Posts

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.

naturalist center expands its branches

The York County Culture and Heritage Museums are on a roll! Just a few months ago, the Museum of York County celebrated its 60th Anniversary by opening its first Naturalist Center, modeled after the Smithsonian’s Naturalist Center. And just a few weeks ago, the they added a new museum, the Main Street Children’s Museum.

Naturalist Center.

The Museum of York County received assistance in developing the Naturalist Center from the manager of the Smithsonian’s Naturalist Center, Richard Efthim. The center provides a unique and engaging atmosphere for inquiry-based learning. It brings students, teachers, artists and others who are interested in natural history together with collections of objects, scientific equipment, technology, books and references.   The center is filled with taxidermy animals such as lions, Cape buffalo and a giraffe. In addition to a painstakingly detailed, wildlife-filled African plains recreation, visitors can touch more than 1,000 specimens such as the skulls of big cats and buffalo hooves.   Center Curator of Natural History, Steve Fields, encourages visitors to open drawers filled with fossils and other specimens and handle them for closer inspection.  Teachers are encouraged to bring their students to the center to apply their lesson plans using some of the specimens from the collection. The Naturalist Center at the Museum of York County provides a hands-on, discovery-based approach to learning using hundreds of natural history specimens, many of which are on view to the public for the first time. Participants may enjoy self-guided discovery and educational programs and handle mounted specimens, skins, skulls, rocks, minerals, and fossils from all corners of the globe.   

Main Street Children's Museum.

The new Main Street Children’s Museum opened to the public on December 2, 2010.  Smithsonian Affiliations’ Director, Harold Closter, was present to give remarks. The design of the Main Street Children’s Museum was inspired by the artworks of late local artist Vernon Grant.  The museum serves as a center for early childhood education, with a focus on infants to age 6.  Children are encouraged to utilize their creative and developmental skills through interactive exhibits and role-playing with audio and visual experiences. Some highlights of these exhibits include: an interactive Tree House, where children can climb to new heights; a Baby Pumpkin filled with toys and areas of seating; a Dress Up Vault, where children dress up in costumes and learn to role-play; a Sailing Ship, where children can engage in several sailing related activities; and lastly a Train Table with wooden building blocks and train sets to engage the future engineers!

The York County Culture and Heritage Museums’ activity with the Smithsonian doesn’t stop there. Now they are in the planning stages to build a new Records Center that will house the museum’s archives and collections. Latasha Richards, collections manager, will visit the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. to meet with staff at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery to learn more about space planning, organizing, and moving in January 2011. Check the Affiliate blog in January for a recap of her visit.