kudos Affiliates! December 2015-January 2016

Wow!  Congratulations to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.  What a way to start a new year.



Lilly Endowment awarded a $7.5 million grant to Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN). $6 million of the grant will be used to bolster the Lilly endowment; the rest will be used to renovate the historic Chinese House, enhance summer camp programs, and hire additional fundraising staff.

The Riverboat Development Authority has awarded $50,000 to the Putnam Museum (Davenport, IA) for The Magical History Tour exhibit scheduled for February 2017.

Union Station, Kansas City (Kansas City, MO) announced that Science City had received a $250,000 grant from the David Beals Charitable Trust to enhance exhibits about human health. In addition, Science City recently received an international award for visitor experience from the Association of Science-Technology Centers.

Six contemporary Arab American artists from a broad range of disciplines will participate in a new artist residency program after the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) received a $50,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge. The artist residency program will enlist artists that demonstrate the multiplicity of contemporary arts production by and about Arabs and Arab Americans.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced $21.8 million in grants for 295 humanities projects, including the following Affiliate recipients:

  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH): $12,000
    Project Description: The digitization of community materials and support for public programs that will deepen the historical record documenting Ohio’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
  • Black Archives of Mid-America, Inc.: $12,000
    Project Description: The digitization of community photographs, letters, employment records, artworks, and artifacts pertaining to the African American experience in Kansas City, Missouri, during the early 20th century. In cooperation with the American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) the project will also offer public lectures by area scholars and musicians about the history of Kansas City in the Jazz Age and Great Depression and would sponsor screenings of films held by the Jazz Museum, including the documentary Women in Jazz.
  • ACCESS (On behalf of the Arab American National Museum): $12,000
    Project Description: A digitization event, open to the general public, to gather personal collections relating to the history of Dearborn, Michigan, and a community oral history event. That event will be followed by a community-focused community storytelling and spoken word event, which will highlight the cultural history and contributions of notable Dearborn residents.
  • African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA): $12,000
    Project Description: A community event to explore Philadelphia’s African American history through community photographs contributed by members of the public, as well as programming to highlight photography at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. The project will include workshops on family history and photographic preservation, lectures and a film screening of the documentary, Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People.
  • Birthplace of Country Music (Bristol, TN): $6,000
    Project Description: A preservation assessment of a country music collection consisting of photographs, archives, and audiovisual materials. The collections provide an important resource for scholars, community members, and visitors and are currently used for research, in exhibitions, and for public programs, including an upcoming Ken Burns documentary on country music.

In addition, NEH awarded $162,242 to the Florida International University (Miami, FL) for a Humanities in the Public Square project to fund a series of public events, programs, and conversations addressing the environmental threat posed to Miami from rising sea levels.

The National Endowment for the Arts awarded $27.7 million to support 1,126 projects in the first round of FY 2016 funding, including the following Affiliate projects:

  • Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)-$70,000
    To support the exhibition “Women of Abstract Expressionism.” The exhibition will feature more than 50 paintings by women Abstract Expressionist painters active during the 1940s and ’50s. Artist quotes, a short documentary film, related programs, and an illustrated catalogue will help the public understand the role these women played in the Abstract Expressionist movement.
  • HistoryMiami (Miami, FL)-$20,000
    To support the Miami Street Culture Project. HistoryMiami will conduct fieldwork to identify and document the communal recreational and occupational traditions found on the streets of Miami’s various communities. These traditions will include artistic expressions such as murals, graffiti, displays of street vendors, and parades, as well as decorations found on cars and bicycles. The documentation – including interviews, photographs, and artifacts – will be assembled into an exhibit that will share and interpret these traditions with the larger community.
  • Robert W. Woodruff Arts Center, Inc. (On behalf of High Museum of Art) (Atlanta, GA)-$50,000
    To support the exhibition “Al Taylor: What Are You Looking At?,” and an accompanying catalogue. The exhibition, featuring the work of the late American artist Al Taylor (1948-99), will include approximately 100 objects, drawings, and prints, many made of commonplace materials such as hangers, broomsticks, and plastic bottles. Educational programming for all ages will complement the exhibition.
  • Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA) -$35,000
    To support the Lowell Folk Festival. The festival will celebrate its 30th year showcasing master folk artists. Performances of traditional music such as Appalachian bluegrass, Portuguese Fado, and Irish reels will be offered alongside traditional dance, crafts, and ethnic foodways.
  • International Storytelling Center (Jonesborough, TN)-$20,000
    To support Storytelling Live!, a seasonal teller-in-residence program. Master artists representing a broad range of storytelling traditions from the U.S. and abroad will conduct week-long residencies. In addition to storytelling performances, the artists will offer workshops and present special programs designed to serve seniors and youth.
  • Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY)-$20,000
    To support the catalogue “Enduring Legacies: Indian Art from the Paul Dyck Collection.” The catalogue will feature 150 images of objects from the Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, long considered by scholars to be one of the most comprehensive assemblages of pre-reservation and early reservation art.
  • Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ) -$10,000
    To support performances by violinist Rachel Barton, and associated violin master classes intended to serve lowincome and minority youth.


The Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA) and Tampa Bay History Center (Tampa, FL) have received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums.

Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH) has won a statewide award, and received national and state recognition for its current exhibit, “Authentic Narratives: Ohio’s Regionalists, 1915-1950.”  The Museum earned the RUBY Award, awarded by the Ohio Travel Association and Ohio Magazine.

A four billion year-old meteorite which plunged into a house in metro Atlanta was officially recognized and named by the international Meteoritical Society with the assistance of the Smithsonian Institution during a ceremony at the Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, GA). The 295 gram meteorite was officially named “Cartersville” in honor of the city in which it landed. It was classified as ordinary Chondrite L5 meteorite, according to Smithsonian officials, having low iron-nickel and a level 5 degree amount of deformation on a scale of 1-7.

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) Curator of Folk Arts Marsha MacDowell has been named a fellow of the American Folklore Society, demonstrating outstanding accomplishments and making important contributions to the field of folklore.

John E. Herzog, founder of the Museum of American Finance (New York, NY), received the International Federation of Finance Museums (IFFM) Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the field of financial literacy.

UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, TX) Executive Director, Angelica Docog, has been named the recipient of the 2015 Constellation Stars Award sponsored by the San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce. The award goes to women who have demonstrated advocacy, connection and empowerment.


The Bakken Museum (Minneapolis, MN) has hired Minnesota native Michael Sanders to replace its longtime director David Rhees, who retired in September. Rhees stepped down after 23 years overseeing the growth of the museum, which was created by Medtronic founder Earl Bakken to showcase his collection of pacemakers and historic medical devices that used electricity.

kudos Affiliates! September 2015

Affiliates end the summer with great news from the National Endowment for the Humanities and impressive accomplishments all around.  Bravo!


The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced $36.6 million in grants for 212 humanities projects including the following Affiliate awarded initiatives:

Project Title: American Indian Boarding Schools: History and Legacy, Transition in American Indian Boarding Schools Project
Description: Planning for the reinterpretation and expansion of a permanent exhibition, two traveling exhibitions, and a catalog that would examine the experience of Native American youth in boarding and tribal schools from the nineteenth century to the present.

Project Title: The American Maritime Commons Project
Description: A five-week institute for twenty college and university faculty on America’s maritime history.

Project Title: Mississippi Digital Newspaper Project, Phase Two

Project Title: Demon Times: Temperance, Immigration, and Progressivism Project
Description: Two one-week workshops for seventy-two school teachers on temperance and immigration in the Progressive Era.

Project Title: From Immigrants to Citizens: Asian Pacific Americans in the Northwest Project Description: Two one-week workshops for seventy-two school teachers to explore the histories and cultures of Asian immigrants in the Pacific Northwest and their significance to the nation.

Project title: Optimization of the Preservation Environment
Description: For preservation, collections and building management stakeholders to work collaboratively to achieve the best possible preservation environment, with the least possible energy consumption, that is both sustainable and appropriate to the particular collections that reside within the Center’s walls.

Project Title: Inventing America: Lowell and the Industrial Revolution Project
Description: Two one-week workshops for seventy-two school teachers on the textile industry in Lowell, Massachusetts, as a case study of early nineteenth-century industrialization.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) announced that the organization will be awarding a $7,120 grant to the Museum of Appalachia (Clinton, TN), to aid with the Peter’s Homestead Roof Preservation and Restoration Project on an early 1800’s rare saddle bag style log house in Appalachian Pioneer Village.

The Boeing Company and Mrs. June Boeing, wife of the late William E. Boeing, Jr., announced a philanthropic partnership, each contributing $15 million to significantly expand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education offered through The Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA). These investments will launch the Boeing Academy for STEM Learning, a vigorous, new STEM-focused education initiative that aims to double the number of students served by the Museum’s immersive programs over the next two years, particularly from communities underrepresented in STEM fields, and connect them to fulfilling, in-demand jobs.

