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.