Tag Archive for: Conner Prairie

Kudos Affiliates!! October 2023

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

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) Director Molly Kruckenberg announced that Montana native Norm Asbjornson has donated $10.4 million for the construction of the new Montana Heritage Center. The donation completes the historical society’s goal of raising $18.8 million for enhancements to the museum’s galleries.

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science (Denver, CO) announced it has been awarded the largest research grant in its history. The collaborative research grant from the National Science Foundation’s Frontier Research in Earth Sciences program totals nearly $3 million. The five-year project will be led by museum’s curator of vertebrate paleontology Dr. Tyler Lyson, to help researchers understand the evolution of many modern plants and animals, as well as provide insights into the biodiversity crisis currently facing the planet, as ancient extinctions can teach about the extinctions happening today.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and its supporting organizations provided Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) $100,000 for the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) and its neighborhood touring program, which explores local communities and their contributions to the region.

Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) received a $98,753 grant from the National Park Service to fund the consultation and documentation projects, such as staff travel, consultation meetings and research to support the repatriation process as part of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Board of Directors of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) announced the appointment of six new accreditation commissioners including Norman Burns, President and CEO, Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN).

Kristin Glomstad-Yoon, curator of historic collections for the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque, IA), is one of two recipients of this year’s the Iowa Museum Association Rising Star Award. The award recognizes people who have worked or volunteered in the Iowa museum field for 3-5 years and have helped their museum broaden its audience through engagement activities.

LEADERSHIP

Rashida Phillips, executive director at the American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) since 2020, is leaving her post to pursue other interests. The museum’s board of directors announced that ethnomusicologist Dina Bennett has been named the museum’s interim executive director, effective Aug. 19.

Kudos Affiliates!!! Summer 2023

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

Nissan Foundation awarded $1.2 million to 39 nonprofits, including four Affiliates, that share and celebrate diverse cultural perspectives, experiences, and voices to communities across the country. The grant recipients are based in communities surrounding Nissan facilities in Southern California, Middle Tennessee, Central Mississippi, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Southeast Michigan, New York City, and Atlanta including:

  • The Museum of Us (San Diego, CA) ($15,000) – to offer Race: Are We So Different workshops.

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, CO) wwill receive $91.8 million in funding spread out over the next five years from the National Science Foundation, all of which will go towards designing and building the first Airborne Phase Array Radar (APAR) system for meteorology use. APAR will be looking at the atmosphere at higher resolutions and looking more deeply into clouds and thunderstorms with dual polarization capabilities, which means APAR will be able to differentiate between snowflakes, rain and ice crystals whereas other radars implemented in the past could not, providing a clearer understanding of a storm’s microphysical properties.

Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) received $50,000 from Scott County Regional Authority as part of the spring 2023 grant cycle. The funding will support the Putnam Reimagined strategic initiative.

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, IA) has been awarded $20,000 in operational support as part of the Cultural Leadership Partners (CLP) from the Iowa Arts Council. Funding for fiscal year 2024 will support the Museum’s Interpretive Planning Pre-Work Assessment to gain an increased understanding of visitor knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes, reflect community need and connectivity, inform evaluation practices to best serve community, and creatively integrate the goals of both historic and living collections in exhibits and programs. Funding will also support the Museum’s diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) initiatives and service trainings to provide DEAI-forward solutions to ensure an inclusive visitor experience.

Plimoth Patuxet Museums (Plymouth, MA) announced a $10,000 donation from the Rotary Club of Plymouth in support of its Indigenous Program Building Project that will enable staff to better tell the compelling story of profound change and cultural persistence in the Indigenous homeland in this region.

Dubuque City Council approved a recommendation from the city’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission to allocate a $21,846 operating support grant fund to the Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA). In addition, the Commission approved an $8,000 special projects grant to expand the 20-year celebration of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, IA) by helping fund a new initiative that will bring in experts to add perspective on the impacts of immigration and systemic racism, as well as environmental impacts, in the community.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Made By Us, an alliance of more than 150 historic sites and museums joining forces to share history, announced the appointment of three distinguished history leaders to its Board of Directors including Norman Burns, President and CEO of Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) and Natalia Crujeiras, CEO and Executive Director of HistoryMiami Museum (Miami, FL).

