Year End Kudos!

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

FUNDING

The North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, NC) received a $2.5 million gift from the David R. Hayworth Foundation to create the Dr. David R. Hayworth Children’s Discovery Gallery. The Gallery will have four primary areas focusing on school-age children, preschoolers, a space for live learning, and the Tar Heel Junior Historian Association exhibition.

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation announced a $100 million commitment to transform the financial strength and long-term viability of Southeast Michigan’s arts and culture communities through the establishment of an endowment that will support the sector now and forever. The Foundation will gift the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) $100,000 annually and Michigan Science Center (Detroit, MI) $200,000 annually to support general operating needs. Each organization will also co-design, in partnership with Community Foundation and national consultants, metrics and benchmarks that support their goals and strategic plans.

Kimball Electronics Gives, the employee giving circle of Kimball Electronics, announced Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) has been awarded a $500 grant to support the purpose of Creating Quality for Life for the communities in which the company operates and where its employees live. 

The Durham Museum (Omaha, NE) received a $35,974 American Rescue Plan federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The museum plans to use the funding to add additional part-time facilitators to its education team. A portion will also be used to expand and enhance both online and on-site educational programming such as the museum’s virtual field trips and award-winning Museum Live! weekly webcast series.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is distributing $1 million among 118 Iowa arts and cultural groups to encourage people to safely “Re-imagine, Re-engage, Reconnect” with concerts, museums, festivals, and one another. Funds will provide economic relief to organizations challenged by the pandemic. Recipients include:

Union Station, Kansas City, Inc. (Kansas City, MO) received a $5 million gift from the Sunderland Foundation to be used for a wide range of Union Station improvements, including diamond-polishing the granite and marble floors, repairing its ornate ceiling, and completely overhauling its restrooms.

Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, NY) received a $50,000 grant from the Guru Krupa Foundation in support of the cultural institution’s art education programs that cater to the population of Queens and beyond. The grant will fund Flushing Town Hall’s Diwali Festival and help fund artist fees and public programs, along with general operating expenses of Flushing Town Hall. 

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) will receive an American Rescue Plan Act grant award of more than $40,000 to support the rebuilding of the museum’s Sustainable Maritime Trades and Skills Program.

The NBA Foundation awarded a grant to the Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, CA) to help create employment opportunities, further career advancement and drive greater economic empowerment for Black youth.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Retired Executive Director Dr. Bob Blackburn of the Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK) received the Governor’s George Nigh Public Service Award for his contributions during 41 years of public service.

The article ‘Not a Tinker’s Damn’: The Politics of Suffrage in the South Dakota Election of 1918, by Gerard Boychuk from the South Dakota History, the quarterly journal of the South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD), won the Michael P. Malone Award from the Western History Association. The article was part of a special issue on the centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted most women equal voting rights.

LEADERSHIP

The Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ) announced it has appointed Andrew Sandall to be the next president & CEO, succeeding Dr. Cleveland Johnson, who will retire at the end of the year. Sandall is currently the Executive Director of the Museum of Arts & Sciences (Daytona Beach, FL).

Kudos Affiliates!! November 2021

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

FUNDING

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced $87.8 million in American Rescue Plan funding to cultural and educational institutions to help them recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, retain and rehire workers, and reopen sites, facilities, and programs including these Affiliate organizations:

History Colorado (Denver, CO)-$500,000-the continuation of adult and youth humanities programs, an installation of new exhibits, and new technology infrastructure, the retention of five positions and creation of six new contract positions.

Kona Historical Society (Kealakekua, HI)-$50,000- the creatation of a collections assistant position to increase the collections department’s capacity to catalog, digitize, house, and store a photograph collection documenting Hawaiian local history that is not currently accessible to the public.

Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA)-$50,000-the development and implementation of an oral history exhibition Vietnam: The Real War and The Things They Carried and the retention of 10 positions.

B & O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD)-$200,000-the implementation of the African American Railroad Oral Archives project, retaining eight jobs and creating three part-time positions.

USS Constitution Museum, Inc. (Boston, MA)-$199,676-the creation of “hands on” museum experiences and virtual
programming for children about the historic navy ship, the retention of seven staff positions and the restoration of four part-time positions.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA)-$192,306-the creation of six digital humanities fellowships cut due to the pandemic, and the development of a digital humanities center.

