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Congrats to the new class of Affiliate Visiting Professionals!

(This is an excerpt of a longer article in the Spring 2019 edition of The Affiliate newsletter)

2018 class

The 2018 Visiting Professional class.

In October 2018, a group of 10 Affiliate colleagues from around the country convened in Washington, D.C., for a two-week, transformative experience at the Smithsonian. They were selected to participate in the Smithsonian Affiliations Visiting Professionals Program (VPP), a unique professional development opportunity for mid-level museum staff at Affiliate organizations. With generous support from The Getty Foundation, the cohort focused on a single topic — using digital technologies to broaden access to art collections — and added a leadership and personal development component to the curriculum.

Participants were selected from Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, Alabama); Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, California); Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, California); Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, California); Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, Illinois); Schingoethe Center of Aurora University (Romeoville, Illinois); Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan); American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, Missouri); The Rockwell Museum (Corning, New York); and Springfield Museum of Art (Springfeld, Ohio).

They represented various departments within their organizations and agreed that discussions about workplace challenges made a significant impact on them, especially since it’s often not the thrust of academic degrees. “The leadership piece was so important — how to build allies, how to communicate, managing change, even being a good follower,” mused Charles Woods, educator at Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. “My biggest takeaway was understanding that you can lead from wherever you are.”

People smiling at a table

The 2018 VPP class hard at work at the Smithsonian Affiliations office.

Each participant came to the VPP with a specific organizational objective. Aspirations were high for all participants, but the program taught the cohort how to take achievable action steps and think about iterating over time. “When I came, I had no idea what to expect,” said Erin Shapiro, curator at the Springfield Museum of Art. “But now, I think we have a high chance of success for our project. I don’t say that lightly. Everybody here recognizes that this will be beneficial. I feel fortunate to have participated. The Smithsonian Affiliations team did a fantastic job. It’s an important program.”

With the support of The Getty Foundation, Smithsonian Affiliations will host a second cohort in 2019. We’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate and welcome the 2019 class from the following Affiliate organizations:

Jewel Clark, Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)

Susan Bolaños, Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, California)

Melanie Tran, California State Railroad Museum (Sacramento, California)

Melissa de Bie, History Colorado (Denver, Colorado)

Tasha Caswell, Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, Connecticut)

Teresa Stenstrup, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Elizabeth Barrett Sullivan, Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan)

Kendra Newhall, Montana Historical Society (Helena, Montana)

Nicole Markham, International Tennis Hall of Fame (Newport, Rhode Island)

Katie Staib, Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (Spokane, Washington)

Congratulations! We’re excited to meet them all and can’t wait for the collaboration to begin!

Kudos Affiliates!! August 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 Nissan Foundation awarded $740,000 in grants to 30 nonprofit organizations for its 2019 grant cycle. The grant recipients and projects include:

Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) ($10,000)- Arab American Arts Festival and Community Development/Placemaking

San Diego Museum of Man (San Diego, CA) ($10,000)-Making San Diego Safe for Human Differences

Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA ($30,000)-School Visits Program

The Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) announced it has received several grants in support of its operations, educational programs, and a project to digitize its permanent collections:

$23,065 from the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, to carry out a three-year project to photograph and digitize nearly 2,500 works of art and upgrade its collections management software to increase public access, encourage scholarship, and foster engagement with its growing collection of American art;

$10,000 from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, to support the museum’s operations and programs through June 30, 2020;

$9,259 from the Dubuque Racing Association to upgrade the museum’s server and to make other key technology upgrades;

$2,500 from ITC Midwest to fund K-12 arts education and field trips, building art skills into the 21st century, and creating more inclusive, affordable and culturally diverse programming.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno pauses to look at the childhood home of Theodor S. Geisel.

The Dr. Seuss Foundation contributed a major gift to begin work on the Ted’s House and Innovation Center project. This will transform the childhood home of Dr. Seuss author Theodor S. Geisel and incorporate it into the Springfield Museums (Springfield, MA). The Innovation Center will focus on family, community, and environments of innovation and creativity, and use multimedia, multi-lingual resources to help visitors engage in an entertaining and exciting exploration of Geisel’s childhood, his home and neighborhood, and the many influences Springfield may have had on his art and writing.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanic Gardens (Staten Island, NY) received a $1 million allocation from the Staten Island borough’s council members for infrastructure and HVAC system upgrades at the facility.

