Tag Archive for: affiliations national conference

Coming up in Affiliateland in June 2019

The staff of Smithsonian Affiliations is thrilled to welcome colleagues from across the Affiliate and Smithsonian networks for four days of sharing and networking at our National Conference.

Sessions, tours, receptions and more will bring hundreds of colleagues together to talk about strengthening our collaborations and to learn from each other. Register now! And peruse the agenda to get ready. See you soon! June 23-26.

Dr. Sunae Park Evans, Senior Costume Conservator at the National Museum of American History, will lead a talk on the Preventative Conservation of the First Ladies’ gowns in the Smithsonian’s collections at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, 6.13.

The Upcountry History Museum opens Down the Rabbit Hole: Imagining Alice’s Wonderland exhibition, which includes five drawings on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in Greenville, 6.15.

A star, ripped apart by the gravitational forces of a black hole about 290 light years from Earth, as captured by the Chandra X -ray Observatory.

As part of the Moon Landing in Context series, Framingham State University will host a planetarium production co-created by Kim Kowal Arcand of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The planetarium show will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the launch of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, in Framingham, 6.21.

The Young Ambassadors Program sponsored by the Smithsonian Latino Center will kick off with a week in Washington, exposing students to Latino leaders of all kinds in many disciplines. Students will then return to their hometowns to complete internships at the following Affiliates: California Science Center (Los Angeles); Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA); History Colorado (Denver); HistoryMiami (FL); Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (Miami, FL); Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, FL); Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL); Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (TX); The Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX), 6.24.

The College Park Aviation Museum will be displaying three artifacts on loan from the National Postal Museum related to Benjamin Lipsner, the First Superintendent of the world’s first regular permanent civilian air mail service, in College Park starting 6.17.

The National Museum of American History is bringing its popular professional development program for teachers, Let’s Do History, to Rhode Island with two workshops – one at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, 6.17 and at the Museum of Work and Culture (a site of the Rhode Island Historical Society) in Woonsocket, 6.18.


Affiliates, if you have collaboration news to share on the monthly calendar (must have a Smithsonian connection!), please contact Jennifer, National Outreach Manager, at brundagej@si.edu.

Raising History’s Profile

In 2013, a group of public historians, preservationists, educators, historic site managers, and museum leaders got together and asked, “How can we re-brand history and show that it is crucial to our nation’s future?

Join us for the 2014 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, just steps away from where history is made every day!

Join us for the 2014 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, just steps away from where history is made every day!

Thus was born the History Relevance Campaign, a grassroots movement made up of public historians who aim to show why the study and practice of history develop life skills that contribute to a stronger  citizenry and are crucial to our nation’s future. The focus is on the need to raise the profile of history and its value in the general public.

Over the past year, the group has held conversations at conferences of the American Alliance of Museums, National History Day, National Council for Public History, American Historical Association, and the American Association for State and Local History.

Not connected to any one history organization, the group intends to craft a strategy to make the teaching of history and related skills an integral and essential part of the K-12 curriculum.

Attendees to the Affiliations National Conference have the opportunity to contribute to the conversation first-hand and help build an action plan for the History Relevance Campaign during a session on Tuesday, June 24:

History Relevance Campaign: Raising History’s Profile
Discussion leaders:
Kim Fortney, Deputy Director, National History Day
Tim Grove, Chief of Museum Learning, National Air and Space Museum
Kent Whitworth, Executive Director, Kentucky Historical Society

Come help shape and form a national campaign for history. Anyone can also join the discussion now on LinkedIn at https://bit.ly/historybrand.

While you’re planning your Affiliations conference attendance, consider staying for the 21st Century Museum Leadership Seminar, June 26-27, in collaboration with the George Washington University. Additional fees apply. Click here to fill out an application.

The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, or have an application in progress and would like to attend the Conference, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee for more information.


Register for the 2014 Affiliations Conference here.
Reserve your room at the Holiday Inn- Capitol at a special rate.
View the preliminary agenda on our Conference webpage.

Announcing Leadership Seminar for Affiliates

gwlogoRecognizing that the need for leadership skills is fundamental in the field, Smithsonian Affiliations has recently signed an agreement to offer leadership training to staff of Affiliate museums in collaboration with George Washington University’s Museum Studies Program.   The Smithsonian has a long standing collaborative relationship with GW that encompasses internships, joint research programs, and research fellowships.   GW’s Museum Studies program is a nationally-known graduate training program with core curriculum in collections, exhibition development and design, new media, and museum management and leadership.  Since conducting a survey of Affiliate staff in 2012, GWs Associate Professor of Museum Studies, Martha Morris, has worked with Affiliations Director, Harold Closter, to design a two-day seminar to be held here in Washington, D.C., on June 26 and 27, 2014, following the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference.

Museums today face incredible challenges as well as new opportunities. Globalization, new technologies, competition,  accountability, collections preservation, financial turmoil and staffing changes are all major concerns. In addition, professional standards and ethical mandates continue to evolve.  Museums need highly trained staff, committed governance, and innovative leaders to assure their long term sustainability.  The 21st-century workforce demands individuals who are collaborative, flexible, imaginative, and innovative.  The goal of this collaboration between the Smithsonian and GW is to provide opportunities for staff at all levels of the museum to gain needed skills that will position them and their organization for success.

The program will provide opportunity for interaction with leaders at the Smithsonian and other museums as well as faculty of GW.  Topics will include practical skills in management systems as well as strategic thinking and leadership philosophy.   The value of the seminar will be in developing new skills as well as creating new networks for continuing professional growth.

The program will be reasonably priced with a limited number of scholarships available.  Registration will be opening in April, but we encourage you to save the dates now.  For further information about the seminar please contact Professor Martha Morris, George Washington University Museum Studies program at morrism@gwu.edu.

Photo courtesy George Washington University.

Photo courtesy George Washington University.

We want YOU! (to share your conference ideas with us)

2011 conference attendees at the roundtable session "What's the Big Idea?: Revitalizing Education Through Partnership and Collaboration." Photo by tony brown/imijphoto.com

Each June, we invite all of our Smithsonian Affiliates to Washington, D.C., to participate in our Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference.  We host sessions, workshops, tours, and receptions designed to give you more tools to make the most of your Affiliation.  We’re currently planning the 2012 conference, and would like your feedback. 

  • Is there a session you’d like us to organize? 
  • Is there a Smithsonian museum you’d like to visit in a behind-the-scenes tour? 
  • Are there resources that you’d like to have better access to? 
  • Are you working on an app?  What uses of technology would you like to share with your fellow Affiliates?

Please tell us!  Your input helps us craft a conference that helps you fulfill your organization’s mission and hopefully, inspires you in the year ahead. 

And of course, we’re interested in your dislikes too. 

  • Do we not allow enough time in between sessions? 
  • Would you like different speakers, food or transportation? 
  • Would you like us to bring back the ice cream social instead of a happy hour reception?  We want to know!

Please drop us a line!  Send all suggestions, comments, and critiques to BugbeeE@si.edu.  You’re our shareholders- help us do a better job.  Thank you!

Mark your calendar- The Affiliations National Conference is scheduled for June 12- 14, 2012!

2011 Conference photos: