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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!

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.

Coming Up in Affiliateland, February 2019

Lots of winter activity in Affiliateland – enjoy!

FLORIDA

The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access will offer a teacher professional development workshop on using digital resources in collaboration with the Frost Art Museum in Miami, 2.2.

Tower at the Stockholm airport, featured in the Art of the Airport Tower exhibition.

The Mennello Museum of American Art opens the Art of the Airport Tower exhibition from the National Air and Space Museum, in Orlando, 2.4.

IOWA

Affiliations staff members will visit the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library for their affiliation announcement in Cedar Rapids, 2.8.

CONNECTICUT

Paula Johnson, curator at the National Museum of American History, will present a lecture about cookbooks and mid-century American food culture at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, 2.16.

ILLINOIS

Eduardo Díaz, director of the Smithsonian Latino Center will deliver a talk on Latino representation at the Smithsonian at the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University in Aurora, 2.21.

ARIZONA

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, will open Paul Calle’s Life of Exploration: From the Mountains to the Moon exhibition with loans from the National Postal Museum and the National Air and Space Museum, in Scottsdale, 2.4.

NEW YORK

The Rockwell Museum will open Yousuf Karsh: American Portraits exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery, 2.8. National Portrait Gallery director Kim Sajet will deliver the kickoff talk for the Museum’s spring lecture series on Questioning Identity, in Corning, 2.26.

NATIONWIDE

The Smithsonian Channel is collaborating with several Affiliates to screen their new show: The Green Book: Guide to Freedom during Black History Month –
at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, 1.31
at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, 2.6
at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, 2.7
at History Colorado in Denver, 2.13
at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, 2.19
at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, 2.19
at the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, 2.22
at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, 2.26
at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, 2.28

 

 

 

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! September 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

In the final round of fiscal year 2018 funding, nine Affiliates received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of a $43.1 million award to 218 projects across the U.S. Grants support research, education, preservation and public programs in the humanities:

University of Arizona-Arizona State Museum (Tucson, AZ): $350,000
Project Title: Creating a Sustainable Environment for the Preservation of ASM’s Anthropological Photographs
Project Description: An implementation project to create a secure and controlled, multi-climate suite for the Arizona State Museum’s anthropological photographic collection, which contains over 525,000 prints, negatives, and transparencies providing visual documentation of the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and technologies of the indigenous peoples of the American Southwest.

Juanita Ahill gathers saguaro fruit. Photographer, Helga Teiwes. One of the over half a million anthropological photographs in the Arizona State Museum’s collection.

Colorado Historical Society-History Colorado (Denver, CO)-$224,000
Project Title: Colorado Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Colorado’s historic newspapers published between 1859 and 1922, as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP)

Dubuque County Historical Society-National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque, IA): $500,000
Project Title: Preservation & Restoration through Campus Improvements
Project Description: The renovation of climate control systems along with the restoration of several associated historic structures, which together document the history of the Mississippi River and of the people who lived on its banks.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) : $267,000
Project Title: Montana Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Montana newspapers dating from 1864 to 1963, as part of the state’s continuing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH): $246,798
Project Title: Ohio Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Ohio newspapers published between 1920 and 1960, as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD): $280,200
Project Title: South Dakota Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: The digitization of 100,000 pages of historic South Dakota newspapers published between 1836 and 1922 as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture (Knoxville, TN)
Project Title: NEH on the Road: For All the World to See
Project Description: Ancillary public programs to accompany NEH on the Road: For All the World to See traveling exhibition.

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA): $450,000
Project Title: New Burke Museum Construction of Long-Term Cultural Exhibits
Project Description: The construction of three, long-term cultural exhibit spaces as part of the new facility for the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. The grant will support building out the Ethnology Gallery, the Archaeology Gallery, and the Northwest Native Art Gallery, including casework, graphic panels, physical interactives, models, dioramas, lighting, and electrical elements.