Springfield Museums (Springfield, MA)-$117,655-updating the depiction of the history of the Native American people, retaining five jobs and creating six new contract positions.

Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI)-$200,000-the rehiring of a community history specialist to oversee the oral history collection project and the partial funding of six other staff positions.

Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Jackson, MS)-$458,007- to support ten positions for educational programming, My Mississippi: Virtual Visits and Shared Storytelling, at the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (New York, NY)-$199,510-the retention of five staff members to digitize and provide online access to the Vilna Territorial Collection, the Records of the Lithuanian Jewish Community Council, and the Jewish Customs Collection.

Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH)-$499,424-the creation of three curatorial and exhibition positions, as well as the retention of four archives and collections positions, for a cross-organizational project between the Cincinnati Museum Center and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH) OURstory: Making History Relevant for New Generations that would build collections management and exhibition development capacity.

Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK)-$93,442-the digitization of the Oklahoma Historical Society’s African American collections and retaining two jobs.

High Desert Museum (Bend, OR)-$187,487-the development of archival work and public programming on the history and culture of Central Oregon, focusing on the Plateau tribes in the region.

Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Inc.-($87,928)-to research and develop an exhibition on the historical contributions of women and African Americans to the Delaware and Lehigh Canal region, sustaining two staff positions and creating one additional position.

Whatcom Museum Foundation (Bellingham, WA)-$158,477-to support three staff positions and consultants to deepen scholarship and enhance a core exhibit about Coastal Native people, as well as the production of an educational video and establishment of an apprenticeship program related to historical totem poles to be exhibited and preserved.

Burke Museum (Seattle, WA)-$129,677-to develop K–12 educational materials and programming on Indigenous knowledge and perspectives.

Wing Luke Memorial Foundation (Seattle, WA)-$149,468-the retention of three core humanities staff positions to support curriculum development, teacher workshops, and live-virtual and in-person school field trips.

Buffalo Bill Memorial Association (Cody, WY)-$121,272-the retention of five staff members to further develop and
implement a teacher-training program in Native American studies.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Sarasota, FL) and Gulf Coast Community Foundation announced an expansion of their long-standing partnership.  During 2022, Gulf Coast will provide grant support for a variety of programs at Selby Gardens including the Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series signature exhibition, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry, and Light; the My Garden membership program; and Seeing the Invisible: An Augmented Reality Contemporary Art Exhibition.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI) has officially completed the return of sacred land to the Narragansett Indian Tribe. The land is believed to be the site of the “Great Swamp Massacre.” Tribe members lit three fires representing the past, present and future, and recognized the return of five acres of sacred land.

LEADERSHIP

The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs announced that Margaret M. Marino, executive director of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (Albuquerque, NM), will retire effective Oct. 22, 2021. Marino was appointed in November 2015. A search for the Museum’s new executive director will begin immediately. Deputy Director Gary Romero will serve as acting director.

Kudos Affiliates!! October 2021

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

FUNDING

The National Park Service announced $7.27 million in Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants to support the preservation of historic buildings in rural communities across the country, including Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) ($750,000) for its Appalachian Region Historic Revitalization Sub-grant Program to rehabilitate and preserve historic buildings across Southeast Ohio.

The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City Council, and Staten Island Borough President’s Office announced FY 2022 capital funding for the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden (Staten Island, NY) ($1.1 million) to support key infrastructure and expansion projects that will help ensure the historic cultural campus will continue to support the needs of organizations, while attracting audiences to Staten Island.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced History Colorado (Denver, CO) ($207,478) was awarded funding for the National Leadership Grants for Museums program, which supports projects that address critical needs of the museum field and that have the potential to advance practice in the profession so that museums can improve services for the American public. History Colorado will lead a collaborative effort to expand the Museums for Digital Learning (MDL) platform, an online resource providing K-12 educators with access to authentic collections-based museum resources for use in and outside the classroom. History Colorado, in partnership with the Field Museum and Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields will recruit additional museums to provide content in the form of Resource Kits that include activities such as narratives, slideshows, timelines, hotspots, games, and annotation activities, as well as ebooks.

