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New Year Kudos Affiliates!! January 2020

Congratulations to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments to begin 2020! Do you have kudos to share? Please send potential entries to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

FUNDING

The Bath Community Fund (BCF) of Akron Community Foundation (ACF) recently awarded $26,250 to 12 nonprofits serving the township including a $4,500 grant to Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) to create an orientation space inside the new Gatehouse Welcome Center at Hale Farm & Village. The interpretive space will educate visitors about the history of the Hale family farm and its journey of becoming a living history museum.

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque, IA) are the recipients of two grants. Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust awarded the museum $250,000 to support its River of Innovation exhibit. The exhibit will feature a 19th-century machine-belt shop theme and will have interactive attractions for guests and add STEM-based learning into its growing educational programs. Alliant Energy also awarded the museum $5,000 for a new otter pup exhibit and press on the importance of watershed ecosystems.

The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo announced the winners of grant funding totaling $28,000 including $1,100 to the Air Zoo (Portage, MI) to support participation in the 2020 International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo.

The Iowa West Foundation Board of Directors recently approved $4.7 million in grants and initiatives funding to 18 nonprofit organization and government entities in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska including the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE) The museum will receive $17,000 to develop and enhance after school STEM enrichment programs.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

HistoryMiami Museum (Miami, FL) announced that Michele Reese Granger, marketing director at the museum, is one of this year’s PRNEWS Top Women in PR Awards winners, a recognition for her accomplishment of increasing attendance at the museum by 40 percent between 2017 and 2019.

ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services) announced renowned scholar, respected author and passionate activist, Dr. Anan Ameri, as the recipient of its 2020 Arab American of the Year award. Dr. Ameri is the founding director of the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI).

The Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) has been recognized with a major award for its work in bringing together a team of women to provide technical support at SC, a leading super computing conference. The initiative won the “Readers’ Choice: Workforce Diversity Leadership Award” in the annual HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards. WINS is a collaboration among the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, CO), the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network, and the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research. Following a national competition, WINS selects women who work in IT departments at universities and national labs around the country to help build and operate SCinet, the very high capacity network at SC conferences.

Jay D. Vogt, director of the South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD), will be appointed to serve as an expert member of the President’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). As an independent federal agency, the ACHP works with federal agencies to promote historic preservation and oversees the historic preservation review process. It also advises Congress and the President on historic preservation policy. The members of the ACHP provide advice and policy direction to the federal agency with the same name.

The B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD) received the 2019 Greater Baltimore Committee Business Recognition Award for the First Mile Stable project: a state-of-the-art equestrian facility and community center for the Baltimore City Mounted Police Unit. Each year the mayor of the City of Baltimore joins with the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Baltimore Development Corporation to recognize businesses that have demonstrated significant corporate leadership and service to improve the quality of life in Baltimore.

LEADERSHIP

The York County Culture & Heritage Commission has named a new executive director for its museum group. Richard Campbell, who took over Aug. 6 as acting executive director, now assumes the roll permanently and oversees the Museum of York County (Rock Hill, SC),  Main Street Children’s Museum, Historic Brattonsville and the McCelvey Center.

The American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) has selected a new executive director to lead the institution. Rashida Phillips will take the helm in January. Rashida Phillips will relocate from Chicago, where she served as senior director of community ventures of the Old Town School of Folk Music, the largest community school of the arts in the United States.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC) has named Eric Dorfman as its next museum director. Currently the director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Powdermill Nature Reserve in Pittsburgh, he will join the museum in early 2020.

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe recently announced its appointment of Joe Baker as the new Executive Director of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (Mashantucket, CT).  Baker comes to Mashantucket from the Palos Verdes Art Center in Rancho Palos Verdes, California where he has served as Executive Director for the last six years.

