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Congrats to the new class of Affiliate Visiting Professionals!

(This is an excerpt of a longer article in the Spring 2019 edition of The Affiliate newsletter)

2018 class

The 2018 Visiting Professional class.

In October 2018, a group of 10 Affiliate colleagues from around the country convened in Washington, D.C., for a two-week, transformative experience at the Smithsonian. They were selected to participate in the Smithsonian Affiliations Visiting Professionals Program (VPP), a unique professional development opportunity for mid-level museum staff at Affiliate organizations. With generous support from The Getty Foundation, the cohort focused on a single topic — using digital technologies to broaden access to art collections — and added a leadership and personal development component to the curriculum.

Participants were selected from Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, Alabama); Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, California); Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, California); Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, California); Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, Illinois); Schingoethe Center of Aurora University (Romeoville, Illinois); Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan); American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, Missouri); The Rockwell Museum (Corning, New York); and Springfield Museum of Art (Springfeld, Ohio).

They represented various departments within their organizations and agreed that discussions about workplace challenges made a significant impact on them, especially since it’s often not the thrust of academic degrees. “The leadership piece was so important — how to build allies, how to communicate, managing change, even being a good follower,” mused Charles Woods, educator at Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. “My biggest takeaway was understanding that you can lead from wherever you are.”

People smiling at a table

The 2018 VPP class hard at work at the Smithsonian Affiliations office.

Each participant came to the VPP with a specific organizational objective. Aspirations were high for all participants, but the program taught the cohort how to take achievable action steps and think about iterating over time. “When I came, I had no idea what to expect,” said Erin Shapiro, curator at the Springfield Museum of Art. “But now, I think we have a high chance of success for our project. I don’t say that lightly. Everybody here recognizes that this will be beneficial. I feel fortunate to have participated. The Smithsonian Affiliations team did a fantastic job. It’s an important program.”

With the support of The Getty Foundation, Smithsonian Affiliations will host a second cohort in 2019. We’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate and welcome the 2019 class from the following Affiliate organizations:

Jewel Clark, Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)

Susan Bolaños, Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, California)

Melanie Tran, California State Railroad Museum (Sacramento, California)

Melissa de Bie, History Colorado (Denver, Colorado)

Tasha Caswell, Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, Connecticut)

Teresa Stenstrup, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Elizabeth Barrett Sullivan, Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan)

Kendra Newhall, Montana Historical Society (Helena, Montana)

Nicole Markham, International Tennis Hall of Fame (Newport, Rhode Island)

Katie Staib, Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (Spokane, Washington)

Congratulations! We’re excited to meet them all and can’t wait for the collaboration to begin!

Kudos Affiliates!! August 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 Nissan Foundation awarded $740,000 in grants to 30 nonprofit organizations for its 2019 grant cycle. The grant recipients and projects include:

Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) ($10,000)- Arab American Arts Festival and Community Development/Placemaking

San Diego Museum of Man (San Diego, CA) ($10,000)-Making San Diego Safe for Human Differences

Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA ($30,000)-School Visits Program

The Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) announced it has received several grants in support of its operations, educational programs, and a project to digitize its permanent collections:

$23,065 from the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, to carry out a three-year project to photograph and digitize nearly 2,500 works of art and upgrade its collections management software to increase public access, encourage scholarship, and foster engagement with its growing collection of American art;

$10,000 from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, to support the museum’s operations and programs through June 30, 2020;

$9,259 from the Dubuque Racing Association to upgrade the museum’s server and to make other key technology upgrades;

$2,500 from ITC Midwest to fund K-12 arts education and field trips, building art skills into the 21st century, and creating more inclusive, affordable and culturally diverse programming.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno pauses to look at the childhood home of Theodor S. Geisel.

The Dr. Seuss Foundation contributed a major gift to begin work on the Ted’s House and Innovation Center project. This will transform the childhood home of Dr. Seuss author Theodor S. Geisel and incorporate it into the Springfield Museums (Springfield, MA). The Innovation Center will focus on family, community, and environments of innovation and creativity, and use multimedia, multi-lingual resources to help visitors engage in an entertaining and exciting exploration of Geisel’s childhood, his home and neighborhood, and the many influences Springfield may have had on his art and writing.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanic Gardens (Staten Island, NY) received a $1 million allocation from the Staten Island borough’s council members for infrastructure and HVAC system upgrades at the facility.

