Kudos Affiliates!! June 2022

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

FUNDING

Greenville City Council has allocated almost $2 million in accomodations tax funds a number of local organizations including The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC) ($25,000) for exhibitions and Upcountry History Museum (Greenville, SC) ($10,000) for general operating expenses.

Plimoth Patuxet Museums (Plymouth, MA) announced a $1 million donation from the Safe Family Foundation for the Museum’s endowment. The gift will help support the educational mission of Mayflower II.

 The Maryland state delegation from Baltimore announces $166 million in state funding to revitalize the downtown and Inner Harbor areas including $5.5 million to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore, MD) for maintenance and general operating expenses.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced a $753,397 redevelopment grant was awarded to Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites (Bethlehem, PA) to repair the historic Grist Miller House. The project involves structural repairs including electrical and plumbing; and interior and exterior restoration/preservation work.

Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) received $125,000 for their Putnam Reimagined project. The funding was one of 77 community grants approved by the Regional Development Authority Board to support area nonprofit, civic, and governmental organizations.

The Kansas City Council appropriated $1,233,850 from the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund (NTDF) to 131 nonprofit organizations to promote neighborhood, cultural and entertainment events throughout Kansas City. American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) was allocated $27,000 to support the 25th Anniversary Concert Series.

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced $33.17 million in grants for 245 humanities projects across the country featuring the following Affiliates:

History Colorado (Denver, CO) ($40,000) for the reinterpretation of Fort Garland Museum, an 1850s U.S. Army fort in south-central Colorado.

History Colorado (Denver, CO) ($360,938) to produce Season 4 of Lost Highways, a podcast series about the history of the Rocky Mountain West.

Florida International University (Miami, FL) ($50,000) to enhance access to the papers of Dana A. Dorsey, Miami’s first Black millionaire, who developed the city’s Colored Town (present day Overtown) in the early twentieth century. This work will include transcription, georeferencing, and creating tabular data from the 291 records and 620 pages of legal documents that constitute the collection.

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) ($346,206) for the expansion of the African American, African, and African Diaspora Studies Digital Resource Quilt Index to include nearly 3,900 new quilts, 100 pieces of ephemera, 54 oral histories, and expanded metadata representing African American, African, and African Diasporic quilt history, as well as the development of up to 18 related resources, such as essays, lesson plans, and exhibits.

Center for Jewish History (New York, New York) ($350,000) to support the arrangement and description of 1,475 linear feet of Connection and Community: Documenting 20th-century American Jewish Philanthropy and Public Service records dating from 1916 to 1999, as well as the digitization of 5,000 items selected from the collection.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Iowa Tourism Office presented National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, IA) with the Outstanding Attraction award recognizing excellence in the tourism industry during the 2022 Iowa Tourism Conference.

Kudos Affiliates!! February 2022

Kudos 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 Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque, IA) received a $10,000 grant from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ “Spring into Action” campaign to provide opportunities for people in the community to do conservation work and to restore and preserve habitat areas.

An anonymous donor contributed $25 million to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (Denver, CO) and its supporting organization, the DMNS Foundation. Ten percent of the donation will help with staffing, equipment and launch activities. The remaining will help establish an endowed fund to support the museum’s collections conservation work.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) received a $146,785 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant will fund a series of workshops and focus on using digital humanities tools to explore issues of race in America, both historically and in the current moment. Potential topics for exploration include tracing the transatlantic slave trade, uncovering Native American presence in colonial New England, identifying local abolitionist movements, and showcasing contemporary African American and Latinx literature.

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research at the Center for Jewish History (New York, NY) received $7 million in funding for the launch of the Vilna Online Collections. The online collection is an international project to digitally reunite its pre-WWII archive located in New York City and Vilnius Lithuania.