In addition, IMLS announced $2,921,766 in CARES Act Grants to support the role of museums and libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The following funded Affiliate projects were selected:

  • Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) ($198,760) will develop digital engagement experiences for 6th-8th graders in under-resourced neighborhoods in Chicago and rural communities of Illinois. The Adler will work with an interdisciplinary team of museum practitioners, educators, astronomers, and visualization experts to engage students in STEAM learning within 3-D immersive environments, with hands-on and digital pre/post activities to deepen the impact.
  • Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) ($320,666) will develop a digital learning initiative for preschool and K-8 teachers as an alternative to onsite field trips during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The “Conner Prairie in the Classroom” project will provide an array of digital programming, complemented by “HiSTEAMic” hands-on classroom kits to support digital learning, digital backpacks to close the digital divide, and supplementary pre- and post-educational materials for educators and parents.

The National Park Service, in partnership with IMLS, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), announced $15,500,000 in Save America’s Treasures grants including the following Affiliate preservation and conservation projects:

  • The Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO) ($206,933) will inventory, process, and catalog the Jones-Miller Site, a Paleoindian Hell Gap period (ca. 10,500–11,500 years ago) bison kill site.
  • The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Jackson, MS) ($291,109) will preserve its archaeological collections, which represent over 14,000 years of the state’s past.
  • Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) ($52,300) will preserve and make accessible the newly acquired Witherill Ocean Liner Collection, which documents the evolution of ocean liners during a heightened period of immigration to the United States in the early to mid-twentieth century. The collection includes 7,500 pieces of documents, letters, brochures, and other ephemera pertaining to broad themes of American maritime history and culture, including accounts and documents from the Titanic and Lusitania disasters.
  • The B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD) ($500,000) will undertake a 36-month project to restore and interpret its No. 3316 ‘Washington’ Tavern-Observation Car built by the Pullman Company in 1949.  The project will provide a unique opportunity to board and go inside the car and an interpretive space to explore the impact of streamliner railroading on everyday Americans. New educational offerings will provide further interpretive information about the railroad car, particularly in the context of African American contributions to and experiences with railroading.
  • The Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical Society (New York, NY) ($352,300) will digitize the Baron de Hirsch Fund Records. Founded in 1891 to support Jewish refugees fleeing pogroms and abject poverty in Russia, the Baron de Hirsch Fund trained immigrants in farming and trades and provided financial support for everything from meeting new arrivals at ports of entry and teaching English language classes to assisting with farm mortgages.
  • Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) ($336,000) for the replacement of roofing installed over newly added plywood sheath and include repairs to weathered rafters, replace deteriorating posts and beams, and re-surface a second-floor exterior balcony. Insulation between the roof and ceiling will be added to improve energy efficiency in the 70-year old structures.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS) won a 2021 Travelers’ Choice Award from Tripadvisor for being in the top 10% of attractions worldwide.

LEADERSHIP

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) announced Dr. Ashley Jordan has been named as the next President and CEO. Dr. Jordan, who most recently served as Senior Director of Development at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, brings significant experience managing and leading cultural institutions focused on memorializing and celebrating the African American experience in the United States.

Kudos Affiliates!! September 2021

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

FUNDING

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) is part of a six university consortium, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, to receive a $441,367 grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) aimed at increasing the number of college courses utilizing free Open Educational Resources (OER) rather than costly textbooks. The project – Remixing Open Textbooks through an Equity Lens (ROTEL): Culturally Relevant Open Textbooks for High Enrollment General Education Courses and Career and Professional Courses at Six Public Massachusetts Colleges – will test the hypothesis that underrepresented students will achieve higher academic outcomes if free, culturally-relevant course materials that reflect their experiences are utilized. Student savings on textbooks over the three-year grant period are projected to be over $800,000, and the goal is to create a new model that provides continued savings long into the future.

The Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) received a $20,000 operational support grant from the Dubuque City Council as a result of the financial impact from the pandemic.

The Infusion Fund awarded Carolinas Aviation Museum (Charlotte, NC) an $80,573 grant to support the museum’s operating budget which was impacted by the pandemic. The Museum also received a $1.5 million gift from Honeywell to catalyze the launch of the The Lift Off Campaign to develop a new state-of-the-art facility in Charlotte.

The National Park Service announced the award of 17 projects of the Underrepresented Community Grant Program which is focused on working towards diversifying the nominations submitted to the National Register of Historic Places:

  • History Colorado (Denver, CO)- $46,930 to conduct a survey and solicit nominations for Women’s Suffrage Sites in Colorado.
  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH)-$50,000 to administer a nomination process for three Green Book sites in Ohio.
  • Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK)-$50,000 for the architectural/historic survey of Oklahoma’s All-Black Towns.

The following Affiliates initiatives were some of the 239 humanities projects awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities:

  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) ($75,000) for planning for Cruising J-Town: Nikkei Car Culture in Southern California, an exhibition on Japanese Americans’ car culture throughout the 20th century in California.
  • Florida International University (Miami, FL) ($250,000) for preparation of a collection of essays on the architecture of the African diaspora in the United States entitled Architecture of the African Diaspora in/of the United States.
  • Florida International University ($349,646) for the rehousing of works on paper, photographs, and textiles from an offsite storage facility to new compact shelving and cold storage at The Wolfsonian.
  • Kona Historical Society (Kealakekua, HI) ($10,000) for the purchase of storage materials and installation of shelves to house a collection of historical photographs, unpublished diaries, journals, letters, family records and memorabilia, land documents, and selected Kona newspapers and articles documenting regional history and vanishing cultural traditions.
  • Krannert Art Museum (Champaign, IL) ($200,000) for implementation of a reinterpretation of the museum’s permanent gallery of Andean art and the creation of a digital portal allowing deeper exploration of the collection.
  • Plimoth Patuxet Museums (Plymouth, MA) ($163,742) to develop a two-week, residential institute Ancient Stories, New Neighbors: Decolonizing Indigenous Homelands and 17th-Century New England for 25 K–12 teachers on the history of Indigenous peoples in southern New England.
  • Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) ($263,415) for the digitization of 100,000 pages of Montana newspapers to increase geographic coverage, especially of Native American newspapers published on or near reservations, as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program.
  • City Lore, Inc. (New York, NY) ($75,319) for the development of a feature-length film The Colfax Massacre about a Reconstruction-era conflict between southern whites and African Americans and its legal and social legacy.
  • The Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX) ($75,000) for the planning for a reinterpretation of the museum’s permanent exhibition Where Nature, Science and Culture Meet on the history of Texas.
  • Hermitage Museum & Gardens (Norfolk, VA) ($9,366) for a preservation assessment of the collections representing more than 30 global cultures and 5,000 years of world history, from the Neolithic era to the early 1950s.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced grant awards through the agency’s largest competitive grant program, Museums for America, and its special initiatives, Museums Empowered and Inspire! Grants for Small Museums to improve services to their communities:

