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Kudos Affiliates!! September 2021

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

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) is part of a six university consortium, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, to receive a $441,367 grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) aimed at increasing the number of college courses utilizing free Open Educational Resources (OER) rather than costly textbooks. The project – Remixing Open Textbooks through an Equity Lens (ROTEL): Culturally Relevant Open Textbooks for High Enrollment General Education Courses and Career and Professional Courses at Six Public Massachusetts Colleges – will test the hypothesis that underrepresented students will achieve higher academic outcomes if free, culturally-relevant course materials that reflect their experiences are utilized. Student savings on textbooks over the three-year grant period are projected to be over $800,000, and the goal is to create a new model that provides continued savings long into the future.

The Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) received a $20,000 operational support grant from the Dubuque City Council as a result of the financial impact from the pandemic.

The Infusion Fund awarded Carolinas Aviation Museum (Charlotte, NC) an $80,573 grant to support the museum’s operating budget which was impacted by the pandemic. The Museum also received a $1.5 million gift from Honeywell to catalyze the launch of the The Lift Off Campaign to develop a new state-of-the-art facility in Charlotte.

The National Park Service announced the award of 17 projects of the Underrepresented Community Grant Program which is focused on working towards diversifying the nominations submitted to the National Register of Historic Places:

  • History Colorado (Denver, CO)- $46,930 to conduct a survey and solicit nominations for Women’s Suffrage Sites in Colorado.
  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH)-$50,000 to administer a nomination process for three Green Book sites in Ohio.
  • Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK)-$50,000 for the architectural/historic survey of Oklahoma’s All-Black Towns.

The following Affiliates initiatives were some of the 239 humanities projects awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities:

  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) ($75,000) for planning for Cruising J-Town: Nikkei Car Culture in Southern California, an exhibition on Japanese Americans’ car culture throughout the 20th century in California.
  • Florida International University (Miami, FL) ($250,000) for preparation of a collection of essays on the architecture of the African diaspora in the United States entitled Architecture of the African Diaspora in/of the United States.
  • Florida International University ($349,646) for the rehousing of works on paper, photographs, and textiles from an offsite storage facility to new compact shelving and cold storage at The Wolfsonian.
  • Kona Historical Society (Kealakekua, HI) ($10,000) for the purchase of storage materials and installation of shelves to house a collection of historical photographs, unpublished diaries, journals, letters, family records and memorabilia, land documents, and selected Kona newspapers and articles documenting regional history and vanishing cultural traditions.
  • Krannert Art Museum (Champaign, IL) ($200,000) for implementation of a reinterpretation of the museum’s permanent gallery of Andean art and the creation of a digital portal allowing deeper exploration of the collection.
  • Plimoth Patuxet Museums (Plymouth, MA) ($163,742) to develop a two-week, residential institute Ancient Stories, New Neighbors: Decolonizing Indigenous Homelands and 17th-Century New England for 25 K–12 teachers on the history of Indigenous peoples in southern New England.
  • Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) ($263,415) for the digitization of 100,000 pages of Montana newspapers to increase geographic coverage, especially of Native American newspapers published on or near reservations, as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program.
  • City Lore, Inc. (New York, NY) ($75,319) for the development of a feature-length film The Colfax Massacre about a Reconstruction-era conflict between southern whites and African Americans and its legal and social legacy.
  • The Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX) ($75,000) for the planning for a reinterpretation of the museum’s permanent exhibition Where Nature, Science and Culture Meet on the history of Texas.
  • Hermitage Museum & Gardens (Norfolk, VA) ($9,366) for a preservation assessment of the collections representing more than 30 global cultures and 5,000 years of world history, from the Neolithic era to the early 1950s.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced grant awards through the agency’s largest competitive grant program, Museums for America, and its special initiatives, Museums Empowered and Inspire! Grants for Small Museums to improve services to their communities:

