Posts

Affiliates in the news: May edition

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee

The musicians Terri Davis, left, and Bill Saxton at the opening of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times The National Jazz

The musicians Terri Davis, left, and Bill Saxton at the opening of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times

National Jazz Museum in Harlem (New York, NY)
National Jazz Museum in Harlem reopens in new location
On the very same day that the United States Postal Service held a ceremony in Newark, New Jersey, to celebrate the new Sarah Vaughn postage stamp, Harold Closter, Director of Smithsonian Affiliations, told a funny anecdote about his contribution to the history of jazz. Addressing the audience at the opening night of The National Jazz Museum in Harlem’s new location, Closter joked that his contribution to jazz history was the time he was tasked with carrying the train of “the Divine One’s” (as Vaughn was known) dress onstage once.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem Finds a Permanent Home
The museum found its footing, in incremental steps, under the executive leadership of Loren Schoenberg. A veteran saxophonist, pianist, educator and historian, Mr. Schoenberg brought an air of authority to the museum, while strengthening its bonds with the jazz public and institutions like the Smithsonian.

Saint Louis Science Center (St. Louis, MO)
Saint Louis Science Center selected as Smithsonian Institution Affiliate
“We are very pleased to join the ranks of some very distinguished organizations and institutions across the country,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of the Saint Louis Science Center. “Having the opportunity to share Smithsonian artifacts, including space capsules, aircraft and rare minerals with our visitors will help to spark interest and excitement in science and the important role it plays in our lives.”

Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR)
Mid-America Science Museum wins prestigious national award
Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs has landed the Institute for Museum and Library Services National Medal for Community Service. The award stands out as only 10 museums and libraries around the country are awarded it each year.

Visitors at "The Art of Video Games" exhibition. Photo courtesy Frost Art Museum.

Visitors at “The Art of Video Games” exhibition. Photo courtesy Frost Art Museum.

Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum (Miami, FL)
Remember ‘Pac-Man’? Museum exhibit has fun with classic video games
From “Pitfall!” and “Space Invaders” to “Super Mario Brothers,” the collection celebrates the artistic and creative factors involved in creating the games’ virtual landscapes and moving images.

1960s Living Room at the Senator John Heinz History Center. (Photo: Rachellynn Schoen)

1960s Living Room at the Senator John Heinz History Center. (Photo: Rachellynn Schoen)

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
Playing With the Past
There were many other surprises in this exhibit of nearly 500 favorites developed in partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society. For those of you who destroyed or failed to hold on to your childhood treasures, the 8,000 square-foot exhibit may well be worth the trip to Pittsburgh. Your head will be swiveling as Mr. Potato Head, Gumby, Barbie, and action figures from three decades vie for your attention.

National Inventors Hall of Fame
The Greatest Celebration Of American Innovation Inspiring The Future And Honoring The Past
The National Inventors Hall of Fame and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host the Greatest Celebration of American Innovation May 4-5. The two-day event will include the Induction of 16 innovation trailblazers into the Hall of Fame [at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery] and the unveiling of the expanded National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum.

DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
DuSable Museum named as Smithsonian Institution affiliate
Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History has been granted affiliation status by the Smithsonian Institution. The distinction, announced Thursday, gives the museum access to Smithsonian artifacts and traveling exhibits. The DuSable is the second Chicago facility to receive Smithsonian Affiliate status, joining the Adler Planetarium.

Affiliates in the news!

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  Each month we highlight Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines.  This is a compilation of clippings from mid-November until early-January. 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.

Henry Woodward tries his hand at "Snap Circuits" Photo by Jim Levulis WAMC

Henry Woodward tries his hand at “Snap Circuits” Photo by Jim Levulis WAMC

Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield, Massachusetts) RADIO SPOT
An Educational “Spark” At Berkshire Museum
“Hands-on engagement is a really great way to foster creativity and innovative thinking,” says Maria Mingalone, the director of interpretation at the Berkshire Museum. “So that’s really the aim and the goal of our Spark!Lab.” Developed at the Smithsonian Institution, the program features 10 hands-on laboratories for kids 5 or younger…but if you’re older, they’ll let you in.

