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.

 

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.

 

Kudos Affiliates!! December 2019

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 Mercer Museum (Doylestown, PA) is the recipient of a $230,000 Pew Center for Arts & Heritage grant. The two and half year grant will support a major initiative called Plus Ultra: Awakening the Mercer Museum Core. The project will reinvent two empty rooms located in the original historic core of the Fonthill Castle into “community-centric, intimate spaces designed for meaningful and active learning through the power of objects.”

The Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC) received a $6,000 grant from the Commercial Waste Reduction Grant Program. The funding will be used to support the Compost and Recycling Education Series, which will divert waste generated at two museum cafes and educate museum staff and visitors about recycling and composting.

As part of a $250,000 grant from The Edward and Mary Lord Foundation of Norwich, Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center will help fund interpretive signs and tours at the Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT).

Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE)  was awarded a $17,000 grant from the Iowa West Foundation to develop an after school science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) enrichment program.

Eight Affiliates will receive sub-awards to collaborate with the Smithsonian on the Universe of Learning educational project next year. Congratulations to the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK); Cape Fear Museum (Wilmington, NC); Cerritos Library (Cerritos, CA); Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS); Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum McMinnville, OR); International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, TX); Schiele Museum (Gastonia, NC); and the Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, GA).

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Chris Newell, education supervisor at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (Mashantucket, CT) received an Excellence Award from the New England Museum Association for his museum work as well as being a co-founder of Akomawt Educational Initiative.

American Museum of Science & Energy (Oak Ridge, TN) has been selected to receive a Secretary of Energy Honor Award. The Secretary’s Honor Awards are the Department of Energy’s highest form of internal employee recognition. The museum also received the first Leading Edge Overcomer Award from the Association of Science and Technology Centers, that celebrates an ASTC-member science center or museum that has successfully surmounted a significant and specific challenge. The museum moved from its original facility into a new, 18,000-square-foot new space, with state-of-the-art new exhibits. To engage its community in the move, the museum developed extensive new collaborations and partnerships that melded a science-rich local history, civic pride, culture, and enthusiasm for STEM engagement into something uniquely Oak Ridge

Welcome 2019 Affiliate Visiting Professionals!

Smithsonian Affiliations welcomes its 2019 Visiting Professionals Program (VPP) cohort to Washington, D.C.! With support from the Getty Foundation, the VPP reaches a diverse group of Affiliate colleagues working in organizations with art collections and serving diverse audiences.

Kudos Affiliates!! October 2019

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 City of Las Cruces’ recent exhibit “From the Vault” at the Las Cruces Museum of Art included pieces from the city’s museum system permanent art collection. Most of the pieces are by New Mexico artists.

The City of Las Cruces Museum System (Las Cruces, NM) as been awarded a $50,000 American Art Program grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to digitize the city’s permanent collection of southern New Mexico art. The project will increase the accessibility of the permanent art collection. The digital images and updated information about each piece of art will be made available to the public online. Additionally, a selection of three-dimensional objects will be mapped and reproduced using three-dimensional printing technology for a hands-on experience.

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced $29 million in awards for 215 humanities projects across the country including the following Affiliate projects:

History Colorado (Denver, CO): $168,167-Borderlands of Southern Colorado, a two one-week workshops for 72 K-12 educators on Colorado’s southern borderlands in the nineteenth century.

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA): $158,641-Beyond the Mayflower: New Voices from Early America, 1500–1670, a two-week summer institute for 25 K-12 educators on the evolution of indigenous-colonial relationships in seventeenth-century New England.

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI): $10,000-Michigan State University Museum Cultural Collections Rehousing Project, to purchase cabinets and preservation supplies to rehouse the University’s History, Folklife, and Anthropology collections, totaling some 100,000 objects.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT): $349,978-Upgrades to the mechanical system for Sustainable Preservation of Collections, an implementation project to adjust air-handling systems and install a building management system that would improve overall energy efficiency for preserving its collections.

High Desert Museum (Bend, OR): $8,653-Doris Swayze Bounds Collection Assessment, a preservation assessment of approximately 7,000 objects, which document many of the indigenous groups of the Columbia River Plateau, including the Colville, Yakama, Klamath, Nez Perce, and Umatilla tribes, over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

International Storytelling Center (Jonesborough, TN): $200,000-Freedom Stories: Unearthing the African-American Heritage of Appalachia, an implementation of a series of public discussions and an accompanying podcast and website that engage professional storytellers with humanities scholars to explore the history of African Americans in Appalachia.

The Center for Jewish History (New York, NY) was awarded the John Stedman Memorial Grant for its New York Historical Synagogues Map Website Enhancement Project. The New York Historical Synagogues Map is the first digital project dedicated to mapping all known synagogue locations in New York City in the early decades of the 20th century (1900-1939).

