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Smithsonian Affiliations at 25: Chapter 3: 10 Years of Reaching for the Stars Together

Affiliations Anniversary Series: 25 Years in Your Neighborhood
Chapter 3: 10 Years of Reaching for the Stars Together

By: Tricia Edwards, Deputy Director, Smithsonian Affiliations and Natalie Wimberly, Management Support Specialist and Universe of Learning Project Manager, Smithsonian Affiliations

A young boy crouches in front of a telescope next to an adult in a bright green shirt seated next to him.

Student astrophotographer at Carolinas Aviation Museum (Charlotte, NC). Photo credit: Carolinas Aviation Museum.

“Working with Affiliations over the last 10 years has been one of the most productive collaborations for our Science Education Department,” says Mary Dussault, a STEM education program director at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in Cambridge, MA. Since 2012, with generous support from the Smithsonian’s Youth Access Grant program (YAG), Smithsonian Affiliations and Affiliates have collaborated with SAO to bring astronomy and astrophotography education to their communities through the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program (YCCC). Dussault adds, “Right from the get-go, we realized that the educational goals of the YAG program, the strategic partnership capacity and national network of Smithsonian Affiliations, and the scalable and accessible technology resources of SAO’s MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network were a case of the stars aligning.”

YCCC introduces communities, especially students, to the wonders of the universe. Participants can access SAO’s robotic telescopes, take images of the cosmos, and manipulate the photographs to produce their own artistic and scientific interpretations of the stars and galaxies. Along the way, they gain important technology skills and engage in—and apply—science, technology, engineering, art, and math content. As one young participant said, “I loved editing the photos. It grew my imagination and made me want to do more with it.”

A black and white image of the moon is pictured to the left of a brightly colored red, green, yellow and blue interpretation of the moon on right.

Photo captured by the MicroObservatory robotic telescope (left) alongside a student’s interpretation of the image.

Many Affiliates have participated in the program for multiple years and used YCCC to reach new audiences or forge deeper partnerships with existing collaborators. One Affiliate commented, “As a direct result of implementing the program we have already begun discussions with [our local] high school to develop a more intense astronomy program for next year.”

Since 2012, YCCC has grown to include 29 Smithsonian Affiliates and has reached more than 7,000 participants across the nation.

“Each Affiliate brings particular expertise and knowledge of their local community to adapting our SAO resources and materials, thereby creating wonderful program models that we never would have anticipated on our own,” says Erika Wright, SAO Education Specialist. For example, arts educator Annette Eschelman from the Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH) was able to combine visual arts and astronomical imaging techniques to engage incarcerated youth. Starr Kelly from the Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) developed a summer camp program in which indigenous knowledge of the Wabanaki Nations informed the experience of students in the local Indian Township School.

Pieces of the Astronomy Kit rest on a table

Astronomy Kit for virtual NASA UoL 2020 Programming at Cape Fear Museum (Wilmington, NC). Photo credit: Cape Fear Museum

The successful collaboration model itself has also expanded, as SAO and Affiliations have teamed up to pursue a number of other astronomy-based education programs funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA. NASA’s Universe of Learning (NASA’s UoL), for example, connects the science, technology, subject matter experts, and adventure of NASA Astrophysics with STEM concepts, education standards, and 21st century skills central to science understanding and literacy. Resulting products, programs, and professional development experiences span a spectrum of environments and applications, enabling a rich learning “ecosystem” across the traditional boundaries of education. The goal of the program is to create and disseminate education products, programs, and professional development experiences that use NASA Astrophysics science, technology, and subject matter experts to advance NASA’s Science Mission Directorate education objectives on a national scale.

In partnership with Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 15 Smithsonian Affiliate partners, over the course of 3 years, were identified to join the national network of collaborators for this project. The majority of the Affiliates who participated were already building on the long-term partnerships and successful implementations of the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program. Growing from these past project relationships, NASA’s UoL is able to extend its reach through Affiliates and the communities they serve.

