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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!! October 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

The Durham Museum (Omaha, NE) received a $25,000 grant from The Iowa West Foundation to develop resources, programs, and projects that focus on economic development, education, place making, and healthy families.

The Nissan Foundation awarded $680,000 in grants to 27 nonprofit organizations for its 2020 grant cycle including awards to:

The NASA in Kansas program received a $2.8 million grant to help continue STEM-based education and research in the Sunflower State. The four-year award from NASA will help fund a consortium of universities and science museums, including the Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS).

The International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, TX) was awarded a Collections Assessment for Preservation grant for $7,000 from the Foundation for the Advancement in Conservation. The funding will be instrumental in providing credible information for long-term planning for collections care and preparing for re-accreditation in 2022.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission awarded grants to the following Affiliate organizations to support the general operations of the museums:

Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) received a $20,000 Cultural Leadership Partners grant administered by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The grant will support a wide range of programs and events the Museum and Science Center will provide in the coming year.

New Mexico’s legislative session concluded with a $250,000 allocation for renovations at the Hubbard Museum of the American West (Ruidoso Downs, NM) and $750,000 to the New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM) for facility and exhibit improvements.

The National Park Service, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, announced $12,800,000 in Save America’s Treasures grants to fund 42 preservation and conservation projects in 26 states including the following Affiliates:

  • Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) – $102,000-for the preservation and accessibility to curatorial files.
  • YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (Center for Jewish History), (New York, NY) – $119,433-for the preservation and accessibility for Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Online Collections.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded grants totaling $25,899,000 for museums across the nation to improve services to their communities through Museums for America, and special initiatives-Museums Empowered and Inspire! Grants for Small Museums. Affiliate awardees include:

Museums for America

  • Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) – $172,000.00-The Arab American National Museum will work with a learning design firm and a museum-focused exhibition design firm to develop, design, and fabricate new components for their children’s gallery spaces. This project will result in four new bilingual, less text-heavy exhibition elements that will allow young visitors in grades K-5 to gain a more balanced perspective on cultural and racial diversity within their communities, as well as an appreciation of the large-scale impact of all immigrant communities on American life.
  • Springfield Science Museum, part of Springfield Museums, (Springfield, MA) – $84,637.00-Museum staff will undergo Disability Inclusion and Universal Design training to redesign and enhance a core multi-use learning space and principle STEM program that can remove physical, cognitive, and social barriers to learning. External evaluators will measure access needs and learning outcomes before and after project upgrades in order to track progress and develop a scalable model of inclusive practice for all the museum’s science programming.
  • Mercer Museum (Doylestown, PA) – $40,000.00-Mercer Museum will conduct a detailed condition survey of 256 windows (including dormers and skylights) located in its original 1916 National Landmark Mercer Museum building. The survey will result in a comprehensive report, with recommendations and methodologies for repair and remediation intended to improve environmental conditions for the exhibited collections.
  • Arizona State Museum (Tucson, AZ) – $122,471.00-The Arizona State Museum will ensure the long-term preservation and accessibility of 50 items including large, handcrafted barkcloth fabrics and woven basketry mats from Indigenous groups in northern Mexico (Pima Bajo, Pipil, Tarahuamara, Tepehuan, Warhio, Yaqui, Tohono O’odham, and Otomi) and the Pacific Islands (Fijian, Hawaiian, Javanese, Melanesian, Philippine, Samoan, and Tongan).
  • Museum of Us (San Diego, CA ) – $249,668.00-The Museum of Us will engage with representatives of the Kumeyaay Nation (Kumeyaay) in a community-driven exhibit and program development process. This project will engage Kumeyaay community members in large forums, focus groups, one-on-one meetings, and written evaluations to accurately capture content for a new exhibit that is self-determined by the community.
  • Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) – $248,825.00-The Adler Planetarium will expand access to STEM programs for African American and Latinx Chicago teens through a progressive series of entry-point, introductory, intermediate, and advanced level programs. Students in grades 7-12 will be invited to join teams of scientists, engineers, and educators to undertake authentic scientific research and solve real engineering challenges. In collaboration with schools and community-based organizations, Adler will develop and implement new participant recruitment and retention strategies to reach teens in specific neighborhoods.
  • South Carolina State Museum (Columbia, SC) – $245,239.00-The South Carolina State Museum will improve the stewardship of its collections through a two-year collections inventory and digitization project. The project will result in refined inventory and photography protocols for digitization of collection objects, the implementation of a new collections management system, and the acquisition of a dedicated server to ensure that the database has capacity for future growth.
  • Florida International University (Miami, FL) – $250,000.00-Florida International University will expand the shelving capacity in its Rare Books and Special Collections Library, improve storage conditions for the collection, and improve public access to the collection.
  • National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque, IA) – $206,286.00-The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium will conduct a collections survey and planning project that will build upon previous successful collections stewardship projects and improve the museum’s ability to care for and interpret its historical collections.
  • High Desert Museum (Bend, OR) – $155,280.00-The High Desert Museum will bring together key stakeholders to develop and implement the first High Desert Project, deconstructing the traditional conference structure to create a new approach to engaging broad audiences in dialogue-one that builds on the unique strengths of museums.
  • Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, CT) – $238,604.00-The Connecticut Historical Society will inventory, rehouse, catalog, and digitize the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program CCHAP collection which documents the cultural traditions and heritage within the rich diversity of Connecticut’s ethnic and workplace communities.
  • Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT)-$167,303.00-Mystic Seaport Museum will restore its 1921 fishing schooner-L.A. DUNTON-a National Historic Landmark vessel and one of the last surviving examples of its kind. Progress will be captured on video for podcast and other forms of distance learning to further expand the project reach.
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO)-$240,740.00-The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will advance stewardship and public access for 718 objects in its Northwest Coast Collection through collaborative conservation that involves Kwakwaka’wakw, Makah, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Tlingit and Haida tribes.
  • Center for Jewish History (New York, NY) – $52,230.00-The Center for Jewish History will improve stewardship of the 35mm and 16mm motion picture film collections of its five in-house partners: the American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum, and YIVO Institute, as a pilot of a new digitization process.
  • USS Constitution Museum (Boston, MA) – $250,000.00-The USS Constitution Museum will launch a Salute to Service initiative to transform itself into a hub for conversation, connection, and community around military service so the community can see the museum as a trusted space for community engagement, and civilian participants in Salute to Service programs to gain an elevated understanding of military service and family sacrifice.
  • Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX)-$250,000.00-The Witte Museum will improve the conservation and preservation of its paleontology and geology collections to support continued fossil preparation for new fossil finds and acquisitions.
  • Krannert Art Museum (Champaign, IL) – $250,000.00-The Krannert Art Museum will reinstall its collection of ancient Andean art. This reinstallation will transform the ancient Andean gallery into an innovative teaching and research tool that better serves their core constituents and exposes audiences to the historical depth, cultural richness, and contemporary relevance of ancient Andean civilizations.
  • Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) – $227,272.00-The Plimoth Plantation will develop a suite of educational resources for teachers, students, and the general public focusing on the relationship between the early Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people.