Springfield Art Museum (Springfield, Ohio)
Springfield Art Museum shows student artists’ work
We were thrilled to take advantage of this exciting educational opportunity and to show that our Smithsonian affiliation is a tremendous boon, not only for the Springfield Museum of Art but for the Springfield community as a whole,” Housh said.

Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, Georgia)
Tellus Museum adds space artifacts, new exhibits in 2014
Tellus also received for display from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum a real lunar module engine which was test fired by the space agency in Mississippi in 1972. The lunar module was used to taxi two astronauts to the Moon’s surface and back from the command ship soaring in lunar orbit.

In Tellus exhibit, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that bling
But the idea behind it — and the other 46 pieces in the touring exhibit drawn from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s collection — was to show how simple materials can be transformed into remarkable treasures with artistic skill and ingenuity (oh, and bling — can’t forget the bling).

Tellus presents ‘Jeweled Objects of Desire’ exhibit
“Sidney Mobell honored the life of his wonderful wife Ronni Grant Mobell with the donation of 19 of his famous jeweled art creations to the Smithsonian. Since that time in addition to the installation of a Mobell jeweled art collection display at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., Mr. Mobell’s exhibit has traveled to Smithsonian affiliate museums in Florida, [Louisiana and] Kentucky.

San Francisco jewelry artist Sidney Mobell created this U.S. mail box, plated with 24-karat gold and studded with 137 sapphires weighing 48.20 carats, 100 rubies weighing 24.50 carats, 25 diamonds weighing 2.25 carats, and 10 emeralds weighing 1.75 carats. It’s on view in the exhibit “Jeweled Objects of Desire” at Cartersville’s Tellus Science Museum.

San Francisco jewelry artist Sidney Mobell created this U.S. mail box, plated with 24-karat gold and studded with 137 sapphires weighing 48.20 carats, 100 rubies weighing 24.50 carats, 25 diamonds weighing 2.25 carats, and 10 emeralds weighing 1.75 carats. It’s on view in the exhibit “Jeweled Objects of Desire” at Cartersville’s Tellus Science Museum.

Renowned Jewelry Designer Sidney Mobell Opens Gem Exhibit At Tellus Science Museum
Mobell’s pieces on exhibit were donated by him to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and are on loan to Tellus as part of the Jeweled Objects of Desire exhibit. The exhibition features gems and jewelry from other artists represented in the Smithsonian’s collection such as Aldo Cipullo and John Sinkankas. Tellus has been a Smithsonian Affiliate since opening in 2009.

Smithsonian Curator To Discuss Reportedly Cursed Diamond In Cartersville
Dr. Post’s lecture precedes the opening of Jeweled Objects of Desire, one of the first of many Smithsonian exhibits to be on display at Tellus Science Museum. Tellus Science Museum has been a Smithsonian-affiliate institution since it opened in 2009. 

Tellus highlights Hope Diamond tonight
We’ve been affiliates of the Smithsonian for over five years now,” Tellus Executive Director Jose Santamaria said. “We’ve developed a good relationship, not just with the Smithsonian in general, but with Jeff. Our former curator, Julian Gray, and I have visited him a couple of times to review items to put on display here at Tellus. We actually have a pretty large, significant exhibit opening up in a couple of weeks because of collaborating with him.

Smithsonian Curator To Discuss Hope Diamond At Tellus Science Museum
Dr. Post’s lecture precedes the opening of Jeweled Objects of Desire, one of the first of many Smithsonian exhibits to be on display at Tellus Science Museum. Tellus has been a Smithsonian Affiliate since opening in 2009

Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, Maine)
Abbe Museum helps bring together Wabanaki youth and astronomy
The full exhibition will include students from other Wabanaki communities and promote increased interest, awareness and knowledge of astronomy content and Wabanaki oral histories.

Students from the Indian Township School will combine their own stories and images of the cosmos as part of the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program. The Abbe Museum and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics are helping to provide this opportunity. IMAGE COURTESY OF ABBE MUSEUM

Students from the Indian Township School will combine their own stories and images of the cosmos as part of the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program. The Abbe Museum and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics are helping to provide this opportunity. IMAGE COURTESY OF ABBE MUSEUM

Abbe Museum Partners with Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Smithsonian Affiliations
The Abbe is partnering with the Indian Township School to offer the opportunity for students to research, learn, and photograph the cosmos using telescopes owned and maintained by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, California)
Museum of the African Diaspora’s Rebirth: Q&A with MoAD Director Linda Harrison
The museum is also now officially a Smithsonian Affiliate, allowing it access to the Smithsonian Institute’s vast array of resources, including its unmatched artifact collection, which houses 136-million cultural and historical artifacts.