“We have great content that we’ll share in our virtual portfolio and will gladly share with any other organization that can make use of it. I also hope to do other projects with Universe of Learning when possible.” Nathan Meyer, Cosmosphere, Hutchinson, KS

NASA’s UoL project asks 3 main questions: How does the Universe work? How did we get here? Are we alone? The project creates and delivers science and audience-driven resources along with experiences designed to engage and immerse learners of all ages and backgrounds in exploring the universe for themselves. Its main goal is to expose astrophysics content to a wider underserved audience as well as create a Community of Practice within the Affiliate partners to document, share, and discuss ideas about how this information could translate into their own institutions.

Astronomy resources are placed on a table at the Anchorage Museum

NASA’s UoL Science of Light Program at Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK). Photo credit: Anchorage Museum.

“Students wanted to spend more time doing these activities and engaging with astronomy related STEM resources. For some of the students, it was their first time in a planetarium, and being able to go there twice was their favorite part of the program. Others really enjoyed learning about the MicroObservatory resource and said they would continue using it on their own.” Aaron Slonecker, Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, AK

Within the 3-year program period, our Affiliate partners have created long-term NASA UoL community programs and are actively still engaged with Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to help broaden the scope and reach of NASA’s UoL future programming.

Through both YCCC and NASA’s UoL, Affiliates have helped to broaden access to SAO resources and magnify the reach of their expertise, all while engaging young learners in their communities in astronomy. Affiliates have also built their capacity. They have bolstered their astronomy knowledge and expertise, while also learning how to implement public workshops and programs for audiences of all ages. They have created a community of learners through online discussions and webinars, brainstormed programming ideas, and learned with and from one another.

Later this year, Smithsonian Affiliations and SAO will debut the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos toolkit, developed in collaboration with the Abbe Museum, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum (Honolulu, HI), and Springfield Museum of Art. The toolkit will provide how-to instructions for accessing the MicroObservatory, along with successful YCCC program models implemented by Affiliates with different audiences and in different settings, enabling even more Affiliates and their communities to explore the wonders of the cosmos. We also look forward to rolling out the Observing with NASA program soon. Affiliates will have the opportunity to apply to host Observing with NASA kiosks that allow public audiences to request their own telescope images and to practice image processing skills. Stay tuned for more details on these two exciting projects!

Stay tuned next month for another chapter in our 25th Anniversary Series! Until then, catch up on stories you’ve missed:

Kudos Affiliates!! January 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 Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) and the California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA) are recipients of an Art Museum Futures Fund grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The emergency COVID-19 grants will be used to support general operations.

The Ohio State Controlling Board approved $1.2 million to Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) for the support of educational initiatives. The funding is part of Ohio’s response to the health and economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Guinness Open Gate Brewery is donating to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore, MD) as part of its Guinness Gives Back Baltimore Community Fund. As an extension of the brewery’s mission to contribute to America’s craft brewing scene in a positive way as makers and creatives, the brewery’s support will champion underrepresented artists to inspire the next generation.

Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH) received $61,200, an Ohio Arts Council CARES Act Economic Relief for the Arts award, to support salaries and operating expenses. In addition, the museum received $61,227 from the Park National Bank to support general operating expenses.

The Andrew W. Mellon and William Penn Foundations selected the African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) as one of 37 institutions to split an $8 million fund. The museum was awarded $200,000 to support general operating costs.

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission announced nearly $2 million in grants to museums and historical societies across the commonwealth including the following Affiliates:

Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded grants to the following Affiliates as part of its Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative. The funding will be used to develop exhibitions and education programs that accurately portray the role of religion in the U.S. and around the world.

  • Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) ($500,000) – to create a new storyline on the role of religion in African American history in the early 19th century.  The project will “explore the vital role of religion in the lives of antebellum Black settlers, who often thought of the Northwest Territory as their Promised Land.”
  • Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ) ($2,500,000) – to develop a permanent exhibition that will explore the origin stories of four North American indigenous tribes — the Seneca in the Northeast, the Yup’ik in the Arctic, the Akimel O’odham, and the Navajo in the Southwest — in an immersive and educational presentation that seeks to educate about the diversity and beauty of indigenous religion and spiritual practices.
  • Plimoth Patuxet Museums (Plymouth, MA) ($2,499,110) – to support The Light Here Kindled: Providence, Manitou and the Legacy of America’s Founding Faiths program that seeks to strengthen and expand the museum’s capacity to incorporate the crucial role of faith, particularly the beliefs and practices of Reformed Christianity, into its interpretations of Colonial Plymouth and the people of the indigenous Patuxet.

