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kudos Affiliates! february 2017

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.

FUNDING

Union Station Kansas City (Kansas City, MO) received a $1 million gift for the creation of an outdoor concert and festival space from the Michael and Marlys Haverty Family Foundation. The landscaped festival plaza is part of the station’s nearly $8 million expansion that also includes a new traffic and pedestrian bridge. The gift will also be used to create an indoor gallery to house paintings depicting the 12 original railroads that formed a consortium to create Union Station in 1914.

Ball Brothers Foundation awarded $3.7 million in grants to nearly a dozen organizations including $25,000 to the Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) for the Delaware County History Journeys project.

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (Fishers, IN) received a $400,000 grant from Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, to support a capital improvement project aimed at increasing energy efficiency at the park’s Welcome Center. The funds will be used to replace several aging HVAC air-handling units with high-efficiency units.

The founders of Ricker’s fuel and convenience stores pledged $500,000 to Conner Prairie to help restore the museum’s Chinese House, a historic venue on the property.

Wild Swan Theater announced a $29,200 grant award from the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) Charitable Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The funds will be used to develop, in collaboration with the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI), an original, main stage and touring production for elementary school audiences inspired by Arab folktales-Marketplace Stories: Folktales from the Arab World.

Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing), joined by the Board of Directors for the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, announced the allocation of $125,000 for renovations to Flushing Town Hall (Queens, NY).

The Kenosha City Council approved $500,000 for a new exhibit at the Kenosha Public Museum (Kenosha, WI). The second-floor “A World of Diversity” permanent exhibit will be redesigned to interweave with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) standards.

 The Kona Historical Society (Captain Cook, HI) has received a $28,000 grant from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) to expand its Hands On History program at Kona Coffee Living History Farm.

 

AWARDS and RECOGNITION

Kyle Wenger, Chief Financial Officer of Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) has been name 2016 CFO of the Year by the Indianapolis Business Journal.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has given its Driehaus Preservation Award to the Charles W. Morgan whaling ship at Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT).

Independent Sector, the only national membership organization that brings together nonprofits, foundations and corporations to advance the common good, announced its 2016-17 American Express NGen Fellows, which includes Devon Akmon, director of the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI).  The 12 outstanding charitable-sector leaders aged 40 and under will engage over the next year in a range of activities that deepen individual capabilities, expand collective knowledge and grow professional networks.

President Barack Obama appointed Beth Takekawa, Executive Director of the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, WA) to the National Museum and Library Services Board.

 

LEADERSHIP and STAFF CHANGES

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, CA) has hired Julia Bussinger, former director of the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Texas, to be its new executive director.

 

 

Kudos- July/August 2016

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments!

Funding

The San Diego Air & Space Museum (San Diego, CA) recently selected 13 graduating seniors from San Diego County high schools to receive a total of $51,000 in scholarships. These scholarships are awarded annually to inspire young people to tackle the challenges of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics academic disciplines, and to make a difference in tomorrow’s world through an innovative, adventurous spirit.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) received $7,800 from The MetroWest Health Foundation for the development of programs and resources related to sexual violence education and prevention.

Duke Energy Foundation has awarded a $15,000 grant to Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) to help establish a new maker’s program set to debut in phases starting later this year. The grant will help Conner Prairie develop and prototype programming, create temporary venues to implement and evaluate its programs and provide continued learning opportunities for teachers that focus on how the making movement supports STEM learning. The grant will also help the museum build a permanent maker space that will feature year-round programming and maker-oriented school programs that meet or exceed Indiana’s educational standards.

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs through the Historical Resource Development Program awarded Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) $14,500 to help the museum conserve and exhibit a set of historic architectural drawings, created by renowned landscape architect Alfred Caldwell, of Eagle Point Park.

The Flushing Council on Culture and Arts, based in Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, NY), received nearly $600,000 in capital funding from the borough of Queens.

The Connecticut Humanities Council announced that Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT) is the recipient of a $9,979 grant that will help the maritime museum establish two training programs for the museum staff. One program will explore methods of producing interpretive techniques while the other will encourage the use of evaluation for continuous improvement.

Awards and Recognition

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) announced the winners of the 71st annual Leadership in History Awards including the following Affiliate initiatives:

California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA), Stephanie DeLancey, and dewdropstudios: for the exhibit Coloring Independently: 1940s African American Film Stills from the Collection of the California African American Museum.

HistoryMiami (Miami, FL) for the exhibit Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus.

Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) for the project Indiana History for the Secondary Classroom.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) for the exhibit Forgotten Pioneers: The Chinese in Montana.

North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, NC) for the exhibit Starring North Carolina!

Greensboro Historical Museum (Greensboro, NC) for the exhibit Warnersville: Our Home, Our Neighborhood, Our Stories.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) for the exhibit We Can Do It! WWII.

Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, TN) for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum permanent exhibits.

Museum of History & Industry (Seattle, WA) for the exhibit The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop.

The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (Hershey, PA) received six NAAMY Awards during the National Association of Automobile Museums (NAAM) Conference in the following categories:

Second Place – Division II Newsletters & Magazines for the Reflections Newsletter publication intended to share information about the AACA Museum exhibits and activities with our members and donors.