Ball Brothers Foundation awarded $10,000 to Conner Prairie Museum (Fishers, IN) to support 60 visits to Delaware County, IN, schools to bring history and science programming to students and teachers.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) announced the winners of the 74th annual Leadership in History Awards, the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. The winners include:

Conner Prairie Museum and Asante Children’s Theatre received the Award of Excellence for Giving Voice: African-Americans’ Presence in Indiana’s History.

History Colorado (Denver, CO) for the History Colorado Collections on view in Silverton, Colorado.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) for project Montana and the Great War.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) for the We Can Do It: WWII Traveling Exhibit Outreach Project.

Judy Rand with her award winning script for the special exhibit Underwater Beauty at the Shedd Aquarium.

Congratulations to Judy Rand, winner of the 2019 American Alliance of Museums’ Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing competition for Shedd Aquarium‘s (Chicago, IL) special exhibit Underwater Beauty. Sponsored by AAM’s Curators Committee in cooperation with the Education Professional Network (EdCom) and National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME). The competition recognizes outstanding label writing that’s “clear, concise, and captivating…a combination not easily achieved.”

LEADERSHIP

The Board of Trustees of the Springfield Museum of Art announced the appointment of J.D. Beiting as Interim Executive Director. Mr. Beiting replaces Ann Fortescue, who departed for McAllen, Texas. Mr. Beiting will serve as Interim Executive Director for a period of three to six months or until the permanent successor is announced.

Cathy Green has been named executive director of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitiwoc, WI). Green served as interim director the past six months after the resignation of previous director Rolf Johnson. She had previously served as deputy director and chief curator of the museum throughout 2018.

Kudos Affiliates! September 2018

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

In the final round of fiscal year 2018 funding, nine Affiliates received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of a $43.1 million award to 218 projects across the U.S. Grants support research, education, preservation and public programs in the humanities:

University of Arizona-Arizona State Museum (Tucson, AZ): $350,000
Project Title: Creating a Sustainable Environment for the Preservation of ASM’s Anthropological Photographs
Project Description: An implementation project to create a secure and controlled, multi-climate suite for the Arizona State Museum’s anthropological photographic collection, which contains over 525,000 prints, negatives, and transparencies providing visual documentation of the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and technologies of the indigenous peoples of the American Southwest.

Juanita Ahill gathers saguaro fruit. Photographer, Helga Teiwes. One of the over half a million anthropological photographs in the Arizona State Museum’s collection.

Colorado Historical Society-History Colorado (Denver, CO)-$224,000
Project Title: Colorado Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Colorado’s historic newspapers published between 1859 and 1922, as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP)

Dubuque County Historical Society-National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque, IA): $500,000
Project Title: Preservation & Restoration through Campus Improvements
Project Description: The renovation of climate control systems along with the restoration of several associated historic structures, which together document the history of the Mississippi River and of the people who lived on its banks.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) : $267,000
Project Title: Montana Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Montana newspapers dating from 1864 to 1963, as part of the state’s continuing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH): $246,798
Project Title: Ohio Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Ohio newspapers published between 1920 and 1960, as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD): $280,200
Project Title: South Dakota Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: The digitization of 100,000 pages of historic South Dakota newspapers published between 1836 and 1922 as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture (Knoxville, TN)
Project Title: NEH on the Road: For All the World to See
Project Description: Ancillary public programs to accompany NEH on the Road: For All the World to See traveling exhibition.

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA): $450,000
Project Title: New Burke Museum Construction of Long-Term Cultural Exhibits
Project Description: The construction of three, long-term cultural exhibit spaces as part of the new facility for the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. The grant will support building out the Ethnology Gallery, the Archaeology Gallery, and the Northwest Native Art Gallery, including casework, graphic panels, physical interactives, models, dioramas, lighting, and electrical elements.

Wing Luke Museum (Seattle, WA): $168,532
Project Title: From Immigrants to Citizens: Asian-Pacific Americans in the Northwest
Project Description: Two, one-week workshops for 72 school teachers to explore the histories and cultures of Asian immigrants in the Pacific Northwest and their significance to the nation.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded new Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) grants to support collaborations across the U.S. aimed at fostering cutting-edge materials research while increasing diversity. NSF will give $1,288,750.00 to the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus for collaborative work with the Metropolitan University, the Universidad del Turabo (Gurabo, PR), part of the Hispanic-Serving Institution program, and the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source. This educational effort of collaborative research of materials seeks to gather and develop a diverse and talented interdisciplinary scientific community with experience operating synchrotron X-ray techniques, to improve energy storage and conversion devices.