The National Endowment for the Arts announced the first round of recommended awards for fiscal year 2022 featuring the following Affiliate recipients:

  • Arizona State Museum (Tucson, AZ) ($40,000) to support a professional development program for emerging and master folk artists. Emerging artists studying with acclaimed Indigenous weavers and teachers, Porfirio Gutiérrez (Zapotec) and Barbara Teller Ornelas (Navajo), will receive instruction in using natural dyes and weaving. The artists will learn skills associated with the museum, such as object handling and exhibit design and will culminate with an exhibit produced by the artists that will showcase their weavings and the master artists’ collaborative work.
  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) ($40,000) to develop a traveling exhibition featuring artist Glenn Kaino. Based on the fictional story of three young Japanese Americans in U.S. internment camps during World War II, and inspired by the conflicts found in the traditional fable of “The Fox and the Stork” in which the two animals play pranks on one another to their detriment, Kaino analyzes the challenges that American-born citizens faced while imprisoned in the camps. The story will be presented in multiple formats by Kaino, including a monumental work outside the museum and inside, a series of new paintings and cinematic vignettes that convey the entirety of this story.
  • History Colorado (Denver, CO) ($20,000) to support the collection, digitization, and exhibition of artwork produced during the Colorado Chicano Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s-70s. The exhibition will explore Chicano identity and empowerment, displaying historic works alongside works by contemporary Chicano artists.
  • Kona Historical Society (Kealakekua, HI) ($10,000) to support a concert series that presents songs, stories, and the history of the land of Hawai’i. Local Hawaiian musicians will perform combining music and storytelling in their presentations. These free in-person concerts will be livestreamed on social media, and each concert will be recorded for future online viewing.
  • Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) ($35,000) to create a writing fellowship program for youth. Programming will feature BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) teaching artists skilled in a variety of writing disciplines such as poetry, fiction, script, and graphic novels/zine-making. The program will provide local high school students, who include middle to low-income Arab-American, Black, and Latinx families, with opportunities for self-expression and collaboration with peers through imaginative writing, production, and performance-based activities.
  • City Lore, Inc. (New York, NY) ($20,000) to implement a qualitative study exploring the resilience of organizations with arts programming that are excluded from the arts philanthropic support system. The project will address research questions about the resilience of arts and cultural providers such as social clubs, religious institutions, and small businesses during times of crisis, with a focus on the periods before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH) ($20,000) to support an exhibition and accompanying catalogue featuring the works of women artists. The exhibition will explore the theme of contemporary women artists who focus on issues of identity.
  • International Storytelling Association (Jonesborough, TN) ($25,000) to support Storytelling Live!, a seasonal teller-in-residence program. Artists, including African, Latino, Asian, and Native American storytellers and representing a broad range of storytelling traditions, will be featured in week-long residencies that include concerts, workshops, and special performances serving hospitals, schools, senior centers, and correctional institutions.

Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI) received a $48,000 grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission for capital preservation work at the facility.

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC) was awarded a $28,500 grant from the Bosch Community Fund to support steamWORKS, the museum’s special think-tank lab.

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) received three grants totaling $519,999 from Connecticut Humanities. The largest grant of $500,000 is a Connecticut Cultural Fund Operating Support grant, which assists organizations in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and improves their ability to serve their communities. The second is a $10,000 grant from the Sustaining Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Capacity Grants to support diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion training across all departments. The third award of $9,999, is a Capacity Building Grant to fund Lord Cultural Resources’ external information gathering and reporting in order to help the museum better understand and engage with a more diverse public.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has designated Mystic Seaport Museum an Informal Education Community Anchor. The designation recognizes the museum and its Treworgy Planetarium as a community resource and provides a $24,266 grant to bring space exploration to traditionally underserved areas and broaden student participation in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

LEADERSHIP

The Kenosha Public Museums Board of Trustees has named Leslie Brothers the next executive director of the Kenosha Public Museums (Kenosha, WI). Brothers brings extensive experience as an executive director, most recently at the Ulrich Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art at Wichita State University and the McDonough Museum of Art at Youngstown State University. Leslie will begin her new role in March.

Executive Director, Andrew Sandall of the Museum of Arts & Sciences (Daytona Beach, FL) announced he is stepping down from his position to take over as president and CEO of the Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ). Maria Hane will serve as the interim executive director until a search for a new executive director is completed.