Ball Brothers Foundation awarded $10,000 to Conner Prairie Museum (Fishers, IN) to support 60 visits to Delaware County, IN, schools to bring history and science programming to students and teachers.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) announced the winners of the 74th annual Leadership in History Awards, the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. The winners include:

Conner Prairie Museum and Asante Children’s Theatre received the Award of Excellence for Giving Voice: African-Americans’ Presence in Indiana’s History.

History Colorado (Denver, CO) for the History Colorado Collections on view in Silverton, Colorado.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) for project Montana and the Great War.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) for the We Can Do It: WWII Traveling Exhibit Outreach Project.

Judy Rand with her award winning script for the special exhibit Underwater Beauty at the Shedd Aquarium.

Congratulations to Judy Rand, winner of the 2019 American Alliance of Museums’ Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing competition for Shedd Aquarium‘s (Chicago, IL) special exhibit Underwater Beauty. Sponsored by AAM’s Curators Committee in cooperation with the Education Professional Network (EdCom) and National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME). The competition recognizes outstanding label writing that’s “clear, concise, and captivating…a combination not easily achieved.”

LEADERSHIP

The Board of Trustees of the Springfield Museum of Art announced the appointment of J.D. Beiting as Interim Executive Director. Mr. Beiting replaces Ann Fortescue, who departed for McAllen, Texas. Mr. Beiting will serve as Interim Executive Director for a period of three to six months or until the permanent successor is announced.

Cathy Green has been named executive director of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitiwoc, WI). Green served as interim director the past six months after the resignation of previous director Rolf Johnson. She had previously served as deputy director and chief curator of the museum throughout 2018.

coming up in Affiliateland in May 2019

Happy Spring!

ILLINOIS
Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar Dr. Richard Kurin will give a talk on the History of America in 101 Objects at the Peoria Riverfront Museum in Peoria, 5.2.

NATIONWIDE
11 Affiliates will collaborate with the National Museum of American History to present a National Youth Summit on Woman Suffrage: The Ballot and Beyond on 5.21. Thanks to the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI); Cerritos Library (Cerritos, CA); Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (Fishers, IN); the Durham Museum (Omaha, NE); Heritage Farm Museum and Village (Huntington, WV); History Colorado (Denver, CO); International Storytelling Center (Jonesborough, TN); Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH); The Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX); Upcountry History Museum (Greenville, SC); and UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, TX).

TEXAS
The Frontiers of Flight Museum will open the Art of the Airport Tower exhibition from the National Air and Space Museum in Dallas, 5.13.

the Moon is rising in Affiliateland in April 2019

Great events at Affiliates as spring starts blooming!

NORTH CAROLINA
The National Air and Space Museum has loaned three Apollo-related artifacts for the exhibition One Giant Leap: North Carolina and the Space Race opening at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, 4.5.

WASHINGTON
Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission exhibition, organized by the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, will open at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, 4.13.

ILLINOIS
As part of the Smithsonian Year of Music, the DuSable Museum of African American History will host A Celebration of Ella!!, a tribute event honoring the music and legacy of Ella Jenkins. At 94, Jenkins is one of the most revered singers and songwriters of the past century, with dozens of albums released through Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, in Chicago, 4.13.

PENNSYLVANIA
A protest armband from the 1960s, on loan from the National Museum of American History, will be part of the The Vietnam War: 1945-1975 exhibition at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, 4.13.


NEW YORK

Katherine Ott, curator at the National Museum of American History, delivers the last talk of the Questioning Identity lecture series, Poking at Normal: Museums and the History of Real People  at the Rockwell Museum in Corning, 4.24.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Teens from five Affiliate communities will visit Washington with museum staff and parents, to meet with Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton and participate in person in the final meeting of the Secretary’s Youth Advisory Council. Thanks to the Rockwell Museum, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the Arab American National Museum, and the Upcountry History Museum, for helping us to include national teen voices in the work of the Smithsonian over the last two years!, in D.C.,  4.24.

IOWA
Smithsonian Affiliations Director Myriam Springuel and National Outreach Manager Aaron Glavas will participate in the affiliation announcement at new affiliate, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, 4.26.

