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Kudos Affiliates!! August 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 Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs awarded a grant to Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) for general operating support as part of a statewide effort to help fuel the resurgence of Iowa’s arts, film, heritage, humanities, and creative sectors as they continue to rebound from substantial financial losses as a result of the pandemic.

The African American Cultural Heritage Action fund from the National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded History Colorado (Denver, CO) a $50,000 grant to help preserve Black history. History Colorado is planning to create a statewide African American Heritage trail that will include virtual reality-based markers through a phone app in historical Black destinations.

Blue Origin and its foundation, Club for the Future, have awarded U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL) and Space Center Houston (Houston, TX) a $1 million grant each to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and help invent the future of life in space.

The 2021 grant cycle of the Nissan Foundation dispersed a total of $697,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations that promote cultural diversity:

  • Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) received $20,000 to support AANM Public Programming Series 2021-2022.
  • Museum of Us (San Diego, CA)received $15,000 to host Race: Are We So Different? virtual workshops.
  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) received $30,000 to fund its School Visits program, which enables school groups from throughout Southern California to visit the museum and witness the experiences of Japanese Americans from early immigration in the 19th century through the present.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM) was awarded a “One Small Step” grant from the SPACE 3.0 Foundation. The grant will allow the museum’s curatorial department to digitize more than a dozen space related 16mm films from the 1960s that reside in the museum’s collection, including several associated with the Gemini and Apollo programs.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) received a 2021-2022 NEA Big Read grant of $19,970 to support a community reading program focusing on An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo, the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

USS Constitution (Boston, MA) was named winner in the “Historic Sites & Tours” category for Boston Parents’ Family Favorites. It is the fourth year in a row that the museum has received this award from the readers of Boston Parents Paper.

North Carolina Museum of History (Greensboro, NC) was the recipient of an Award of Excellence by the American Association for State and Local History for the multimedia project How We Got That.

The Education Professional Network of the American Alliance of Museums presented the Pandemic Innovation and Education award to the Durham Museum (Omaha, NE), recognizing the museum’s Museum Live! program. The Durham received the award in the mid-sized museum category that honored education efforts created, re-invented or revamped in response to supporting audiences during the pandemic.

Plimoth Patuxet Museums announced that Mayflower II has been named a recipient of the 2021 Paul and Niki Tsongas Award by Preservation Massachusetts, the statewide non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Commonwealth’s historic and cultural heritage.

LEADERSHIP

The National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN) has named Dr. Russell Wigginton as the museum’s next president.  Dr. Wigginton will begin his new position on August 1. He brings 29 years of experience in education, philanthropy, executive management, and program development, as well as strategic planning and partnership building.

Dawn DiPrince was named the new executive director of History Colorado (Denver, CO) and will assume the role on Sept. 1, 2021. She succeeds the retiring Steve Turner. Dawn has worked at El Pueblo History Museum and with all the other History Colorado Community Museums, moving to Denver in 2019 to become the organization’s chief operating officer.

Devon Akmon, director of Michigan State University’s Science Gallery Detroit, has been appointed to the role of director of the Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI), effective July 1. Before coming to Science Gallery Detroit, Akmon served as a senior consultant with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. Prior to that, he served as the second director of the Arab American National Museum.

Kudos Affiliates!! January 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 Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) and the California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA) are recipients of an Art Museum Futures Fund grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The emergency COVID-19 grants will be used to support general operations.

The Ohio State Controlling Board approved $1.2 million to Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) for the support of educational initiatives. The funding is part of Ohio’s response to the health and economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Guinness Open Gate Brewery is donating to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore, MD) as part of its Guinness Gives Back Baltimore Community Fund. As an extension of the brewery’s mission to contribute to America’s craft brewing scene in a positive way as makers and creatives, the brewery’s support will champion underrepresented artists to inspire the next generation.

Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH) received $61,200, an Ohio Arts Council CARES Act Economic Relief for the Arts award, to support salaries and operating expenses. In addition, the museum received $61,227 from the Park National Bank to support general operating expenses.

The Andrew W. Mellon and William Penn Foundations selected the African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) as one of 37 institutions to split an $8 million fund. The museum was awarded $200,000 to support general operating costs.

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission announced nearly $2 million in grants to museums and historical societies across the commonwealth including the following Affiliates:

Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded grants to the following Affiliates as part of its Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative. The funding will be used to develop exhibitions and education programs that accurately portray the role of religion in the U.S. and around the world.

  • Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) ($500,000) – to create a new storyline on the role of religion in African American history in the early 19th century.  The project will “explore the vital role of religion in the lives of antebellum Black settlers, who often thought of the Northwest Territory as their Promised Land.”
  • Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ) ($2,500,000) – to develop a permanent exhibition that will explore the origin stories of four North American indigenous tribes — the Seneca in the Northeast, the Yup’ik in the Arctic, the Akimel O’odham, and the Navajo in the Southwest — in an immersive and educational presentation that seeks to educate about the diversity and beauty of indigenous religion and spiritual practices.
  • Plimoth Patuxet Museums (Plymouth, MA) ($2,499,110) – to support The Light Here Kindled: Providence, Manitou and the Legacy of America’s Founding Faiths program that seeks to strengthen and expand the museum’s capacity to incorporate the crucial role of faith, particularly the beliefs and practices of Reformed Christianity, into its interpretations of Colonial Plymouth and the people of the indigenous Patuxet.

Putnam Museum (Davenport, IA) received a $35,000 grant from the Scott County Regional Authority to support the design and construction of a world culture gallery.

Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI) received a $138,000 State COVID-19 Cultural Organization grant to help sustain operations through challenges posed by the pandemic.

Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, IL) received $700,000 through the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program to support its STEM Inspires program for dome planetarium capital upgrades.

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (Cedar Rapids, IA) received a $10,000 Virtual Arts Experience grant through the Iowa Arts Council, to offer 15 virtual music performances by local artists for K-12 music classrooms and aging adults in care centers. Participating students and aging adults will engage in a virtual pen pal program. Students will submit music-related questions to adult learners who will record their responses with the help of care center staff.

Four Affiliates received a grant from the Iowa Arts and Cultural Recovery Program to provide relief for lost income or extra expenses incurred due to the pandemic. The grants may be used to offset operating expenses, as well as costs associated with reopening in person or adapting programs to virtual formats.

The Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) will renovate its library using a $3 million gift made by the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation. The gift allows for the continuation of the physical and cultural transformation of its main campus and headquarters by renovating the library’s first floor public reading room and consolidating staff workspaces.

LEADERSHIP

Dr. Kimberly Robinson, a 31-year NASA veteran, has been named the executive director and CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL). She will assume her role Feb. 15. Robinson is NASA’s Utilization Manager for Advanced Exploration Systems and was previously the Payload Mission Manager for Artemis I, the first integrated flight test of the NASA’s Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System rocket, and the Exploration Ground Systems at Kennedy Space Center.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore, MD) announced the appointment of Terri Lee Freeman, former President of the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN) as the new Executive Director. As a national leader, who brings an entire career in philanthropy, focused on fundraising and building strategic alliances, she will join the museum in February.

Ben Jones was named the new executive director of the South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD). Ben is the former Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education.

Dan Joyce announced he will retire as executive director of the Kenosha Public Museums (Kenosha, WI) at the end January following more than three decades at the museum.

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

Here’s a recap of our Affiliate news makers in October. 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 Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. (Tamika Moore | tmoore@al.com)

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. (Tamika Moore | tmoore@al.com)

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL)
Birmingham Civil Rights District should be designated a national park
While I walked through NMAAHC and shared information with my two daughters, I was reminded of Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s long connection with the museum. Before there was one brick in place, BCRI collaborated with NMAAHC on numerous projects, including showcasing one of its traveling exhibitions, “Let Your Motto Be Resistance,” back in 2009. Our staff has supported its efforts in planning, the securing of objects and community support.

Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH)
New Smithsonian museum has Dayton connection
A traveling exhibit “A Place for All People” is also designed to pique interest in the new museum. That show, a collection of posters, is currently on display at the Springfield Museum of Art. Ann Fortescue, the Springfield museum’s executive director, says one of the many benefits of being a Smithsonian Affiliate museum is sharing what’s happening at the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. with audiences in the Miami Valley.

"Star Wars and the Power of Costume" showcases not only the outfits that have become iconic, but the process behind the creation of the characters and their adornments. In the exhibition, you'll see both concept art (left) and the final looks (right), including these of C-3PO and R2-D2 from "Star Wars: A New Hope" and "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back." –Photo © & â„¢ 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization

“Star Wars and the Power of Costume” showcases not only the outfits that have become iconic, but the process behind the creation of the characters and their adornments. In the exhibition, you’ll see both concept art (left) and the final looks (right), including these of C-3PO and R2-D2 from “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.” –Photo © & â„¢ 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization

Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Behind the Scenes of the DAM’s Upcoming “Star Wars” Exhibit
It’s been a few days since the latest Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer was released, and it’s another two months until the film hits theaters–but don’t despair. You can get your fill of the Star Wars world in the interim with Star Wars and the Power of Costume, which takes over the second floor of the Denver Art Museum (DAM) from November 13 through April 2.

