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Kudos Affiliates!! October 2021

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 National Park Service announced $7.27 million in Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants to support the preservation of historic buildings in rural communities across the country, including Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) ($750,000) for its Appalachian Region Historic Revitalization Sub-grant Program to rehabilitate and preserve historic buildings across Southeast Ohio.

The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City Council, and Staten Island Borough President’s Office announced FY 2022 capital funding for the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden (Staten Island, NY) ($1.1 million) to support key infrastructure and expansion projects that will help ensure the historic cultural campus will continue to support the needs of organizations, while attracting audiences to Staten Island.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced History Colorado (Denver, CO) ($207,478) was awarded funding for the National Leadership Grants for Museums program, which supports projects that address critical needs of the museum field and that have the potential to advance practice in the profession so that museums can improve services for the American public. History Colorado will lead a collaborative effort to expand the Museums for Digital Learning (MDL) platform, an online resource providing K-12 educators with access to authentic collections-based museum resources for use in and outside the classroom. History Colorado, in partnership with the Field Museum and Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields will recruit additional museums to provide content in the form of Resource Kits that include activities such as narratives, slideshows, timelines, hotspots, games, and annotation activities, as well as ebooks.

In addition, IMLS announced $2,921,766 in CARES Act Grants to support the role of museums and libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The following funded Affiliate projects were selected:

  • Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) ($198,760) will develop digital engagement experiences for 6th-8th graders in under-resourced neighborhoods in Chicago and rural communities of Illinois. The Adler will work with an interdisciplinary team of museum practitioners, educators, astronomers, and visualization experts to engage students in STEAM learning within 3-D immersive environments, with hands-on and digital pre/post activities to deepen the impact.
  • Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) ($320,666) will develop a digital learning initiative for preschool and K-8 teachers as an alternative to onsite field trips during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The “Conner Prairie in the Classroom” project will provide an array of digital programming, complemented by “HiSTEAMic” hands-on classroom kits to support digital learning, digital backpacks to close the digital divide, and supplementary pre- and post-educational materials for educators and parents.

The National Park Service, in partnership with IMLS, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), announced $15,500,000 in Save America’s Treasures grants including the following Affiliate preservation and conservation projects:

  • The Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO) ($206,933) will inventory, process, and catalog the Jones-Miller Site, a Paleoindian Hell Gap period (ca. 10,500–11,500 years ago) bison kill site.
  • The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Jackson, MS) ($291,109) will preserve its archaeological collections, which represent over 14,000 years of the state’s past.
  • Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) ($52,300) will preserve and make accessible the newly acquired Witherill Ocean Liner Collection, which documents the evolution of ocean liners during a heightened period of immigration to the United States in the early to mid-twentieth century. The collection includes 7,500 pieces of documents, letters, brochures, and other ephemera pertaining to broad themes of American maritime history and culture, including accounts and documents from the Titanic and Lusitania disasters.
  • The B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD) ($500,000) will undertake a 36-month project to restore and interpret its No. 3316 ‘Washington’ Tavern-Observation Car built by the Pullman Company in 1949.  The project will provide a unique opportunity to board and go inside the car and an interpretive space to explore the impact of streamliner railroading on everyday Americans. New educational offerings will provide further interpretive information about the railroad car, particularly in the context of African American contributions to and experiences with railroading.
  • The Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical Society (New York, NY) ($352,300) will digitize the Baron de Hirsch Fund Records. Founded in 1891 to support Jewish refugees fleeing pogroms and abject poverty in Russia, the Baron de Hirsch Fund trained immigrants in farming and trades and provided financial support for everything from meeting new arrivals at ports of entry and teaching English language classes to assisting with farm mortgages.
  • Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) ($336,000) for the replacement of roofing installed over newly added plywood sheath and include repairs to weathered rafters, replace deteriorating posts and beams, and re-surface a second-floor exterior balcony. Insulation between the roof and ceiling will be added to improve energy efficiency in the 70-year old structures.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS) won a 2021 Travelers’ Choice Award from Tripadvisor for being in the top 10% of attractions worldwide.