Ultimaker, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of 3D printers, based in the Netherlands, recently gifted nine new 3D printers valued at nearly $21,000, to the Maker Studio at Union Station Kansas City‘s Science Center, Science City (Kansas City, MO). The donation will allow better support of STEAM education during walk-up workshops and demos, school field trips, professional development programs for teachers, and special events.

The South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD) has received a $25,000 challenge grant from Pierre philanthropist Mansour Karim to fund an event for the Great Sioux Horse Effigy Return Celebration scheduled for October 10-12, 2015.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (Staten Island, NY) is one of several Staten Island cultural organizations to receive a share of almost $1.8 million for various infrastructure projects by the city.

Virgin America announced an education-themed partnership with the Frontiers of Flight Museum (Dallas, TX). As part of the partnership, the Burlingame, California-based airline will provide scholarships for students enrolled in the organization’s Flight School and other educational programs.


Lynn Kelly, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (Staten Island, NY), has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).


The American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) announced the appointment of Ralph Reid as interim CEO. Reid retired this year from Sprint, where he was a Vice President and President of the Sprint Foundation.


Kudos! Winter 2014

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.

HistoryMiami (Miami, FL) has been awarded $150,000 by the Knight Foundation as one of the 2014 South Florida Knight Arts Challenge Winners. The award will be used to tell Miami stories through images by creating a photography center at the museum focused on curating exhibitions and engaging the community in documenting life in South Florida.

The Justice Planetarium at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center (Hutchinson, KS) will undergo a $400,000 renovation in February, thanks to contributions from the Walter E. & Velma G. Justice Fund for Reno County and from Dave and Dee Dillon.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District board. The funds will be allocated for general operating expenses.

The Reynolds family and Reynolds Farm Equipment have donated $1 million to Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (Fishers, IN). The Reynolds family placed no restrictions on its use but the museum has mentioned they will use the funds towards a future project.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, HI) received a $1.5 million grant from the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust. The gift combined with the recent $550,000 State of Hawaii Grants in Aid allocation and a $100,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation will be used for interior restoration of the iconic Ford Island Control Tower Operations Building.

The United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA) will be the recipient of a $2 million state grant, recently awarded to the Army Heritage Center Foundation.  The funds will be used to add 37,000 sf to the visitor center.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens (Staten Island, NY) will receive $7.43 million from New York City’s capital budget, for the continued restoration of its Music Hall.

Several Affiliates have been selected as one of 919 nonprofit organizations nationwide to benefit from the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works Grant:

  • Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ) – $10,000 to support Free Summer Sundays in July, a multidisciplinary program featuring Latino and Native American musicians, dancers, and storytellers.
  • Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)- $25,000 to support the exhibition and catalogue “Super Indian: Fritz Scholder 1967-1980.”
  • Robert W. Woodruff Arts Center, Inc. (on behalf of High Museum of Art) (Atlanta, GA)- $60,000 to support the exhibition “Alex Katz: This is Now.”
  • City of Dearborn, Michigan– $10,000 to support the architectural design and related community engagement and outreach for the development of an artist-in-residence unit in the City Hall Artspace Lofts. Facilitated by Artspace Projects Inc., the project will include all design stages for the renovation and adaptive reuse of a unit in the concourse of the existing Dearborn City Hall, as part of a larger development of cultural facilities and space for artists and arts organizations, including the Arab American National Museum.
  • City of East Lansing, Michigan– $30,000 to support the Great Lakes Folk Festival produced by the Michigan State University Museum.
  • Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens (Staten Island, NY)- $10,000 to support residencies for emerging artists and related activities. Residents will live and work alongside established faculty artists with diverse backgrounds and practices. The project will focus on performing artists.
  • International Storytelling Association (on behalf of the International Storytelling Center) (Jonesborough, TN) – $15,000 to support Storytelling Live!, a series of residencies for master storytellers. The program will showcase storytellers representing a broad range of oral traditions from all over the world. In addition to storytelling, the master artists will offer workshops and present special programs intended to serve seniors and youth.
  • Buffalo Bill Memorial Association (on behalf of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West) (Cody, WY)- $40,000 to support “Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley (1814-1872).”