Museums Empowered: Professional Development Opportunities for Museum Staff

  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) – $249,920.00-The Ohio History Connection will conduct an online professional development program to help the network become better managed, more resilient, and better able to serve the public. Modules will focus on topics such as board development; collections handling; engaging with local communities; and essential museum knowledge for boards, directors, staff, and volunteers from outside the museum field.

Inspire! Grants for Small Museums

  • Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) – $40,975.00-The Dubuque Museum of Art will upgrade its collections management software through a four-phase project that will increase public access to the museum’s collection.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded $52.2 million in grants for 562 humanities projects featuring the following Affiliate initiatives:

  • Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ) – $4,622-The Heard Museum will use the funding for the preservation assessment of a library and archive collection dedicated to Native American art and cultures, covering topics such as Native American fine art, literature, anthropology, and museum studies.
  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) – $172,445- The Japanese American National Museum will develop two, one-week workshops -Little Tokyo: How History Shapes a Community Across Generations- for 72 school teachers about the history and culture of Japanese-American immigrants and their place in U.S. history.
  • History Colorado (Denver, CO) – $224,914-History Colorado will digitize 100,000 pages from Colorado newspaper titles, published from 1859 to 1942, as part of the state’s continuing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).
  • History Colorado (Denver, CO) – $208,808-History Colorado will produce eight 45- to 60-minute podcast episodes about Colorado and Western U.S. history entitled the Lost Highways Podcast Program.
  • Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA) – $6,000-Grinnell College staff will conduct research for a book on the development of the Filipino diaspora in the United States and Europe, as a case study to understand how diasporas evolve.
  • Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) – $49,200-The Plimoth Plantation will conduct an assessment of the collections and buildings at Plimoth Plantation, which has extensive collections of archaeological artifacts, fine and decorative art, and archival materials.
  • Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) – $9,901-Michigan State University Museum will purchase storage equipment for the Siyazama Project collection, which is housed at the university’s museum and consists of 66 traditional craft works created by South African women as part of an organized art and health initiative during the HIV/AIDS crisis.
  • Center for Jewish History (New York, NY) – $65,500-The Center for Jewish History will provide 12 months of stipend support (1 fellowship) per year for one year and to defray costs associated with the selection of fellows.
  • Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA) – $236,824-Museum of Flight will arrange, describe, catalog, and select the digitization of 170 cubic feet of archival materials and 260 objects from the William P. and Moya Olsen Lear Collection, including correspondence, photographs, model planes, invention prototypes, and 33 audio recordings and 18 films related to groundbreaking discoveries in aviation and radio that span the twentieth century.
  • Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY) – $48,933-Buffalo Bill Center of the West will construct a plan for storage spaces at all six of the center’s collecting units to maximize the preservation environment, space efficiency, and access to collections by staff and the public. Center staff would work with a consulting conservator, architect, and engineer to develop the plan.
  • Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, WA)-$189,984- Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience will create two one-week workshops for 72 school teachers about the history and culture of Asian Pacific American immigrants in the Pacific Northwest.