LEADERSHIP

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) announced Dr. Ashley Jordan has been named as the next President and CEO. Dr. Jordan, who most recently served as Senior Director of Development at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, brings significant experience managing and leading cultural institutions focused on memorializing and celebrating the African American experience in the United States.

Kudos Affiliates!! March 2021

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 Friends of the Oklahoma History Center (Oklahoma City, OK) received a $35,000 grant from Inasmuch Foundation for the digitization of its scholarly journal, The Chronicles of Oklahoma. The funding will pay staff to process digitized issues of The Chronicles of Oklahoma to give patrons the ability to download or print individual articles, book reviews, meeting minutes, or other specific content from each issue. 

Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) will receive a percentage of more than $18,000 raised by the Home+FloorShow 2020 Community Holiday Event. The funds will support general operating expenses.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation named Florida International University (Miami, FL) and Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) among the winners of its Just Futures Initiative. The Initiative supports teams of scholars who are studying past periods of crisis and disruption in order to lead us to cultural and social transformation.

  • Florida International University was awarded a $4.6 million grant for the project-Race, Risk, and Resilience: Building a Local-to-Global “Commons for Justice.” South Florida residents are vulnerable to extreme weather, but because of deep inequities in pre- and post-event resources, minority neighborhoods are particularly disaster prone. The Commons for Justice will identify the most urgent exposure problems for communities of color and provide resilience options as well as collect and preserve coping stories from those who live in at-risk neighborhoods.
  • With the $4.9 million grant, Brown University’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice will partner with Mystic Seaport Museum and Williams College for the project Reimaging New England Histories: Historical Injustice, Sovereignty and Freedom. The collaborators will use maritime history as a basis for studying historical injustices and generating new insights on the relationship between European colonization in North America, the dispossession of Native American land, and racial slavery in New England. 

Facebook will sponsor the new Current Science Studio at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (Fort Worth, TX) with a $255,000 grant. The exhibit will link science with current events like the upcoming Mars rover landing, tracking hurricanes, or marking Covid-19 cases worldwide. 

Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) received $750,000 from the state of Ohio to continue capital improvements to the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum’s lower gallery and collection storage areas.

The Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI) received a $25,000 grant as part of Rhode Island Commerce state’s hospitality, arts, and tourism (HArT) relief program.  Staff will upgrade technology to produce virtual tours, events, educational programs, and other public programs.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Marsha MacDowell, Curator of Folk Arts and Quilt Studies at the Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI), was named the 2020 recipient of the American Folklore Society’s Benjamin A. Botkin Prize for significant lifetime achievement in the field of public folklore.

LEADERSHIP

Peter Seibert, Executive Director and CEO of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY), announced his resignation to become the new Director of the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia.

Kudos Affiliates!! November 2020

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

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) received a $1,572 grant from Connecticut Humanities to hold a free online lecture series related to its new exhibition, Sailor Made: Folk Art of the Sea.

Whale's Tooth

Whale’s tooth with carving in color – “Battle of Lake Erie Perry’s Victory”. Com. Oliver H. Perry N.S.M. One of a pair; other 1941.412. Brought home by Capt. Butts aboard bark BRAMIN. Sailed from New Bedford, 1847. Attributed to Nathaniel Sylvester Finney.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) received a $7,500 grant from the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) issued by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. The funds will be used for producing podcasts and videos engaging students in civic issues, creating a student photo exhibit exploring current political issues, lectures and panel discussions on the state of democracy in America, and racial healing training.

The Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) is one of 11 community organizations to receive a grant from Mediacom Communications. The $5,000 grant will be used to host a series of free Saturday events, featuring performing and visual arts programs.

Cardinals Care will distribute over $160,000 in grant money to 82 area nonprofit groups including the Saint Louis Science Center (Saint Louis, MO). The grants will be used to fund tangible items, one-time capital expenses, and special supplies or purchases that directly benefit local children.