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced $17.9 million in grants for 233 humanities projects, including the following Affiliates:

  • Florida International University (Miami, FL)-$6,000 for improving the storage environment of The Wolfsonian–FIU Collection. Evaluating the existing environmental control systems inside the historic buildings would help the museum’s staff better care for this unique collection.
  • Stearns History Museum (Saint Cloud, MN) – $1,000 for NEH on the Road: For All the World to See.
  • City of Las Cruces– (Las Cruces, NM)-$1,000 for NEH on the Road: House and Home

Museum of American Finance (New York, New York)
David Rubenstein to Receive 2015 Whitehead Award for Public Service and Financial Leadership From Museum of American Finance

Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, Wyoming)
Cody Firearms Museum gets new associate curator

The Mexican Museum (San Francisco, California)
The Mexican Museum Announces New Officers for 2015

Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)
Musical Instrument Museum names executive director

HistoryMiami (Miami, Florida)
HistoryMiami appoints Holly Davis as vice president of advancement

Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden (Staten Island, New York)
Gabri Christa named new artistic director of Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center

kudos Affiliates! September 2013

Summer 2013 is winding down but continues to be a hot one for our Affiliates!



The National Endowment for the Humanities recently announced the recipients of $33 million in grants for 173 humanities projects, including the following Affiliate projects:

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT)-$164,280
Project: “The American Maritime People” NEH Summer Institute 2014
Project Description: Implementing a five-week summer institute for twenty college and university faculty to examine recent social, cultural, and ecological approaches to American maritime studies.

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT)-$450,000
Project: Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers: The 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan
Project Description: Implementing a long-term exhibition, a website, and public programs at the Mystic Seaport Museum that examine the broad economic, social, and cultural impact of whaling. 

Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME)-$220,000
Project: Implementing Sustainability Strategies for the Abbe Museum’s Collections Environment
Project Description: The implementation of environmental improvements, consisting of upgrades to the climate control and lighting systems, for a museum that collects, preserves, and exhibits ethnographic and historic material relating to the four tribes of central Maine,  collectively known as the Wabanaki.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT)-$300,000
Project: Montana Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization 100,000 pages of Montana newspapers dating from 1836 to 1922, as part of the state’s continuing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Ohio Historical Society (Columbus, OH)-$40,000
Project: Ohio’s Ten Tribes
Project Description: Planning for a five-thousand-square-foot permanent exhibition, a website, and educational materials examining the forced removal of ten Native American tribes from Ohio in the early 19th century and the historical and contemporary impact on these tribes.

Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK)-$300,000
Project: Oklahoma Newspaper Digitization Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Oklahoma newspapers issued between 1836 and 1922, as part of the state’s continuing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA)-$300,000
Project: Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Jews in America
Project Description: Implementation of an artifact-based traveling exhibition, a smaller panel version to be displayed in baseball parks, a catalogue, a website, and related public programs.

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, WA)-$179,914
Project: Asian Pacific American Immigrants in the Pacific Northwest: Transforming the Nation
Project Description: Two one-week Landmarks workshops for eighty school teachers to explore the history and culture of Asian immigrant groups in the Pacific Northwest and their significance to the nation.

Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody, WY)-$200,000
Project: The Papers of William F. Cody: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and the European Frontier
Project Description: Preparation for publication of materials related to the tours by Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show of Great Britain and Germany in 1887-1906.




The Institute of Museum and Library Services recently announced recipients of its grants for African American History and Culture, including the following Affiliates:

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL)-$74,277 to implement the Collection Storage Improvement Project, the goal of which is to safeguard its archival and fine arts collections to ensure that they will be available for use by current and future staff, scholars, and researchers.

– The Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH)-$150,000 for an apprentice program, recruiting recent talented graduates from colleges and universities across the country, with a focus on those from HBCUs.

The Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) is going a little Hollywood with its historic collection of films and still photographs that will help tell the story of Sen. Lee Metcalf and his contributions to what he helped make “The Last Best Place.” A two-year grant from the private sector Council on Library and Information Resources will allow them to arrange, preserve and describe the Metcalf photographs and film. The grant provides the resources necessary to spend time researching, identifying and preserving all of the materials in the collections.

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) received a $200,000 grant from the Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) to support the renovation and expansion of the Museum’s Craft Center, providing essential visitor services like climate control and additional area for demonstrations and hands-on activities. The Museum also plans to construct a bakery in the Craft Center, where guests can view demonstrations of 17th-century baking techniques and learn how to make bread.


Patricia Wilson Aden has been named the new President & CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia. 

The International Storytelling Center (Jonesborough, TN) has hired Kiran Singh Sirah, a prominent folklorist, as its new Executive Director.

Carrie M. Heinonen has been named President and Director of the Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ)

kudos affiliates! for may 2013

Spring has sprung, and 2013 continues to be a successful one for our Affiliates!


The Ohio Historical Society (Columbus, Ohio) has received $155,000 from the Ohio General Assembly for repairs on the sternwheeler W.P. Snyder.  The Society also received two awards from The National Endowment for the neh_at_logoHumanities: one for $248,600 to continue the digitization of Ohio’s microfilmed newspapers as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program and one for $359,994 to support a project to increase and share knowledge about Midwestern Native American tribes with community college educators.  

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, Michigan)  received  a $1.9 million gift to create the first endowed curatorship. The Berryman MSU Museum Curator of History Endowment established by Julie Avery, Stephen Stier and Val Berryman will create a new curator position for the museum’s historical collections.

Hugh Moore Park, home of the National Canal Museum,  (Easton, Pennsylvania) will receive $475,000 in upgrades, including a canal-themed playground, an outdoor classroom and signs detailing the park’s historical elements. $175,000 will be from a state grant for the project and the rest of the funds will come from the Hugh Moore Trust.


greenglobes-165The Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, Texas) recently achieved a four Green Globes(R) rating from the Green Building Initiative for its sustainability practices. The museum’s achievement is a rare feat — only 12 out of 759 Green Globes certified buildings in the US have achieved four Globes.

Executive Transitions

Smithsonian Affiliations would like to welcome the following new directors to the Affiliate network:
- Patrick D. Lyons, Ph.D. will be the new director of Arizona State Museum (Tucson, Arizona)
Ramiro A. Ortiz and Stuart A. Chase who have been named to lead HistoryMiami (Miami, Florida)
– Kay Peninger recently started as executive director of the Charlotte Museum of History (Charlotte, North Carolina)

History Colorado Center Hosts Its First Smithsonian National Youth Summit

Special thanks for this guest post to Liz Cook, Environmental Educator at History Colorado.

We were thrilled that the History Colorado Center was to be selected as one of the nine Smithsonian Affiliate sites to participate in the National Youth Summit: Dust Bowl on October 17, 2012.  Over 150 high school and middle school students from around Colorado participated, including students from western Colorado, Denver, and the Colorado Springs’ neighborhoods that were impacted by this summer’s Waldo Canyon Fire.  Students watched the live broadcast from the National Museum of American History, which included insights from Dust Bowl survivor Cal Crabill, who grew up near Holly, on the plains of eastern Colorado.  In the second half of the Youth Summit, presenters made connections between current environmental issues in Colorado and the lessons of the Dust Bowl, including hydraulic fracturing, wildfire, climate change and water. Media partner Rocky Mountain PBS taped the presentations, which will be available online for future use by students and teachers.  The Youth Summit was a perfect opportunity for us to explore these topics, as our “Living West” exhibition (opening in 2013) will focus on how natural systems have impacted human history and how human choices have impacted the environment in Colorado, and will include stories of the Dust Bowl in southeastern Colorado, and current issues in our state.  

Schools Attending

  • Roaring Fork High School, Carbondale, CO (Garfield County Libraries)-10 students
  • Grand Valley High School, Parachute, CO (Garfield County Libraries)-10 students
  • Dora Moore School, Denver Public Schools, Denver-87 students
  • George Washington High School, Denver Public Schools-15 students
  • Coronado High School, Colorado Springs School District 11- 17 students 

Local Youth Summit Presentations

  • “Colorado’s Water Future”
    Kristin Maharg, Program Manager, Colorado Foundation for Water Education 
  • “Catastrophic Wildfires in Colorado”  
    Einar Jensen, Life Safety Educator South Metro Fire Rescue Authority
  • Hydraulic Fracturing: Folly or Fortune?
    Adrianne Kroepsch, Graduate Research Assistant, Center of the American West, and Doctoral Student, Environmental Studies, University of Colorado
  • “Snowpack in the Rocky Mountains”
    Ryan Vachon, Director at Earth Initiatives and affiliate with INSTAAR (Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado)

The National Museum of American History partnered with the National Endowment for the Humanities, WETA television, and Smithsonian Affiliations to present the National Youth Summit on the Dust Bowl. More information on upcoming National Youth Summits at