Museums for America

  • History Colorado ($249,886) to strengthen the implementation of the “Museum of Memory” project by maximizing community-led collective memory work and its contribution to social wellbeing. This public history program brings community together to remember and document their experiences, creating opportunities for those historically impacted by systems of oppression and inequality to explore their past through memory sharing, storytelling, grassroots collecting efforts, and art-based community share backs. 
  • North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC) ($250,000) to add a new, permanent paleontology exhibition, Dueling Dinosaurs, and a public lab that will allow middle school students to explore a variety of fossils using hands-on tools and techniques.
  • Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK) ($181,143) seeks to decolonize its collection through the dissemination of images and materials related to the Chickaloon Native Village. The project will expand access to collections with digital surrogates and newly created metadata made available online through both the village’s and the museum’s online image databases. The museum will hire an archivist, a collections technician and involve village elders to work on the project. Although this is the first project of this kind undertaken by the museum, it will serve as a model for future relationships with other Alaska Native villages.
  • Wing Luke Museum (Seattle, WA) ($178,311) to develop a new program series, Wing Luke Community Connections, of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) art workshops, art talks, free public readings, film screenings, and discussions. The series will feature a variety of artists, authors, filmmakers, and scholars who have been exploring the diverse AAPI immigrant experience to bring greater understanding to historic roots, heritage and culture, socio-political issues, and ongoing identity formation.
  • Plimoth Patuxet Museums ($212,742) to develop History in a New Light: Reimagining Wampanoag and Indigenous Museum Education, a series of educational programs, resources, and events responding to increasing demand for nuanced and fact-based histories told from indigenous perspectives.
  • Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) ($245,639) to partner with the Science Museum of Minnesota—creators of the Race: Are We So Different? exhibit—for the “Ground on Which We Stand” project. The initiative will distill the themes of the Race exhibit through the lens of local history so that participants can learn about, build pride in, and embrace the collective identity of their diverse community.
  • Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT) ($167,830) to create an exhibit exploring the region’s Native people. “American Indian Voices: Natives of the Northern Plains and Rockies” will examine cultural history, language and storytelling, and contemporary art and voices. The museum also will create a K–12 curriculum in accordance the Montana Office of Public Instruction that will assist teachers in interpreting American Indian culture and prepare students to visit the exhibit.
  • Arizona State Museum (Tucson, AZ) ($190,953) in partnership with The Poetry Center and Center for Digital Humanities will create a digital museum with exhibit locations in diverse areas of Tucson as well as accompanying activities for K-12 classrooms, families, and adults. The collaborative virtual outdoor museum will use geolocation technology and offer augmented reality encounters with curators, educators, poets, and community tradition bearers.
  • Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) ($170,332) to improve storage conditions for a large and diverse collection of apparel and textiles that are used for teaching and research. 
  • High Desert Museum (Bend, OR) ($217, 350) to develop design plans for a new 4,500 square-foot permanent exhibit entitled “Creating Together”, to help visitors better understand the indigenous plateau region, ancestral homeland of many indigenous communities and plateau tribes.
  • Michigan Science Center (Detroit, MI) ($105,499) to purchase a portable planetarium that will bring planetarium shows to more than 2,000 children through its Traveling Science Program.
  • Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, CT) ($219,385) to create a new public-facing initiative, the Community Historian Project. This contemporary collecting project—which gathers items of the recent past as well as from events happening today—will develop community historians to identify, document, and preserve their experiences as residents of Connecticut, and share these experiences during a series of community presentations.
  • Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (Spokane, WA) ($249,589) to expand access to its collections of inland northwest history, art, and cultures with a long-term plan and policies for digital preservation of collection materials.
  • History Colorado ($249,725) to create an exhibition on the Sand Creek Massacre. The museum will partner with three tribes: Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, Northern Arapaho Tribe, and Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. This exhibition will be the first in the U.S. to share the culturally vetted history of the massacre with the general public through the voices of Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal members.
  • Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (Easton, PA) ($120,734) to conduct a wall-to-wall inventory of the museum’s main collections storage facility and physically and digitally improve access to the objects stored there.
  • Museum of Us (San Diego, CA) ($229,940) to reimagine the exhibit, Race: Are We So Different? and provide complementary educational programming to meet community needs. This will expand the museum’s culture of community collaboration and serve as a framework for community-centric activities, tours, workshops, and public programs.