Renovated MoAD bigger, better
A recently acquired affiliation with the Smithsonian also boosts MoAD’s draw. This association with the venerated national museum center will allow MoAD to present significant traveling shows and to access the Smithsonian collection for exhibits and research.

MoAD cuts the ribbon and welcomes art lovers to reimagined space
As to MoAD’s recent affiliation with the Smithsonian, “I am delighted after all these years, MoAD has arrived at the point where it is associated with the premier museum in America.”

Celebrate the culture, history and art of people of African descent

MoAD reopens with big changes and big plans
Central to that initiative is the museum’s new status as a Smithsonian Affiliate. Partnering with the powerful Washington, D.C., institution will give MoAD access to the Smithsonian’s enormous resources and expertise. Benefits include touring exhibitions, object loans, and visiting scholars and speakers. The advantages are mutual. “We’re very interested in having a presence with this museum in San Francisco,” said Laura Hansen, national outreach manager for Smithsonian Affiliations.

(From left) Wade Rose, Linda Harrison, Alejandro de la Fuente, Lava Thomas, Naomi Kelley, Willie Brown cutting the ribbon at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD).

(From left) Wade Rose, Linda Harrison, Alejandro de la Fuente, Lava Thomas, Naomi Kelley, Willie Brown cutting the ribbon at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD).

Museum of American Finance (New York, New York)
David Rubenstein to Receive 2015 Whitehead Award for Public Service and Financial Leadership From Museum of American Finance
“There is no more deserving recipient of the 2015 Whitehead Award than David Rubinstein,” said David Cowen, President and CEO of the Museum of American Finance. “His outstanding achievements in the financial world are only surpassed by his deep commitment and dedication to preserving the nation’s history.”

Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, Alaska)
ArtBeat: Three gutsy women at the Anchorage Museum
Three Alaska women have been laying their guts out at the Anchorage Museum this week. Literally. Mary Tunuchuk, Elaine Kingeekuk and Sonya Kelliher-Combs have been working with animal intestines to make traditional items and contemporary art in a weeklong residency in the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center that winds up today.

The Command Module, Apollo 9 (Gumdrop) is on loan to the San Diego Air and Space Museum from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

The Command Module, Apollo 9 (Gumdrop) is on loan to the San Diego Air and Space Museum from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

San Diego Air and Space Museum (San Diego, California) (NASM loan)
New Space Vehicle Orion Launching December 4th; Apollo 9 On Exhibit at San Diego Air & Space Museum
Just as this Orion launch is a precursor to returning people to deep space, so the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Apollo 9 spacecraft was a vital stepping-stone for astronauts to land on the moon in the summer of 1969.

Museum of Appalachia (Norris, Tennessee)
Tennessee’s Museum of Appalachia is a colourful side trip off I-75
Now operated as a non-profit corporation overseen by a board which includes the founder’s daughter, Elaine Meyer, the Museum of Appalachia recently was accepted into the Smithsonian Affiliation program, an acknowledgement of its importance to preserving the history of mountain pioneers.

Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)
EDDIE VAN HALEN TO Help Launch Smithsonian/Zocalo Initiative
The kick-off event January 14 will feature former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of the Girl Scouts Of The USA, at the Heard Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate in Phoenix. Music icon Eddie Van Halen will headline the next event at the National Museum Of American History in February.

Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, Montana)
The Scientist Behind “Jurassic World”, Jack Horner, Breaks Down the Movie’s Thrilling Trailer
As fantastical as the Jurassic Park movies are, there’s a real scientist behind the franchise – Jack Horner, a paleontologist at Museum of the Rockies, who not only served as scientific adviser on all four films, but also helped inspire the character of Dr. Alan Grant, played by actor Sam Neill. We spoke with Horner, 68, about making dinosaurs from mosquitoes and what to expect from Jurassic World.