Putnam Museum (Davenport, IA) received a $35,000 grant from the Scott County Regional Authority to support the design and construction of a world culture gallery.

Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI) received a $138,000 State COVID-19 Cultural Organization grant to help sustain operations through challenges posed by the pandemic.

Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, IL) received $700,000 through the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program to support its STEM Inspires program for dome planetarium capital upgrades.

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (Cedar Rapids, IA) received a $10,000 Virtual Arts Experience grant through the Iowa Arts Council, to offer 15 virtual music performances by local artists for K-12 music classrooms and aging adults in care centers. Participating students and aging adults will engage in a virtual pen pal program. Students will submit music-related questions to adult learners who will record their responses with the help of care center staff.

Four Affiliates received a grant from the Iowa Arts and Cultural Recovery Program to provide relief for lost income or extra expenses incurred due to the pandemic. The grants may be used to offset operating expenses, as well as costs associated with reopening in person or adapting programs to virtual formats.

The Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) will renovate its library using a $3 million gift made by the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation. The gift allows for the continuation of the physical and cultural transformation of its main campus and headquarters by renovating the library’s first floor public reading room and consolidating staff workspaces.

LEADERSHIP

Dr. Kimberly Robinson, a 31-year NASA veteran, has been named the executive director and CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL). She will assume her role Feb. 15. Robinson is NASA’s Utilization Manager for Advanced Exploration Systems and was previously the Payload Mission Manager for Artemis I, the first integrated flight test of the NASA’s Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System rocket, and the Exploration Ground Systems at Kennedy Space Center.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore, MD) announced the appointment of Terri Lee Freeman, former President of the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN) as the new Executive Director. As a national leader, who brings an entire career in philanthropy, focused on fundraising and building strategic alliances, she will join the museum in February.

Ben Jones was named the new executive director of the South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD). Ben is the former Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education.

Dan Joyce announced he will retire as executive director of the Kenosha Public Museums (Kenosha, WI) at the end January following more than three decades at the museum.

Kudos Affiliates!! March 2020

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

Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH) received a $500,000 pledge from Speedway LLC to open its Art Invites capital campaign. The museum is now reaching out to the public to help bring in the final $1.2 million needed to fulfill the campaign goal. The funds raised will be used to tear down the oldest parts of the museum building, while increasing the educational space, which will double in size.

Mars Wrigley announced that the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research Grant is being awarded to five institutions across the U.S. and Canada in the areas of research and chocolate programming, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon, VA). The grant will be used to create professional development workshops and field trips designed to reach 40 teachers and 600 students in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). A unit entitled Chocolate and Trade: The Americas will be developed in collaboration with DCPS to support and enhance the current 6th grade social studies curriculum. Students will learn about the history of chocolate.

Citizens Bank of Kansas will provide scholarships to eight students to experience hands-on STEAM learning at a camp offered by the Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS). Scholarship winners will attend the Cosmosphere’s Mars Academy Camp, a four-day, three-night camp where students will focus on building a habitat for another world, understand and overcome the challenges of gathering resources necessary for life, and practice skills like operating robots and drones. The camp activities culminate in a team mission to orbit Earth. In addition, The MAAM Foundation is offering scholarships to qualifying students to attend the 2020 Cosmo Camps. These multi-day resident camps are focused on STEM-based educational experiences with a focus on aviation, aerospace, and space activities.

Framingham State University (Framingham. MA) was awarded $26,667 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as part of the fiscal year 2020 Partnerships Matching Funds Program to improve trails in Ashland. The money will be used to replace a drainage pipe, regrade pathways and improve storm water runoff treatment.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded $750,000 over two-years to the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) for its landmark Artists + Residents program. Artists + Residents enlists national and international artists whose work centers on the complexities of Arab and Arab American representation and expression. Funds from the grant will be used to support residencies with a wide range of focuses and mediums and will include everything from artist talks and workshops to large-scale productions and exhibitions.

AWARDS & STAFF RECOGNITION

Robert C. Clark, President and CEO of Historic Annapolis, was awarded a 2020 Maryland Preservation Award in the Category of Outstanding Individual Leadership. Photo courtesy Historic Annapolis.