Museums for America

  • History Colorado ($249,886) to strengthen the implementation of the “Museum of Memory” project by maximizing community-led collective memory work and its contribution to social wellbeing. This public history program brings community together to remember and document their experiences, creating opportunities for those historically impacted by systems of oppression and inequality to explore their past through memory sharing, storytelling, grassroots collecting efforts, and art-based community share backs. 
  • North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC) ($250,000) to add a new, permanent paleontology exhibition, Dueling Dinosaurs, and a public lab that will allow middle school students to explore a variety of fossils using hands-on tools and techniques.
  • Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK) ($181,143) seeks to decolonize its collection through the dissemination of images and materials related to the Chickaloon Native Village. The project will expand access to collections with digital surrogates and newly created metadata made available online through both the village’s and the museum’s online image databases. The museum will hire an archivist, a collections technician and involve village elders to work on the project. Although this is the first project of this kind undertaken by the museum, it will serve as a model for future relationships with other Alaska Native villages.
  • Wing Luke Museum (Seattle, WA) ($178,311) to develop a new program series, Wing Luke Community Connections, of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) art workshops, art talks, free public readings, film screenings, and discussions. The series will feature a variety of artists, authors, filmmakers, and scholars who have been exploring the diverse AAPI immigrant experience to bring greater understanding to historic roots, heritage and culture, socio-political issues, and ongoing identity formation.
  • Plimoth Patuxet Museums ($212,742) to develop History in a New Light: Reimagining Wampanoag and Indigenous Museum Education, a series of educational programs, resources, and events responding to increasing demand for nuanced and fact-based histories told from indigenous perspectives.
  • Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) ($245,639) to partner with the Science Museum of Minnesota—creators of the Race: Are We So Different? exhibit—for the “Ground on Which We Stand” project. The initiative will distill the themes of the Race exhibit through the lens of local history so that participants can learn about, build pride in, and embrace the collective identity of their diverse community.
  • Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT) ($167,830) to create an exhibit exploring the region’s Native people. “American Indian Voices: Natives of the Northern Plains and Rockies” will examine cultural history, language and storytelling, and contemporary art and voices. The museum also will create a K–12 curriculum in accordance the Montana Office of Public Instruction that will assist teachers in interpreting American Indian culture and prepare students to visit the exhibit.
  • Arizona State Museum (Tucson, AZ) ($190,953) in partnership with The Poetry Center and Center for Digital Humanities will create a digital museum with exhibit locations in diverse areas of Tucson as well as accompanying activities for K-12 classrooms, families, and adults. The collaborative virtual outdoor museum will use geolocation technology and offer augmented reality encounters with curators, educators, poets, and community tradition bearers.
  • Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) ($170,332) to improve storage conditions for a large and diverse collection of apparel and textiles that are used for teaching and research. 
  • High Desert Museum (Bend, OR) ($217, 350) to develop design plans for a new 4,500 square-foot permanent exhibit entitled “Creating Together”, to help visitors better understand the indigenous plateau region, ancestral homeland of many indigenous communities and plateau tribes.
  • Michigan Science Center (Detroit, MI) ($105,499) to purchase a portable planetarium that will bring planetarium shows to more than 2,000 children through its Traveling Science Program.
  • Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, CT) ($219,385) to create a new public-facing initiative, the Community Historian Project. This contemporary collecting project—which gathers items of the recent past as well as from events happening today—will develop community historians to identify, document, and preserve their experiences as residents of Connecticut, and share these experiences during a series of community presentations.
  • Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (Spokane, WA) ($249,589) to expand access to its collections of inland northwest history, art, and cultures with a long-term plan and policies for digital preservation of collection materials.
  • History Colorado ($249,725) to create an exhibition on the Sand Creek Massacre. The museum will partner with three tribes: Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, Northern Arapaho Tribe, and Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. This exhibition will be the first in the U.S. to share the culturally vetted history of the massacre with the general public through the voices of Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal members.
  • Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (Easton, PA) ($120,734) to conduct a wall-to-wall inventory of the museum’s main collections storage facility and physically and digitally improve access to the objects stored there.
  • Museum of Us (San Diego, CA) ($229,940) to reimagine the exhibit, Race: Are We So Different? and provide complementary educational programming to meet community needs. This will expand the museum’s culture of community collaboration and serve as a framework for community-centric activities, tours, workshops, and public programs.

Museums Empowered

  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO) ($137,930) to develop an evaluation tool that measures the meaningfulness of the visitor experience. Project activities focus on developing, testing, and disseminating a tool to understand what makes visitors choose a museum, how that experience is remembered and shared, and how to create experiences to which visitors will want to return.
  • Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI) ($26,618) to increase organizational capacity to address inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) issues across the museum, building upon existing institutional assessments of programming, interpretation, hiring processes, facilities, and vendor relationships.
  • Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA) ($217, 427) to hire a full-time diversity, equity, access, and inclusion (DEAI) coordinator who will further the museum’s strategic DEAI goals.

Inspire! Grants for Small Museums

  • The Dennos Museum Center (Traverse City, MI) ($47,100) to address the issue of overcrowding in their collections storage area which was identified through a 2020 Museum Assessment Program (MAP) report.
  • Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning (Framingham, MA) ($49,964) to implement a team mentorship and project-based learning program for local high school students. Program participants are tasked with creating campaigns (exhibits, videos, and presentations) that increase awareness of environmental challenges helping participants to develop knowledge, analytical and communication skills, and ethical viewpoints that guide their actions on local and global environmental issues.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, IL) and the Greensboro History Museum (Greensboro, NC) were recipients of the Media & Technology MUSE Awards, presented by The Media & Technology Professional Network of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM):

Digital Campaign

GoldAs Shedd Aquarium Closed, Penguins Waddled into the Limelight
Shedd Aquarium

Research and Innovation

GoldPieces of Now: Murals, Masks, Community Stories and Conversations
Greensboro History Museum

2020 Response

SilverPieces of Now: Murals, Masks, Community Stories and Conversations
Greensboro History Museum

Kudos Affiliates!! August 2021

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

FUNDING

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs awarded a grant to Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) for general operating support as part of a statewide effort to help fuel the resurgence of Iowa’s arts, film, heritage, humanities, and creative sectors as they continue to rebound from substantial financial losses as a result of the pandemic.