Kudos Affiliates!! December 2019

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 Mercer Museum (Doylestown, PA) is the recipient of a $230,000 Pew Center for Arts & Heritage grant. The two and half year grant will support a major initiative called Plus Ultra: Awakening the Mercer Museum Core. The project will reinvent two empty rooms located in the original historic core of the Fonthill Castle into “community-centric, intimate spaces designed for meaningful and active learning through the power of objects.”

The Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC) received a $6,000 grant from the Commercial Waste Reduction Grant Program. The funding will be used to support the Compost and Recycling Education Series, which will divert waste generated at two museum cafes and educate museum staff and visitors about recycling and composting.

As part of a $250,000 grant from The Edward and Mary Lord Foundation of Norwich, Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center will help fund interpretive signs and tours at the Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT).

Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE)  was awarded a $17,000 grant from the Iowa West Foundation to develop an after school science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) enrichment program.

Eight Affiliates will receive sub-awards to collaborate with the Smithsonian on the Universe of Learning educational project next year. Congratulations to the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK); Cape Fear Museum (Wilmington, NC); Cerritos Library (Cerritos, CA); Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS); Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum McMinnville, OR); International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, TX); Schiele Museum (Gastonia, NC); and the Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, GA).

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Chris Newell, education supervisor at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (Mashantucket, CT) received an Excellence Award from the New England Museum Association for his museum work as well as being a co-founder of Akomawt Educational Initiative.

American Museum of Science & Energy (Oak Ridge, TN) has been selected to receive a Secretary of Energy Honor Award. The Secretary’s Honor Awards are the Department of Energy’s highest form of internal employee recognition. The museum also received the first Leading Edge Overcomer Award from the Association of Science and Technology Centers, that celebrates an ASTC-member science center or museum that has successfully surmounted a significant and specific challenge. The museum moved from its original facility into a new, 18,000-square-foot new space, with state-of-the-art new exhibits. To engage its community in the move, the museum developed extensive new collaborations and partnerships that melded a science-rich local history, civic pride, culture, and enthusiasm for STEM engagement into something uniquely Oak Ridge

where the buffalo roam

On Saturday, August 30, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo will bring back the American bison in a new exhibit and habitat.  Zora and Wilma are not only beautiful animals, but they also serve as an important reminder about conservation and the Zoo’s inception. In 1887, American bison wandered the National Mall, helping to bring awareness to the endangerment of the species. Two years later, Congress passed legislation to found the National Zoo, celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

Bison roam around the Smithsonian Castle

Bison roam around the Smithsonian Castle, 1887-89

At Affiliations, we are wallowing in the excitement of welcoming these magnificent animals to Washington. So we decided to scan our herd of partners, to see where else the mighty American bison are roaming among Affiliate plains. We found a virtual stampede of bison content in Affiliateland!

– It seems appropriate to start in Wyoming, at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. After all, it was “Buffalo Bill” Cody who offered the Smithsonian a herd of 18 bison in 1888. Painfully, the gift had to be refused for lack of space on the National Mall.  But today, you can find plenty of bison material at the Buffalo Bill Center in Cody. The Center’s museums house an impressive collection of art depicting “Nature’s Cattle,” including beautiful Audubon prints as well as Native artifacts made from the bison, and natural history specimens.

"Scout" at the Durham Museum in Omaha.

“Scout” at the Durham Museum in Omaha

– It was a Nebraska rancher who donated the very first bison to the Smithsonian’s collection, so it seems natural to travel on to Omaha to visit “Scout,” the beloved bison on view at the Durham Museum. At 7 ½’ high and 10’ long, this magnificent specimen helps to tell the important story of the Midwest’s history with the bison. As part of their bison interpretation, the Durham Museum uses the online resource Tracking the Buffalo from the National Museum of American History. Go ahead – take the site’s interactive test to guess what you could make from all the parts of the animal.

–  Some bison though, were revered beyond all that they could provide for Native people. A white bison is extremely rare, appearing once in approximately five million births. For this reason, these animals are considered sacred and possess great spiritual power to Native and non-Native people alike. Given this extreme rarity, where could you ever see one now?! The Montana Historical Society in Helena displays “Big Medicine,” a white buffalo who died in 1959. With blue eyes, tan hooves, and a brown topknot, there’s still plenty of reasons to revere the beauty of this extraordinary specimen today.

"White Medicine" on view at the Montana Historical Society

“Big Medicine” on view at the Montana Historical Society

– As rare as Big Medicine is, perhaps no bison has the hometown spirit of “On the Wind,” the massive bronze bison who greets visitors to the History Colorado Center in Denver. He’s been seen wearing bandannas when the stock show comes to town, a Broncos jersey during football season, and even a bike helmet during the recent Pro Challenge cycling race through the state. He’s also an important reminder of the stories told inside the Center about the historic relationship between bison and the peoples of the West.

– To travel even further back in time, check out the archeological remains of a gigantic Ice Age bison at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Excavated from the Colorado Rockies, this iconic specimen and its neighbors represent one of the most significant fossil discoveries ever made in Colorado.  How gigantic was it?  Twice the size of a modern bison!  How do we know?  It had a horn spread more than 7’ wide (compared with the 2 ½’ spread of the modern buffalo).

HistoryCObison

“On the Wind” in Denver reflects the community

– If you’re finding it hard to imagine the size of a modern bison without actually seeing one, the South Dakota State Historical Society can help you out.  They’ve devised a fun 30-page coloring sheet called How Big is a Buffalo. Bison make quite an appearance in the Society’s education kits, which include objects, lesson plans, worksheets and ideas for additional activities. The Buffalo and Plains Indians, Lewis and Clark, and Archeology kits are just a few that explore all facets of this great American species.

– Lest you think the Affiliate bison only roam west of the Mississippi, think again.  The Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Connecticut is currently displaying The Bison: American Icon exhibition, which explores “the dramatic changes that occurred to the bison and its habitat, and to the people who depended on it for their daily existence.” At the end of September, the Museum invites visitors to take the Bison Challenge – an outdoor activity that will test your speed, strength, and senses against the performance of a bison.  Good luck!

Bison: American Icon exhibit on view at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum

The Bison: American Icon exhibit on view at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum

As the song goes, “oh give me a home. “  It’s gratifying to see how many Affiliate “homes” across America celebrate the iconic bison, and that the Smithsonian will soon provide two of them a home in the nation’s capital.

How does your museum interpret the mighty bison? (We’re looking at you Idaho and Oklahoma)  Tell us your stories!

 

(Footnote:  “bison” and “buffalo” are often used interchangeably.  Culturally this is correct; scientifically it is not.  Technically, bison and buffalo are not the same animal. Click here to compare their differences.)

 

buffalomeThe author is a National Outreach Manager in Smithsonian Affiliations, and a long-time buffalophile.

 

kudos Affiliates! August 2014

Great news from Affiliateland!  Bravo to all!

FUNDING

The National Civil War Museum (Harrisburg, PA) received a $5,000 donation from the Hall Foundation to support educational programming. The Hall Foundation is the title sponsor of the new exhibit “In the Hands of the Enemy: The Captivity, Exchange & Parole of Prisoners of War,” that highlights the brutal conditions of prisoner of war camps, Confederate and Union. The exhibit will have rare artifacts from the National Civil War Museum’s collection on display, and information panels will address and explain the conditions of the camps and daily prisoner life.

The Hawai`i State Legislature approved $500,000 in State Grant-in-Aid funding toward the new Island Heritage Gallery exhibit at the Lyman Museum (Hilo, HI).  The new exhibit will explore a historical timeline of the many people, cultures, events, and ideas that left their mark on Hawai`i Island and contributed to the rich, diverse mosaic of modern Hawai`i.

The Hall Family Foundation has donated $4 million to help fund capital improvement projects at Union Station Kansas City (Kansas City, MO). The funding will be used to make improvements to Science City as well as the development of a pedestrian bridge and a new lower-level entrance.