The Mary Black Foundation awarded new grants to 19 nonprofits serving Spartanburg County, including $15,000 to Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Spartanburg, SC) to assist with operational costs to provide high-quality learning opportunities for young children in Spartanburg County.

Mid-America Arts Alliance awarded $50,000 to the American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) to assist operational costs and digitizing of their collections.

Oklahoma History Center (Oklahoma City, OK) was awarded a grant through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) for personal protective equipment (PPE) to be utilized by the OHC Education Department. The funding has been used to purchase sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer and disinfectant for use by museum visitors and staff, as well as to be included in the trunks for our award-winning Traveling Trunk program.

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, IA) received funding from two area foundations to support conservation education and equitable access for Dubuque County residents. Alliant Energy Foundation has awarded the Museum $5,000 towards the expansion of its conservation education live animal outreach program address Iowa bird conservation initiatives and provide teacher workshop opportunities. The McDonough Foundation awarded $2,000 to increase equitable access through the Everybody’s Museum Membership (EMM) program—a free membership program that is open to economically challenged youth and families in Dubuque County, as well as community members with physical and intellectual disabilities.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Mercer Museum & Fonthill Castle (Doylestown, PA) and USS Constitution Museum (Boston, MA) recently received reaccreditations from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

RANDY PARKER/THE DAILY TRIBUNE NEWS Booth Western Art Museum is named the Best Art Museum in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards contest.

The Booth Western Art Museum (Cartersville, GA) was named Best Art Museum in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards contest.

The Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center (Pierre,SD) earned an AASLH Award of Excellence for the exhibit “Silent Silos: South Dakota’s Missile Range.”

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) received the Special Achievement – Excellence in Community Empowerment award for its exhibition – “Finding Our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak” at the 32nd annual Excellence in Exhibition Competition, presented by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were recognized for their efforts to support diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus with a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. The award is given by INSIGHT into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education.

Kudos Affiliates!! February 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

The National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA) announced that Capital BlueCross has awarded $2,500 in funding through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program to the museum’s youth educational initiatives. The initiatives will provide access to meaningful science, technology, engineering, math, and social history learning opportunities for public school students in the Lehigh Valley community.

Science City’s Children’s Museum, part of Union Station, Kansas City, Inc. (Kansas City, MO) received combined donations of $402,750 to support the Early Learning Initiative. The gifts were from Mike and Millie Brown, the Sosland Foundation and the Harry Wilson Loose Trust Bank of America, N.A., Trustee. Scheduled to open in March 2020, Science City’s Children’s Museum will offer three brand-new experiential, hands-on exhibitions, each intentionally designed to translate into the beginning of a STEMful education for young explorers.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Nora Hernandez of the the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum (Clewiston, FL) has been named to the Museum Computer Network Advisory Board for diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.

Jameson McDermott, Museum Educator, at Cape Fear Museum (Wilmington, NC) was presented with the 2019 North Carolina Science Teachers Association (NCSTA) Distinguished Service in Science Education Award Non-School Setting at the annual NCSTA Conference. The  award is given to a person exhibiting leadership in science education; contributing to improvements in science education; and excelling in the aspects of science education in a non-school setting.

