Coming up in Affiliateland in November 2017

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

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.

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.

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.

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.


From the Ocean Optimism initiative website,

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.

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.


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


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!


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.


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).


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.


coming up in affiliateland in october 2014

The air is turning crisp and Affiliates continue to host top-rated programs all over the country.


The BioMuseo, designed by Frank Gehry, is ready to open in Panama.

The BioMuseo, designed by Frank Gehry, is ready to open in Panama.

National Outreach Manager Alma Douglas takes part in the celebration of the BioMuseo, which officially opens to the public in Panama City, 10.2.


Smithsonian Associates lead an exclusive tour Inside Oak Ridge National Laboratory featuring two Affiliates, the Museum of Appalachia and American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge, 10.4-7.


The Menello Museum of Art opens George Catlin’s American Buffalo exhibition from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Orlando, 10.4.

The South Florida Museum opens SITES The Evolving Universe exhibition in Bradenton, 10.25.


Affiliations director Harold Closter will announce the new affiliation with the Witte Museum in San Antonio, 10.7.

Affiliations director Harold Closter will announce the new affiliation with the Space Center Houston, 10/8.



Several Smithsonian staff members will attend the celebration to open Spark!Lab, an interactive exhibit and activity space resulting from a collaboration between the Berkshire Museum and the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, in Pittsfield, 10.10.

The Lowell National Historical Park will host an Innovators in Community Engagement Forum, including Sharon Reinckens from the Anacostia Community Museum, and fellow Affiliate, Cassie Chinn, from the Wing Luke Museum, in Lowell, 10.21-22.


The Children’s Museum of the Upstate hosts their first “Smithsonian Speaker Series” with a talk by fellow Affiliate Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The Museum will also present public exhibition of student creations as part of the Smithsonian’s Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos astrophotography project, in Greenville, 10.28.



kudos Affiliates! April 2014

Affiliates are bursting into spring with impressive awards and recognition. 


The National Civil War Museum (Harrisburg, PA) has received a $30,000 grant from the Kunkle-Rutherford Foundation to pay for upgrades to the museum’s galleries audio system.

The George Gund Foundation awarded a $150,000 grant to the Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) for the restoration and installation of the Euclid Beach Carousel at its University Circle facility.

Thanks to a $2,000 grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI) will create four new guides on the Manitowoc River, focusing on a different facet of the river and its heritage.


Drumming at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

Drumming at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

Two Affiliates – California Science Center (Los Angeles) and Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ) – made the list of USA Today’s 20 Best Museums for Families across the USA.

As part of a marketing campaign planned for this spring, the Nebraska Tourism Commission surveyed Nebraskans and non-Nebraskans alike on what Nebraska attractions and events are the most iconic. The Strategic Air & Space Museum (Ashland, NE) came in at #7 and was the only state museum in the top-10.

Peter Aucella, assistant superintendent of Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA) is the 2014 recipient of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Lowell’s Thomas G. Kelakos Community Spirit Award, which recognizes people who give back to the community.

The Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) received the 2014 Maine Office of Tourism Leadership and Growth Award.

The Army Heritage Center Foundation (Carlisle, PA) announced that its education director, Jeff Hawks, will receive the Adler Friend of Education Award from the Pennsylvania State Education Association for his work as state coordinator for National History Day in Pennsylvania.

Students celebrate National History Day in Pennsylvania

Students celebrate National History Day in Pennsylvania

The Building Museums Symposium selected the Museum of History and Industry (Seattle, WA) as one of two museums to be awarded the 2014 Building Museums “Buildy” Award in recognition of their exemplary accomplishment in leading their institution through the challenging process of creating new museum space. The museum converted an historic Naval Armory building into museum space, while retaining the architectural integrity of the historic landmark.

The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (AACAM in Hershey, PA) was recently awarded five NAMMY awards, bestowed by the National Association of Automobile Museums (NAAM) at their annual conference in California last week.  AACAM took home first place awards for Events & Public Promotion, Collateral Materials, and Interpretative Exhibits; and third place awards for Newsletters and Magazines, and Websites.  Mark Lizewskie, Executive Director of the AACAM, was also elected to the NAAM Board of Directors.


Congratulations to all!



starting the new year off right! Affiliate kudos for January 2014


The PPG Industries Foundation announced a $5,000 donation to the Frontiers of Flight Museum (Dallas, TX) to support aviation and space-flight education programs for Pre-K through 10th-grade students.

The Putnam Museum (Davenport, IA) has received a $300,000 grant to develop a Science and Technology Innovation Center. The Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant from Vision Iowa will support the $2.2 million STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning center that will provide hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore, MD) received a $128,000 grant award through The Star-Spangled 200 (SS200) Grant Program in the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 for maximum benefit to Marylanders. The funding will go to support the exhibition “For Whom it Stands: The Flag and the American People” highlighting Grace Wisher’s contribution to the original Star-Spangled Banner and investigates the broader history and representation of the United States flag as an icon of our nation and its people

The Schiele Museum of Natural History (Gastonia, NC) received a $1,000 Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Service Smithsonian Community Grant, sponsored by MetLife Foundation.  The award will be used to fund speakers’ fees for “Bugapolooza,” the museum’s annual celebration of the contributions made by insects to the natural world. Programs will include hands-on activities, interaction with entomologists, museum displays, and presentations by insect researchers in order to increase interest in entomology, as well as an awareness of the value of biological research programs. All programming relate to the themes of Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants.

 A citizen science initiative led by the Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) and Oxford University won $1.8 million from Google’s Global Impact Awards. Zooniverse, a nonprofit collaboration between the two institutions that has already had close to 1 million volunteer scientists participating, links ongoing research to willing volunteers who, in most cases, comb through data that requires human interpretation. The 18 current projects include searching for lightcurve anomalies in telescopic images to help discover distant planets and classifying animals caught in Serengeti National Park camera traps. Zooniverse will use the money to rebuild its platform to make it easier for more science projects to take part. The money will also help the Adler extend the project to schools and youth and community groups locally. 

Historic Bethlehem Partnership  (Bethlehem, PA) will hire and train costumed docents to act as historic ambassadors to Bethlehem’s Moravian history, thanks to a $45,000 allocation in 2014 by the Northampton County Council.

Awards and Recognition

The New England Museum Association (NEMA) elected Susan Funk, executive vice president of Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT), as president of its board of directors.

The American Alliance of Museums has announced that eight museums were newly accredited including  an Affiliate, the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History (Albuquerque, NM).

Assistant Superintendent Peter Aucella of the Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA) received the
Department of the Interior’s Superior Service Award in recognition of his 23-year career with the National Park Service and his stewardship of the Lowell Summer Music Series. 

The Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm (New Milford, CT) was awarded the honor of 2013’s Best Cooking Classes by Connecticut Magazine. 


The Executive Board of Trustees of the International Museum of Art & Science has appointed Danella Hughes as its new Interim Executive Director.