Dr. Gabriela Chavarria has been named the new executive director of the Burke Museum (Seattle, WA). Dr. Chavarria currently serves as the vice president and chief curator of the Science Division at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Dr. Chavarria’s appointment begins on March 1, 2022 following the retirement of current executive director Julie Stein.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (Staten Island, NY) welcomed Jessica Baker Vodoor as the next President & CEO to lead the 83-acre site and historic cultural institution.  Ms. Vodoor served for eight years in Times Square as the Vice President, Operations for the New 42nd Street where she directed the operations of the New 42 Studios and the Duke on 42nd Street. Ms. Vodoor began her role on January 10.

“See Me” workshop with Access Smithsonian

Professional Development Opportunity: Developing and Implementing Programming for Adults Living with Dementia and Their Care Partners

four people participate in a workshop at an art museumAccess Smithsonian invites Smithsonian Affiliates to participate in a virtual professional development training workshop on the development and implementation of programming for adults living with dementia and their care partners. The two-day workshop, June 17-18, 2021, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, will present attendees with tools and strategies on how to adapt the See Me model at their organizations. Led by Access Smithsonian staff and contractors, topics will include: our approach, active listening & close looking, program content development, shifting from on-site to virtual learning, meeting the needs of our participants, and a program demonstration.

Created by Access Smithsonian, See Me at the Smithsonian has made it possible for people with dementia and their care partners to continue to enjoy Smithsonian museums, engage with the Smithsonian’s most beloved objects, sustain lifelong learning, and connect with and contribute to a larger community. Since our pilot in 2017, See Me now includes seven participating Smithsonian museums, relationships with community-based care facilities, See Me en Español, and a virtual model for delivering See Me to individuals in their homes and larger groups residing in assisted living facilities and memory care units. Most importantly, Access Smithsonian has remained connected to its audiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic providing opportunities for intellectual engagement, socialization, and stress reduction.

A workshop instructor stands in front of a seated group and points to a large black and white painting

The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s is growing. One in nine Americans age 65 and older is living with Alzheimer’s dementia, and it is anticipated this population will more than double by 2050. Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has further laid bare the vulnerabilities of adults living with Alzheimer’s dementia. Museum-based programs like See Me offer positive emotional and cognitive experiences, enhance verbal and non-verbal communication, reduce isolation and depression, and build social networks – for both individuals with dementia and their care partners.

Live captioning will be provided for the workshop. Other access services (e.g., ASL, audio description, etc.) are available upon request. *Registration has closed.

A person in a red tshirt seated at a green table paints For more information about the program, please contact Ashley Grady, Senior Program Manager, Access Smithsonian, at GradyA@si.edu.

All photos courtesy of Access Smithsonian.

New Benefit: Smithsonian Voices

We want to help share your story! Smithsonian Voices is a blog on Smithsonianmag.com, the online version of Smithsonian magazine. Millions of visitors browse the content online per month and learn about science, history, art, popular culture, and innovation. The blog shares the unique voices that make up the Institution and now will include our Affiliate partners. A new blog—Smithsonian Affiliations Voices—is in development specifically for our Affiliate partners.

Smithsonian Affiliates are currently the only organizations outside of the Smithsonian invited to join the hundreds of scholars, researchers, and curators telling stories about their work. Smithsonian Voices content doesn’t have to have a Smithsonian connection—although having one is encouraged. Here, we want to provide a platform for our Affiliates and feature the incredible work they are doing every day, how they are engaging their communities, and demonstrate the importance of our Affiliate network in reaching broader and more diverse audiences.

As we finish developing the page, we invite our Affiliate partners to submit story ideas to be be featured on our page. Visit  the Smithsonian Voices blog page to get ideas and see how other Smithsonian units are telling stories.

Are you interested in sharing a story on our Smithsonian Affiliate Voices page? Contact Elizabeth Bugbee for guidelines and more information- BugbeeE@si.edu. 

2020 Invent It Challenge

Credit: Cricket Media, Inc.

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

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

RSVP for the webinar!

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

Credit: Cricket Media, Inc.

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

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

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

Credit: Cricket Media, Inc.

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.