New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM)
New Exhibit to Showcase Gene Roddenberry’s Vision
But the smallest exhibit cases may be the ones that hold the real treasures, straight from the vault of the Smithsonian. The Star Trek episode The Trouble With Tribbles, written by David Gerrold who will be a special guest on opening night, revolves around furry little critters that multiply at an incredible rate and who also have a serious dislike for Klingons. Although the Starship Enterprise was overrun by tribbles at the time, only a very few remain in existence today. The tribble visitors will admire inside its eight inch case was actually used in that episode and is on loan to the museum from the Smithsonian.

National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN)
The Smithsonian Names the National Civil Rights Museum as an Affiliate Museum
The National Civil Rights Museum has been named a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. The Museum is the second Smithsonian Affiliate in Memphis, and seventh in the state of Tennessee. 

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA)
National Museum of American History Examines Religion in America
Led by Richard Pickering, deputy executive director of Plimoth Plantation, the documentary theater program will explore the intersection of two musical traditions: hymns and psalms from the Church of England and Calvinist congregations and the sacred songs and dance of the Wampanoag, the indigenous people of Cape Cod, the Islands and southern Massachusetts.

Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, IL)
Peoria Fine Arts Society hosts lectures on new national African American museum
Author, lecturer and teacher John W. Franklin will speak at the Peoria Riverfront Museum on Oct. 13 about the National Museum of African American History and Culture that recently opened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

ncbirdstudy

Researchers simulated a gannet plunging into water, capturing the process with a high-speed camera. (Image by Sunny Jung/Virginia Tech)

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
STUDY SHOWS HOW BIRDS DIVE SAFELY AT HIGH SPEEDS
To analyze the bird’s body shape and neck musculature, the team used a salvaged gannet provided by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. They also created 3-D printed replicas of gannet skulls from the collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, which helped them measure the forces on the skull as it enters the water. 

DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
What’s Ahead for Chicago’s DuSable Museum (VIDEO)
The DuSable Museum of African American History was founded in 1957 and it continues to showcase a rich and sometimes difficult history. Over the last year, two new executives have taken charge of the DuSable Museum. President and CEO Perri Irmer and chief curator Leslie Guy join host Eddie Arruza in discussion.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum (Las Vegas, NV)
Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Introduces World’s Largest Snake
Slithering in at 48 feet long and weighing an estimated one-and-a-half tons, a realistic replica of the world’s largest snake will on exhibit at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum from Oct. 14 through Jan. 8.

dusable

 

October 2016 is BUSY in Affiliateland!

Thanks to all our Affiliates for such great work!

CONNECTICUT
Affiliations program Director Harold Closter will announce the new affiliation with the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, 10.5.

IOWA
The Dubuque Museum of Art will hold a videoconference on En Plein Air with the American Art Museum in Dubuque, 10.11.

LOUISIANA
The Smithsonian Associates will be working with three Affiliates – the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the St. Louis Science Center and the Museum of Arts and Sciences on GEAR UP, a science education program for 8th graders in Lafayette, 10.11-13.

MISSOURI
National Outreach Manager Aaron Glavas will announce the new affiliation with the St. Louis Science Center, and National Air and Space Museum educator Tim Grove will present a book talk at a Member Open House event in St. Louis, on 10.13.

HAWAII
The Pacific Aviation Museum will host an astrophotography workshop with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, in Honolulu, 10.13-14.

ARIZONA
The Heard Museum will open the exhibition Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist from the National Museum of the American Indian, in Phoenix, 10.13

GEORGIA
Staff from the National Museum of Natural History will be giving talks at a private event for the Atlanta Regional Host Committee at the David Sencer Centers for Disease Control Museum in Atlanta, 10.13.

NEVADA
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum will open the SITES exhibition Titanaboa in Las Vegas, 10.15.

NORTH CAROLINA
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will host the Board meeting and associated activities of the Smithsonian Science Education Center in Raleigh, 10.17.

WASHINGTON, DC
Over 120 Affiliate staff will help celebrate the 20th anniversary of Smithsonian Affiliations at the annual conference in Washington, 10.17-20.

TENNESSEE
John Franklin from the National African American Museum will announce the new affiliation with the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, 10.20.

OHIO
National Outreach Manager Jennifer Brundage will give comments at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology groundbreaking, dedication and dinner event in Akron, 10.22.

American Art Museum curator Virginia Mecklenburg will present a talk on Seeing America with Norman Rockwell at the Springfield Museum of Art in Springfield, 10.25.

COLORADO
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Smithsonian Science Education Center will collaborate on workshops on Building Awareness for Science Education in Denver, 10.24-25.

DELAWARE
National Museum of American History curator Katherine Ott will attend and offer commentary at the Making of Modern Disability conference at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, 10.28.