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) was voted Pittsburgh Magazine 2023 Readers’ Entertainment & Leisure Museum Poll winner.

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) announced History Colorado (Denver, CO), as one of three winners of the History in Progress Award. History Colorado was recognized for the exhibition The Sand Creek Massacre: The Betrayal that Changed Cheyenne and Arapaho People Forever. This exhibit explores the deadliest day in Colorado history, when an 1864 assault by U.S. troops killed more than 230 Cheyenne and Arapaho people, wiped out their tribal leadership, and resulted in them being forcefully expelled from their homelands forever. This project worked to repair relationships and trust between the museum and tribes, foregrounded the voices of Native people in this tragedy, and shared the experiences and enduring cultures of the state’s original landkeepers.

AASLH also presented the Award of Excellence to recognize excellence for projects (including civic engagement, special projects, educational programs, exhibits, publications, etc.), and individual lifetime achievement:

  • History Colorado (Denver, CO) – The Sand Creek Massacre: The Betrayal That Changed Cheyenne and Arapaho People Forever

The East Tennessee Historical Society’s recently presented their Awards of Excellence program recognizing individuals and organizations for significant contributions to the preservation, promotion, and interpretation of the region’s history:

Community History Leadership Awards

Teaching Excellence Awards

Project Excellence Awards

Lifetime Achievement Awards

LEADERSHIP

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History (Albuquerque, NM) Board of Trustees announced Jennifer J. Hayden has been named president and chief executive officer. Hayden succeeds Jim Walther, who was executive director of the Nuclear Museum for 26 years. Walther retired in March of 2023.

Leon Natker has been named the next director of the Oklahoma History Center (Oklahoma City, OK). He previously worked as the director for institutional advancement at the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City.

Kudos Affiliates!! February 2023

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

New Hanover County leaders announced Cape Fear Museum (Wilmington, NC) was one of the first round of grant recipients from a $1.25 billion community endowment. The museum was awarded $17,000 to support STEM programs.

Philadelphia City Council approved a midyear budget transfer of $3 million to African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) to support museum operations.

New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (Albuquerque, NM) has partnered with Meta. The museum board voted unanimously to approve Meta’s proposal to grant the company the naming rights for the Space Sciences wing of the museum, including the planetarium, for a period of five years. In return, Meta will provide the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Foundation with a $300,000 grant, which will go toward expanding educational programming.

History Colorado (Denver, CO) was awarded $74,998 from the National Park Service as part of their Underrepresented Community Grants. History Colorado will fund a statewide survey of Green Book sites in Colorado, as well as to nominating one such location to both the National and State Registers of Historic Places. In addition, History Colorado recieved $40,000 from the Colorado Tourism Office to support the growth of the motor tour coach market through the promotion of diverse experiences and cultures in the American West.

Duke Energy has donated $20,000 to the White River Alliance to boost the nonprofit’s efforts to improve and protect water resources throughout central Indiana. Duke Energy’s support will fund the installation of two new White River Art Canoes, one near Duke Energy’s substation and the other at Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) to raise awareness of the importance of the White River to the local economy and the quality of life for area residents. The donation is also supporting the planting of trees at Conner Prairie near the 3.3 miles of river that run through its property.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Association of African American Museums announced the particpants and advisors for their Mellon Funded Working Group. Samuel W. Black, Director, African American Program, Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) and Dr. Jacqueline Hudson, Exhibitions Content Developer, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH) were named participants. Dr. Dina Bennett, Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs, American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) was appointed advisor.

Antonio J. Busalacchi, President, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) (Boulder, CO), has been named an honorary member and fellow of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG).

LEADERSHIP

Dan Provo, Director of Oklahoma History Center (Oklahoma City, OK) announced he is retiring from his position effective January 30, 2023. Jeff Briley has been named interim director.