Historic Annapolis (Annapolis, MD) announced that Robert C. Clark, its President and CEO, was awarded a 2020 Maryland Preservation Award in the Category of Outstanding Individual Leadership. The Maryland Preservation Award Program, now in its 45th year, recognizes outstanding efforts in historic preservation, including education, restoration, and revitalization projects, as well as organizational and individual leadership. Mr. Clark was recognized for his effort in elevating the profile and visibility of historic preservation and cultural heritage programs in Annapolis.

The Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) received two awards at the annual Public Relations Society of America Pittsburgh Renaissance Awards.  Their submission for the successful #MoonBox campaign (implemented during the final month of Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission, an exhibition by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) won the first-place Renaissance Award for Best Social Media Campaign of 2019. They also won an Award of Merit (second place) for the entire Destination Moon exhibit integrated marketing campaign that helped draw more than 100,000 visitors to the History Center during the exhibit’s four-month run.

LEADERSHIP

Marta Mabel Pérez, has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (Santurce, Puerto Rico). Marta Mabel has been part of the MAPR’s team since 2005 when she founded, and managed for 12 years, the innovative Artist Assistance Program (PROA), a project of liaison with the artistic community in Puerto Rico. She recently served as the interim Executive Director for the museum.

The trustees of the Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) announced the selection of Christopher Newell as its new Executive Director and Senior Partner with Wabanaki Nations. Newell is a professional museum educator and a proud citizen of the Passamaquoddy Tribe. He has served since 2015 as Education Supervisor for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (also a Smithsonian Affiliate) where his team created educational experiences.

Kudos Affiliates!! July 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 National Atomic Testing Museum (Las Vegas, NV) has received a $1 million matching grant from the state to assist in their search for a larger space in downtown Las Vegas.  The additional room will allow the museum to expand their exhibitions on nuclear testing in Nevada.

IBEW Local 252 and National Electrical Contractors Associated donated $25,200 to the Yankee Air Museum (Belleville, MI) for its Save the Bomber Plant effort. The museum is raising funds for renovation work required to transform the historic WWII Willow Run Bomber Plant into the future home of the Yankee Air Museum.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services recently announced awards totaling $2,231,000 in Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC) including the following Affiliate projects:

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL)-$167,852.00 award to expand its Legacy Youth Leadership Program for high school students to 20 historic sites in the Alabama African American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium.

Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, CA)-$247,880.00 award to expand ìMoAD in the Classroom, a visual literacy and arts outreach program offered to Title I and under-served third grade students in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem (New York, NY)-$49,876.00 award to develop a new website that provides public access to its digital collections.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the first grant projects funded through the Inspire! Grants for Small Museums initiative featuring the following Affiliate organization:

Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH)-$38,744.00 award to build its capacity to work with preschool children and teachers by expanding the professional development components of its Artful Play program.

Battelle has awarded $753,000 to fund 19 different out-of-classroom education programs that build skill in Central Ohio students including the Community STEM Center Initiative at The Works by The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology (Newark, OH). Partnering with middle schools in Licking County, The Works will build on activities from previous years, supporting teachers through professional learning and cross-district mentorship and collaboration while expanding student access to creative out-of-school learning opportunities to explore STEM concepts and careers.

Sullivan Museum and History Center (Northfield, VT) will receive part of a $269,000 gift from the TAWANI Foundation to cover the operating expenses of new student activities.

The Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, IL) received a $1 million donation from T. Bondurant “Bon” French and Hollis “Holly” S. French to honor work Bon French’s parents performed for the museum’s predecessor, Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences. Some of the donation will endow a fund to support the Center for American Decoys at the museum.

The California Assembly voted to approve a funding bill to allocate $5.8 million for the Columbia Memorial Space Center (Downey, CA). $5 million will be used to construct a second building on the space center grounds. The remaining $800,000 is earmarked to purchase a 3D printer and audio/visual system.

LEADERSHIP

The Putnam Museum & Science Center (Davenport, IA) board of directors announced that community leader and education advocate Rachael Mullins Steiner will become president/CEO of the Putnam effective July 1. Steiner will replace Kim Findlay, who retired from the Putnam after more than a decade of service.

H. Alexander Rich, an assistant professor of art history at Florida Southern College has replaced Claire Orologas as leader of the Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland, FL). Orologas, who became the museum’s executive director in 2012, will become executive director emerita.