Museums Empowered

  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO) ($137,930) to develop an evaluation tool that measures the meaningfulness of the visitor experience. Project activities focus on developing, testing, and disseminating a tool to understand what makes visitors choose a museum, how that experience is remembered and shared, and how to create experiences to which visitors will want to return.
  • Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI) ($26,618) to increase organizational capacity to address inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) issues across the museum, building upon existing institutional assessments of programming, interpretation, hiring processes, facilities, and vendor relationships.
  • Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA) ($217, 427) to hire a full-time diversity, equity, access, and inclusion (DEAI) coordinator who will further the museum’s strategic DEAI goals.

Inspire! Grants for Small Museums

  • The Dennos Museum Center (Traverse City, MI) ($47,100) to address the issue of overcrowding in their collections storage area which was identified through a 2020 Museum Assessment Program (MAP) report.
  • Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning (Framingham, MA) ($49,964) to implement a team mentorship and project-based learning program for local high school students. Program participants are tasked with creating campaigns (exhibits, videos, and presentations) that increase awareness of environmental challenges helping participants to develop knowledge, analytical and communication skills, and ethical viewpoints that guide their actions on local and global environmental issues.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, IL) and the Greensboro History Museum (Greensboro, NC) were recipients of the Media & Technology MUSE Awards, presented by The Media & Technology Professional Network of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM):

Digital Campaign

GoldAs Shedd Aquarium Closed, Penguins Waddled into the Limelight
Shedd Aquarium

Research and Innovation

GoldPieces of Now: Murals, Masks, Community Stories and Conversations
Greensboro History Museum

2020 Response

SilverPieces of Now: Murals, Masks, Community Stories and Conversations
Greensboro History Museum

Kudos Affiliates!! August 2021

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 Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs awarded a grant to Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) for general operating support as part of a statewide effort to help fuel the resurgence of Iowa’s arts, film, heritage, humanities, and creative sectors as they continue to rebound from substantial financial losses as a result of the pandemic.

The African American Cultural Heritage Action fund from the National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded History Colorado (Denver, CO) a $50,000 grant to help preserve Black history. History Colorado is planning to create a statewide African American Heritage trail that will include virtual reality-based markers through a phone app in historical Black destinations.

Blue Origin and its foundation, Club for the Future, have awarded U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL) and Space Center Houston (Houston, TX) a $1 million grant each to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and help invent the future of life in space.

The 2021 grant cycle of the Nissan Foundation dispersed a total of $697,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations that promote cultural diversity:

  • Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) received $20,000 to support AANM Public Programming Series 2021-2022.
  • Museum of Us (San Diego, CA)received $15,000 to host Race: Are We So Different? virtual workshops.
  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) received $30,000 to fund its School Visits program, which enables school groups from throughout Southern California to visit the museum and witness the experiences of Japanese Americans from early immigration in the 19th century through the present.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM) was awarded a “One Small Step” grant from the SPACE 3.0 Foundation. The grant will allow the museum’s curatorial department to digitize more than a dozen space related 16mm films from the 1960s that reside in the museum’s collection, including several associated with the Gemini and Apollo programs.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) received a 2021-2022 NEA Big Read grant of $19,970 to support a community reading program focusing on An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo, the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

USS Constitution (Boston, MA) was named winner in the “Historic Sites & Tours” category for Boston Parents’ Family Favorites. It is the fourth year in a row that the museum has received this award from the readers of Boston Parents Paper.

North Carolina Museum of History (Greensboro, NC) was the recipient of an Award of Excellence by the American Association for State and Local History for the multimedia project How We Got That.

The Education Professional Network of the American Alliance of Museums presented the Pandemic Innovation and Education award to the Durham Museum (Omaha, NE), recognizing the museum’s Museum Live! program. The Durham received the award in the mid-sized museum category that honored education efforts created, re-invented or revamped in response to supporting audiences during the pandemic.

Plimoth Patuxet Museums announced that Mayflower II has been named a recipient of the 2021 Paul and Niki Tsongas Award by Preservation Massachusetts, the statewide non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Commonwealth’s historic and cultural heritage.