MASSACHUSETTS
Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory will present the April talk Moon Race: The U.S.-Soviet Competition to Put a Human on the Moon as part of the year-long Moon Landing in Context lecture series at Framingham State University in Framingham, 4.27.

 

Kudos Affiliates! December 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 National Mississippi River Museum received $5,000 from IBM to aid the development of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum at the museum.

Midlands Community Foundation has awarded $89,175 to 24 nonprofit organizations serving Sarpy and Cass counties. Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum received $3,300.

The Knight Foundation announced the winners of the 2018 Knight Arts Challenge in Detroit. The Arab American National Museum was awarded $100,000 to support the Arab American Arts and Cultural Festival.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Burns & McDonnell made a multiyear, multi-million-dollar commitment to Science City at Union Station Kansas City. Burns & McDonnell will invest $2.5-3 million over the next five years, bringing the total investment over the last decade to an excess of $8 million. The first phase of offerings include:

  • Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains: Commitment for two more K-12 STEM competitions, with each to result in a $1 million permanent exhibit inspired by area students.
  • Field Trip and Transportation Fund: For an entire school year, Burns & McDonnell will award one field trip per week for a class to experience Science City.
  • Pop-Up Series: Burns & McDonnell and Science City STEM professionals will be on-site to present insightful talks and demos for students.
  • Summer Camp: STEM professionals from Burns & McDonnell will enrich Science City’s summer camp with industry trends and innovations and share tips and insights regarding careers in STEM.
  • Internship: A Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains participant will be offered an internship to work at Burns & McDonnell or Science City.

LEADERSHIP

Jody Blankenship, CEO of the Connecticut Historical Society, has stepped down to take the job as president and CEO of the Indiana Historical Society. He will replace John Herbst, who served at the Indiana society’s helm for 12 years after leading Conner Prairie and the Indiana State Museum. Herbst is retiring at the end of the year, and Blankenship will take over Jan. 21.

The Newark Museum announced that Linda Harrison had been selected to succeed Steven Kern as director and chief executive officer. Ms. Harrison is coming from the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, where she has served as the director and chief executive since 2013. Ms. Harris will begin her new position in January 2019.

Coming Up in Affiliateland in October 2018

Shark girls, genomes and zombies… oh my! It’s October in Affiliateland.

CONNECTICUT

Mallory Warner, Museum Specialist from the National Museum of American History, will give a talk on women’s medical uniforms in World War I at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, 10.11.

CALIFORNIA

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes will host a workshop for teachers on Fostering Global Competence in the Classroom with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, in Los Angeles, 10.13.

The Japanese American National Museum will also host Fostering Global Competence workshops for teachers in Los Angeles, 10.20.

FLORIDA

The Orange County Regional History Center opens the Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code exhibition produced by the National Museum of Natural History, in Orlando, 10.13.

The South Florida Museum opens SITES’ A New Moon Rises exhibition in Bradenton, 10.20.

HAWAII

The Lyman Museum and Mission House will host a screening of Shark Girl from the Smithsonian Channel in Hilo, 10.15-16.

TENNESSEE

The American Museum of Science and Energy is holding a grand opening event to welcome visitors to its new location, an 18,000-square-foot space with a newly-designed exhibit gallery featuring state-of-the-art interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, in Oak Ridge, 10.18.

MARYLAND

The Smithsonian Associates’ day-long study tour, 18th-Century Annapolis: Architecture and Decorative Arts, will visit the structures and gardens of Historic Annapolis, 10.19.

OHIO

The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology will host the Let’s Do History workshop for teachers in collaboration with the National Museum of American History, in Newark, 10.22-23.

MULTIPLE STATES

Five Affiliates will facilitate teens’ virtual participation in the Smithsonian Secretary’s Youth Advisory Council, kicking off in Washington, D.C., 10.24. Thanks to the Rockwell Museum (Corning, NY); the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI); the Upcountry History Museum (Greenville, SC); the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH); and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (Fort Worth, TX) for your partnership.

PENNSYLVANIA

Curator Eric Jentsch from the National Museum of American History will discuss zombies in pop culture as part of Living Dead Meets Walking Dead at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, 10.26.