Bishop Museum of Science and Nature (Bradenton, FL) announced that Mr. Andrew M. Sandall has been appointed the new CEO of the Museum. Most recently, Sandall has been the executive director of the Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ). Mr. Sandall will succeed interim CEO Charles Zajaczkowski and assume his new responsibilities on March 6, 2023.

The Long Island Museum (Stony Brook, NY) announced that Sarah Abruzzi and Joshua Ruff have been appointed to the joint role of co-executive directors of the museum. Neil Watson, former executive director of the LIM, retired on October 7 after nine years of leadership.

Kudos Affiliates!! December 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 

Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, IL) received two major gifts as part of their 10th anniversary celebration. Along with a $1 million commitment from the Gilmore Foundation, the museum unveiled the latest acquisition for its permanent collection: a 10-foot amethyst geode from Uruguay. The funding will be used for additional acquisitions to their collections and exhibitions that will help bring in new audiences and inspire people at the museum. 

The Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) was awarded $15,000 from Michigan Humanities to support public programming for Sounds of Religion. Sound of Religion is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in cooperation with the American Religious Sounds Project of The Ohio State University and Michigan State University and made possible through the generous support of The Henry Luce Foundation. 

Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE) received a $29,986 contract from the Nebraska Department of Education to be a Center of Excellence. As a Center of Excellence, the museum’s education team will develop a “STEM in Space” workbook that includes activities corresponding to 2023 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) directives, such as the Artemis Mission series and James Webb Space Telescope. 

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art (Oak Brook, IL) was awarded $2,500 from the DuPage Foundation as part of its Community Needs grants. The grant will support ongoing programs at the museum. 

Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH) announced $800,000 in new commitments to its capital campaign including a $500,000 gift from the Hatch Foundation. 

Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA) has been awarded a grant of more than $2.5 million by the Perenchio Foundation. The multi-year Operating Support Grant will go towards increasing the museum’s capacity and supporting day-to-day expenses, organizational learning, and additional staff. 

AWARDS & RECOGNITION 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic named Cecilia Rokusek, president and chief executive officer of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (Cedar Rapids, IA) as the recipient of the prestigious Gratias Agit award. The award is in recognition “for the promotion of the good name of the Czech Republic abroad, and in appreciation of prominent personalities and organizations developing activities in non-governmental fields.” 

The Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) presented the Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Individual Leadership Award to Peg Filliez, Volunteer, University of Nebraska State Museum (Lincoln, NE). The Individual Leadership category recognizes extraordinary accomplishments in a leadership role for the individual’s organization and/or the field. 

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) announced the reaccreditation awards of the Accreditation Commission for the following Affiliates: 

Conner Prairie Museum (Fishers, IN) 

Denver Botanic Gardens (Denver, CO) 

International Tennis Hall of Fame (Newport, RI) 

Kudos Affiliates!! May 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

Kenosha Public Museum (Kenosha, WI) received a $1,000 Creativity by Kids Small Grant from the Kenosha Community Foundation. The funding will support its Artsy Afternoons program for children.

Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) was the largest grant recipient by the Hubbell-Waterman Foundation for the 2022 grant cycle. The museum will receive $140,000 per year over five years to continue a reimagining of the museum, including a long-planned regional history update. Some of the Hubbell-Waterman funds will go to match a $245,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for an ongoing community collaboration exploring regional history.

Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, OK) was awarded a $15,000 grant from the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation through its Community Grant program. The grant will assist in developing capacity at the public libraries in Checotah and Westville to deliver educational hands-on science programming.

Amesite, Inc, a leading artificial intelligence software company, is partnering with Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) to deliver an online Learning Community Environment™ system offering K-12 programs for teachers, parents, life-long learners, and students.

A new project “Equitable Access to the Night Sky” created by Springfield Science Museum, part of Springfield Museums (Springfield, MA), has been approved for a $750,000 federal earmark. The funds will create a full-dome, digital projection system with state-of-the-art software for the planetarium to augment the historical star ball.

