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Part 1: Using Collections to Think About Immigration with the Smithsonian Learning Lab

In 2017-2018 a collaboration among Smithsonian Affiliations, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access brought the Teacher Creativity Studios: Fostering Global Competence in the Classroom project to 3 Affiliate communities. The nationwide professional development project for educators is designed to develop new instructional materials and content highlighting Asian Pacific American experiences within K-12 humanities subject areas.

Teacher creating Learning Lab collection

Learning Lab workshop at the Tsongas Industrial History Center. Photo by Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Smithsonian Affiliates worked with local teachers to create multimedia lessons on the Smithsonian’s Learning Lab portal that integrated resources from the Smithsonian and other participating museums into teaching materials and lesson plans. The goal was to increase digital access to museum collections and inspire students to investigate the world around them using objects, documents, videos and more, all available for free online.

A teacher in Lowell, MA, did just that. Laura Lamarre Anderson, Grade 4 Teacher at STEM Academy at the Rogers School, participated in a workshop at the Tsongas Industrial History Center at the Lowell National Historical Park, a Smithsonian Affiliate, to explore the question of “Who Belongs?” with her students. Below is an excerpt from a blog she wrote for the Smithsonian Learning Lab. You can read the whole blog here.

In a city like Lowell, rich with a constant flow of immigrants moving in from all over the world, the question of “who belongs” comes up frequently. After facing discrimination themselves, some second- and third-generation Irish immigrants railed against the newcomers who came after. And the cycle continues with each new group of immigrants facing challenges to their rights to be here. Several students in my classroom have come up against challenges to their right to be in Massachusetts, their right to be called American, because of where they or their parents were born. With this in mind, I tried to choose images that reflect the challenges of immigration, that would help generate conversations about how people were welcomed at different points in our history, and that help us to begin thinking about what it means to be an American.

Teacher Creativity Studios workshops are funded by the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool at the Smithsonian.

If you are interested in learning more about the Smithsonian Learning Lab and how it could help your museum support teachers and students in your community, contact your National Outreach Manager.

Coming Up in Affiliateland in May 2018

Look at all the activity blooming in Affiliateland this spring!

PENNSYLVANIA
The Heinz History Center hosts a talk and tasting with National Museum of American History curator Paula Johnson on Making Wine at Home as a complement to their current exhibition on Prohibition, in Pittsburgh, 5.6.18.

The Mercer Museum will open Racing: A Need for Speed exhibition featuring 7 artifact loans from the National Museum of American History, in Doylestown, 5.12.18.

A new exhibition at the Center for Jewish History in New York City.

NEW YORK
The Center for Jewish History hosts National Air and Space Museum curator Dr. Valerie Neal for a talk on the history of Jewish astronauts and their achievements as part of their Jews in Orbit: Meet an Astronaut program in Manhattan, 5.7.18

MASSACHUSETTS
The Tsongas Industrial History Center will host Teacher Creativity Studios: Asian Pacific American Cultural Presence in the Classroom workshops in collaboration with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access on the Lowell National Historical Park site in Lowell, 5.12.18.

FLORIDA
The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science will host ¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert family day in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center in Miami, 5.12.18.

¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert family program will be coming to Miami with the Smithsonian Latino Center

Things Come Apart an exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service opens at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, 5.26.18.

MAINE
The Abbe Museum will host its inaugural Indian Market, with a film series curated by Elizabeth Weatherford, Founder and Emeritus Director of the Film and Video Center at the National Museum of the American Indian, in Bar Harbor, 5.18-20.18.

MARYLAND
Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center will open the exhibition Of a Feather: Birds in Art juried by Jennifer Daniels, landscape architect at the Smithsonian National Zoo, in Solomons, 5.25.18.

Coming up in Affiliateland in April 2018

Spring activity is blooming across the country!

MASSACHUSETTS
The Tsongas Industrial History Center at the Lowell National Historical Park will offer a Teacher Creativity Studios: Asian Pacific American Cultural Presence in the Classroom workshop for teachers with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access in Lowell, 4.7.

Dr. John Grant, geologist with the Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (CEPS), in front of a full-scale model of the Mars Rover Curiosity, will be a featured speaker at Framingham State University in Massachusetts.

Framingham State University will feature a talk by National Air and Space Museum scientist John Grant on moving the Mars rovers as part of the Science on State Street Festival in Framingham,  4.21.