Jack Horner, curator of paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, poses near the Wankel T. rex, in Fort Peck, Mont., in June 1990. COURTESY MUSEUM OF THE ROCKIES/SMITHSONIAN

Jack Horner, curator of paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, poses near the Wankel T. rex, in Fort Peck, Mont., in June 1990. COURTESY MUSEUM OF THE ROCKIES/SMITHSONIAN

America’s T. Rex Gets A Makeover
(Affiliate mentioned in caption of one of the images.)

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, Colorado)
New Volume Documents the Science at the Legendary Snowmastodon Fossil Site in Colorado
Project co-leader and former DMNS chief curator, Dr. Kirk Johnson, and several scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and academic institutions around the world contributed articles to the journal.  “Nothing beats pulling fossils out of the ground,” said project scientist Dr. Jeff Pigati of the U.S. Geological Survey, “but the site also lets us see what the Colorado Rockies were like during a period of time that we simply couldn’t reach before the discovery.” 

Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, Arkansas)
Mid-America Science Museum Renovation on Schedule, Re-opening Set for March
The museum, which opened in 1979 and has been a Smithsonian Institution affiliate since 2001, is undergoing its first renovation and expansion. New features include new classroom space, a maker space, updated exhibits for school groups, activities for adults and opportunities for teacher professional development in hands-on science education.

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, Washington)
Wing Luke Museum spotlights Asian-Pacific impact on Northwest history VIDEO
The first affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute is right here in Seattle. The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience offers a unique perspective into the historic and cultural impact of the Asian Pacific community in the Northwest. The museum opened in 1967, named in tribute to Wing Luke, the first person of color elected to the city council, and the first Asian American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest.

North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, North Carolina)
NC Museum of History salutes state’s celluloid past
They set to work, researching to identify as many made-in-North-Carolina films as they could. The oldest one they found was “The Heart of Esmeralda,” a silent film from 1912. Then they started borrowing artifacts such as the coonskin cap worn by Fess Parker in 1955’s “Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier,” which is on loan from the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

From left, objects conservator Jennifer French and registrar Camille Hunt carefully move the coonskin cap worn by actor Fess Parker in the beloved 1950s TV series “Davy Crockett” into a display case. The cap is on loan from the National Museum of American History. JULI LEONARD

From left, objects conservator Jennifer French and registrar Camille Hunt carefully move the coonskin cap worn by actor Fess Parker in the beloved 1950s TV series “Davy Crockett” into a display case. The cap is on loan from the National Museum of American History. JULI LEONARD

Museum exhibit shines spotlight on NC film history
Loaners include the Smithsonian and film companies, but also a stuntman and a make-up artist. “One of the great things about this exhibit — our own collection was small, and we didn’t have a whole lot of really good things,” said exhibit team leader Camille Hunt. “But everyone was so eager to help out and came forward with all these amazing artifacts.”

The saga of Davy Crockett’s coonskin cap
Curator Dwight Blocker Bowers shares the story of Davy Crockett’s coonskin cap, now on view in Starring North Carolina! at the North Carolina Museum of History, a Smithsonian Affiliate museum.

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, South Carolina)
Museum explores space through past, future artists
The space exhibit is just the first project in the Smithsonian affiliation, but its impact so far is exceeding even Halverson’s expectations. “Now the Space and Rocket Center is interested in hosting this exhibit, so the momentum that gets created when these collaborations occur, that is just so powerful,” she said.

kudos Affiliates! for November 2012

As summer turns into autumn, Affiliate accomplishments continue to shine!

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan) has been awarded $750,000 to help support cross-cultural understanding.

Dr. Kenneth B. Chapman and his wife, Dr. Ulrika Holm, presented Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens (Staten Island, New York) with $10,000 to be used for restoration and repairs to the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden. The Chapman Family has agreed to contribute an additional $10,000 in matching funds for the restoration project.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, Colorado) was one of nine organizations to receive 21st Century Museum Professionals grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The $244,897 award will enable the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, through Denver-area Evaluation Network (DEN) a collaborative of 15 cultural organizations, to positively influence evaluative thinking, implementation, and use in diverse Mountain-Plains museums.

