Kudos Affiliates!! September 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 Bishop Museum of Science and Nature (Bradenton, FL) has secured $547,000 in state funding to expand its manatee care program, providing additional holding and acute care space in the statewide effort to rescue, rehabilitate, release, and monitor Florida’s manatees.

The National Coral Reef Conservancy (ReeFLorida) at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (Miami, FL) secured $1,150,000 in state funding for the Conservancy. The monies will provide groundbreaking research, education, and conservation to save Florida’s damaged coral reef while connecting the Miami community to STEM-based education opportunities with the goal of conserving, restoring, and sustaining Florida’s Coral Reef.

The Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ) was awarded $15,000 under the Morris County Small Business Grant Program, to assist in part with operating expenses following a four-month shutdown of the museum due to the pandemic. In addition, the Museum was approved for a $186,939 Historic Preservation Trust Fund grant. The grant will help the museum to continue restoring the slate roof of the historic building.

The Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) received an equity grant from the Terracon Foundation, which support organizations that mirror Terracon’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. These grants are focused on systemic changes in racially diverse and underrepresented communities.

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

Museums of America supports projects that strengthen the ability of individual museums to benefit the public by providing high-quality, inclusive learning experiences, maximizing resources to address community needs through partnerships and collaborations, and by preserving and providing access to the collections entrusted to their care. Affiliates funded through this year’s Museums for America program include:

  • Las Cruces Museum System (Las Cruces, NM) ($54,000) to adapt a museum exhibit into an educational resource for school-based settings. The Indigenous Borderlands exhibit will launch at the Branigan Cultural Center in late 2022, exploring Indigenous history and culture of the “borderlands,” in the present-day Las Cruces, NM, El Paso, TX, Ciudad Juárez, MX region. The project team will collaborate with local Indigenous academics and cultural leaders to develop educational activities that complement the exhibit and augment school curricula. They will design a traveling trunk as a mobile educational kit loaned to schools for use by teachers. Indigenous partners will provide in-classroom and recorded talks in connection with the trunk.
  • Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) ($224,961) to implement an outreach program to support history organizations and individuals across Indiana in preserving their local stories. In response to a statewide needs assessment, the project will provide local organizations with training on best practices for collecting and retaining digital content.
  • Museum of History and Industry (Seattle, WA) ($151,580) to redesign the True Northwest: The Seattle Journey exhibition with a focus on integrating accessibility and inclusive design principles. The redesign will incorporate findings from a three-year evaluation of True Northwest and develop an exhibit that better reflects the lived experiences in the Puget Sound region.
  • Mercer Museum (Doylestown, PA) ($111,907) to improve the care, management, and intellectual control of 500 objects installed in 1916 in its Central Court, which has been preserved and exhibited as an historic interior.
  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) ($249,810) to launch the “Marking Queer Ohio” project to identify the stories, spaces, and places that reflect the impact of LGBTQ+ Ohioans in shaping the state’s larger history. As part of its Gay Ohio History Initiative, the museum will partner with Equality Ohio and a network of partners to build a foundation of primary sources to support the placement of ten LGBTQ+ historical markers across Ohio.
  • Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH) ($250,000) to fabricate and install the exhibit Ancient Worlds Hiding in Plain Sight, combining its invertebrate paleontology collection of more than 450,000 specimens with cutting-edge technology. Using an interdisciplinary approach and inclusive lens, the exhibit will blend science, history, and technology to enliven stories of the city’s prehistoric environment.
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO) ($222,670) to conduct a three-year project to advance collections stewardship for logistically challenging large bones of dinosaurs in the Morrison Formation fossil collection. The project will increase access to these scientifically significant specimens—including holotype specimens—for scholars and the public.
  • Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) ($236,788) to stabilize and improve the condition of film negatives from its collection that have been affected by a form of severe deterioration known as vinegar syndrome.
  • Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ) ($245,678) to improve the care, management, and long-term preservation and access to its collection of Native American materials, books, artist documentation, and archival collections.
  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) ($104,690) to catalog and conserve items from its collection of art and associated ephemera of Japanese American artist Henry Sugimoto.
  • Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) ($116,857) to collaborate with Illinois library system partners to reach audiences throughout the state in advance of the October 2023 and April 2024 solar eclipses. The planetarium will develop a booklet and poster for librarians featuring solar eclipse educational activities and content. It will distribute these resources, along with a supply of solar viewing glasses, to every public library in Illinois, equipping them to share sky observing resources with their community members.
  • City Lore (New York, NY) ($190,000) to expand its “Creative Traditions” initiative by implementing a series of community-curated exhibitions, public programs, and mentoring opportunities to sustain the cultural traditions of diverse communities in New York City. The center will create a citywide network of folk and community-based artists, host monthly convenings and performances, and offer fellowships for four Cultural Ambassadors to curate exhibitions about their communities’ traditions and aspirations.
  • South Carolina State Museum (Columbia, SC) ($249,856) to improve the stewardship of its collections through a collections inventory and digitization project of 3,500 objects in its science and technology collection as well as 2,000 objects currently on view in its exhibition galleries.
  • Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, CT) ($84,015) to provide digital access to primary sources as a response to new state legislation mandating every secondary school in Connecticut offer a course on Black and Latino studies starting in the 2022–2023 school year. Project activities include developing 10 digital resource packs that will contain digital copies of primary sources from the history society’s collection, a lesson plan linking the primary sources to themes in the state curriculum, and a short video giving deeper context to the primary sources.
  • Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) ($92,129) to improve the care and management of over 2,000 vertebrate specimens that include rare, endangered, threatened, and extinct species.