NMIH Vice Chairman Lee Butz introduced Pennsylvania Senator Pat Browne.

Kara Mohsinger, President and CEO of the National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH), Lee Butz, Vice Chair of the museum’s Board of Directors, and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne announced a $500,000 state grant for the National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA). The primary goal is to promote overnight stays in Pennsylvania by supporting events, developing marketing and public relations campaigns, funding facility enhancements, and supporting new construction. In addition, the grant will aid the museum in developing new exhibits, educating new generations about the nation’s industrial history, inspiring young inventors and entrepreneurs, and reaching audiences beyond the tri-state area.

Plimoth Plantation was awarded $14,925 from MassHumanities grant to fund a new exhibit commemorating the 400th anniversary of Mayflower’s arrival and showcase recent archaeological discoveries which are challenging traditional interpretations of Indigenous and Anglo-European relations in southeastern Massachusetts. The exhibit will incorporate ‘new’ voices from the past – not only those of the literate and privileged – to reveal face-to-face communities connected by written and oral covenants, spiritual and tribal rituals, diplomatic protocols, and daily exchange of trade goods and agricultural products.

Cape Fear Museum’s Science Cycle

The Cape Fear Museum (Wilmington, NC) received $5,000 from Science In Vivo and $2,000 from Corning to fund the project The Science Cycle. The mobile program is designed to inspire kids to be curious, think big and experiment by bringing science and hands-on activities to them in outdoor settings. The project was recently a runner up in the Falling Walls International Science Engagement Competition.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The corn maze at Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) has been recognized with the 2019 USA TODAY 10 Best Readers’ Choice award for Best Corn Maze. To celebrate the honor, Conner Prairie unveiled the design of the 2019 corn maze, which is sponsored by Corteva Agriscience and will open to the public on Sept. 21.

 

 

Wiki + Affiliates: Help Represent the Under-Represented!

Wikipedia is created and edited by volunteers around the world—and Affiliates can help! As one of the web’s most visited reference sites, Wikipedia serves as a starting point for many individuals looking to learn about art, history, and science. Smithsonian Affiliations and the Smithsonian’s new Open Knowledge Coordinator,* Kelly Doyle, are looking for Affiliate partners to help add under-represented groups and topics on Wikipedia. And we need your help. Affiliate collections and archives contain countless local stories and images that can help tell a fuller and more accurate history.

The first way Affiliates can become involved is through the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative (AWHI). The AWHI illuminates women’s pivotal roles in building and sustaining our country and strives to be the nation’s most comprehensive undertaking to document, research, collect, display, and share the rich, complete and compelling story of women in America. With a digital-first mission and focus, the initiative uses technology to amplify a diversity of women’s voices to reach millions of people across the nation and around the world.

“Local and regional histories are an important part of the national story,” said Doyle. “We know that the collections of our Smithsonian Affiliates include notable women from their communities. Affiliates can provide this content to make sure these incredible women are represented online.”

Affiliates that contribute content will support the Smithsonian AHWI initiative and its goal to tell a more inclusive history. Each Wiki post will note the contributor’s connection as an Affiliate, and the post will be linked back to the Affiliate providing the content. We want to be clear that our Affiliates have amazing content to contribute to not only the Smithsonian initiative, but to the larger historical record of our nation’s women.

On October 10, 3:00 pm Eastern Time, we’ll host a call to introduce interested Affiliates to the Wikipedia project and talk about how Affiliates can help improve the quality and accuracy of Wikipedia entries. Together, our goal is to make sure those often overlooked in history are represented.

African American abolitionist and women’s rights activist, Sojourner Truth. This clearer, historically appropriate image was sourced from the National Portrait Gallery during the first AWHI Wikipedia edit-a-thon.

What you can expect on the call:

  1. Why is the Smithsonian investing in this initiative?
  2. How can Affiliates participate in Wiki edit-a-thons?
    • Host an event
    • Provide content
  3. Next steps

Want to learn a little bit more about similar successful projects? Check these blogs out:

* So, tell me, what does the Smithsonian Open Knowledge Coordinator do?
The Open Knowledge Coordinator (OKC) for the American Women’s History Initiative (AWHI) works to bring notable American women from Smithsonian collections into digital spaces, specifically the Wikimedia projects. Wikipedia is the 5th most visited website globally, with thousands of libraries, galleries, archives, and museums contributing content for free public use. However, Wikipedia’s content has a significant gender imbalance. Only 18% of biographies on Wikipedia English are about women. The OKC, together with curators and archivists across the Smithsonian, makes our content and collections about women visible on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. This allows for greater public access to our collections and gender equity online.

Questions prior to the call? Email affiliates@si.edu.