Wing Luke Museum (Seattle, WA): $168,532
Project Title: From Immigrants to Citizens: Asian-Pacific Americans in the Northwest
Project Description: Two, one-week workshops for 72 school teachers to explore the histories and cultures of Asian immigrants in the Pacific Northwest and their significance to the nation.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded new Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) grants to support collaborations across the U.S. aimed at fostering cutting-edge materials research while increasing diversity. NSF will give $1,288,750.00 to the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus for collaborative work with the Metropolitan University, the Universidad del Turabo (Gurabo, PR), part of the Hispanic-Serving Institution program, and the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source. This educational effort of collaborative research of materials seeks to gather and develop a diverse and talented interdisciplinary scientific community with experience operating synchrotron X-ray techniques, to improve energy storage and conversion devices.

The Dubuque Historical Society (Dubuque, IA) received two grants from the Historical Resource Development and one grant from the Iowa Arts Council’s Cultural Heritage, totaling $81,675 to help fund programs and continue preservation efforts. Some of the award will be used for an innovative exhibit highlighting local businesses at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.

Awards and Recognition

The New England Museum Association (NEMA) announced that Plimoth Plantation won Best in Show in the NEMA Publication Award Competition for Plimoth Life. The publication won first place in the Newsletters and Magazines category.

EDsmart, a nationally recognized publisher of college resources and rankings, has revealed its 2018 edition of the Most Astounding College Museums in the United States including the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA) and the University of Nebraska State Museum (Lincoln, NE).

Leadership

Montana State University has hired Christopher Dobbs to serve as the next executive director of the Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT). Dobbs will begin on September 1, 2018. He succeeds Shelley McKamey, who announced her retirement in January.

The president and CEO of the Saint Louis Science Center (Saint Louis, MO), Bert Vescolani, will step down from his position to take a post at the Denver Zoo. Bert will work through the end of August and help with transition through mid-September. Barbara Boyle, the center’s chief operating and financial officer, will serve as interim president and CEO, effective September 1. Board and other community leaders will conduct a national search for Vescolani’s successor.

February in Affiliateland

Is the Smithsonian in your neighborhood? Probably so! These Affiliates are bringing the Smithsonian to communities across the U.S. in February!

Kitchen Table in Julia Child's kitchen

The kitchen table, sink, and some of the countertop equipment in Julia’s kitchen at the Smithsonian

North Carolina
National Museum of American History Curator, Paula Johnson, travels to the North Carolina Museum of History for a public program about Julia Child’s kitchen, in Raleigh, 2.2.

South Carolina
Staff from Smithsonian Affiliations and the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation celebrate the opening of Spark!Lab at the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, in Greenville, 2.4

Illinois
Affiliations Director Harold Closter will be on hand to announce the Smithsonian’s new affiliation with the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University, in Aurora, 2.7.

Texas
Smithsonian Science Education Center Director Carol O’Donnell talks about the current state of STEM education at Space Center Houston, in Houston, 2.9.

Nebraska
The Durham Museum opens Searching for the Seventies: The Documerica Photography Project, a SITES exhibition, in Omaha, 2.18

Michelle Wilkinson portrait

Photo by Jati Lindsay

New York
The Rockwell Museum presents its Smithsonian Speakers Series featuring Michelle Wilkinson, curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Corning, 2.21.

Washington, D.C.
Students from nine Smithsonian Affiliate communities will host public programs at the National Air and Space Museum as part of the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos National Youth Summit, in Washington, D.C., 2.22-23.

Special screenings of the original Smithsonian Channel program, The Obama Years: The Power of Words, will take place at multiple Affiliates in February during Black History Month, some with Smithsonian National Museum of American History Curator of Political History Claire Jerry:

At the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, in Baltimore, 2.9.
At History Colorado, in Denver, 2.13.
At the African American Museum in Philadelphia, in Philadelphia, 2.15.
At the Museum of History and Industry, in Seattle, 2.22.
At the Senator John Heinz History Center, in Pittsburgh, 2.23.
At the Western Reserve Historical Society, in Cleveland, 2.24.

Last Chance at Affiliates:

Things Come apart

Things Come Apart exhibition at Upcountry History Museum

South Carolina
Things Come Apart, a SITES exhibit, closes on 2.19 at the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville.

North Carolina
Greensboro Historical Museum closes I want the Wide American Earth, also a SITES exhibit, on 2.26, in Greensboro.