PENNSYLVANIA
Attendees to the National Association of Automobile Museums conference will spend a day at the Smithsonian for talks and tours, thanks to conference organizer the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey, 4.10.

ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Teen teams from the Upcountry History Museum (SC), Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (TX), Arab American National Museum(MI), Rockwell Museum (NY), and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (OH) will digitally connect to the Smithsonian Secretary’s Youth Advisory Council meeting in Washington, 4.11.

NEW YORK
The Art + Science lecture series continues with a talk on Native responses to the environment by National Museum of the American Indian educator Ed Schupman at the Rockwell Museum in Corning, 4.12.

MISSOURI
The St. Louis Science Center opens SITES’ Destination Moon exhibition in St. Louis, 4.14.

CONNECTICUT
Mystic Seaport hosts a talk by National Museum of Natural History geologist Liz Cottrell on Expeditions to Arctic Volcanoes as part of its Adventure Series in Mystic, 4.19.

Mountain Climber by Rockwell Kent, 1933, is headed to Oregon thanks to the High Desert Museum. (woodcut on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Peter E. Blau and Andrew J. Blau in memory of their father, Alan J. Blau)

OREGON
The High Desert Museum will open Ascent: Climbing Explored exhibition featuring artifact loans including two paintings, brushes and palettes from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in Bend, 4.28.

Coming up in Affiliateland in November 2017

We’re thankful for all the activity in Affiliateland this month. Happy Thanksgiving Affiliates!

D.C.
Two Affiliates are loaning objects to The Sweat of their Face: Portraying American Workers exhibition at the Smithsonian. The Lowell National Historical Park has lent a wood engraving by Winslow Homer and the High Museum has lent a photograph by Peter Sekaer and an oil painting by Francis Hyman Criss. Opening at the National Portrait Gallery, 11.3.

CALIFORNIA
The San Diego History Center opens the Mail Call exhibition (SITES) which explores the history of America’s military postal system, in San Diego, 11.4.

MASSACHUSETTS
Richard Kurin, Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador-at-Large, will lecture on his book, Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem at the Springfield Museums, 11.5.

NATIONWIDE
Teens at five Affiliates continue to advise the Smithsonian through the Secretary’s Youth Advisory Council, meeting again via videoconference from Fort Worth, Corning, Cincinnati, Dearborn and Greenville, 11.8.

GEORGIA

From the Ocean Optimism initiative website, oceanoptimism.org

Dr. Nancy Knowlton, senior scientist emerita from the Smithsonian’s Tropical Research Institute in Panama, will give a Science on Tap lecture to discuss the Ocean Optimism Initiative, at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, 11.14.

ALABAMA
A new Smithsonian Spark!Lab, an immersive, interactive place for exploring invention, will open at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, 11.24.

Kudos Affiliates! March 2017 edition

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.

FUNDING

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (Strasburg, PA) has met a $50,000 matching grant challenge by the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society, with funds designated for the preservation of five historic Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotives. 

The National Park Service (NPS) announced funding for 39 projects in over 20 states that will preserve and highlight the sites and stories associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the African American experience, including the following Affiliate organizations:

  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) $50,000                              
    20th Century African American Civil Rights Movement in Ohio: Evaluating and Nominating Historic Properties
  • Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI)  $49,557        
    African-American Struggle for Civil Rights in Rhode Island: The 20th Century
  • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL)  $47,000              
    Preserving History, Building Community” project.  This project will focus on the A.G. Gaston Motel as a case study for preservationists and the community to work in partnership to preserve and revitalize a historic civil rights site.

Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA) in partnership with Lowell Community Health Center, Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association, City of Lowell Senior Center, Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School, and YWCA of Lowell has been selected to receive a 2017 Active Trails grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The Discover Lowell’s Urban Trails initiative will offer new outdoor recreational programming to Lowell’s canalway trails and will be targeted toward non-users in adjacent neighborhoods.

The Kenosha Community Foundation has awarded 26 grants totaling over $51,000 to 22 non-profit organizations and projects serving Kenosha County residents including funding to the Kenosha Public Museum Foundation (Kenosha, WI) to support its upcoming “Re-Riding History:  From the Southern Plains to Matanzas Bay” exhibit, which features how contemporary art retraces the historical experiences of American Indian communities.

Former cable TV mogul John Sie and his wife Anna have donated $12 million for the construction of a new welcome center at the Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO). The new welcome center is part of the museum’s plans to renovate the North Building. When it’s completed, the new welcome center will include a restaurant, café, ticketing and orientation space, event space, underground art storage and the museum’s conservation lab. 