Ivy Barsky, who has served as director and CEO at the National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA) since 2012, will be stepping down at the end of June. The museum board has asked Dr. Misha Galperin, a consultant to philanthropic and nonprofit organizations, to serve as interim leader.

Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko will be resigning from the museum at the end of June to accept a post as executive director of the Illinois State Museum in Springfield. The Board of Trustees is in the process of choosing an interim leader for the organization.

Kudos Affiliates! October 2018

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 Dane G. Hansen Foundation has awarded the Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS) a $50,000 grant to bring the science center’s outreach programs to rural schools in Northwest Kansas. Programs supported by the grant will serve students in grades K-12.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) is one of 96 colleges and universities in the country to be recognized by by INSIGHT into Diversity, a higher education diversity magazine and website, for its efforts to support diversity and inclusion. The school received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED, Award. Framingham State has received the award three previous times beginning in 2014, more than any other public university in the state.

Bank of America has donated $50,000 to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore, MD) and is the presenting sponsor of the upcoming exhibit, Romare Bearden: Visionary Artist.

The Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) has received grants to support two new projects that will culminate in Summer 2020. The National Park Service, through its Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) program, awarded the museum nearly $488,000 and the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program awarded the museum $30,000. The money will support the development and implementation of a virtual and augmented reality exhibition about a Nisei soldier killed in battle during World War II and another exhibition exploring the role of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in America’s concentration camps during the war. In addition, the museum received a bequest in excess of $525,000 from the estate of Setsuko Oka, a longtime museum member. The funds will go toward educational initiatives as well as exhibitions and programs focused on Japanese artistic and cultural heritage in the United States, through the soon-to-be-established Setsuko Oka Japanese Heritage Fund.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced grant awards totaling $22,899,000 for museums across the nation to improve services to their communities through the agency’s largest competitive grant program, Museums for America, and a special initiative, Museums Empowered. Affiliate recipients include:

Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC)-Award: $50,795
The Children’s Museum of the Upstate will expand its STEAM outreach programming to benefit both teachers and students in the Greenville County Schools.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO)-
Award: $249,500
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will create two mobile museum experiences to engage underrepresented audiences in nature and science by going outside the museum’s physical location. The museum will fabricate an expandable vehicle similar to an RV and a smaller, pop-up truck.

Award: $142,836
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science will implement a professional development plan for its cross-departmental data team to leverage insights from existing data sets and identify new data sources to support its mission, increase relevance, and better serve its community.

International Museum of the Horse (Lexington, KY)-Award: $225,983
The International Museum of the Horse will document and archive the history of African Americans in the horse industry and make it accessible through an online interactive website.

Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME)-Award: $169,070
The staff of the Abbe Museum will continue to decolonize its museum practice, informed by native Wabanaki people, and develop the Museum Decolonization Institute to share its process and understanding with others.

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle,WA)-Award: $250000
The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture will ensure the long-term care, conservation, and access to its ethnology textile collections by rehousing them in its new facility in a storage system that meets accepted professional standards.

Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, VA)-Award: $97,637
The Virginia Museum of Natural History will improve the care and accessibility of its Triassic and Paleozoic geologic rock core from the Virginia Piedmont by moving it to a new storage facility.

Durham Museum (Omaha, NE)-Award: $214,965
The Durham Museum will improve intellectual and physical control over its collection in response to a series of recommendations from its participation in the Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) program.

Arizona State Museum (Tucson, AZ)-Award: $230,716
The Arizona State Museum will continue its ongoing work to stabilize its basketry collections which represent its highest institutional conservation priority.

Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI)-Award: $24,586
The Wisconsin Maritime Museum will develop a collections move and consolidation plan to evaluate space and facility requirements and the future composition of its collection.

Museum of History and Industry (Seattle, WA)-Award: $31,368
The Museum of History and Industry will increase staff cultural competency and provide clear objectives and accountability for moving forward as a more inclusive organization in order to build its capacity to serve the diverse communities of Seattle and King County.

Kentucky Historical Society (Frankfort, KY)-Award: $243,604
The Kentucky Historical Society will embark on a three-year project to reshape its institutional culture to prioritize diversity and inclusion in all facets of its work.