Second Place – Division II Events & Public Promotions for the Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Tribute Car & Future Day promotional event.

Second Place – Division II Film & Video for the Motorbikes for the Masses exhibit promotional video hosted on the AACA Museum website and social media channels.

Second Place – Division II Educational Programs for the grade specific educational materials created by Lebanon Valley College Masters students inspired by AACA Museum exhibits.

Third Place – Division II Events and Public Promotions related to the 6th Annual Wedding Showcase event held in February.

Third Place – Division II Films & Video for the Lotus: The Art of Lightness video to promote the exhibit to visitors of the AACA Museum website.

The readers of Miami New Times have named The Wolfsonian (Miami Beach, FL) as Miami’s Best Museum of 2016!

The Honorable Dennis Ross (Florida) recognized in the Congressional Record, the Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland, FL) for its’ 50 years of service to the community.

The Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR) is one of 10 recipients of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 22 years, the award has celebrated institutions that respond to societal needs in innovative ways, making a difference for individuals, families, and their communities.

Leadership and Staff Changes

Best wishes to President and chief executive, Stuart Ashman of the Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA) who announced he will be stepping down from his position in July to take a leadership position at the Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe in New Mexico.

Get to know one of our Affiliate partners: the Conner House, the heart of Conner Prairie

Our diverse network of Smithsonian Affiliates helps connect local stories to our shared national history. With more than 200 Affiliates in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Panama, each has a special story to share about what makes them unique to our network. Here’s one of those stories. Special thanks to Duane Brodt, Director of Public Relations at Conner Prairie for this guest post.

 

ConnerHouse

Two hundred years ago, a fur trapper named William Conner made his living in the woods of Hamilton County. He lived among the Native Americans on the banks of the White River, fought in the War of 1812 and played an instrumental role in the transformation of Indiana from a territory to statehood.

He spent the next 15 years transforming himself from a trapper and trader to a gentleman and statesman who lived in a red brick home at the top of a hill – the Conner House, the heart of Conner Prairie.

Over the years, the house bustled with business and politics. It was the meeting place for county commissioners, home to the Circuit Court and served as the post office in the early days of the county. Visitors traveled from far away to discuss legislation around the dinner table and strike business deals in the best room. It was a cultural hub where big ideas were stretched and pulled as leaders wrestled with how to best guide our state though its infancy.

On Thursday, to celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial, a renovated and reimagined Conner Homestead will open and the story of William Conner will be transformed – from a domestic story to one that tells the larger tale of Indiana’s transformation from territory to statehood.

“The Bicentennial and all of the focus on early Indiana history got us thinking about the transformation of the Conner House experience to a story that looks at the Conner family and its transformation,” said Director of Exhibits Brian Mancuso. “We have designed interactive video and audio pieces to help people experience and explore in different ways.”

Rather than entering the home through the back of the house through the kitchen, visitors will now enter the home from the actual front of the home, as those traveling the White River and traversing the prairie would have entered Conner’s home in the 1800s.

Exploring the rooms of the Conner House will now allow visitors to immerse themselves in interactive, technological exhibits that explore the questions of the day and how the land was settled, surveyed and sold. Young visitors can contrast and compare their chores, meals and clothes with those of the Conner family and friends. Interactive exhibits will encourage visitors to ask themselves how Conner and his family should be remembered in history. Exhibits will also allow visitors to choose what qualities were necessary for someone to be a successful pioneer in Indiana.

The Conner House now more strongly complements William Conner’s story and shows how the family that lived here – and the people who came in and out of the front door – helped shape our state’s history.

The restoration of the Conner Homestead at Conner Prairie is designated an official Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project.

Spanning 800 wooded acres in central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes nearly 390,000 visitors of all ages annually. As Indiana’s first Smithsonian Affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically themed destinations and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today.

Is the Smithsonian in your neighborhood?

kudos Affiliates! February 2016

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.

Funding

MassBay Community College and Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) have received a $5,000 grant from the Sudbury Capital Grant Fund for the new MetroWest College Planning Center. The center has been set up to improve college readiness, participation, and completion among underserved student populations and nontraditional adult learners in the region.

The National Civil War Museum (Harrisburg, PA) has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the NRA Foundation. The funds will be used to construct a new exhibit recognizing firearm manufacturers of the Civil War era that are still in operation today as well as highlighting gun safety programs and firearm education and training offered through the NRA.

Awards and Recognition

Jose Santamaria, Executive Director of the Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, GA), was recognized with one of the most prestigious awards – Museum Professional of the Year – during the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries, for his service to the museum industry.

Leadership and Staff Changes

The Board of the American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) announced that Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner has been named executive director of the museum.

The board of directors of Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (Fishers, IN) announced the hiring of Norman O. Burns II as President and CEO. Burns succeeds Ellen M. Rosenthal, who retired from the museum’s top position on January 4 after 12 years at the helm.

affiliates in the news!

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  If you have a clipping highlighting a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

IndiVisible, a Smithsonian traveling exhibition on African-Native American Identity, is set to open at the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum on January 19 in Palm Springs. Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun.

