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affiliates at the folklife festival

In addition to Mexico and Asian Pacific Americans, this year’s Folklife Festival features ‘Smithsonian Inside Out’ – a section devoted to explaining the inner workings of the Institution.  Tents are dedicated to work in our strategic  grand challenges, how we make exhibits and tend our grounds, our research activities around the globe, and more.

Affiliates are playing an important role in demonstrating to Festival visitors how the Smithsonian reaches audiences well beyond Washington.  The Littleton Historical Museum in Colorado and the Historic Arkansas Museum are featured on giant festival maps about the Smithsonian’s work outside D.C.  Icons for Affiliates that show the breadth of the network are highlighted as well.

The B & O Railroad Museum‘s executive director Courtney Wilson will be on the Festival’s discussion stage on July 1 with Bill Withuhn, curator emeritus at the National Museum of American History.  They’ll be discussing our decade of collaboration, and the numerous Smithsonian artifacts on view in Baltimore as a result of our relationship.

On July 3, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture will host a table at the Festival to demonstrate the fruits of their affiliation, such as hosting several major SITES exhibitions, artifact loans from the new National Museum of African American History, and sharing expertise with a range of Smithsonian scholars.

Throughout the Festival, Affiliations staff have been engaged in explaining outreach efforts to visitors.  National Outreach Manager Alma Douglas took to the discussion stage on June 27 to describe the Affiliations Program.  Other staff members are manning the “Ask the Smithsonian” tent, finding out about visitors’ hometowns and encouraging them to visit their local Affiliates.  It’s great to be able to tell Festival visitors from across the country about our extended family of Affiliates, and the Smithsonian experience they can have, even  in their own backyards.

On the Road Again

Mountain Plains Museum Association

Ahhh... Cheyenne

It’s fall conference time again. Look for Affiliations staff at these events this fall.  Let us know if you’ll be there too!

October 6: Smithsonian Affiliations Director, Harold Closter, will be at the Mountain-Plains Museum Association Conference in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He’s chairing a session called “Pard’ners: A Smithsonian in Your Community” which includes presenters from Affiliates Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Littleton Historical Museum, and the Durham Museum.

October 24: National Outreach Manager, Laura Hansen, will be at the Western Museum Association’s annual meeting in San Diego, California.

November 11: National Outreach Manager, Jennifer Brundage will be at the New England Museum Association’s annual conference in Nashau, New Hampshire.

See you in YOUR neighborhood!