LEADERSHIP

The National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN) has named Dr. Russell Wigginton as the museum’s next president.  Dr. Wigginton will begin his new position on August 1. He brings 29 years of experience in education, philanthropy, executive management, and program development, as well as strategic planning and partnership building.

Dawn DiPrince was named the new executive director of History Colorado (Denver, CO) and will assume the role on Sept. 1, 2021. She succeeds the retiring Steve Turner. Dawn has worked at El Pueblo History Museum and with all the other History Colorado Community Museums, moving to Denver in 2019 to become the organization’s chief operating officer.

Devon Akmon, director of Michigan State University’s Science Gallery Detroit, has been appointed to the role of director of the Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI), effective July 1. Before coming to Science Gallery Detroit, Akmon served as a senior consultant with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. Prior to that, he served as the second director of the Arab American National Museum.

Smithsonian Affiliations at 25: Chapter 2- National Youth Summits

Affiliations Anniversary Series: 25 Years in Your Neighborhood
Chapter 2: National Youth Summits

Catch up on Chapter 1: The Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion here.

The late John Lewis seated next to filmmaker Stanley Nelson on stage at the National Youth Summit

The Late Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) and filmmaker Stanley Nelson at the 2011 National Youth Summit on Freedom Rides. Photo courtesy National Museum of American History.

Engaging younger audiences has always been a goal of the Affiliate network. As an ongoing reflection of the past 25 years of working with our Affiliates, this month we focus on the role of the National Youth Summit and the regional youth conversations produced by Affiliates to complement and amplify the Smithsonian’s national program.

In 2010, Smithsonian Affiliations met with colleagues at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on a concept for a new program— one in which students confront enduring questions of power, representation, privilege, and choice through peer-to-peer discussions, individual reflections, and shared action planning. The National Youth Summit would take place at the National Museum of American History, while Affiliates would host regional youth summits to amplify and augment the national program, allowing middle and high school students in Affiliate communities to discuss local issues.

With the assistance of five Affiliate museums, the first National Youth Summit launched on February 9, 2011, and commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides. The Summit featured Freedom Ride veterans and scholars discussing civic activism and the history of the Freedom Rides. Since that original program, there have been seven Youth Summits with Affiliate collaboration, with topics ranging from women’s suffrage to systemic racism, Japanese American incarceration to the war on poverty, and featured speakers like the late Congressman John Lewis-(D-GA) and documentarian Ken Burns.

five people sit on a stage in an auditorium filled with young people

National Youth Summit at the Japanese American National Museum. Photo courtesy JANM.

The topics are national, but the impact is local. Affiliates exemplify this with customized programs for local students—programs that reflect the demographics and lived experiences of youth in their community and center the community’s history through museum programming and interpretation. Over the past decade, the regional summits have reached thousands of young people and inspired numerous discussions about important events in America’s past that have relevance to the nation’s present and future.

Auditoriam at the birmingham civil rights institute

National Youth Summit at Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Photo courtesy Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

The National Youth Summit with Affiliate regional conversations continues to grow and play a vital role. By extending the reach to schools who might otherwise not be able to participate, by expanding historical content available through the program, and by creating deeply meaningful learning that relates to the actual lived experiences of students in underrepresented communities, Affiliates continue to show why they are critical venues for a national conversation.

An eighth Youth Summit is in the works for Fall 2021. Until then, catch up on past programs and conversation kits on the National Youth Summit website.

Stay tuned next month for Chapter 3: 10 Years of Reaching for the Stars Together, in our 25th anniversary series.

Kudos Affiliates! May 2021

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 Minnesota Historical Society announced the newest recipients of 30 Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Small Grants including The Bakken Museum (Minneapolis, MN). The Museum received $9,994 to process the Earl Bakken Legacy Collection, allowing for greater public access to these resources. The Bakken Museum will also be a core research partner as part of a $1.5 million grant awarded to Binghamton University faculty. The grant will help improve makerspace learning for youth.

