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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.

forging a connection between America’s industrial past and the innovations of today

The National Museum of Industrial History opened its doors on August 2, 2016. The Smithsonian’s very first Affiliate, the NMIH “forges connections between America’s industrial past and the innovations of today by educating the public and inspiring the visionaries of tomorrow” said NMIH Director, Amy Hollander. PBS39 recently aired this video showing the opening of the museum.

The story on NMIH runs from 11:13-19:29. 

what’s going on in Affiliateland this summer?

Short answer – A LOT!

SOUTH DAKOTA
The South Dakota State Historical Society featured Searching for Life in the Solar System, a web program from the National Air and Space Museum on 7.9.

COLORADO  
The Denver Art Museum opened the Rhythm and Roots:  Dance in American Art exhibition, featuring artworks on loan from the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in Denver, 7.10.

TEXAS
Dr. Damion Thomas, sports curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, presented a talk on African American baseball leagues at the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio, 7.16.

CALIFORNIA
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes hosted a collecting initiative event around Latinos and Baseball: In the Barrios and the Big Leagues with curators from the National Museum of American History, 7.17.

Affiliations director Harold Closter attended and welcomed the California African American Museum into the Smithsonian family at an Affiliate announcement in Los Angeles, 7.20.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Founding director and senior scholar Loren Schoenberg from the National Jazz Museum in Harlem led a public program/performance on Duke Ellington for the Smithsonian Associates in Washington, 7.21.

Several staff from Affiliates took part in the George Washington University Museum Leadership Training Program in Washington, 7.25-26.

GEORGIA

Design curator Ellen Lupton to speak in Atlanta in August.

Design curator Ellen Lupton to speak in Atlanta in August.

Ellen Lupton, a curator at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum will present a talk on her recent work on design exhibitions at the Museum of Design in Atlanta, 8.2.

PENNSYLVANIA
The National Museum of Industrial History will open its doors to the public and host a dedication ceremony featuring staff from the Smithsonian, in Bethlehem, 8.2.

Manda Kowalczyk, conservator from the National Postal Museum, will participate in Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures: An Antiques Appraisal Show at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, 8.7.

MARYLAND
The College Park Aviation Museum will open Mail Call, an exhibition from the National Postal Museum and SITES in College Park, 8.6.

FLORIDA
The Orange County Regional History Center  will open SITES’ Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project in Orlando, 8.20.