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore, MD) will received $650,000 as part of the fiscal year 2022 omnibus funding legislation. The funds will support the work of the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission and construct a permanent exhibit and memorial to educate about these extrajudicial vigilante killings and honor the memories of those whose lives were taken.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters named the Science of Grief podcast the winner of the Best Use of New Media award for Public Radio Group 2 during its 2021 Broadcast Excellence Awards ceremony. The Science of Grief podcast is a collaboration between WDET-FM, Detroit’s NPR Station, and Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI). The Broadcast Excellence Awards program recognizes outstanding achievement in broadcasting by commercial and public television and radio stations in Michigan each year.

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) announced reaccreditation awards to the following Affiliates:

USA Today announced the 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, featuring the following Affiliates in the respective categories:

Winners of Best Science Museum

Winners of Best History Museum

Winners of Best Pop Culture Museum

Winners of Best Art Museum

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Year End Kudos!

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 North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, NC) received a $2.5 million gift from the David R. Hayworth Foundation to create the Dr. David R. Hayworth Children’s Discovery Gallery. The Gallery will have four primary areas focusing on school-age children, preschoolers, a space for live learning, and the Tar Heel Junior Historian Association exhibition.

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation announced a $100 million commitment to transform the financial strength and long-term viability of Southeast Michigan’s arts and culture communities through the establishment of an endowment that will support the sector now and forever. The Foundation will gift the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) $100,000 annually and Michigan Science Center (Detroit, MI) $200,000 annually to support general operating needs. Each organization will also co-design, in partnership with Community Foundation and national consultants, metrics and benchmarks that support their goals and strategic plans.

Kimball Electronics Gives, the employee giving circle of Kimball Electronics, announced Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) has been awarded a $500 grant to support the purpose of Creating Quality for Life for the communities in which the company operates and where its employees live. 

The Durham Museum (Omaha, NE) received a $35,974 American Rescue Plan federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The museum plans to use the funding to add additional part-time facilitators to its education team. A portion will also be used to expand and enhance both online and on-site educational programming such as the museum’s virtual field trips and award-winning Museum Live! weekly webcast series.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is distributing $1 million among 118 Iowa arts and cultural groups to encourage people to safely “Re-imagine, Re-engage, Reconnect” with concerts, museums, festivals, and one another. Funds will provide economic relief to organizations challenged by the pandemic. Recipients include:

Union Station, Kansas City, Inc. (Kansas City, MO) received a $5 million gift from the Sunderland Foundation to be used for a wide range of Union Station improvements, including diamond-polishing the granite and marble floors, repairing its ornate ceiling, and completely overhauling its restrooms.

Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, NY) received a $50,000 grant from the Guru Krupa Foundation in support of the cultural institution’s art education programs that cater to the population of Queens and beyond. The grant will fund Flushing Town Hall’s Diwali Festival and help fund artist fees and public programs, along with general operating expenses of Flushing Town Hall. 

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) will receive an American Rescue Plan Act grant award of more than $40,000 to support the rebuilding of the museum’s Sustainable Maritime Trades and Skills Program.

The NBA Foundation awarded a grant to the Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, CA) to help create employment opportunities, further career advancement and drive greater economic empowerment for Black youth.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Retired Executive Director Dr. Bob Blackburn of the Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK) received the Governor’s George Nigh Public Service Award for his contributions during 41 years of public service.

The article ‘Not a Tinker’s Damn’: The Politics of Suffrage in the South Dakota Election of 1918, by Gerard Boychuk from the South Dakota History, the quarterly journal of the South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD), won the Michael P. Malone Award from the Western History Association. The article was part of a special issue on the centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted most women equal voting rights.

LEADERSHIP

The Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ) announced it has appointed Andrew Sandall to be the next president & CEO, succeeding Dr. Cleveland Johnson, who will retire at the end of the year. Sandall is currently the Executive Director of the Museum of Arts & Sciences (Daytona Beach, FL).