Dell Services is donating $6.5 million in technology and services to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, Texas) to power its IT operations and help support its goal to advance youth education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Union Station Kansas City (Kansas City, Missouri) announced that the funding has been secured to move forward to create a new 3-D digital theater and Innovation Center. Three local foundations – the Goppert Foundation, the Regnier Family Foundation and the Schutte Foundation – provided the funding needed to establish this new theater which will be able to serve multiple purposes: showing a variety of educational and entertainment films, first- and second-run movies, and offering digital, interactive conference space for large groups.

The Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, Arkansas) will qualify for a $7.8 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation thanks to a $520,000 pledge from the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission that completed a local $1.7 million matching requirement. The pledge means almost $10 million will go to begin construction on a massive renovation and expansion program.

Historic Bethlehem Partnership celebrated the announcement that the U.S. Interior Secretary named 14 acres in Downtown Bethlehem a National Historic Landmark District. The distinguished honor means their historic sites “possess exceptional value… in illustrating the heritage of the United States.”

kudos Affiliates!

As we closed out 2009, it’s nice to see some bright spots ringing in the New Year!  We’d like to acknowledge the following Affiliates for their hard work and success.

Smithsonian Affiliations received $8,000 from the Smithsonian Latino Center to support research trips for the curatorial staff of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (San Juan, Puerto Rico), with the goal of organizing future exhibitions featuring Smithsonian artifacts.

The North Carolina Humanities Council has awarded $7,500 to the North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, North Carolina) for an expansion of the exhibition “Standing on a Box: Lewis Hine’s National Child Labor Committee Photography in North Carolina.” In addition, State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation has provided $500,000 to benefit the museum’s new SECU Education Center. The museum has also received a 2009 Creative Award from the North Carolina Museums Council for its Bits of History podcast series.

Museum of Arts and Sciences (Macon, Georgia) received a $10,000 grant from College Hill Corridor to hold “Art of the Hill” a spring break day camp.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, North Carolina), is the recipient of a $4 million grant from the State Employees Credit Union Foundation to support the Museum’s SECU Daily Planet centerpiece of the planned Nature Research Center.

Through state grants and local donations The Hermitage (Nashville, Tennessee) will begin a $1 million facelift to repair weather damage and wear and tear.

The Challenger Space Center (Peoria, Arizona) was awarded $50,000 from the Tohono O’odham Nation in September 2009 for a grant which will be primarily used for two new exhibits, the Gemini 8 and PlayMotion. The grant money will also help bring objects from the Smithsonian to the center for the Gemini 8 exhibit. 

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque, Iowa) received a $500,000 earmark for exhibit fabrication and installation as part of the FY 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill. The museum also has received a $1.23 million grant from Iowa River Enhancement Community Attraction & Tourism program to complete an outdoor plaza for their new museum expansion project.

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, Michigan) received a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the Great Lakes Folk Festival.

Joe B. Keiper has been named Executive Director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, Virginia).

Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, Arkansas) was awarded $286,036 from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to fund a two year planning process aimed at improving the museum’s operations and exhibits.

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services recently announced the latest recipients of their Smithsonian Community Grant program, supported by MetLife Foundation including two Affiliates:

  • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, Alabama) was awarded $4,500 to develop a teacher workshop, guest speaker, and advertising and promotion of programming related to the themes of 381 Days: The Montgomery Bus Boycott Story.
  • The Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future (Dallas, Texas) received $4,600 to fund a visit from Queen Nur, and create a gallery guide insert and marketing materials for events related to the themes of Freedom’s Sisters.

Three Smithsonian Affiliates were recipients of MetLife Foundation’s Museum and Community Connections program grants. The grants were awarded to 15 museums for exhibitions, artist residencies, and other programs that extend their reach into diverse communities.

  • Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody, Wyoming) ($70,000)
    For the Splendid Heritage: Perspectives on Native American Art exhibit and accompanying family days, lecture series, and artist residencies.
  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, California) ($50,000) 
    For Mixed: Portraits of Multiracial Kids exhibit featuring portraits, hand-drawn statements, and stories of multiracial children in the United States.
  • Wing Luke Asian Museum (Seattle, Washington) ($50,000) 
    For the Asian Pacific Islander American Art Making: Explorations in Identity and Community initiative, which includes exhibits and corresponding public programs and workshops.