LEADERSHIP

The Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission announced that Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL), has stepped down from her position at the Center. Dr. Barnhart had led the Rocket Center for the past nine years. Louie Ramirez, a long-time Center leader who has served as its Chief Financial Officer, will serve as interim CEO until Dr. Barnhart’s replacement is named. Dr. Barnhart has been named CEO Emeritus, and she will advise and support the recruitment and hiring of a new CEO.

The Springfield Museum of Art announced Jessimi Jones as their new Executive Director.

Jessimi A. Jones has been named the new executive director for the Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH). Jessimi brings over 20 years of arts institution experience having served at both the Columbus Museum of Art (Ohio) and the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, OK. Most recently, Jessimi served as the Bernsen Director of Education and Public Programs for the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Happy Retirement, Rosemary Phillips: You’ve been a great friend to Affiliates!

Rosemary goofing around with the Affiliations staff at NMAH.

Since 2000, Rosemary Phillips has been a program manager at the National Museum of American History (NMAH), handling a myriad of requests from Smithsonian Affiliates, from moving a Civil War-era locomotive, to the loan of over 50 firearms, to championing a performance of early American music and much more. Throughout her decades-long association with Affiliates, Rosemary has displayed the friendliness, commitment, diplomacy, and genuine care for Affiliates that has made the relationship between the Affiliations Program and the National Museum of American History one of the most successful collaborations at the Smithsonian. After 42 years, Rosemary retired on January 3, 2020.

Rosemary started her career at the Smithsonian as a graduate intern at the National Collection of Fine Arts (which has since become the Smithsonian American Art Museum). She started at the National Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History) in collection management services. She made significant contributions to NMAH’s culture over the years, including leading a staff development committee, helping to create the Museum’s peer recognition awards and Museum-wide cross training program, and creating an annual Girl Scout Day which brought an average of 500 girls and troop leaders to the Museum each year.

After joining the Affiliations Program at NMAH, Rosemary has been essential in realizing some of the biggest accomplishments in the Affiliate network. Here are a few notable ones:

Rosemary with colleagues at the opening of the National Museum of Industrial History.

– When the Durham Museum (Omaha, NE) became an Affiliate in 2002, Rosemary was instrumental in securing a significant number of artifact loans, a collaboration that took over two years. She did the same when the National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA) opened in their new building in 2010.

– Rosemary spearheaded the collaboration with the National Museum of Industrial History, the Smithsonian’s first Affiliate, that opened to the public in 2016 with over 100 artifact loans from NMAH.

Rosemary with former Affiliations Director Harold Closter and his wife at the grand opening of the National Museum of American Jewish History

– She championed the collaboration between Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) and NMAH’s Religion initiative, which led to a weekend of events featuring a performance of Native and English music traditions, Waking the Ancestors: Recovering the Lost Sacred Sounds of Colonial America. 

There are countless more examples which demonstrate Rosemary’s persistence, good cheer, and dedication to being of service to Affiliates, in ways that brought the Smithsonian to their communities – and Affiliate expertise to the Smithsonian – in meaningful and impactful ways. If you have an anecdote to share about your relationship with Rosemary, please post it below in comments! 

Rosemary helps a curator from a New York Affiliate evaluate Mamie Eisenhower’s purse for loan.

Rosemary with the staff of the Heinz History Center and NMAH in Pittsburgh.

Rosemary (in blue) watches over first-person Pilgrim interpreters leading visitors in traditional songs at NMAH.

Rosemary with a delicious thank you from an Affiliate in Hershey, PA.

Kudos Affiliates!! October 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 City of Las Cruces’ recent exhibit “From the Vault” at the Las Cruces Museum of Art included pieces from the city’s museum system permanent art collection. Most of the pieces are by New Mexico artists.

The City of Las Cruces Museum System (Las Cruces, NM) as been awarded a $50,000 American Art Program grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to digitize the city’s permanent collection of southern New Mexico art. The project will increase the accessibility of the permanent art collection. The digital images and updated information about each piece of art will be made available to the public online. Additionally, a selection of three-dimensional objects will be mapped and reproduced using three-dimensional printing technology for a hands-on experience.

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced $29 million in awards for 215 humanities projects across the country including the following Affiliate projects:

History Colorado (Denver, CO): $168,167-Borderlands of Southern Colorado, a two one-week workshops for 72 K-12 educators on Colorado’s southern borderlands in the nineteenth century.

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA): $158,641-Beyond the Mayflower: New Voices from Early America, 1500–1670, a two-week summer institute for 25 K-12 educators on the evolution of indigenous-colonial relationships in seventeenth-century New England.