The Dubuque Historical Society (Dubuque, IA) received two grants from the Historical Resource Development and one grant from the Iowa Arts Council’s Cultural Heritage, totaling $81,675 to help fund programs and continue preservation efforts. Some of the award will be used for an innovative exhibit highlighting local businesses at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.

Awards and Recognition

The New England Museum Association (NEMA) announced that Plimoth Plantation won Best in Show in the NEMA Publication Award Competition for Plimoth Life. The publication won first place in the Newsletters and Magazines category.

EDsmart, a nationally recognized publisher of college resources and rankings, has revealed its 2018 edition of the Most Astounding College Museums in the United States including the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA) and the University of Nebraska State Museum (Lincoln, NE).

Leadership

Montana State University has hired Christopher Dobbs to serve as the next executive director of the Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT). Dobbs will begin on September 1, 2018. He succeeds Shelley McKamey, who announced her retirement in January.

The president and CEO of the Saint Louis Science Center (Saint Louis, MO), Bert Vescolani, will step down from his position to take a post at the Denver Zoo. Bert will work through the end of August and help with transition through mid-September. Barbara Boyle, the center’s chief operating and financial officer, will serve as interim president and CEO, effective September 1. Board and other community leaders will conduct a national search for Vescolani’s successor.

Kudos- July/August 2016

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments!

Funding

The San Diego Air & Space Museum (San Diego, CA) recently selected 13 graduating seniors from San Diego County high schools to receive a total of $51,000 in scholarships. These scholarships are awarded annually to inspire young people to tackle the challenges of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics academic disciplines, and to make a difference in tomorrow’s world through an innovative, adventurous spirit.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) received $7,800 from The MetroWest Health Foundation for the development of programs and resources related to sexual violence education and prevention.

Duke Energy Foundation has awarded a $15,000 grant to Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) to help establish a new maker’s program set to debut in phases starting later this year. The grant will help Conner Prairie develop and prototype programming, create temporary venues to implement and evaluate its programs and provide continued learning opportunities for teachers that focus on how the making movement supports STEM learning. The grant will also help the museum build a permanent maker space that will feature year-round programming and maker-oriented school programs that meet or exceed Indiana’s educational standards.

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs through the Historical Resource Development Program awarded Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) $14,500 to help the museum conserve and exhibit a set of historic architectural drawings, created by renowned landscape architect Alfred Caldwell, of Eagle Point Park.

The Flushing Council on Culture and Arts, based in Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, NY), received nearly $600,000 in capital funding from the borough of Queens.

The Connecticut Humanities Council announced that Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT) is the recipient of a $9,979 grant that will help the maritime museum establish two training programs for the museum staff. One program will explore methods of producing interpretive techniques while the other will encourage the use of evaluation for continuous improvement.

Awards and Recognition

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) announced the winners of the 71st annual Leadership in History Awards including the following Affiliate initiatives:

California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA), Stephanie DeLancey, and dewdropstudios: for the exhibit Coloring Independently: 1940s African American Film Stills from the Collection of the California African American Museum.

HistoryMiami (Miami, FL) for the exhibit Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus.

Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) for the project Indiana History for the Secondary Classroom.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) for the exhibit Forgotten Pioneers: The Chinese in Montana.

North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, NC) for the exhibit Starring North Carolina!

Greensboro Historical Museum (Greensboro, NC) for the exhibit Warnersville: Our Home, Our Neighborhood, Our Stories.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) for the exhibit We Can Do It! WWII.

Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, TN) for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum permanent exhibits.

Museum of History & Industry (Seattle, WA) for the exhibit The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop.

The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (Hershey, PA) received six NAAMY Awards during the National Association of Automobile Museums (NAAM) Conference in the following categories:

Second Place – Division II Newsletters & Magazines for the Reflections Newsletter publication intended to share information about the AACA Museum exhibits and activities with our members and donors.

Second Place – Division II Events & Public Promotions for the Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Tribute Car & Future Day promotional event.

Second Place – Division II Film & Video for the Motorbikes for the Masses exhibit promotional video hosted on the AACA Museum website and social media channels.

Second Place – Division II Educational Programs for the grade specific educational materials created by Lebanon Valley College Masters students inspired by AACA Museum exhibits.

Third Place – Division II Events and Public Promotions related to the 6th Annual Wedding Showcase event held in February.