Museums Empowered: Professional Development Opportunities for Museum Staff is a special initiative of the Museums for America grant program supporting staff capacity-building projects that use professional development to generate systemic change within a museum. Affiliate awards include:

  • Wolfsonian (Miami Beach, FL) ($249,877) to expand the professional development opportunities that it offers to undergraduate and graduate students at Florida International University, a designated Hispanic Serving Institution.
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO) ($211,531) to develop a training program for emerging leaders in the museum. Six cohorts of 12 staff members will participate in a 12-week training program led by a newly hired training specialist to develop leadership skills.

Inspire! Grants for Small Museums, a special initiative of the Museums for America grant program, is designed to reduce the application burden on small museums and help them address priorities identified in their strategic plans. Awarded Affiliates include:

  • Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, VA) ($37,781) to enhance its science education programs and outreach activities by transforming an existing underutilized laboratory into a new Exploration Lab.
  • Dennos Museum Center (Traverse City, MI ) ($24,665) to improve the care of its collection through rehousing and inventory updates. Informed by a recent Museum Assessment Program (MAP) report, the museum will purchase and install five compact shelving units and reorganize their storage space to optimize collections care for approximately 165 objects from Michigan and the Midwest.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the projects for the National Leadership Grants for Museums program including:

  • Spurlock Museum (Urbana, IL) ($48,454) to develop an affordable, simple tool to measure the presence of ultraviolet (UV) light, which can cause irreparable damage to museum collections in galleries, work areas, and storage.
  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) ($49,340) to test and evaluate a community of support program model to encourage museum visits through Museums for All, an initiative through which museums offer free or reduced admission to people receiving food assistance.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Union Station, Kansas City (Kansas City, MO) has been named one of the 37 most beautiful train stations in the world by Architectural Digest.

LEADERSHIP

The trustees of the Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) announced the selection of Betsy Richards as the new Executive Director and Senior Partner with Wabanaki Nations. For over 25 years, Betsy Richards has been dedicated to building cultural and narrative power for Indigenous peoples and other BIPOC communities. A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, she brings to her role a wealth of experience in museums, philanthropy, social justice, and the performing arts.

The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs has named Anthony R. Fiorillo as the new executive director of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (Albuquerque, NM). Previously, Fiorillo has been a senior fellow at the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at Southern Methodist University. He will begin on September 19.

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