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI): $10,000-Michigan State University Museum Cultural Collections Rehousing Project, to purchase cabinets and preservation supplies to rehouse the University’s History, Folklife, and Anthropology collections, totaling some 100,000 objects.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT): $349,978-Upgrades to the mechanical system for Sustainable Preservation of Collections, an implementation project to adjust air-handling systems and install a building management system that would improve overall energy efficiency for preserving its collections.

High Desert Museum (Bend, OR): $8,653-Doris Swayze Bounds Collection Assessment, a preservation assessment of approximately 7,000 objects, which document many of the indigenous groups of the Columbia River Plateau, including the Colville, Yakama, Klamath, Nez Perce, and Umatilla tribes, over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

International Storytelling Center (Jonesborough, TN): $200,000-Freedom Stories: Unearthing the African-American Heritage of Appalachia, an implementation of a series of public discussions and an accompanying podcast and website that engage professional storytellers with humanities scholars to explore the history of African Americans in Appalachia.

The Center for Jewish History (New York, NY) was awarded the John Stedman Memorial Grant for its New York Historical Synagogues Map Website Enhancement Project. The New York Historical Synagogues Map is the first digital project dedicated to mapping all known synagogue locations in New York City in the early decades of the 20th century (1900-1939).

NMIH Vice Chairman Lee Butz introduced Pennsylvania Senator Pat Browne.

Kara Mohsinger, President and CEO of the National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH), Lee Butz, Vice Chair of the museum’s Board of Directors, and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne announced a $500,000 state grant for the National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA). The primary goal is to promote overnight stays in Pennsylvania by supporting events, developing marketing and public relations campaigns, funding facility enhancements, and supporting new construction. In addition, the grant will aid the museum in developing new exhibits, educating new generations about the nation’s industrial history, inspiring young inventors and entrepreneurs, and reaching audiences beyond the tri-state area.

Plimoth Plantation was awarded $14,925 from MassHumanities grant to fund a new exhibit commemorating the 400th anniversary of Mayflower’s arrival and showcase recent archaeological discoveries which are challenging traditional interpretations of Indigenous and Anglo-European relations in southeastern Massachusetts. The exhibit will incorporate ‘new’ voices from the past – not only those of the literate and privileged – to reveal face-to-face communities connected by written and oral covenants, spiritual and tribal rituals, diplomatic protocols, and daily exchange of trade goods and agricultural products.

Cape Fear Museum’s Science Cycle

The Cape Fear Museum (Wilmington, NC) received $5,000 from Science In Vivo and $2,000 from Corning to fund the project The Science Cycle. The mobile program is designed to inspire kids to be curious, think big and experiment by bringing science and hands-on activities to them in outdoor settings. The project was recently a runner up in the Falling Walls International Science Engagement Competition.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The corn maze at Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) has been recognized with the 2019 USA TODAY 10 Best Readers’ Choice award for Best Corn Maze. To celebrate the honor, Conner Prairie unveiled the design of the 2019 corn maze, which is sponsored by Corteva Agriscience and will open to the public on Sept. 21.

 

 

Affiliates in the news

Here’s a recap of our Affiliate news makers since January 1, 2017. 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 would like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee

High Desert Museum (Bend, OR)
High Desert Museum partners with Smithsonian
“We don’t have everything, and everyone is doing work that is complementary,” Closter said. “The natural history of Oregon is different than other parts of the country. For us, it’s having a first-class partner in that part of the world and being able to share the expertise of both organizations.”

The High Desert Museum Partners with Smithsonian
The High Desert Museum has been selected as a Smithsonian Affiliate, which will give it access to exhibits and artifacts from the world’s largest museum and research complex.

Oregon museum becomes Smithsonian Institution affiliate
Dana Whitelaw, executive director of the High Desert Museum near Bend, told the Bulletin newspaper that the Smithsonian affiliation will allow the wildlife and history museum to supplement its exhibits by borrowing artifacts from the massive Smithsonian Institution. It will also expand access to training and conferences.

visitors filter through Star Wars Costume Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

visitors filter through Star Wars Costume Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Denver Art Museum plays with the power of creation: Star Wars
You’re not coming just to look at costumes,” said project lead, Stefania Van Dyke. “We want you to think about all the creativity that went into it.” ­

Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE)
Expert to explain ‘sheer weirdness’ of celestial wonders as part of new
Dussault is the project director for “Black Holes: Space Warps & Time Twists,” an exhibit that opened at the museum this month. More than 1,300 visitors attended opening day of the 2,500 square-foot interactive exhibit, said Deb Hermann, marketing director at the museum. The exhibit offers visitors the chance to learn about black holes by exploring 13 stations, logging their progress on an explorer card. At one station, visitors can take a digital journey to the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Expert to present interactive event on black holes
The Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum brings in Harvard-Smithsonian keynote speaker during its opening celebration of its new exhibit “Black Holes: Space Warps and Time Twists.”

