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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