Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage wants your stories

Special thanks for this guest post to Angelica Aboulhosn, Public Affairs Specialist with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage invites partners, artists, and others from across the Smithsonian Affiliations network to showcase their work on the new CFCH digital magazine, Folklife. In doing so, contributors can spotlight their work, as well as the work of those individuals and communities they interpret or champion, to a combined audience of over one million viewers.

2011 Heritage Fellows

Photo credit: Roy (left) and PJ Hirabayashi, 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellows. Photo by Tom Pich, National Endowment for the Arts

The website, which launched last month, tells unforgettable stories of music, food, crafts, and culture that help us explore where we have come from and where we are going. Folklife showcases stories of place, history, language and cultural identity as well as the complex lives of individuals and communities—all with focus on the animating questions at the center of contemporary life, such as: How and when do we come together at a time when so much history and so many issues pull us apart? The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage encompasses the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, and a series of cultural sustainability and research projects that together promote greater understanding and sustainability of cultural heritage across the United States and around the world.

Folklife features include short- and long-form pieces, which range in length from 500 to 1,500 words. Short-form work tends to personal, essay-style pieces, while our longer-form features explores a single issue in depth, often drawing connections between media of various kinds. Folklife also features photo and video essays, in case that better aligns with your work. Ours is an educated, culturally attuned audience looking for authentic, first-person perspectives rather than academic pieces. For the time being, all contributions are unpaid, but if your piece is accepted, it will be posted to the Folklife site and cross-promoted on our web and social media channels.

Turquoise Mountain calligrapher

Over half of Turquoise Mountain’s calligraphy and jewelry students are women, as the organization is committed to provided them with a sustainable source of income. Photo courtesy of Turquoise Mountain

Featured work can include a link to relevant museum websites, online exhibitions, and more. That said, these pieces are distinct from press releases in that they focus squarely on artists, communities, and the stories they have to tell, rather than on the details of one exhibition or another, thereby extending the life of the piece online.

We encourage you to reach out to Charlie Weber (WeberC@si.edu) on our editorial team with any new story ideas. For more information, see the examples below.

Long-form example: Radio Jarochelo: Connecting Communities
Short-form example: On Ink, Tradition, and the Handwritten Word: Learning Chinese Calligraphy

Kudos Affiliates! April 2017 edition

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.

Funding
Pinhead staff at Innovation Prize event

Pinhead Institute Executive Director Sarah Holbrooke, center, poses with Dr. Adam Chambers, right; Chris Arndt, left; and members of the Telluride Earth Guardians at the Telluride Foundation’s Innovation Prize event Wednesday evening at the Elks Club Lodge. (Courtesy photo)

The Pinhead Institute won the first-ever Telluride Foundation Innovation Prize of $50,000 for its Climate Institute idea. The idea of the Climate Institute came about after Dr. Adam Chambers moved to Telluride and became involved with the organization as a consultant. The new institute will aim to reduce the area’s carbon footprint by initially focusing on emissions from the Galloping Goose buses, but the model can be expanded to focus on larger sources of carbon emissions like the Telluride Regional Airport.

Leadership and Staff Changes 

Co-Chairmen of the Museum of Latin American Art’s Board of Directors, announced that the Museum of Latin American Art has selected Lourdes I. Ramos Ph. D. to serve in the position of President and CEO.

Mark Auslander, a sociocultural anthropologist, has been appointed director of the Michigan State University Museum.

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science announced Linda Abraham-Silver, as the museum’s new CEO.

Read all about it: Affiliates in the news!

Things have been busy in Affiliateland! If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, research, or innovation, please email Elizabeth Bugbee to see if it qualifies for listing. 

Star Wars Characters

From Star Wars and the Power of Costume. Photo by Paul Martinka

Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Can’t get to the museum? The museum may be coming to you
On loan to the Denver Art Museum from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and the yet-to-open Lucas Museum of Narrative Art planned for Los Angeles, they’re part of the sudden fast rise of the traveling exhibition.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem (New York, New York)
A Jazz Age Exhibition With a Syncopated Sweep
“The Jazz Age” is an example of a classic Cooper Hewitt design exhibition — silk, diamonds, gorgeous furniture — given some new juice…The walking tour, planned for May 18, is presented by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, a Smithsonian affiliate.

Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, California)
African American Smithsonian Sets a New Standard for Museums as Destinations
San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is a Smithsonian affiliate, which means that MoAD has access to the Smithsonian’s 136 million artifact collection. MoAD deputy director Michael Warr thinks the new Smithsonian’s buzz will increase visibility for many related institutions. “When it’s getting this much love from the public, that type of audience participation from around the country and from around the world… being a professional in the museum world, we’re talking about that,” said Warr.

Students in a science workshop

Reid Middle School students participate in the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos Youth Summit Feb. 22-23 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the Springfield Museum of Art. Contributed

Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, Ohio)
Smithsonian program teaches Clark County students art, science
A recent program had Reid Middle School students reaching for the stars with assistance from the Smithsonian Institution and Springfield Museum of Art. Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos brought art and science together as students engaged in using robotic telescopes to photograph and colorize their own images of stars and galaxies like professional astronomers, interacting with real astronomers and scientists in the process.