 

16th Street Baptist Church near the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, part of a new Civil Rights National Monument in Alabama

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

The Durham Museum (Omaha, NE) housed in Omaha’s Union Station was designated as one of 24 new National Historic Landmarks by the Department of Interior.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL) was recently designated by Former President Barack Obama as part of a new Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument.  Along with BCRI, other sites designated as the monument include the A. G. Gaston Motel, 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, and Bethel Baptist Church.

The Hawaii State House of Representatives presented Kona Historical Society (Kona, HI) with a certificate of honor on its 40th anniversary for efforts to preserve local history and share Kona’s culture with residents and visitors.

California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA) deputy director Naima J. Keith has been named the winner of the High Museum of Art’s David C. Driskell Prize, which is awarded annually to a scholar or artist who has made a major contribution to African American art history. 

 

Congratulations all!

 

 

 

kudos Affiliates! September 2015

Affiliates end the summer with great news from the National Endowment for the Humanities and impressive accomplishments all around.  Bravo!

FUNDING

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced $36.6 million in grants for 212 humanities projects including the following Affiliate awarded initiatives:

Project Title: American Indian Boarding Schools: History and Legacy, Transition in American Indian Boarding Schools Project
Description: Planning for the reinterpretation and expansion of a permanent exhibition, two traveling exhibitions, and a catalog that would examine the experience of Native American youth in boarding and tribal schools from the nineteenth century to the present.

Project Title: The American Maritime Commons Project
Description: A five-week institute for twenty college and university faculty on America’s maritime history.

Project Title: Mississippi Digital Newspaper Project, Phase Two

Project Title: Demon Times: Temperance, Immigration, and Progressivism Project
Description: Two one-week workshops for seventy-two school teachers on temperance and immigration in the Progressive Era.

Project Title: From Immigrants to Citizens: Asian Pacific Americans in the Northwest Project Description: Two one-week workshops for seventy-two school teachers to explore the histories and cultures of Asian immigrants in the Pacific Northwest and their significance to the nation.

Project title: Optimization of the Preservation Environment
Description: For preservation, collections and building management stakeholders to work collaboratively to achieve the best possible preservation environment, with the least possible energy consumption, that is both sustainable and appropriate to the particular collections that reside within the Center’s walls.

Project Title: Inventing America: Lowell and the Industrial Revolution Project
Description: Two one-week workshops for seventy-two school teachers on the textile industry in Lowell, Massachusetts, as a case study of early nineteenth-century industrialization.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) announced that the organization will be awarding a $7,120 grant to the Museum of Appalachia (Clinton, TN), to aid with the Peter’s Homestead Roof Preservation and Restoration Project on an early 1800’s rare saddle bag style log house in Appalachian Pioneer Village.

The Boeing Company and Mrs. June Boeing, wife of the late William E. Boeing, Jr., announced a philanthropic partnership, each contributing $15 million to significantly expand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education offered through The Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA). These investments will launch the Boeing Academy for STEM Learning, a vigorous, new STEM-focused education initiative that aims to double the number of students served by the Museum’s immersive programs over the next two years, particularly from communities underrepresented in STEM fields, and connect them to fulfilling, in-demand jobs.

Ultimaker, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of 3D printers, based in the Netherlands, recently gifted nine new 3D printers valued at nearly $21,000, to the Maker Studio at Union Station Kansas City‘s Science Center, Science City (Kansas City, MO). The donation will allow better support of STEAM education during walk-up workshops and demos, school field trips, professional development programs for teachers, and special events.

The South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD) has received a $25,000 challenge grant from Pierre philanthropist Mansour Karim to fund an event for the Great Sioux Horse Effigy Return Celebration scheduled for October 10-12, 2015.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (Staten Island, NY) is one of several Staten Island cultural organizations to receive a share of almost $1.8 million for various infrastructure projects by the city.

Virgin America announced an education-themed partnership with the Frontiers of Flight Museum (Dallas, TX). As part of the partnership, the Burlingame, California-based airline will provide scholarships for students enrolled in the organization’s Flight School and other educational programs.

ACHIEVEMENTS and RECOGNITION 

Lynn Kelly, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (Staten Island, NY), has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

LEADERSHIP CHANGES

The American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) announced the appointment of Ralph Reid as interim CEO. Reid retired this year from Sprint, where he was a Vice President and President of the Sprint Foundation.