Frank Leta Honda has donated two new 2020 Honda Odyssey minivans to the Saint Louis Science Center (Saint Louis, MO) to transport Youth Exploring Science (YES) Program teens and Science Center educators to events during the summer as COVID-19 safety protocols allow. The YES Program was founded to help teens, particularly those from underserved communities, to recognize their potential in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) career fields.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) has been awarded a $62,250 grant from the Massachusetts Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) to coordinate a multi-day Racial Equity Policy Review Institute. Designed for up to 150 leaders within the campus community, participants will gain a better understanding of systemic racism in higher education and how it manifests on campus, be able to define what a racist policy is and how it shows up in student outcomes, and create an initial yearlong plan to undertake policy review.

History Colorado (Denver, CO), Hagley Museum (Wilmington, DE) and USS Constitution Museum  (Boston, MA) were among several Affiliates awarded humanity grants from The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Grant awards support the preservation of historic collections, humanities exhibitions and documentaries, scholarly research, and curriculum projects.

  • History Colorado was awarded a Media Projects Production grant for $310,536 to support the production of the Lost Highways Podcast series, an eight-episode offering focused on Colorado and Western history. History Colorado also received an Exhibitions-Implementation grant for $400,000 for The Sand Creek Massacre Exhibition. The permanent exhibition details the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre of Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal members.
  • Hagley Museum and Library ($194,400) and Center for Jewish History (New York, NY) ($153,292), each received a Fellowship Programs grant. The grants will support 12 months of stipend support for 1–3 fellowships per year for two to three years.
  • USS Constitution Museum will receive a Dialogues on the Experience of War grant for $96,264 to develop Sailors Speak: The Impact of War on Naval Veterans, their Families, and the Country. The award will be used for the training of facilitators to lead three discussion series for naval veterans and their families, based on historical documents and material culture from the War of 1812 and the post-9/11 wars.
  • City Lore (New York, NY) was awarded an Exhibitions-Planning grant for $75,000 to create a traveling exhibit about the 1970s Federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), that provided work for artists.
  • American Jewish Historical Society (New York City, NY), part of the Center for Jewish History, received $131,681 for a Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant for The People’s Relief Committee Project to preserve and digitize materials that document the work of the People’s Relief Committee for Jewish War Sufferers (1915–1924), an American Jewish organization that sought to help Jewish communities and individuals in Europe during and after World War I.

The Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI) received a donation of $50,000 from Walmart to pay for the creation of a curriculum to teach Black history and heritage in the local schools. The curriculum will include lesson plans, teacher training, and virtual learning tools.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Rockwell Museum (Corning, NY) announced Janelle Steiner, events coordinator, and Kate Swanson, interpretation and public engagement educator, have been selected to participate in The Museum Association of New York’s (MANY) “Building Capacity, Creating Sustainability, Growing Accessibility” program. The IMLS Cares Act grant project is designed to help museums impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic share their collections and reach audiences who cannot physically visit their museums. In this two-year program, museums will identify an event or project to deliver virtually to their audiences, focusing on developing programs from stories found in their collections that reveal cultural and racial diversity in their communities.

LEADERSHIP

Stephanie Haught Wade was named the new director of Historic Arkansas Museum (Little Rock, AR). Wade has been a historian with the Department of Arkansas Heritage since 2017, where she managed the Arkansas Historical Marker Program and was a member and administrator of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemoration Committee. She began work on April 5.

Kudos Affiliates!! October 2020

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 Durham Museum (Omaha, NE) received a $25,000 grant from The Iowa West Foundation to develop resources, programs, and projects that focus on economic development, education, place making, and healthy families.

The Nissan Foundation awarded $680,000 in grants to 27 nonprofit organizations for its 2020 grant cycle including awards to:

The NASA in Kansas program received a $2.8 million grant to help continue STEM-based education and research in the Sunflower State. The four-year award from NASA will help fund a consortium of universities and science museums, including the Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS).

The International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, TX) was awarded a Collections Assessment for Preservation grant for $7,000 from the Foundation for the Advancement in Conservation. The funding will be instrumental in providing credible information for long-term planning for collections care and preparing for re-accreditation in 2022.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission awarded grants to the following Affiliate organizations to support the general operations of the museums:

Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) received a $20,000 Cultural Leadership Partners grant administered by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The grant will support a wide range of programs and events the Museum and Science Center will provide in the coming year.