High Desert Museum (Bend, OR)-Award: $73,534
The High Desert Museum will embed evaluative thinking into organizational practices by building staff competencies in evaluation. The project will include a mixture of skill building workshops and guided studies designed to build staff skills and confidence in evaluation processes.

Air Zoo (Portage, MI)-Award: $21,542
The Air Zoo will expand its ongoing program of diversity and inclusion training for its staff and volunteers. As one of 14 nationwide sites to be selected to participate in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative, the museum will continue its commitment to becoming a more culturally-competent, diverse, and inclusive community organization.

Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI)-Award: $22,306
The Rhode Island Historical Society will implement a comprehensive professional development program for its staff and volunteers to build their knowledge and practice in using dialogue facilitation with different audiences and improve their readiness to work on re-interpreting programming, exhibitions, and collections practices.

To read the full descriptions of each award, click here

Conner Prairie received a $70,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to help support its goal of bringing interdisciplinary education directly to elementary-age students in Indiana. The grant will allow Conner Prairie to bring its unique approach of integrating history and STEM to classrooms through education programs inspired by its Create. Connect exhibit, which blends stories of Indiana history with science experimentation, problem-solving, and critical thinking. The new Prairie Mobile will travel to elementary schools in Duke Energy’s Indiana service area with the aim of inspiring curiosity and fostering learning through history and STEM-related education and hands-on activities.

The National Park Service announced $1,657,000 in Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act grants to return ancestral remains and cultural items to Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. The 16 repatriation grants will fund transportation and reburial of 243 ancestors and 2,268 cultural items including:

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO)-$85,000
To study a large collection of artifacts and human remains that was excavated in New Mexico from sites that range in age from about 700 years old to 1,700 years old.

History Colorado (Denver, CO)-$14,700
To give back 222 funerary objects taken from tribes between the late 1880s, up until as late as the 1980s.

Other recipients include:

San Diego Museum of Man (San Diego, CA)-$89,793

Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH)-$90,000

Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH)-$88,248

The “tails” side of the new Lowell quarter (Courtesy of the U.S. Mint)

RECOGNITION AND AWARDS

A “mill girl” working at a power loom in Lowell will soon be depicted on a new quarter, the U.S. Mint announced this week. The new 25-cent piece is part of the Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters Program, in which quarters represent a national park or other site in each state and U.S. territory. Including the Massachusetts quarter and four others, 2019 will be the 10th year of the program. According to the Mint, the design for the Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA) quarter “depicts a mill girl working at a power loom with its prominent circular bobbin battery. A view of Lowell, including the Boott Mill clock tower, is seen through the window.”

 

Coming Up in Affiliateland in May 2018

Look at all the activity blooming in Affiliateland this spring!

PENNSYLVANIA
The Heinz History Center hosts a talk and tasting with National Museum of American History curator Paula Johnson on Making Wine at Home as a complement to their current exhibition on Prohibition, in Pittsburgh, 5.6.18.

The Mercer Museum will open Racing: A Need for Speed exhibition featuring 7 artifact loans from the National Museum of American History, in Doylestown, 5.12.18.

A new exhibition at the Center for Jewish History in New York City.

NEW YORK
The Center for Jewish History hosts National Air and Space Museum curator Dr. Valerie Neal for a talk on the history of Jewish astronauts and their achievements as part of their Jews in Orbit: Meet an Astronaut program in Manhattan, 5.7.18

MASSACHUSETTS
The Tsongas Industrial History Center will host Teacher Creativity Studios: Asian Pacific American Cultural Presence in the Classroom workshops in collaboration with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access on the Lowell National Historical Park site in Lowell, 5.12.18.

FLORIDA
The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science will host ¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert family day in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center in Miami, 5.12.18.

¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert family program will be coming to Miami with the Smithsonian Latino Center

Things Come Apart an exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service opens at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, 5.26.18.

MAINE
The Abbe Museum will host its inaugural Indian Market, with a film series curated by Elizabeth Weatherford, Founder and Emeritus Director of the Film and Video Center at the National Museum of the American Indian, in Bar Harbor, 5.18-20.18.

MARYLAND
Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center will open the exhibition Of a Feather: Birds in Art juried by Jennifer Daniels, landscape architect at the Smithsonian National Zoo, in Solomons, 5.25.18.