Two Affiliates recently received Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC) from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS):

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore, MD) Award Amount: $69,674

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture will hire a curatorial graduate student intern, create a postdoctoral fellowship in African American history, and establish a professional development fund that will allow staff at all levels to take advantage of training programs relevant to their work as museum professionals.

American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) Award Amount: $133,050

The American Jazz Museum will hire a registrar to enhance the accessibility of the museum’s collections and create four semester-long paid internship positions focusing on collections and education.

The Ellen Noël Art Museum (Odessa, TX) received a grant from the Junior League of Odessa for the “Little Free Library”, a decorative receptacle and will be filled with books for children and young adults to “take a book, leave a book.”  In addition, the Ellen Noel Art Museum has received a $20,000 grant from National Endowment for the Arts for their innovative research in the 3D printing lab meant to assist the visually impaired.

GAR Foundation distributed awards to teams of Ohio educators through its annual Educator Initiative Grant program. The awards support teacher-initiated, classroom-based projects and methods that demonstrate gains in student achievement and include the following affiliates:

  • National Inventors Hall of Fame (Akron, OH) STEM Middle School, $9,500, for “STEM E5d.”
  • Akron Public Schools, National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM High School, $4,999, for “Survivability of an Impossible Situation.”
  • Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) $10,000 for Hale Farm & Village’s Adopt-a-School Program at Leggett Elementary.
  • Western Reserve Historical Society, $5,000 for Hale Farm & Village’s Wetmore Barn Preservation.

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) announced that the Massachusetts budget for 2015 includes $2 million funding for the restoration of Mayflower II, a replica of the original ship that brought the Pilgrims to Massachusetts.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) received a $50,000 award from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation  to enhance two current art exhibits: the photography of “Distant Echoes: Black Farmers in America,” and the sculpture of “Syd Carpenter: More Places of Our Own.” The Knight-supported programming, dubbed “Beyond Sustenance,” will encompass interactive storytelling, art-making, community dining, and workshops centered on African-American traditions in farming, cooking and more.

Mystic Seaport and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center (Mystic, Mashantucket, CT) received a $30,095 grant from Connecticut Humanities to support a project called Connecticut Indian Whalers: Work, Community, and Life at Sea.  The project features digital, exhibit and program offerings designed to raise school and public awareness about the men of color from Connecticut who labored on 19th century whaling ships, in particular Native American men whose work experience was strongly intertwined with their social and kinship networks.

Staten Island City Council allocated $3.7 million to Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden for building renovations.

ACHIEVEMENTS & RECOGNITION

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced that North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC) was one of 10 recipients of the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community.

Charlene Donchez Mowers, executive director of Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites (Bethlehem, PA), received the Strategic Partner Award from the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce.  Historic Bethlehem has recently been designated a National Historic Landmark site.

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announced the winners of the 69th annual Leadership in History Awards, the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. Below are the Affiliate recipients for the 2014 Awards:

Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) has been chosen by FlipKey Vacation Rental as one of its “Top Family Attractions Worth Traveling For.”

The Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point state park (Pioneer, LA) have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This prestigious designation is a global recognition of the site’s outstanding universal value.

PA Museums announced that the Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) received the President’s Award for its national award-winning exhibit From Slavery to Freedom.


LEADERSHIP

The Board of the Western Reserve Historical Society announced that Kelly Falcone-Hall has been selected to be the new CEO. Falcone-Hall had been serving as interim CEO during the selection process.

 

coming up in affiliateland in october 2013

NEW YORK
Smithsonian Regent David Rubenstein will be featured in the Titans of Industry seminar at the Center for Jewish History in New York City, 10.2.    

VIRGINIA 
George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens will host a field trip and sessions as part of the International Museum Theater Alliance Global Conference in Mount Vernon, 10.8.   

FLORIDA
The Polk Museum of Art opens Paintings of the Space Age, featuring five paintings on loan from the
National Air and Space Museum, in Lakeland, 10.12.  

