Posts

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.”

 

Kudos Affiliates! June 2018

Congratulations to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments! Do you have a kudos to share? Please send potential kudos to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

Funding

Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana) announced a partnership with Ritz Charles to invest approximately $3 million to renovate and expand Eli Lilly’s historic Chinese House. Support for the project includes a $500,000 pledge from Jay and Nancy Ricker, the founders of Ricker Oil Company, Inc., and a $500,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc.

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities announced a total of $136,429 in new grants to 14 humanities initiatives across the state including the Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence). The Society received a $12,000 Documentary Films grant to support films that preserve Rhode Island’s stories and bring its history to life.  The funding goes towards the development of the film Triple Decker, A New England Love Story.

DaVinci at New Mexico Museum of Natural History and ScienceThe New Mexico Humanities Council awarded a $5,000 grant to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science to support its series of education programs, Da Vinci Dialogues. The Dialogues consist of public lectures, panel discussions, and workshops that illustrate the many facets of Da Vinci’s genius as an artist, inventor, and scientist.

Awards and Recognition

Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) has named the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, Iowa) the “Silos & Smokestacks People’s Site of the Year.”

During the Pennsylvania Museums Annual Statewide Museum Conference, the winners of statewide Institutional Achievement Awards were announced including two Senator John Heinz History Center sites. Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village was recognized for its newest educational curriculum, First Peoples: Archaeology at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter. The Fort Pitt Museum at Point State Park, Downtown, was recognized for its newest exhibition, From Maps to Mermaids: Carved Powder Horns in Early America.

Leadership Changes

W. James Burns has been named the new executive director of the Arizona Historical Society (Phoenix, Arizona). Dr. Burns comes to the Arizona Historical Society from the University of Arizona, where he served as Director of the Center for Creative Photography and the University of Arizona Museum of Art.

W. James Burns, Ph.D., Executive Director, Arizona Historical Society, Phoenix, AZ

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.