College Park Aviation Museum (College Park, MD)
College Park Aviation Museum Features Smithsonian Photography Exhibit
The exhibition is composed of 50 large scale photographs by Smithsonian photographer Carolyn J. Russo and explores the forms and functions of airport traffic control towers in the U.S. and around the world.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum (Las Vegas, NV) (VIDEO)
Scientist makes 3-D images of artifacts from Las Vegas museum to share online
We think that if we put things online, people won’t want to come to the museum, and what museum professionals find is exactly the opposite,” Hansen says. Seeing items online actually spurs their interest in visiting the museum, where they view the other collections as well.

Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR)
Artyfacts: Mid-America Science Museum – 1.14.1
Creative Mind combines materials from the National Visionary Leadership Project, the African American History Program, the Smithsonian Museum of African American Culture and History, the Arkansas Educational Television Network, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Centre and the Garland County Historical Society.

Ned Buntline, Bufalo Bill Cody, Giuseppina Morlacchi, Texas Jack Omohundro (1846-1880) (Wikimedia Commons)

Ned Buntline, Bufalo Bill Cody, Giuseppina Morlacchi, Texas Jack Omohundro (1846-1880) (Wikimedia Commons)

Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY)
Murder, Marriage and the Pony Express: Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Buffalo Bill
“This isn’t a simple case of a backwoodsman becoming a celebrity,” says Jeremy Johnston, the Hal and Naoma Tate Endowed Chair and curator of Western history at the Smithsonian-affiliated Buffalo Bill Center of the West. “He was quite in tune with American society, American politics, and was very interested in using technology to tell the story of the American West.”

Schingoethe Center of Aurora University (Aurora, IL)
Schingoethe Center of Aurora University named as a Smithsonian Affiliate
“We are a small museum, but we’ve always thought big,” said Meg Bero, executive director of the Schingoethe Center. “The Smithsonian Affiliates designation is a wonderful way for us to build awareness among our students and the community of the museum as a resource.”

National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA)
What’s next for the National Museum of Industrial History
The museum, built out of Steel’s 1913 Electric Repair Shop, tells the story of the Industrial Revolution in America through more than 200 artifacts. It covers the steel, silk and propane industries and features machines that were part of a Smithsonian exhibit that celebrated the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

National Museum of Industrial History

National Museum of Industrial History

National Museum of Industrial History
The National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH), located on Bethlehem’s Southside, is a must-see for locals and tourists alike. The first exhibit area, called Machinery Hall, includes 21 different artifacts from the Smithsonian Institute that had also been on display at the National Museum of American History.

Lehigh students design souvenirs for museum
And, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, are pieces from the Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia and patented machines typical of what was on display there. The Lehigh students studied all those machines as they developed ideas for the souvenirs they designed.

The Old Governor’s Mansion (Milledgeville, GA)
Historic ballots at Old Governor’s Mansion
Museum Director, Matthew Davis explained how the Mansion got their hands on the artifacts. “ The Governor’s Mansion is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. We are one of nine Smithsonian affiliates in Georgia and with that partnership it allows us to receive loans from the Smithsonian,” Davis said.

Research Accolades
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
Astronomers Discover an Entirely New Kind of Galaxy
Astronomers at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences have identified a new class of ring galaxy. Named PGC 1000714, it features an elliptical core with not one, but two outer rings. It’s the only known galaxy of its kind in the known universe.

Kudos/staff moves
Kona Historical Society (Kona, HI)
Kona Historical Society Gets $28K for History Program
The community-based nonprofit and Smithsonian Museum partner Kona Historical Society (KHS) has received a $28,000 grant from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) to expand its Hands On History program at Kona Coffee Living History Farm in Captain Cook. 

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, CA)
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum hires new executive director
The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum has hired Julia Bussinger, director of the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Texas, to be its new executive director.

Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN)
Ricker’s founders pledge $500K gift to Conner Prairie
The founders of Ricker’s fuel and convenience stores pledged a major financial gift to Conner Prairie Wednesday night. The $500,000 donation was announced at their annual meeting and will help restore the museum’s Chinese House, a historic venue on the property.