National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA)
Steel in Pennsylvania: Explore the industrial history of Bethlehem
In addition to focusing on industries that thrived in the Lehigh Valley, the National Museum of Industrial History also has a fantastic collection of antique engines. These engines represent some of the most beautiful engines in existence, and many are on loan from the Smithsonian.

Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA)
MOLAA offers first solo exhibit featuring Frank Romero
“Death of Ruben Salazar,” from 1986, on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, depicts the death of Los Angeles Times journalist Ruben Salazar. Salazar died during the National Chicano Moratorium March in 1970 protesting the Vietnam War after he was hit by a tear-gas projectile fired by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy.

Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR)
African-American history celebrated at Mid-America Science Museum
Creative Mind combined educational exhibit materials from the National Visionary Leadership Project, the African-American History Program, Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture, and the Arkansas Educational Television Network.

High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA)
Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms coming to the High Museum in 2018
The High Museum of Art will be joining the national tour for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, the first survey exhibition to explore the evolution of the celebrated Japanese artist’s immersive Infinity Mirror Rooms. Organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian’s modern and contemporary art museum, the exhibition will be on view at the High from November 18, 2018 through February 17, 2019.

The Apollo 11 command module

The Apollo 11 command module Columbia. COURTESY PHOTO, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Destination Moon
Museum of Flight chosen to exhibit Apollo 11 Spacecraft on 50th anniversary of the Moon landing
A piece of man’s first lunar landing is coming to The Museum of Flight. The Smithsonian Institution announced at a ceremony Wednesday that the Apollo 11 command module Columbia – the only portion of the historic spacecraft to complete the first mission to land a man on the moon and safely return him to Earth – will be exhibited at The Museum of Flight on the 50th anniversary of its Moon flight.

The Apollo 11 capsule is about to go on another mission
Columbia will be featured at Space Center Houston from Oct. 14, 2017 through March 18, 2018, then will be sent to the St. Louis Science Center, where it will remain from April 14 until Sept. 3, 2018. It will then be at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh from Sept. 29, 2018–Feb. 18, 2019 before finishing at Seattle’s Museum of Flight starting on March 16, 2019. “This first stop of the national tour is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people to see both command modules – the Apollo 11 and the Apollo 17 – as well as an array of original Apollo-era artifacts,” officials at the Texas-based museum said in a statement. “Space Center Houston is the home of the Apollo 17 command module, the last mission to land men on the moon.”

Smithsonian Selects The Museum of Flight to Exhibit Apollo 11
The Smithsonian Institution announced at a ceremony today that the Apollo 11 command module Columbia–the only portion of the historic spacecraft to complete the first mission to land a man on the moon and safely return him to Earth–will be exhibited at The Museum of Flight on the fiftieth anniversary of its Moon flight.

Apollo 11 Capsule Is Going To Leave Its Position After 40 Years To Go On National Tour
Space nerds, rejoice because your dreams are about to come true…It seems that the Apollo 11 command module is about to leave the Smithsonian for the first in nearly 40 years and go on a nationwide tour…include Space Center Houston from 14th October 2017 – 18th March 2018, Saint Louis Science Center from 14th April – 3rd September 2018, Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh from 29th September 2018 – 18th February 2019 and The Museum of Flight in Seattle from 16th March – 2nd September 2019.

Young astronomers gather at the Smithsonian

Youth Summit Logo

Young astronomers from across the nation will convene for an out of this world Youth Summit in Washington, D.C., on February 22nd and 23rd. The astro-photographers, ranging in age from 10 to 14 years old, have all participated in the Smithsonian Institution’s Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program, held at 13 Smithsonian Affiliate organizations over the past year. Participants used an online portal to control real robotic telescopes located at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory sites in Cambridge, MA, and Amado, AZ. Using the same tools, technologies, and techniques as professional astronomers, the youth observed planets, stars, and galaxies; analyzed and enhanced their astronomical images with scientific software; and even designed their own robotic telescope components.

student astronomer

A student astronomer at the Carolinas Aviation Museum. Photo credit: Carolinas Aviation Museum.

While in DC these youth astronomers will share the multi-disciplinary knowledge they have gained from Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos with the public. On Wednesday, February 22nd at 1:00pm, the youth will host a poster presentation at the National Air and Space Museum, featuring the astronomical images they have captured and processed. This poster session will be followed by a live presentation from the students, How to Control a Telescope & Create a Colorful Cosmic Image

The Youth Summit also includes events to broaden the students’ understanding of science, technology, and innovation, including programming at the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of Natural History. On Thursday, February 23rd, select participants will interact with a forum of Smithsonian educators to learn about their love of space, and discover how technology can enhance access to Smithsonian learning experiences.