New Mexico’s legislative session concluded with a $250,000 allocation for renovations at the Hubbard Museum of the American West (Ruidoso Downs, NM) and $750,000 to the New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM) for facility and exhibit improvements.

The National Park Service, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, announced $12,800,000 in Save America’s Treasures grants to fund 42 preservation and conservation projects in 26 states including the following Affiliates:

  • Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) – $102,000-for the preservation and accessibility to curatorial files.
  • YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (Center for Jewish History), (New York, NY) – $119,433-for the preservation and accessibility for Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Online Collections.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded grants totaling $25,899,000 for museums across the nation to improve services to their communities through Museums for America, and special initiatives-Museums Empowered and Inspire! Grants for Small Museums. Affiliate awardees include:

Museums for America

  • Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) – $172,000.00-The Arab American National Museum will work with a learning design firm and a museum-focused exhibition design firm to develop, design, and fabricate new components for their children’s gallery spaces. This project will result in four new bilingual, less text-heavy exhibition elements that will allow young visitors in grades K-5 to gain a more balanced perspective on cultural and racial diversity within their communities, as well as an appreciation of the large-scale impact of all immigrant communities on American life.
  • Springfield Science Museum, part of Springfield Museums, (Springfield, MA) – $84,637.00-Museum staff will undergo Disability Inclusion and Universal Design training to redesign and enhance a core multi-use learning space and principle STEM program that can remove physical, cognitive, and social barriers to learning. External evaluators will measure access needs and learning outcomes before and after project upgrades in order to track progress and develop a scalable model of inclusive practice for all the museum’s science programming.
  • Mercer Museum (Doylestown, PA) – $40,000.00-Mercer Museum will conduct a detailed condition survey of 256 windows (including dormers and skylights) located in its original 1916 National Landmark Mercer Museum building. The survey will result in a comprehensive report, with recommendations and methodologies for repair and remediation intended to improve environmental conditions for the exhibited collections.
  • Arizona State Museum (Tucson, AZ) – $122,471.00-The Arizona State Museum will ensure the long-term preservation and accessibility of 50 items including large, handcrafted barkcloth fabrics and woven basketry mats from Indigenous groups in northern Mexico (Pima Bajo, Pipil, Tarahuamara, Tepehuan, Warhio, Yaqui, Tohono O’odham, and Otomi) and the Pacific Islands (Fijian, Hawaiian, Javanese, Melanesian, Philippine, Samoan, and Tongan).
  • Museum of Us (San Diego, CA ) – $249,668.00-The Museum of Us will engage with representatives of the Kumeyaay Nation (Kumeyaay) in a community-driven exhibit and program development process. This project will engage Kumeyaay community members in large forums, focus groups, one-on-one meetings, and written evaluations to accurately capture content for a new exhibit that is self-determined by the community.
  • Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) – $248,825.00-The Adler Planetarium will expand access to STEM programs for African American and Latinx Chicago teens through a progressive series of entry-point, introductory, intermediate, and advanced level programs. Students in grades 7-12 will be invited to join teams of scientists, engineers, and educators to undertake authentic scientific research and solve real engineering challenges. In collaboration with schools and community-based organizations, Adler will develop and implement new participant recruitment and retention strategies to reach teens in specific neighborhoods.
  • South Carolina State Museum (Columbia, SC) – $245,239.00-The South Carolina State Museum will improve the stewardship of its collections through a two-year collections inventory and digitization project. The project will result in refined inventory and photography protocols for digitization of collection objects, the implementation of a new collections management system, and the acquisition of a dedicated server to ensure that the database has capacity for future growth.
  • Florida International University (Miami, FL) – $250,000.00-Florida International University will expand the shelving capacity in its Rare Books and Special Collections Library, improve storage conditions for the collection, and improve public access to the collection.
  • National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque, IA) – $206,286.00-The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium will conduct a collections survey and planning project that will build upon previous successful collections stewardship projects and improve the museum’s ability to care for and interpret its historical collections.
  • High Desert Museum (Bend, OR) – $155,280.00-The High Desert Museum will bring together key stakeholders to develop and implement the first High Desert Project, deconstructing the traditional conference structure to create a new approach to engaging broad audiences in dialogue-one that builds on the unique strengths of museums.
  • Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, CT) – $238,604.00-The Connecticut Historical Society will inventory, rehouse, catalog, and digitize the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program CCHAP collection which documents the cultural traditions and heritage within the rich diversity of Connecticut’s ethnic and workplace communities.
  • Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT)-$167,303.00-Mystic Seaport Museum will restore its 1921 fishing schooner-L.A. DUNTON-a National Historic Landmark vessel and one of the last surviving examples of its kind. Progress will be captured on video for podcast and other forms of distance learning to further expand the project reach.
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO)-$240,740.00-The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will advance stewardship and public access for 718 objects in its Northwest Coast Collection through collaborative conservation that involves Kwakwaka’wakw, Makah, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Tlingit and Haida tribes.
  • Center for Jewish History (New York, NY) – $52,230.00-The Center for Jewish History will improve stewardship of the 35mm and 16mm motion picture film collections of its five in-house partners: the American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum, and YIVO Institute, as a pilot of a new digitization process.
  • USS Constitution Museum (Boston, MA) – $250,000.00-The USS Constitution Museum will launch a Salute to Service initiative to transform itself into a hub for conversation, connection, and community around military service so the community can see the museum as a trusted space for community engagement, and civilian participants in Salute to Service programs to gain an elevated understanding of military service and family sacrifice.
  • Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX)-$250,000.00-The Witte Museum will improve the conservation and preservation of its paleontology and geology collections to support continued fossil preparation for new fossil finds and acquisitions.
  • Krannert Art Museum (Champaign, IL) – $250,000.00-The Krannert Art Museum will reinstall its collection of ancient Andean art. This reinstallation will transform the ancient Andean gallery into an innovative teaching and research tool that better serves their core constituents and exposes audiences to the historical depth, cultural richness, and contemporary relevance of ancient Andean civilizations.
  • Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) – $227,272.00-The Plimoth Plantation will develop a suite of educational resources for teachers, students, and the general public focusing on the relationship between the early Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people.

