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Coming Up in Affiliateland in April 2021

Happy Earth Month everyone!

A museum visitor looks at a display of various people of color.

“The Bias Inside Us” features Spanish photographer Angélica Dass’ Humanae project, which reflects on the color of skin that challenges the concept of race. Photo by Science Museum of Minnesota.

IOWA
The Bias Inside Us exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service opens at the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids, 4.17.

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rican Affiliates, the Museo de Arte and Museo y Centro de Estudios Humanísticos, offer a workshop on The Conservation of Caribbean Culture: Training Future Conservators of Cultural Patrimony, 4.19-23.

MASSACHUSETTS
Teen filmmakers in the McAuliffe Center’s STEM mentorship program will present their ideas for addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as part of Framingham State University’s Science on State Street Fair: Planet Earth Edition, 4.20.

The Springfield Museums will feature Dr. Joyce Bedi, historian at the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History, for a talk on Who Invented the Environment?, in Springfield, 4.22.

A scientist examines a skull.

Dr. Kari Bruwelheide measuring a cranium. Image Credit: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution.

OHIO
Dr. Kari Bruwelheide, forensic anthropologist at the National Museum of Natural History, will lead a virtual workshop for teachers as part of the Rethinking Jamestown professional development activities organized by the Springfield Museum of Art, in Springfield, 4.21-22.

NEW YORK
The Rockwell Museum will host a virtual dialogue with guest curator Emily Zilber and curator-in-charge Nora Atkinson about the Forces of Nature: Renwick Invitational 2020 exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery as part of the Museum’s Environments Examined Spring 2021 lecture series, in Corning, 4.29.

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.

Coming Up in Affiliateland in February 2021

Welcome to a new year of collaboration!

NATIONWIDE
Eight Affiliates present two more opportunities to view the Pandemic Perspectives: Stories through Collections virtual programs in collaboration with the National Museum of American History:
Race and Place: Yellow Fever and the Free African Society in Philadelphia on 2.2.21
Essential Workers: Prestige Versus Pay on 2.16.21

The eight participating Affiliates are:

Professional tennis player Althea Gibson in full motion hitting a difficult tennis shot.

RHODE ISLAND
The International Tennis Hall of Fame (Newport) will present a talk by Dr. Damion Thomas, Curator of Sports at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, on Althea Gibson and the History of Tennis on 2.24.21. Register here.

MASSACHUSETTS

The Springfield Museums (Springfield) will feature Dr. Dorothy Moss, Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery in a conversation with artists about their artistic processes as learning experiences, 2.11.21.  Later in the month, the Museums feature Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony, Curator at the National Air and Space Museum to discuss her new book, Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo on 2.25.21.

WISCONSIN

The Civil War Museum, part of Kenosha Public Museums (Kenosha) will host Doretha Williams, Program Manager for the Robert F. Smith Fund at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, for a virtual program in collaboration with the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative about Black Women in the Central Plains 1890-1920.

 

Kudos Affiliates!!! September 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 19th annual Spinx Charity Classic Golf Tournament raised $106,000 for charitable organizations including the Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Spartanburg, SC). SPINX chooses beneficiaries that align with its philanthropic focus of “growing healthy kids where we live, work and play” through programs that focus on improving education, health, wellness, and moral growth for children in South Carolina.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is funding a new $6.6-million round of research grants aimed at bolstering the ability of buildings and other structures to stand up to earthquakes, hurricanes, winds, fires, and other natural disasters including $359,000 to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, CO). The funding will be used to advance the understanding of the role and transport of embers in real outdoor environments to enable effective and appropriate mitigation and defensive measures against wildland urban interface fire hazards.

nVent Foundation announced its first grants to nonprofit organizations, with a focus on youth education programs that offer hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning experiences to young people, especially from underserved or underrepresented communities. The Foundation awarded 14 grants, including one to The Bakken Museum (Minneapolis, MN).

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) unveiled the names and locations of the museums taking part in AAM’s unprecedented national initiative to diversify museum boards and leadership.  Backed by $4 million in grants from three foundations (The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Alice L. Walton Foundation, and Ford Foundation), Facing Change: Advancing Museum Board Diversity & Inclusion, will provide the framework, training, and resources for museum leaders to build inclusive cultures within their institutions that more accurately reflect the communities they serve. The participating Affiliates include: Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL), DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL), Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, IL), Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (Fort Worth, TX), Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, TX), Space Center Houston (Houston, TX), The Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX), Museum of Sonoma County (Santa Rosa, CA), Museum of Mississippi History (Jackson, MS), and Old Capitol Museum (Jackson, MS).

Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) and Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (Miami, FL) were among 18 reaccreditations announced by The American Alliance of Museums for 2019.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Sarasota, FL) was the recipient of the prestigious Program Excellence Award given by the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) for a four-year partnership entitled “Air Plants and Other Epiphytes of Belize: A Collaborative Project Between Two Botanical Gardens and a University.” The main goal of the project was to promote in Belize the study, conservation, and display of epiphytes, an area in which Selby Gardens specializes.

The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) (Cedar Rapids, IA), in partnership with de Novo Marketing of Cedar Rapids received the 2019 “Communicator Award of Distinction” from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. The award honors excellence in marketing and communications. The award was presented to Eric Johnson, Art Director at De Novo for his work with the NCSML writing team on the Spring-Summer 2019 issue of SLOVO Magazine, a biannual publication of the NCSML.

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!

Coming Up in Affiliateland, February 2019

Lots of winter activity in Affiliateland – enjoy!

FLORIDA

The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access will offer a teacher professional development workshop on using digital resources in collaboration with the Frost Art Museum in Miami, 2.2.

Tower at the Stockholm airport, featured in the Art of the Airport Tower exhibition.

The Mennello Museum of American Art opens the Art of the Airport Tower exhibition from the National Air and Space Museum, in Orlando, 2.4.

IOWA

Affiliations staff members will visit the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library for their affiliation announcement in Cedar Rapids, 2.8.

CONNECTICUT

Paula Johnson, curator at the National Museum of American History, will present a lecture about cookbooks and mid-century American food culture at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, 2.16.

ILLINOIS

Eduardo Díaz, director of the Smithsonian Latino Center will deliver a talk on Latino representation at the Smithsonian at the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University in Aurora, 2.21.

ARIZONA

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, will open Paul Calle’s Life of Exploration: From the Mountains to the Moon exhibition with loans from the National Postal Museum and the National Air and Space Museum, in Scottsdale, 2.4.

NEW YORK

The Rockwell Museum will open Yousuf Karsh: American Portraits exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery, 2.8. National Portrait Gallery director Kim Sajet will deliver the kickoff talk for the Museum’s spring lecture series on Questioning Identity, in Corning, 2.26.

NATIONWIDE

The Smithsonian Channel is collaborating with several Affiliates to screen their new show: The Green Book: Guide to Freedom during Black History Month –
at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, 1.31
at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, 2.6
at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, 2.7
at History Colorado in Denver, 2.13
at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, 2.19
at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, 2.19
at the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, 2.22
at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, 2.26
at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, 2.28