SOUTH DAKOTA
South Dakota State Historical Society will host a special webcast of the National Air and Space Museum entitled Star Trek’s Continuing Relevance, in Pierre, 10.13.

D.C.
wankel-rex-is-comingJack Horner, Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT) comes to Washington to discuss the bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex which was excavated near the Museum, but will be coming to the Smithsonian in 2019, in Washington, 10.16.  

Affiliations’ staff takes part in Smithsonian Teachers Night, distributing digital, educational materials from more than 15 Affiliates across the nation in Washington, 10.25.   

CONNECTICUT
The Mashantucket Pequot Museum hosts a conference on 17th Century Warfare, Diplomacy & Society in the American Northeast featuring James Ring Adams, a historian from the National Museum of the American Indian, and a historical theater presentation by Plimoth Plantation, in Mashantucket, 10.18-19.  

TEXAS
The Institute of Texan Cultures opens the Native Words, Native Warriors  (SITES) exhibition in San Antonio, 10.19.    
 

Affiliates in the News! July 2013

Congrats to these Affiliates making news! Each month we highlight Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines.  If you have a clipping highlighting a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

telluride

Telluride Historical Museum Executive Director Erica Kinias demonstrates the restored Pelton Wheel, which uses water to generate electricity. The museum was recently named a Smithsonian Affiliate. Photo by Heather Sackett.

Telluride Historical Museum (Telluride, Colorado)
Sharing History: Telluride Historical Museum named Smithsonian Affiliate
Telluride Historical Museum Chronicles Area Gold Rush to Ghost Town

South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, S.D.)
Museum of State Historical Society to Host Live Smithsonian Webcast on July 20
State Historical Society offers free videos

Mennello Museum of American Art (Orlando, FL)
‘Earl Cunningham’s Everglades’ at Mennello Museum

Kentucky Historical Society (Frankfort, KY)
Historical Society Joins Smithsonian Family
Kentucky Historical Society Now a Smithsonian Affiliate
KHS Set To Announce Smithsonian Partnership
Kentucky Historical Society forming affiliation with Smithsonian Institution

Elvis on the Southern Railroad between Chattanooga and Memphis, Tenn. July 4, 1956. © Alfred Wertheimer.

Elvis on the Southern Railroad between Chattanooga and Memphis, Tenn.
July 4, 1956. © Alfred Wertheimer.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
History Center Exhibit explores Pennsylvania’s impact on the Civil War
Heinz History Center exhibition highlights Pa. role in Civil War
Center brings big guns to Pa. Civil War exhibit

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (Fort Worth, TX)
Elvis in a history museum? Fort Worth photos are a swivel-hipping hit
Hanging Out with Elvis in Fort Worth
‘Elvis at 21’ exhibit at Fort Worth Science Museum proves interesting even for non-fans
Elvis at 21 delves into the puzzling nature of sex appeal, charisma, and intimacy

Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield, MA)
Berkshire Museum now a Smithsonian affiliate
Berkshire Museum becomes Smithsonian Affiliate, First Museum in Western MA to earn designation
Berkshire Museum named affiliate of Smithsonian Institution

David Ward of the National Portrait Gallery discusses a painting by Roger Shimomura.

David Ward of the National Portrait Gallery discusses a painting by Roger Shimomura at the Japanese American National Museum.

Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
A Self-portrait of Asian America: Smithsonian co-presents art exhibition at JANM
Seven citizens, seven stories: the performance “fighting for democracy” heads from Philly to DC
May Issue: First Asian American Exhibit Debuts at the Smithsonian

Schiele Museum of Natural History (Gastonia, NC)
Stay at home safari exhibit takes guests on tour of wild kingdom

Idaho Museum of Natural History (Pocatello, ID)
Digital Specimens

Miami Science Museum (Miami, FL)
2013 Smithsonian Online Education Conference Series Presents Two Sessions on Astrophotography

Mashantucket Pequot Museum (Mashantucket, CT)
Ramp It Up! Skateboard Exhibit Moves to Pequot Museum

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