Museums Empowered: Professional Development Opportunities for Museum Staff

  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) – $249,920.00-The Ohio History Connection will conduct an online professional development program to help the network become better managed, more resilient, and better able to serve the public. Modules will focus on topics such as board development; collections handling; engaging with local communities; and essential museum knowledge for boards, directors, staff, and volunteers from outside the museum field.

Inspire! Grants for Small Museums

  • Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) – $40,975.00-The Dubuque Museum of Art will upgrade its collections management software through a four-phase project that will increase public access to the museum’s collection.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded $52.2 million in grants for 562 humanities projects featuring the following Affiliate initiatives:

  • Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ) – $4,622-The Heard Museum will use the funding for the preservation assessment of a library and archive collection dedicated to Native American art and cultures, covering topics such as Native American fine art, literature, anthropology, and museum studies.
  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) – $172,445- The Japanese American National Museum will develop two, one-week workshops -Little Tokyo: How History Shapes a Community Across Generations- for 72 school teachers about the history and culture of Japanese-American immigrants and their place in U.S. history.
  • History Colorado (Denver, CO) – $224,914-History Colorado will digitize 100,000 pages from Colorado newspaper titles, published from 1859 to 1942, as part of the state’s continuing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).
  • History Colorado (Denver, CO) – $208,808-History Colorado will produce eight 45- to 60-minute podcast episodes about Colorado and Western U.S. history entitled the Lost Highways Podcast Program.
  • Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA) – $6,000-Grinnell College staff will conduct research for a book on the development of the Filipino diaspora in the United States and Europe, as a case study to understand how diasporas evolve.
  • Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) – $49,200-The Plimoth Plantation will conduct an assessment of the collections and buildings at Plimoth Plantation, which has extensive collections of archaeological artifacts, fine and decorative art, and archival materials.
  • Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) – $9,901-Michigan State University Museum will purchase storage equipment for the Siyazama Project collection, which is housed at the university’s museum and consists of 66 traditional craft works created by South African women as part of an organized art and health initiative during the HIV/AIDS crisis.
  • Center for Jewish History (New York, NY) – $65,500-The Center for Jewish History will provide 12 months of stipend support (1 fellowship) per year for one year and to defray costs associated with the selection of fellows.
  • Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA) – $236,824-Museum of Flight will arrange, describe, catalog, and select the digitization of 170 cubic feet of archival materials and 260 objects from the William P. and Moya Olsen Lear Collection, including correspondence, photographs, model planes, invention prototypes, and 33 audio recordings and 18 films related to groundbreaking discoveries in aviation and radio that span the twentieth century.
  • Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY) – $48,933-Buffalo Bill Center of the West will construct a plan for storage spaces at all six of the center’s collecting units to maximize the preservation environment, space efficiency, and access to collections by staff and the public. Center staff would work with a consulting conservator, architect, and engineer to develop the plan.
  • Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, WA)-$189,984- Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience will create two one-week workshops for 72 school teachers about the history and culture of Asian Pacific American immigrants in the Pacific Northwest.

