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SITES in your neighborhood this winter

Smithsonian Affiliates across the country are bringing Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) exhibitions to their communities this winter. Here’s what’s opening at an Affiliate in the coming months: 

Jim Henson's characters provided an outlet for the various sides of his sense of humor and personality, and Henson always considered Kermit his alter ego. This Kemit, shown with Henson about 1989, is a more polished version of the original Kermit that Henson made in 1955 from his mother's old spring coat. Photo by John E. Barrett.

February 12- May 1, 2011
Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences (Peoria, Illinois)
Jim Henson’s Fantastic World

Organized with The Jim Henson Legacy, Jim Henson’s Fantastic World offers audiences a rare peek into the imagination of this brilliant innovator and creator of Kermit, Big Bird, and other beloved characters. The exhibition documents Henson’s process of “visual thinking” through works of art, photographs, documents, puppets and other 3-D objects, and film and video clips.

Legendary New York Mets’ coach Yogi Berra shares his line-up with Clemente before a 1972 spring training game in St. Petersburg, Florida. AP/Wide World Photo.

February 19- April 17, 2011
Challenger Learning Center of Arizona (Peoria, Arizona)
Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente

The baseball diamond has produced legendary athletes who have broken records and shattered barriers. But for many, Roberto Clemente is the most inspiring of all. With a cannon arm and lightning speed, he was an outstanding ballplayer. But the Puerto Rico native was also a dedicated humanitarian. SITES, the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Clemente family, and the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico are pleased to present Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente as a tribute to this monumental figure’s outstanding achievements on the field and off.

And you can still catch these exhibitions at an Affiliate in your neighborhood:

Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography, at Dixon Historic Center (Dixon, Illinois) through January 2, 2011. 


Native Words, Native Warriors
at Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center  (Mashantucket, Connecticut), through January 2, 2011.


Freedom’s Sisters,
at Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore, Maryland), through January 17, 2011. 


Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964,
at Sonoma County Museum (Santa Rosa, California), through January 30, 2011.

 

Find a Smithsonian Affiliate in your neighborhood here.
Find more Smithsonian traveling exhibitions and programs
here.

Kudos! October 2010

In these times of economic challenges, it’s nice to see some bright spots!

Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences (Peoria, Illinois) has been awarded a $10,000 Arts Education Invitational Grants Initiative grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to digitize the Picture Person Program, an art appreciation outreach program in which parent volunteers borrow art kits from the Museum and present them in K-6 classrooms monthly throughout the school year.

The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook (Long island, New York) announced it has received accreditation from the American Association of Museums, the highest honor awarded by the national organization.

The PNC Foundation announced $3 million in grants to four of Chicago’s premier institutions including the Adler Planetarium, to enhance science education for underserved students in preschool programs operated by Chicago Public Schools and the Big Shoulders Fund.

The Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre (Davenport, Iowa) won RK Dixon’s Make My Nonprofit Run Better contest and a $20,000 grand prize of an office technology makeover. 

affiliates in the news: week of september 20

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week!

Museum of American Finance (New York, NY)
The Museum of American Finance will unveil the display of an 18-karat solid gold Monopoly set covered with hundreds of precious gemstones, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. READ MORE

Museum of American Finance To Display Jeweled Monopoly Set and Host Tournament. READ MORE

Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland, FL)
Polk Museum of Art is pleased to announce that it has been accepted into the Smithsonian Affiliations Program. READ MORE 

Polk Museum Gets Affiliation With Smithsonian. READ MORE

Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences (Peoria, IL)
Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences has been awarded a $10,000 Arts Education Invitational Grants Initiative grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to digitize the Picture Person Program educational kits. READ MORE

Hunt Hill Farm (New Milford, CT)
. The Smithsonian curator who got the ball rolling was Rayna Green, curator and director of the American Indian Program, Division of Home and Community Life, who will present “In Julia’s Kitchen”. READ MORE

The Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages (Stony Brook, NY)
The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook announced Thursday it has received accreditation from the American Association of Museums, the highest honor awarded by the national organization. READ MORE

The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar (Richmond, VA)
Richmond visitors have a new starting point for the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War and the end of slavery: Historic Tredegar. READ MORE

Historic Tredegar: The Region’s Gateway to the Civil War. READ MORE

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA)
On November 12th, the National Museum of American Jewish History will reopen in its new location at Independence Mall. The weekend of celebration will feature performances by Jerry Seinfeld and Bette Midler. READ MORE

Two of the country’s most famous Jewish performers will highlight the opening of one of the most ambitious Jewish museum projects in years. READ MORE

North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, NC)
Exhibit in North Carolina Shows the Real George Washington. READ MORE

National Mississippi River Museum (Dubuque, IA)
Foundation awards river museum $1 million grant for river center. READ MORE

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day
Everybody loves a freebie and this Saturday, September 25, marks Smithsonian magazine’s 6th Annual Museum Day, when more than 1,500 museum and cultural venues across the United States will honor Smithsonian.com’s special get-in-free ticket for two. READ MORE

Muppets in Affiliateland

The original Kermit the Frog arrived at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History (NMAH) yesterday. Kermit made his television debut in 1955 as part of a local Washington D.C. television show created by Jim Henson called “Sam and Friends.” Henson’s widow, Jane Henson, donated the original Kermit along with the other puppets from the show. The original Kermit isn’t as green as younger Muppet fans may remember and was fashioned by Henson using his mother’s discarded winter coat. The collection will go on exhibit sometime in November. 

Visitors to the Orange County Regional History Center meet Kermit face-to-face in the SITES exhibition "Jim Henson's Fantastic World."

Affiliates across the nation have collaborated with the Smithsonian to showcase Jim Henson’s characters, whether through a SITES exhibition or through individual artifact loans.  Here are some highlights of Muppet sightings in Affiliate-land:  

Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, Florida) hosted the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) exhibition Jim Henson’s Fantastic World in 2009. The exhibition wraps-up its national tour at Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences (Peoria, Illinois) in 2011. 

Oscar the Grouch at the Flushing Council for Culture and the Arts.

The Kermit the Frog that is already in NMAH’s collection was first loaned in 1979, in celebration of Sesame Street’s 10th anniversary. In 1994, Jim Henson Productions designated Kermit as a gift, making him a permanent fixture in NMAH’s performance collections. In 2005, NMAH loaned him to The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, Iowa)  to be included in their exhibition Toadally Frogs! 

Oscar the Grouch and five additional puppets, also on loan from NMAH, made an appearance at Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts (Flushing, New York) in 2006 in their exhibition With or Without Strings

Through the Affiliations network, communities across the country have had the opportunity to experience Jim Henson’s lovable characters in their neighborhoods.  You can read more about Kermit’s new home at NMAH here:

Kermit gets some new friends at the Smithsonian
Kermit the Frog comes home to Washington

NMAH loaned Kermit the Frog to the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in 2005. Photo courtesy NMAH.