The Ford Foundation named 20 organizations “America’s Cultural Treasures” and will award funding to each. Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI), Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA), Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (Santurce, Puerto Rico), and Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, WA) are among the recipients. This year’s grants are the first part of a two-part commitment to help fund Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous arts organizations that have had financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The national grants will range from $1 million to $6 million and cover portions of each group’s operating budget. Each group also will receive up to $100,000 for organizational capacity building in areas like digital strategies.

Durham Museum (Omaha, NE) received a grant as part of the Union Pacific Railroad’s Community Ties Giving Program to address needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic including general operating support.

LEADERSHIP

Gary Stoppelman, newly hired Executive Director of the Dubuque Museum of Art
Credit: Dubuque Museum of Art

The Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) welcomes Gary Stoppelman as its next Executive Director. During his 25-year career, Stoppelman has worked for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and he led the re-branding project for the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

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

Kudos Affiliates!! June 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 Air Zoo (Portage, MI) announced a $57,000 grant from the Margaret Dunning Foundation to support the renovation of its existing classroom spaces. The grant matches the investment already committed by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs in September 2018, supporting a complete $114,000 renovation of the Air Zoo’s existing classroom spaces. Renovations will enable the Air Zoo to provide an immersive, hands-on space for the more than 90 science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics educational initiatives.

The Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) has launched its Indianapolis History Collecting Initiative, supported by a $100,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment. The initiative is part of the Indiana Historical Society’s Indianapolis Bicentennial Project which hopes to identify resources about the people, places and events that have shaped the city over the past 200 years.

An $8,600 grant was awarded to the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE) by the Cass County Board of Commissioners.  The purpose of the grant is to improve the space suits exhibits and displays to encourage more tourism there.

National Inventors Hall of Fame (Alexandria, VA) received a $5,000 from Duke Energy Foundation to help keep vital resources flowing into K-12 classrooms and programs at the museum.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the recipients of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. The winners of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service including Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, FL) and National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel (Memphis, TN) are addressing unique issues and opportunities within their communities through their programs, services and partnerships.

Williams-Mystic, the maritime studies program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT), were presented with the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The 42-year-old program brings undergraduate college students to the museum for a semester of interdisciplinary research and travel centered around the ocean. More than 1,600 students have attended the program. Williams-Mystic is receiving the award from the National Maritime Historical Society and the National Coast Guard Museum Association.

The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico was awarded the American Alliance of Museums Chair’s Leadership Award, accepted by the museum’s director Marta Mabel Perez at the 2019 AAM Annual Meeting. The award was given to recognize the museum’s work in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

LEADERSHIP

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC) Board of Directors unanimously voted to appoint Hillary Spencer, a former director of operations for global business development at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, as the museum’s new director. Spencer will take over the position on May 1.

American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) announced that the board named Ralph Caro to lead the museum as interim executive director and to focus on implementing key recommendations from a consultants’ report issued in April 2018.

Affiliates in the news!

sixtiesCongrats 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.

Multiple Affiliates
CNN, Smithsonian Affiliates Announce in New York’s Grand Central Terminal
11 Smithsonian Affiliates, additional world-class institutions, and private collections, including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, bring the 1960s to life with artifacts from the Cold War, Civil Rights Movement, Woodstock, and more.

Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland, Fla.)
Ollie up for All Decked Out at Polk Museum of Art: Skateboarding art and more celebrate the sport in Lakeland this summer.
This summer, the city of Lakeland kicks off a local version of the event, Innoskate Lakeland, which will feature a similar lineup of attractions – from a skateboard obstacle course to panel discussions – at the newly constructed Lakeland SkatePark on Lake Bonny. The Polk Museum of Art, an affiliate of the Smithsonian, also anchors the celebration with an exhibition of skateboard inspired art, already on view, called All Decked Out!

Skateboarding As Art at New ‘All Decked Out’ Exhibit at Polk Museum
The museum’s show is part of Innoskate 2014, a festival sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute to share skateboard culture’s creative spirit with public audiences. Innoskate Lakeland, the local, affiliated event sponsored by the city of Lakeland, will be celebrated June 21, Go Skateboarding Day.

Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Japanese American National Museum offers free, family-fun day themed around baseball
May 10 is also photo and video capture day for “A Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America,” a crowd-sourced online exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Flickr. The museum encourages people to upload their photos and videos to the #LifeAPA Flickr group.

The Museum of Flight (Seattle, Wash.)
Alaska Airlines Announces $2.5 Million Gift to Build Aerospace Education Center at The Museum of Flight
The Alaska Airlines Aerospace Education Center, to be located in the Museum’s T.A. Wilson Great Gallery, will be a resource center where teachers, parents, and students will be able to explore the many K-12 education programs offered at the Museum.

New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM)
New Exhibit At Alamogordo Space Museum
Andrew Johnston, geographer and curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, collaborated with other organizations to create the travelling exhibit Earth from Space, featuring 40 beautifully detailed satellite images of the planet…Now on temporary display inside the Clyde W. Tombaugh Theater at the New Mexico Museum of Space History, Earth from Space explains in stunning detail how satellite imagery is gathered, explores the remote sensing technology used to gather the images, and discusses the individual satellites whose images are on display.

Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT)
Freight and Logistics Operation Treats a National Treasure as Carefully as if it Were Alive
Sometimes however something comes along that is truly deserving of a rapturous round applause when a subsidiary of an international logistics behemoth, FedEx Custom Critical, safely transported the remains of a rare Tyrannosaurus Rex from the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana way east to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, VA)
VMNH gets antsy with newest exhibit
Farmers, Builders, Warriors: The Hidden Life of Ants” debuted Thursday at the museum on Starling Avenue in Martinsville during a reception for invited guests. The exhibit includes close-up photos taken by Dr. Mark Moffett, a research associate in the entomology department at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, of ants in their natural habitats.

Image courtesy Smithsonian Institution.

Image courtesy Smithsonian Institution.

South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD)
Object lesson: Smithsonian tells nation’s history in 101 ways
Kurin will be in Pierre on Monday, May 5, to talk about his latest book, “The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects.” His list includes everything from fossils and archaeological objects from 500 million years ago to a fragment of Plymouth Rock and Kermit the Frog.

Smithsonian brings presentation of 101 pieces of Americana to Pierre
The stop in South Dakota’s capital, arranged by the South Dakota State Historical Society Museum, which is a Smithsonian associate, is part of a series of presentations Kurin is giving across the country about select items from the institute’s collection.

The Charles W. Morgan, shown here at its home, the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, is the only wooden whaling ship still in existence, and–after a five-year-long restoration–is embarking on a voyage to historic ports of New England. (Courtesy of Mystic Seaport)

The Charles W. Morgan, shown here at its home, the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, is the only wooden whaling ship still in existence, and–after a five-year-long restoration–is embarking on a voyage to historic ports of New England. (Courtesy of Mystic Seaport)

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, Connecticut)
For the First Time in 93 Years, a 19th-Century Whaling Ship Sets Sail
And now, the Charles W. Morgan–the last remaining wooden whaling ship in existence, and the most treasured possession of the Mystic Seaport Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate–will set out on her 38th voyage.

Museum Center at 5ive Points (Cleveland, Tennessee)
Center of Growing Change
Najjar said the first museum that made an impact on him was the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. “Being able to walk in there and see Apollo 11. I remember my jaw just dropped, and I’ve had a love for museums ever since,” he said. The Smithsonian has now made the Museum Center at Five Points an affiliate member which means in the near future the center will have access to artifacts from what is known as “the nation’s attic.”

American Textile History Museum (Lowell, Massachusetts)
American Textile museum out ‘to make noise’
The textile museum will be one of only six museums across the country, all Smithsonian affiliates, to contribute to an exhibit next year called “Places of Invention,” which will range from today’s Silicon Valley to yesterday’s Lowell, which was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution. Unger has been working on assembling three videos of about five minutes each to tell Lowell’s story, and is basing that portion of the Smithsonian exhibit on the textile museum’s former “Inventing Lowell” exhibit.