The Mary Black Foundation awarded new grants to 19 nonprofits serving Spartanburg County, including $15,000 to Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Spartanburg, SC) to assist with operational costs to provide high-quality learning opportunities for young children in Spartanburg County.

Mid-America Arts Alliance awarded $50,000 to the American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) to assist operational costs and digitizing of their collections.

Oklahoma History Center (Oklahoma City, OK) was awarded a grant through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) for personal protective equipment (PPE) to be utilized by the OHC Education Department. The funding has been used to purchase sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer and disinfectant for use by museum visitors and staff, as well as to be included in the trunks for our award-winning Traveling Trunk program.

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, IA) received funding from two area foundations to support conservation education and equitable access for Dubuque County residents. Alliant Energy Foundation has awarded the Museum $5,000 towards the expansion of its conservation education live animal outreach program address Iowa bird conservation initiatives and provide teacher workshop opportunities. The McDonough Foundation awarded $2,000 to increase equitable access through the Everybody’s Museum Membership (EMM) program—a free membership program that is open to economically challenged youth and families in Dubuque County, as well as community members with physical and intellectual disabilities.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Mercer Museum & Fonthill Castle (Doylestown, PA) and USS Constitution Museum (Boston, MA) recently received reaccreditations from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

RANDY PARKER/THE DAILY TRIBUNE NEWS Booth Western Art Museum is named the Best Art Museum in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards contest.

The Booth Western Art Museum (Cartersville, GA) was named Best Art Museum in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards contest.

The Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center (Pierre,SD) earned an AASLH Award of Excellence for the exhibit “Silent Silos: South Dakota’s Missile Range.”

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) received the Special Achievement – Excellence in Community Empowerment award for its exhibition – “Finding Our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak” at the 32nd annual Excellence in Exhibition Competition, presented by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were recognized for their efforts to support diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus with a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. The award is given by INSIGHT into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education.

Coming up in Affiliateland in February 2020

Brrrrr! Let the cold outside drive you to these compelling programs inside at Affiliates across the country.

NATIONWIDE
The Smithsonian Channel is again teaming up with Affiliates to screen their feature for 2020 Black History Month – Black in Space: Breaking The Color Barrier.
at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, 2.5.
at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, 2.10.
at History Colorado in Denver, 2.11.
at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 2.13.
at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, 2.19.
at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, 2.19.
at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, 2.20.
Note: these events are not open to the public.

VERMONT
Corine Wegener, director of the Smithsonian’s Cultural Rescue Initiative, will give a talk on conserving cultural heritage at the Sullivan Museum in Northfield, 2.5.

TEXAS
Alexandra Alvis from the Special Collections of Smithsonian Libraries will present A Fairy Castle of Painted Windows on illuminated manuscripts at the Ellen Noël Art Museum of the Permian Basin in Odessa, 2.6.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
The Smithsonian Science Education Center will offer a free webinar to all Affiliates to introduce their new resource Smithsonian Science for Global Goals, and offer suggestions for Affiliate collaboration, 2.12.

NEBRASKA
The Durham Museum will screen the Smithsonian Channel film The Unknown Flag Raiser of Iwo Jima in Omaha, 2.23.