The African American Cultural Heritage Action fund from the National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded History Colorado (Denver, CO) a $50,000 grant to help preserve Black history. History Colorado is planning to create a statewide African American Heritage trail that will include virtual reality-based markers through a phone app in historical Black destinations.

Blue Origin and its foundation, Club for the Future, have awarded U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL) and Space Center Houston (Houston, TX) a $1 million grant each to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and help invent the future of life in space.

The 2021 grant cycle of the Nissan Foundation dispersed a total of $697,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations that promote cultural diversity:

  • Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) received $20,000 to support AANM Public Programming Series 2021-2022.
  • Museum of Us (San Diego, CA)received $15,000 to host Race: Are We So Different? virtual workshops.
  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) received $30,000 to fund its School Visits program, which enables school groups from throughout Southern California to visit the museum and witness the experiences of Japanese Americans from early immigration in the 19th century through the present.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM) was awarded a “One Small Step” grant from the SPACE 3.0 Foundation. The grant will allow the museum’s curatorial department to digitize more than a dozen space related 16mm films from the 1960s that reside in the museum’s collection, including several associated with the Gemini and Apollo programs.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) received a 2021-2022 NEA Big Read grant of $19,970 to support a community reading program focusing on An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo, the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

USS Constitution (Boston, MA) was named winner in the “Historic Sites & Tours” category for Boston Parents’ Family Favorites. It is the fourth year in a row that the museum has received this award from the readers of Boston Parents Paper.

North Carolina Museum of History (Greensboro, NC) was the recipient of an Award of Excellence by the American Association for State and Local History for the multimedia project How We Got That.

The Education Professional Network of the American Alliance of Museums presented the Pandemic Innovation and Education award to the Durham Museum (Omaha, NE), recognizing the museum’s Museum Live! program. The Durham received the award in the mid-sized museum category that honored education efforts created, re-invented or revamped in response to supporting audiences during the pandemic.

Plimoth Patuxet Museums announced that Mayflower II has been named a recipient of the 2021 Paul and Niki Tsongas Award by Preservation Massachusetts, the statewide non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Commonwealth’s historic and cultural heritage.

LEADERSHIP

The National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN) has named Dr. Russell Wigginton as the museum’s next president.  Dr. Wigginton will begin his new position on August 1. He brings 29 years of experience in education, philanthropy, executive management, and program development, as well as strategic planning and partnership building.

Dawn DiPrince was named the new executive director of History Colorado (Denver, CO) and will assume the role on Sept. 1, 2021. She succeeds the retiring Steve Turner. Dawn has worked at El Pueblo History Museum and with all the other History Colorado Community Museums, moving to Denver in 2019 to become the organization’s chief operating officer.

Devon Akmon, director of Michigan State University’s Science Gallery Detroit, has been appointed to the role of director of the Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI), effective July 1. Before coming to Science Gallery Detroit, Akmon served as a senior consultant with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. Prior to that, he served as the second director of the Arab American National Museum.

Coming Up in Affiliateland in June 2021

Enjoy these summer offerings!

Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo book coverWASHINGTON
Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony, curator at the National Air and Space Museum, will give a virtual lecture on her new book Operation Moonglow for the Museum of Flight, Seattle, 6.3. They also collaborated on a podcast, here. 

CALIFORNIA
The USS Hornet- Sea, Air and Space Museum in Alameda will screen Smithsonian Channel’s Battle of Midway: The True Story virtually, 6.6.

Jon Grinspan headshot

National Museum of American History Curator Jon Grinspan

NATIONWIDE
Affiliates across the country will co-host our latest Virtual Scholar Talk, What America’s Greatest Father-Daughter Political Dynasty Teaches Us About Fixing Democracy.  National Museum of American History curator Dr. Jon Grinspan will share this story from his book, The Age of Acrimony: How Americans Fought To Fix Their Democracy, 1865-1915, 6.17.

From Miami to Alameda, Indianapolis to San Antonio, Smithsonian Affiliates all over the country will disseminate thousands of copies of Inspiration Nation, a summer activity guide for K-8 students presented by the Smithsonian in collaboration with USA Today. Filled with stories from the Smithsonian, students can use the publication to step away from their screens and find inspiration everywhere around them.