IndiVisible, a Smithsonian traveling exhibition on African-Native American Identity, is set to open at the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum on January 19 in Palm Springs. Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, HI)
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Named Hawaii’s “#1 Historical Spot Worth Traveling For” By TripAdvisor’s® FlipKey®
“For us to be given this designation couldn’t have come at a better time as we celebrate our 10th anniversary this year. We remain committed to giving visitors the best experience at a historic site where they learn of the sacrifices of those who served in WWII.”

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, CA)
African-Native American exhibition comes to Palm Springs
“We are very excited,” said Michael Hammond, executive director of the museum. “The exhibition offers a glimpse on issues of race and prejudice faced by African-Native Americans throughout history, and how we are still dealing with these issues today.”

Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN)
Conner Prairie taps new president
The board of directors of the interactive history park announced the hiring of Norman O. Burns II on Monday after a national search. Burns, 54, succeeds Ellen M. Rosenthal, who retired from the museum’s top position Jan. 4 after 12 years at the helm. 

Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA)
Our opinion: 2nd Smithsonian pact a boon for Dubuque
This community added a couple of feathers to its cultural and tourism caps this week when the Smithsonian Institution, the largest and, arguably, best network of museums in the world, named our Dubuque Museum of Art a Smithsonian affiliate.

Harold Closter (left), director of Smithsonian Affiliations, and David Schmitz, executive director of the Dubuque Museum of Art, mark the local museum's designation as a Smithsonian affiliate.

Harold Closter (left), director of Smithsonian Affiliations, and David Schmitz, executive director of the Dubuque Museum of Art, mark the local museum’s designation as a Smithsonian affiliate.

Dubuque Museum of Art joins Smithsonian network
“The mission of Smithsonian Affiliations is to bring the Smithsonian into the local community,” Closter said. “To make it easier for people to see what we have and what we do in their neighborhood.” 

Smithsonian adds ‘national treasure’ to Dubuque
The Dubuque Museum of Art will join The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium as a Smithsonian Affiliations site.

Dubuque Museum of Art now Smithsonian Affiliate
We are thrilled and honored to join the Smithsonian Affiliates network,” said DuMA Executive Director David Schmitz in a press release.  “This long-term partnership will enhance our exhibitions and programs, for the benefit of our community and region, and further establishes Dubuque’s reputation as an arts and cultural destination.” 

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (Albuquerque, NM)
Museum of Natural History and Science celebrates 30th anniversary with a year of special exhibits
“We can take some of the great work that the Smithsonian does and we can build on their cutting-edge work to drive our programs and exhibits.”

New Mexico’s natural history museum now Smithsonian affiliated (VIDEO)
“Not everybody can come to the Smithsonian and Washington D.C. to see things, so if you can’t come to us, it’s our objective to bring the resources and come to you,” said Aaron Glavas, Smithsonian outreach manager.

History Colorado (Denver, CO)
PATTY LIMERICK NAMED STATE HISTORIAN AS HISTORY COLORADO LOOKS TO FUTURE
History Colorado has been making some history of its own over the past six months, with a complete reconfiguration of the board to make it leaner and meaner (at least when it comes to financial matters), buyouts and layoffs of staffers, and the departure of many of the organization’s top managers, including state historian Bill Convery.

‘History of America in 101 Objects’ focus of event
Dr. Richard Kurin…offers a new perspective on American history, explaining how objects end up in the Smithsonian collection and encouraging us to reconsider objects we think we know and understand.

Multiple Affiliates
Smithsonian collecting material for traveling exhibit about Latinos in baseball
“Baseball has played a major role in everyday American life since the 1800s, providing a means of celebrating both national and ethnic identities and building communities,” said John Gray, director of the museum in a statement. “Through the lens of baseball, the Smithsonian seeks to illuminate the rich history and culture of Latinos, and their impact on American culture and society.”

Smithsonian Announces “Latinos and Baseball” Collecting Initiative
…the museum is currently working with 10 partner organizations as well as the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture to carry out the “Latinos and Baseball” initiative: California State University, San Bernardino; California State University, Channel Island; California State University, Los Angeles; The Institute of Texan Cultures at the University of Texas, San Antonio; the Kansas City Museum; LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles; Los Magnificos Film in New York; La Casita Cultural Center at Syracuse University; the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and the “Sugar Beet Fields to Field of Dreams, 1920s?1960s, Mexican/Spanish Contributions to America’s Favorite Pastime” traveling exhibition based in Colorado and Wyoming.

Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT)
‘Stars of the Smithsonian’ series starts Jan. 14
Carlene Stephens, curator at the National Museum of American History, will present “Connecting the World in Time” at the Mystic Seaport’s Stars of the Smithsonian Lecture Series. Programs are at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at the River Room, Latitude 41° Restaurant & Tavern.

Cerritos Library (Cerritos, CA)
Smithsonian Exhibition Coming to Cerritos Library January 3
In commemoration of the important history of Asian and Pacific Americans, Cerritos Library will present the exhibition “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story” from Sunday, January 3 through Sunday, February 28, 2016. The exhibition was created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and is part of a national tour.