know in this quick, 3-question poll, so we can make this session as useful and productive as possible!

 The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee, 202.633.5304, for more information. Click here for 2013 Conference hotel information, agenda and registration.




affiliations conference preview: spaces for learning

Do you operate an education center at your museum, or thinking about it?  Join us at the Affiliations National Conference on June 10-12  to meet colleagues who are opening or running new spaces for learning on the Smithsonian campus.  Through tours of these spaces, frank discussions with colleagues, exchanging resources and research, and hands-on activities, discover and share what makes an education center such a vital place in a museum.

Affiliations staff is currently working with the following museums to feature their education spaces:qurious

  • The National Museum of Natural History will be opening Q?RIUS in 2013, a new interactive 10,000 square foot programming space.  Q?RIUS will have access to a 20,000 specimen collection representing all departments of the museum, innovative programming and distance learning opportunities.
  • The National Museum of the American Indian’s imagiNATIONS activity center invites families to explore how Native peoples have adapted to natural environments with innovation.  Visitors can explore different kinds of transportation (snowshoes and skateboards), homes (tipis, adobes, igloos), hands-on activities (basket-weaving, Native percussion), and more.
  • The National Museum of American History is undergoing a major renovation that will result in new education spaces when they reopen in 2015.  Affiliates can talk to the staff about their planning and prototyping process, the “Object Project” and demonstration spaces, and explore possible collaboration opportunities.
  • The National Air and Space Museum’s Moving Beyond Earth gallery is an immersive space that puts visitors “in orbit.”  Affiliates can enter their Shuttle mock-up to learn about life in orbit (including the space toilet), or play the interactive SpaceFlight Academy, a group quiz that tests flight readiness.
  • The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s very popular ARTLAB+ is a digital media studio forARTLAB teens.  Staff will share how they provide access to professional technology and art, coupled with mentorship, to develop a community of young creators and innovators.   

Come to the Affiliations National Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 10-12, and bring your own experiences with education spaces to share with Smithsonian and Affiliate colleagues in these hands-on tours.  See you there!

The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee for more information.