Affiliate Participants:

Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos is supported by the Smithsonian Institution’s Youth Access Grants program managed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education and Access. The program is a product of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in partnership with Smithsonian Affiliations, and includes participation in YouthAstroNet, a digital network of youth interested in astronomy funded by the National Science Foundation.

February in Affiliateland

Is the Smithsonian in your neighborhood? Probably so! These Affiliates are bringing the Smithsonian to communities across the U.S. in February!

Kitchen Table in Julia Child's kitchen

The kitchen table, sink, and some of the countertop equipment in Julia’s kitchen at the Smithsonian

North Carolina
National Museum of American History Curator, Paula Johnson, travels to the North Carolina Museum of History for a public program about Julia Child’s kitchen, in Raleigh, 2.2.

South Carolina
Staff from Smithsonian Affiliations and the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation celebrate the opening of Spark!Lab at the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, in Greenville, 2.4

Illinois
Affiliations Director Harold Closter will be on hand to announce the Smithsonian’s new affiliation with the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University, in Aurora, 2.7.

Texas
Smithsonian Science Education Center Director Carol O’Donnell talks about the current state of STEM education at Space Center Houston, in Houston, 2.9.

Nebraska
The Durham Museum opens Searching for the Seventies: The Documerica Photography Project, a SITES exhibition, in Omaha, 2.18

Michelle Wilkinson portrait

Photo by Jati Lindsay

New York
The Rockwell Museum presents its Smithsonian Speakers Series featuring Michelle Wilkinson, curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Corning, 2.21.

Washington, D.C.
Students from nine Smithsonian Affiliate communities will host public programs at the National Air and Space Museum as part of the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos National Youth Summit, in Washington, D.C., 2.22-23.

Special screenings of the original Smithsonian Channel program, The Obama Years: The Power of Words, will take place at multiple Affiliates in February during Black History Month, some with Smithsonian National Museum of American History Curator of Political History Claire Jerry:

At the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, in Baltimore, 2.9.
At History Colorado, in Denver, 2.13.
At the African American Museum in Philadelphia, in Philadelphia, 2.15.
At the Museum of History and Industry, in Seattle, 2.22.
At the Senator John Heinz History Center, in Pittsburgh, 2.23.
At the Western Reserve Historical Society, in Cleveland, 2.24.

Last Chance at Affiliates:

Things Come apart

Things Come Apart exhibition at Upcountry History Museum

South Carolina
Things Come Apart, a SITES exhibit, closes on 2.19 at the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville.

North Carolina
Greensboro Historical Museum closes I want the Wide American Earth, also a SITES exhibit, on 2.26, in Greensboro.

 

 

 

kudos affiliates

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.

Funding

Mystic Seaport announced today it has received a $1 million gift from the Thompson Family Foundation to support the Thompson Exhibition Building, the Museum’s first new exhibition building in more than four decades. The Thompson Building opened to visitors on September 24, 2016. The Thompson Family Foundation’s latest gift caps the $15.3 million required to fund the exhibition building and the McGraw Gallery Quadrangle project. This fundraising effort was scheduled to conclude on December 31. The first exhibit to be featured in the Thompson Building will be “Sea-Change,” a dramatic presentation of a range of beautiful and unique objects drawn from the collections of Mystic Seaport.

Massachusetts officials have announced state funding for an exhibit at a new museum highlighting the life and work of a renowned children’s book author. The two state senators representing Springfield, Eric Lesser and James Welch, said Wednesday that $200,000 has been earmarked for a bilingual literacy exhibit in the new Dr. Seuss Museum. Springfield Museums President Kay Simpson said momentum is building toward the opening of the new museum in just a few months. The museum will be the only one in the world devoted exclusively to Theodore Geisel, the Springfield native who authored the Dr. Seuss children’s books.

IMLS announced four STEMeX awards– the first of their kind for the agency – which fund research on informal educational approaches that make use of the knowledge and skills of community Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) experts. These long anticipated awards generated a tremendous response from the field, and all of us at IMLS are anxious to see the results of this important work. Researchers from the High Desert Museum, Oregon State University Cascades and the Deschutes Public Library, will answer questions including: How might the experts’ use of storytelling impact rural families’ talk during STEM activities, understanding of the nature of science, engagement, and attitudes?

Awards and Recognition

Antonio “Tony” J. Busalacchi, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), will be inducted next week into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Election to the NAE honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice, or education. It is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer and those working at the intersection of science and engineering. Busalacchi was elected for his contributions to “understanding of tropical oceans in coupled climate systems via remotely sensed observations and for international leadership of climate prediction/projection research.”

The Arab American National Museum’s (AANM) founding director, Dr. Anan Ameri, has been selected for induction into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. Ameri is one of nine women chosen, from among more than 110 nominees, to receive the honor  as a member of the 33rd class of the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame, part of the Michigan Women’s Historical Center in Lansing.

The Greensboro Historical Museum has received a national award from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) for the exhibition “Warnersville: Our Home, Our Neighborhood, Our Stories.” The Leadership in History Award is the most prestigious form of recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.