Third Place – Division II Films & Video for the Lotus: The Art of Lightness video to promote the exhibit to visitors of the AACA Museum website.

The readers of Miami New Times have named The Wolfsonian (Miami Beach, FL) as Miami’s Best Museum of 2016!

The Honorable Dennis Ross (Florida) recognized in the Congressional Record, the Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland, FL) for its’ 50 years of service to the community.

The Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR) is one of 10 recipients of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 22 years, the award has celebrated institutions that respond to societal needs in innovative ways, making a difference for individuals, families, and their communities.

Leadership and Staff Changes

Best wishes to President and chief executive, Stuart Ashman of the Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA) who announced he will be stepping down from his position in July to take a leadership position at the Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe in New Mexico.

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! September 2013

Summer 2013 is winding down but continues to be a hot one for our Affiliates!

Funding

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The National Endowment for the Humanities recently announced the recipients of $33 million in grants for 173 humanities projects, including the following Affiliate projects:

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT)-$164,280
Project: “The American Maritime People” NEH Summer Institute 2014
Project Description: Implementing a five-week summer institute for twenty college and university faculty to examine recent social, cultural, and ecological approaches to American maritime studies.

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT)-$450,000
Project: Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers: The 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan
Project Description: Implementing a long-term exhibition, a website, and public programs at the Mystic Seaport Museum that examine the broad economic, social, and cultural impact of whaling. 

Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME)-$220,000
Project: Implementing Sustainability Strategies for the Abbe Museum’s Collections Environment
Project Description: The implementation of environmental improvements, consisting of upgrades to the climate control and lighting systems, for a museum that collects, preserves, and exhibits ethnographic and historic material relating to the four tribes of central Maine,  collectively known as the Wabanaki.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT)-$300,000
Project: Montana Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization 100,000 pages of Montana newspapers dating from 1836 to 1922, as part of the state’s continuing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Ohio Historical Society (Columbus, OH)-$40,000
Project: Ohio’s Ten Tribes
Project Description: Planning for a five-thousand-square-foot permanent exhibition, a website, and educational materials examining the forced removal of ten Native American tribes from Ohio in the early 19th century and the historical and contemporary impact on these tribes.

Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK)-$300,000
Project: Oklahoma Newspaper Digitization Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Oklahoma newspapers issued between 1836 and 1922, as part of the state’s continuing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA)-$300,000
Project: Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Jews in America
Project Description: Implementation of an artifact-based traveling exhibition, a smaller panel version to be displayed in baseball parks, a catalogue, a website, and related public programs.

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, WA)-$179,914
Project: Asian Pacific American Immigrants in the Pacific Northwest: Transforming the Nation
Project Description: Two one-week Landmarks workshops for eighty school teachers to explore the history and culture of Asian immigrant groups in the Pacific Northwest and their significance to the nation.

Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody, WY)-$200,000
Project: The Papers of William F. Cody: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and the European Frontier
Project Description: Preparation for publication of materials related to the tours by Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show of Great Britain and Germany in 1887-1906.

IMLS_Logo_2c

 

 

The Institute of Museum and Library Services recently announced recipients of its grants for African American History and Culture, including the following Affiliates:

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL)-$74,277 to implement the Collection Storage Improvement Project, the goal of which is to safeguard its archival and fine arts collections to ensure that they will be available for use by current and future staff, scholars, and researchers.

– The Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH)-$150,000 for an apprentice program, recruiting recent talented graduates from colleges and universities across the country, with a focus on those from HBCUs.
 

The Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) is going a little Hollywood with its historic collection of films and still photographs that will help tell the story of Sen. Lee Metcalf and his contributions to what he helped make “The Last Best Place.” A two-year grant from the private sector Council on Library and Information Resources will allow them to arrange, preserve and describe the Metcalf photographs and film. The grant provides the resources necessary to spend time researching, identifying and preserving all of the materials in the collections.

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) received a $200,000 grant from the Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) to support the renovation and expansion of the Museum’s Craft Center, providing essential visitor services like climate control and additional area for demonstrations and hands-on activities. The Museum also plans to construct a bakery in the Craft Center, where guests can view demonstrations of 17th-century baking techniques and learn how to make bread.

Leadership

Patricia Wilson Aden has been named the new President & CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia

The International Storytelling Center (Jonesborough, TN) has hired Kiran Singh Sirah, a prominent folklorist, as its new Executive Director.

Carrie M. Heinonen has been named President and Director of the Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ)