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Kudos Affiliates!! November 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 Institute of Museum and Library Services announced grant awards totaling $21,726,676 for museums across the nation to improve services to their communities including the following Affiliate projects:

Museum of History and Industry (Seattle, WA): $128,200 to conduct formative evaluation and community research to guide the redesign of its core exhibit, “True Northwest,” which traces the history of Seattle.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO): $249,950 to redesign and expand its Space Odyssey exhibition with a renewed focus on inclusive and accessible informal learning opportunities.

Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH): $250,000 to develop a permanent exhibition to showcase its invertebrate paleontology collection and develop related educational programming that builds on a strong commitment to gender equity.

Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH): $233,403 to continue its work to empower New Americans to become community leaders and advocates for their communities of origin. Originally funded through the IMLS Community Catalysts initiative, the project connects New American leaders with established community resources and fundamental civic education in order to build a base of knowledge that increases their sense of belonging in the larger metropolitan community.

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA): $167,522 to rehouse a portion of its mycology and fish collections to secure their long-term preservation and to improve access for the benefit of researchers, students, government biologists, and citizen scientists.

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, WA): $136,134 to draw on its collections to supplement the Asian Pacific American (APA) history curriculum in Washington state schools.

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI): $113,221 to improve accessibility, environmental conditions, and housing for more than 5,000 vertebrate specimens, including rare, endangered, and threatened species.

Conner Prairie Interactive Historic Park (Fishers, IN): $104,500 to address institutional challenges relating to diversity, accessibility, equity, and inclusion (DEAI) and strengthen its relevance to the communities it serves by implementing policies, procedures, and training.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC): $105,085 to train staff members on the design and delivery of accessible content for its public programs and exhibits.

 

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (Fishers, IN) received a $25,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation’s “Powerful Communities” program, to support conservation, habitat and forest restoration and other environmental initiatives. The funding will be used to provide White River shoreline stabilization and conduct a pond analysis in Hamilton County.

The Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE) received a grant of $2,000 from Humanities Nebraska to support an Apollo 11 50th Anniversary exhibit.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame (Canton, OH) was awarded $189,800 by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation to support Camp Invention and Invention Project programming.

The PNM Resources Foundation awarded “reduce your use” grants totaling $100,000 to 21 New Mexico nonprofits, including the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Foundation (Albuquerque, NM). The $5,000 grant will allow the organization to spend less on electric bills and more on providing essential services.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) was the recipient of the Best Practices Award from the Association of Midwest Museums. The award recognizes the Heritage Support Grants program for its support of regional historical societies, museums and sites across the state. Created in 2016 with support from a $3.48 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the program provides grants and workshops to Indiana organizations, allowing them to raise the bar when caring for the state’s history. The grants help meet high-priority needs while workshops provide education on fundraising.

The Association of Science-Technology Centers awarded its first Leading Edge Overcomer Award to the American Museum of Science & Energy (Oak Ridge, TN) for the collaborative ways the Museum engaged its local community partners during a move into a new building with state-of-the-art exhibits.

Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, OK) has been recognized with a 2019 Reader’s Choice Award as a top venue for special events in Oklahoma City by the publishers, editors and readers of ConventionSouth, a national multimedia resource for event planning.

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, part of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Jackson, MS) was honored at the international museum conference Best in Heritage. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum was selected for its Chaney Goodman Schwerner Theater that received the 2018 MUSE Gold Award from the American Alliance of Museums. The award winning theater examines story of the murder of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner during the 1964 Freedom Summer.

From left to right: Denice Blair (MSU Museum Education Manger), Chong-Anna Canfora (MSU Museum Development Director), David Mittleman (Grewal Law), Amanda Smith (Sister Survivor), Mark Auslander (MSU Museum Director), Mary Worrall (MSU Museum Curator), Elena Cram (Sister Survivor)

Michigan State University Museum’s (East Lansing, MI) “Finding Our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak” exhibit was awarded the 2019 Peninsulas Prize for its impact and exceptional programming by the Michigan Museums Association.

LEADERSHIP

The Saint Louis Science Center (Saint Louis, MO) has hired Todd Bastean as its next president and CEO, effective October 7. Barbara Boyle, who has served as the center’s interim president and CEO for the past year, will resume her role as chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Affiliates in the news

Here’s a recap of our Affiliate news makers in October. 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’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. (Tamika Moore | tmoore@al.com)

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. (Tamika Moore | tmoore@al.com)

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL)
Birmingham Civil Rights District should be designated a national park
While I walked through NMAAHC and shared information with my two daughters, I was reminded of Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s long connection with the museum. Before there was one brick in place, BCRI collaborated with NMAAHC on numerous projects, including showcasing one of its traveling exhibitions, “Let Your Motto Be Resistance,” back in 2009. Our staff has supported its efforts in planning, the securing of objects and community support.

Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH)
New Smithsonian museum has Dayton connection
A traveling exhibit “A Place for All People” is also designed to pique interest in the new museum. That show, a collection of posters, is currently on display at the Springfield Museum of Art. Ann Fortescue, the Springfield museum’s executive director, says one of the many benefits of being a Smithsonian Affiliate museum is sharing what’s happening at the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. with audiences in the Miami Valley.

"Star Wars and the Power of Costume" showcases not only the outfits that have become iconic, but the process behind the creation of the characters and their adornments. In the exhibition, you'll see both concept art (left) and the final looks (right), including these of C-3PO and R2-D2 from "Star Wars: A New Hope" and "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back." –Photo © & â„¢ 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization

“Star Wars and the Power of Costume” showcases not only the outfits that have become iconic, but the process behind the creation of the characters and their adornments. In the exhibition, you’ll see both concept art (left) and the final looks (right), including these of C-3PO and R2-D2 from “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.” –Photo © & â„¢ 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization

Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Behind the Scenes of the DAM’s Upcoming “Star Wars” Exhibit
It’s been a few days since the latest Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer was released, and it’s another two months until the film hits theaters–but don’t despair. You can get your fill of the Star Wars world in the interim with Star Wars and the Power of Costume, which takes over the second floor of the Denver Art Museum (DAM) from November 13 through April 2.

New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM)
New Exhibit to Showcase Gene Roddenberry’s Vision
But the smallest exhibit cases may be the ones that hold the real treasures, straight from the vault of the Smithsonian. The Star Trek episode The Trouble With Tribbles, written by David Gerrold who will be a special guest on opening night, revolves around furry little critters that multiply at an incredible rate and who also have a serious dislike for Klingons. Although the Starship Enterprise was overrun by tribbles at the time, only a very few remain in existence today. The tribble visitors will admire inside its eight inch case was actually used in that episode and is on loan to the museum from the Smithsonian.

National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN)
The Smithsonian Names the National Civil Rights Museum as an Affiliate Museum
The National Civil Rights Museum has been named a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. The Museum is the second Smithsonian Affiliate in Memphis, and seventh in the state of Tennessee. 

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA)
National Museum of American History Examines Religion in America
Led by Richard Pickering, deputy executive director of Plimoth Plantation, the documentary theater program will explore the intersection of two musical traditions: hymns and psalms from the Church of England and Calvinist congregations and the sacred songs and dance of the Wampanoag, the indigenous people of Cape Cod, the Islands and southern Massachusetts.

Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, IL)
Peoria Fine Arts Society hosts lectures on new national African American museum
Author, lecturer and teacher John W. Franklin will speak at the Peoria Riverfront Museum on Oct. 13 about the National Museum of African American History and Culture that recently opened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

ncbirdstudy

Researchers simulated a gannet plunging into water, capturing the process with a high-speed camera. (Image by Sunny Jung/Virginia Tech)

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
STUDY SHOWS HOW BIRDS DIVE SAFELY AT HIGH SPEEDS
To analyze the bird’s body shape and neck musculature, the team used a salvaged gannet provided by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. They also created 3-D printed replicas of gannet skulls from the collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, which helped them measure the forces on the skull as it enters the water. 

DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
What’s Ahead for Chicago’s DuSable Museum (VIDEO)
The DuSable Museum of African American History was founded in 1957 and it continues to showcase a rich and sometimes difficult history. Over the last year, two new executives have taken charge of the DuSable Museum. President and CEO Perri Irmer and chief curator Leslie Guy join host Eddie Arruza in discussion.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum (Las Vegas, NV)
Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Introduces World’s Largest Snake
Slithering in at 48 feet long and weighing an estimated one-and-a-half tons, a realistic replica of the world’s largest snake will on exhibit at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum from Oct. 14 through Jan. 8.

dusable

 

October 2016 is BUSY in Affiliateland!

Thanks to all our Affiliates for such great work!

CONNECTICUT
Affiliations program Director Harold Closter will announce the new affiliation with the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, 10.5.

IOWA
The Dubuque Museum of Art will hold a videoconference on En Plein Air with the American Art Museum in Dubuque, 10.11.

LOUISIANA
The Smithsonian Associates will be working with three Affiliates – the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the St. Louis Science Center and the Museum of Arts and Sciences on GEAR UP, a science education program for 8th graders in Lafayette, 10.11-13.

MISSOURI
National Outreach Manager Aaron Glavas will announce the new affiliation with the St. Louis Science Center, and National Air and Space Museum educator Tim Grove will present a book talk at a Member Open House event in St. Louis, on 10.13.

HAWAII
The Pacific Aviation Museum will host an astrophotography workshop with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, in Honolulu, 10.13-14.

ARIZONA
The Heard Museum will open the exhibition Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist from the National Museum of the American Indian, in Phoenix, 10.13

GEORGIA
Staff from the National Museum of Natural History will be giving talks at a private event for the Atlanta Regional Host Committee at the David Sencer Centers for Disease Control Museum in Atlanta, 10.13.

NEVADA
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum will open the SITES exhibition Titanaboa in Las Vegas, 10.15.

NORTH CAROLINA
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will host the Board meeting and associated activities of the Smithsonian Science Education Center in Raleigh, 10.17.

WASHINGTON, DC
Over 120 Affiliate staff will help celebrate the 20th anniversary of Smithsonian Affiliations at the annual conference in Washington, 10.17-20.

TENNESSEE
John Franklin from the National African American Museum will announce the new affiliation with the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, 10.20.

OHIO
National Outreach Manager Jennifer Brundage will give comments at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology groundbreaking, dedication and dinner event in Akron, 10.22.

American Art Museum curator Virginia Mecklenburg will present a talk on Seeing America with Norman Rockwell at the Springfield Museum of Art in Springfield, 10.25.

COLORADO
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Smithsonian Science Education Center will collaborate on workshops on Building Awareness for Science Education in Denver, 10.24-25.

DELAWARE
National Museum of American History curator Katherine Ott will attend and offer commentary at the Making of Modern Disability conference at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, 10.28.

 

 

Affiliates in the news!

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  We were on a hiatus during our Conference season, but we’re back in action highlighting Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines. If you have a clipping highlighting a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum (Clewiston, FL)
Florida Fontiers: Seminole museum offers a place to remember
“We want this to be the source for tribal history and culture for people,” said director Anne McCudden. “We want this to be the place where people can come to get the correct information, to meet tribal members, and to really experience tribal culture one-on-one.”

South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD)
State Historical Society’s Sioux Horse Effigy Returned
We are designing a new display for the effigy that will include loaned effigies from the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the National Museum of the American Indian.

Las Cruces Museum of Nature & Science (Las Cruces, NM)
Kids ‘Capture the Colorful Cosmos’ in new exhibit
It’s a workshop fusing the worlds of art and science. Using software provided by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, students will learn about astronomy, remotely control a telescope to take an image of a celestial object, and process the image for visual impact. Students will then use the image as the basis of an art project,” explained Kimberly Hanson, education curator for the Las Cruces Museum of Nature & Science, which is hosting the project.

National Inventors Hall of Fame (North Canton, Ohio)
Smithsonian Innovation Wing Opens at National Museum of American History
The experience begins in the Johnson-Louis Gateway to Innovation where “Inventing in America,” in collaboration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, displays early patent models, trademarks and inventions of National Inventors Hall of Fame members.

Daniel "Chappie" James, became a flight leader for a fighter squadron at Clark Field in the Philippines in the late 1940s. James flew 101 combat sorties in Korea in P-51 Mustangs and F-80 jets. He also flew in Vietnam and later became a four-star general. Photo courtesy Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

Daniel “Chappie” James, became a flight leader for a fighter squadron at Clark Field in the Philippines in the late 1940s. James flew 101 combat sorties in Korea in P-51 Mustangs and F-80 jets. He also flew in Vietnam and later became a four-star general. Photo courtesy Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

The Air Zoo (Portage, Michigan)
Air Zoo exhibition ‘Black Wings,’ looks at history of blacks in U.S. aviation
“The Smithsonian’s ‘Black Wings’ exhibit so poignantly tells the stories of the trials and triumphs of some of our country’s most heroic aviators and space pioneers.  The Air Zoo is honored to bring these extraordinary heroes to life for all our guests from Southwest Michigan and beyond,” said Troy Thrash, president and CEO of the Air Zoo.

New traveling Smithsonian exhibit opens at the Air Zoo
“This is really the perfect tie-in that really shapes what we’re trying to do at the Air Zoo; really tell these stories about famous aviators and astronauts as well, but also not-so-famous aviators and astronauts, who have done some amazing, remarkable, heroic things that many people don’t know about,” said Air Zoo President and CEO Troy Thrash.

National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA)
New director Amy Hollander brings fresh start to embattled industrial history museum
“If I were to design a dream job, it would be to be the executive director of the National Museum of Industrial History, a Smithsonian affiliate in a local, engaged community that is passionate about saving the vanishing landscape, which is how this appears to me,” Hollander said. “This is the classic historic preservation success story.”

Chuck Liddy-NEWS & OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

Chuck Liddy-NEWS & OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
NC State study finds coyotes help limit carnage from cats
This study describes some of the first results to come out of the “e-mammal” citizen science project led by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution. Volunteers set up cameras in their backyards, along trails, in urban forests, and in parks and nature preserves. They also helped identify the animals captured in photographs.

History Colorado (Denver, CO)
Roots run deep for Latinos in Colorado
Eduardo Diaz, the director of the Smithsonian Latino Center, said he could not emphasize enough the importance of this exhibit and its message about the impact the Chicano movement has had on civil rights and justice issues across the nation.

Irving Arts Center (Irving, TX)
New Executive Director at Irving Arts Center in Texas
Todd Eric Hawkins has been named the Irving Arts Center’s executive director

Mennello Museum of American Art (Orlando, FL)
Reports: Mennello Museum names new director
Shannon Fitzgerald will be the new director of Orlando’s Mennello Museum of American Art, according to several media reports.

coming up in affiliateland in may 2015

The 2015 class of inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

The 2015 class of inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Affiliations director Harold Closter will give remarks at the Affiliations announcement at the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville, 5.7.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame (headquartered in North Canton, OH) will host a series of innovation events at the Smithsonian to celebrate the 2015 class of inductees – 14 trailblazing inventors.  The induction ceremony will be held at the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum, 5.12.  Innovation Echo, a panel discussion with inductees, co-hosted by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, will take place at the National Museum of American History, 5.13.

MARYLAND
College Park Aviation Museum will host From Queen Bee to Drone Fever: The Strange Evolution of Unmanned Aircraft, a public lecture by National Air and Space curator Roger Conner in College Park, 5.14.

Dig_It_poster_300NORTH CAROLINA
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will open SITES Dig It: The Secrets of Soil in Raleigh, 5.16.

Affiliates in the news!

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  Each month we highlight Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines. If you have a clipping highlighting a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

Dome at the Arab American National Museum. Courtesy of AANM.

Dome at the Arab American National Museum. Courtesy of AANM.

Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI)
Dearborn’s Arab American Museum celebrates 10 years of national significance
. the preeminent museum dedicated to documenting and preserving the Arab American story is located in Dearborn. The Arab American National Museum (AANM), the only Smithsonian Affiliate in Southeast Michigan, will celebrate its ten year anniversary this May. As part of the milestone, the museum will roll out a year-long series of events and renovations. “These are huge institutions that tell the American narrative and we’re always striving to include the Arab American story as part of this larger discussion,” says Akmon. “We’re based in Dearborn, but we’re a national institution.”

Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, TN/VA)
Smithsonian exhibit offers wide range of music styles at BCMM
Visitors to a new exhibit at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum can play albums on a record player or pick up the spoons, a washboard, strum a guitar or try their hand at the banjo or fiddle. New Harmonies, a Smithsonian exhibit that includes a wide range of American music styles, opened Wednesday and will appear there for the next six months.

Interactive Smithsonian exhibit at Country Music Museum
This should be music to your ears! Bristol’s Birthplace of Country Music Museum is showing off an exhibit that used to belong to the Smithsonian in Washington.

New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music
New Harmonies was once part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. Carol Harsh, director of Museums on Main Street, was instrumental in facilitating the transfer of the exhibit to the BCMM. “The exhibit has found a permanent home at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum,” said Harsh. “We feel it was a perfect fit.”

Photograph of newly built Biomuseo biodiversity museum in Panama City, Panama. Photo by: Fernando Aldo, September, 2014.

Photograph of newly built Biomuseo biodiversity museum in Panama City, Panama. Photo by: Fernando Aldo, September, 2014.

Biomuseo (Panama City, Panama)
Meet Biomuseo: the world’s first biodiversity museum
George Angehr, the Curator of Exhibits at Biomuseo and an ornithologist from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, played an integral role in developing the scientific content found in the eight exhibitions in the museum. He said Panama’s unique position made it the natural choice for the world’s first biodiversity museum. . In a 2015 interview with mongabay.com, Angehr talked about what visitors can expect when visiting Biomuseo and how the new museum could raise biodiversity awareness and further conservation efforts in Panama and beyond.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
Before There Were Crocodiles, There Was the “Carolina Butcher”
But this newfound ancestor of the modern croc had anything but a docile temperament, according to a study by paleontologists at North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. At about 231 million years old, the newly described species offers fresh insight into crocodile evolution and behavior in the days before the reign of the dinosaurs.

Audubon program to focus on ‘E-mammal’ project
The speaker will be Megan Baker-Whatton, who is the citizen science coordinator of the eMammal project at the Smithsonian Institution’s Conservation Biology Institute. She will provide an overview of the e-Mammal project, which links citizen volunteers with researchers at the Smithsonian Institution and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to document mammals throughout the mid-Atlantic region, and soon, the entire country.

Smithsonian Science How?: Arthropod Adaptations (VIDEO)
The Smithsonian Institution selected the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences as a partner for “Smithsonian Science How?” a new program to deliver real-world science directly into classrooms through free, interactive live webcasts and classroom resources. . This presentation, “Arthropod Adaptations,” featuring Bill Reynolds, Curator, Coordinator, & Containment Director of the Arthropod Zoo, originally aired March 13, 2014. It was followed by “Inside the Insect Zoo” featuring Dan Babbitt, manager of the O. Orkin Insect Zoo and Butterfly Pavilion at the National Museum of Natural History. 

Watch live streaming video from naturalsciences at livestream.com

Smithsonian Science How?: Lemurs  (VIDEO)
“How to Eat Like a Lemur” with Chris Smith, education specialist at Duke Lemur Center, is the second presentation in the series. The Smithsonian’s Briana Pobiner will follow with “Early Human Diets” at 11am.

Heritage Farm Museum and Village (Huntington, WV)
Heritage Farm linked to Smithsonian
Heritage Farm Museum and Village has achieved a new level of recognition and entered a new realm of possibilities. It’s been named West Virginia’s first Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, a distinction that will link Heritage Farm with the many resources and learning opportunities available through the Smithsonian, said Audy Perry, the new executive director of the Heritage Farm Foundation.

Heritage Farm adds Smithsonian connection
Being accepted as part of the Smithsonian network adds an impressive “seal of approval” for the museum project begun by Henriella and the late Mike Perry almost 20 years ago. As their son Audy Perry noted last week, it also marks a “new beginning” for Heritage Farm and a chance to share the Appalachian pioneer story more broadly and more richly than ever before.

A student plays at the new Spark!Lab. Feidt/APRN

A student plays at the new Spark!Lab. Feidt/APRN

Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK)
New Anchorage Museum “lab” sparks innovation
“This is not just banging things that’s going on here,” says Arthur Molella, the director of the Lemelson Center at the Smithsonian, which created the Spark!Lab. “This is all done with a purpose. Cause some of the same energies that are happening here – essentially this curiosity, a disciplined curiosity begins here and carries on through the rest of your life.” Molella says that curiosity and creativity lead to innovation and invention. That’s why his center worked with educators to create the Spark!Lab. They’re helping museums around the United States set up their own localized versions. The Anchorage version, the sixth in the country, will soon include activities focused on the innovation required to live in the Arctic.

FORD MOTOR COMPANY FUND, SMITHSONIAN BRING SPARK!LAB TO ANCHORAGE, OPENING THE DOORS TO INNOVATION AND INVENTION
Spark!Lab, the hands-on invention experience from the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, is opening its newest location at the Anchorage Museum in Alaska. With the support of Ford Motor Company Fund, Spark!Lab will engage children and families in the invention process through science experiments, games, activities and special programs, such as SparkNite, a look at the innovation and inventions of Alaska’s history and Arctic environment.

New Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Director, Melissa Chiu, at the Frost Art Museum. Photography by Rodrigo Gaya

New Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Director, Melissa Chiu, at the Frost Art Museum. Photography by Rodrigo Gaya

Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University (Miami, FL)
Making A Museum in the 21st Century” with Melissa Chiu at Frost Art Museum FIU
The Steven and Dorothea Green Critics’ Lecture Series launched its 34th season at Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU with guest-lecturer Melissa Chiu’s presentation of “Making A Museum in the 21st Century.” Dr. Chiu is the new director of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C

The Mexican Museum (San Francisco, CA)
The Mexican Museum Hires Cayetana S. Gomez as President and Chief Executive Officer
“We are extremely pleased to have Cayetana join our team,” said Andrew M. Kluger, Chairman of The Mexican Museum Board of Trustees. “Along with her unparalleled communication skills and a vast network of professional relationships throughout the United States and Mexico, she has also held significant leadership positions for some of Mexico’s most important art, culture, and media institutions.”

Mexican Museum Set To House Over 18,000 Pieces Of Art In San Francisco Gets Lease Approved
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a lease in the city’s Yerba Buena neighborhood for The Mexican Museum, expected to house more than 18,000 pieces of art and artifacts from across the Americas.

Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR)
Mid-America Science Museum reopens with new look, unique exhibits
It’s a brand new day at the Mid-America Science Museum. Closed since Aug. 11 for renovations, the museum opened its doors Saturday, offering more than 60 exhibits, displays and experiment stations to visitors of all ages.

The exhibition presents paintings, arms and armour and modern work of art. Lakhpreet Kaur/HT

The exhibition presents paintings, arms and armour and modern work of art. Lakhpreet Kaur/HT

UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, Texas)
Sikh artwork on display at Texas University
Developed by Smithsonian Institution and sponsored by the Sikh Heritage Foundation, the exhibition presents paintings; arms and armour; traditional textiles and dress; musical instruments; jewellery; sacred texts; and modern works of art, apart from a scale model of the Golden Temple. “The bulk of the exhibit originated at the Smithsonian Institution, with whom we’re an affiliate.

Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science (Miami, Florida)
Miami Eyes Huge Tourist Draw With $300M Museum
“The museum has always been a community-led initiative to excite and educate greater Miami and its global visitors. It will enrich the lives of south Floridians and visitors by offering in-depth learning experiences and bring the best global resources to south Florida, creating a link between the education, tourism and business communities.”

HistoryMiami (Miami, Florida)
Keeper of the Past
HistoryMiami has a lot of history. Previously known as the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, this Smithsonian-affiliated museum, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is the oldest nonreligious cultural institution in Miami-Dade County. In fact, the museum is now observing its 75th anniversary, and a big announcement is expected during the museum’s annual membership meeting on April 23.

Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, New York)
Flushing Town Hall meets $35,000 campaign challenge
Flushing Town Hall has met its campaign goal of raising $35,000 to match funding from an anonymous donor ahead of its Feb. 28 deadline. Since September, more than 300 people made contributions by mail or online or dropped off donations. By Feb. 10, the organization had raised more than $41,000.

Kenosha Public Museum (Kenosha, Wisconsin)
FREE space exhibit, Kenosha Family Fun, Wisconsin tourist attraction, Stunning Satellite Images
Earth from Space illustrates how satellite imagery is gathered and used to expand mankind’s understanding of life on Earth. It also explores the remote-sensing technology used to gather the images and describes the individual satellites whose images are on display. Brought to you courtesy of the United States Geological Survey and the Smithsonian Institution.

Kenosha Public Museum Hosts Smithsonian Earth from Space Exhibition
The Earth From Space exhibit is on display at the Kenosha Public Museum now through June 21, 2015. Stunning satellite images and artifacts reveal our dynamic, ever-changing planet.

Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (Spokane, Washington)
[Spokane Public Radio spot] From the Studio: The art of Joe Feddersen
Cecile Ganteaume, Curator, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Washington, DC and Multi-Media Artist and Colville Confederated Tribal Member Joe Feddersen spoke with Verne Windham on Friday morning about the Museum of Arts and Culture’s three-days of special programs focusing on American Indian Basketry.

Native Film Fest logo.

Native Film Fest logo.

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, California)
NativeFest coming of age with mature content
The festival’s mission, Hammond said, is to explore indigenous issues, such as the exploitation of Native land and sovereignty, and showcase indigenous filmmakers from around the world.

Native FilmFest: a celebration of diversity
When you have a guest programmer from the Smithsonian Institution and one of the featured films is produced by the Sundance Institute, those strategic alliances give the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum’s 14th Annual Native FilmFest “street cred” that would be the envy of many other film festivals around the country.

Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta, GA); Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH); St. Augustine, FL (St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum)
Top US family vacation destinations named
The best family-friendly vacation spots in the US as chosen by 2,000 families from across the country. Animal attractions, science museums, and tourist towns resonated with families this year.

U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL)
Space & Rocket Center celebrates 45 years with cake & Biergarten
In 1968, the state’s citizens voted to finance construction of the Center, which houses the National Historic Landmark Saturn V Moon Rocket, the Apollo 16 Command Module, the Pathfinder space shuttle display and many other exhibits. The Center is a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum and is the Official Visitor Center for Marshall Space Flight Center.

Vintage Photos celebrate the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s 45 years
Enjoy a gallery of vintage historical photos from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s 45 years of educating America and the world about the NASA and the U.S. Space program. The photos begin with the groundbreaking for the Alabama Space & Rocket Center and include visits by astronauts and celebrities to the center.

Sullivan Museum and History Center (Northfield, VT)
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum curator to speak at Norwich
Norwich University’s Sullivan Museum and History Center, Vermont’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, will host Dr. Tom Crouch, Senior Curator of Aeronautics at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum for a lunch-and-learn on Wednesday, April 8 at noon in Milano Ballroom, located in Roberts Hall.