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Kudos Affiliates!! October 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 National Park Service announced $7.27 million in Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants to support the preservation of historic buildings in rural communities across the country, including Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) ($750,000) for its Appalachian Region Historic Revitalization Sub-grant Program to rehabilitate and preserve historic buildings across Southeast Ohio.

The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City Council, and Staten Island Borough President’s Office announced FY 2022 capital funding for the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden (Staten Island, NY) ($1.1 million) to support key infrastructure and expansion projects that will help ensure the historic cultural campus will continue to support the needs of organizations, while attracting audiences to Staten Island.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced History Colorado (Denver, CO) ($207,478) was awarded funding for the National Leadership Grants for Museums program, which supports projects that address critical needs of the museum field and that have the potential to advance practice in the profession so that museums can improve services for the American public. History Colorado will lead a collaborative effort to expand the Museums for Digital Learning (MDL) platform, an online resource providing K-12 educators with access to authentic collections-based museum resources for use in and outside the classroom. History Colorado, in partnership with the Field Museum and Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields will recruit additional museums to provide content in the form of Resource Kits that include activities such as narratives, slideshows, timelines, hotspots, games, and annotation activities, as well as ebooks.

In addition, IMLS announced $2,921,766 in CARES Act Grants to support the role of museums and libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The following funded Affiliate projects were selected:

  • Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) ($198,760) will develop digital engagement experiences for 6th-8th graders in under-resourced neighborhoods in Chicago and rural communities of Illinois. The Adler will work with an interdisciplinary team of museum practitioners, educators, astronomers, and visualization experts to engage students in STEAM learning within 3-D immersive environments, with hands-on and digital pre/post activities to deepen the impact.
  • Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) ($320,666) will develop a digital learning initiative for preschool and K-8 teachers as an alternative to onsite field trips during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The “Conner Prairie in the Classroom” project will provide an array of digital programming, complemented by “HiSTEAMic” hands-on classroom kits to support digital learning, digital backpacks to close the digital divide, and supplementary pre- and post-educational materials for educators and parents.

The National Park Service, in partnership with IMLS, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), announced $15,500,000 in Save America’s Treasures grants including the following Affiliate preservation and conservation projects:

  • The Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO) ($206,933) will inventory, process, and catalog the Jones-Miller Site, a Paleoindian Hell Gap period (ca. 10,500–11,500 years ago) bison kill site.
  • The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Jackson, MS) ($291,109) will preserve its archaeological collections, which represent over 14,000 years of the state’s past.
  • Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) ($52,300) will preserve and make accessible the newly acquired Witherill Ocean Liner Collection, which documents the evolution of ocean liners during a heightened period of immigration to the United States in the early to mid-twentieth century. The collection includes 7,500 pieces of documents, letters, brochures, and other ephemera pertaining to broad themes of American maritime history and culture, including accounts and documents from the Titanic and Lusitania disasters.
  • The B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD) ($500,000) will undertake a 36-month project to restore and interpret its No. 3316 ‘Washington’ Tavern-Observation Car built by the Pullman Company in 1949.  The project will provide a unique opportunity to board and go inside the car and an interpretive space to explore the impact of streamliner railroading on everyday Americans. New educational offerings will provide further interpretive information about the railroad car, particularly in the context of African American contributions to and experiences with railroading.
  • The Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical Society (New York, NY) ($352,300) will digitize the Baron de Hirsch Fund Records. Founded in 1891 to support Jewish refugees fleeing pogroms and abject poverty in Russia, the Baron de Hirsch Fund trained immigrants in farming and trades and provided financial support for everything from meeting new arrivals at ports of entry and teaching English language classes to assisting with farm mortgages.
  • Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) ($336,000) for the replacement of roofing installed over newly added plywood sheath and include repairs to weathered rafters, replace deteriorating posts and beams, and re-surface a second-floor exterior balcony. Insulation between the roof and ceiling will be added to improve energy efficiency in the 70-year old structures.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS) won a 2021 Travelers’ Choice Award from Tripadvisor for being in the top 10% of attractions worldwide.

LEADERSHIP

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) announced Dr. Ashley Jordan has been named as the next President and CEO. Dr. Jordan, who most recently served as Senior Director of Development at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, brings significant experience managing and leading cultural institutions focused on memorializing and celebrating the African American experience in the United States.

Kudos Affiliates!! September 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

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) is part of a six university consortium, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, to receive a $441,367 grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) aimed at increasing the number of college courses utilizing free Open Educational Resources (OER) rather than costly textbooks. The project – Remixing Open Textbooks through an Equity Lens (ROTEL): Culturally Relevant Open Textbooks for High Enrollment General Education Courses and Career and Professional Courses at Six Public Massachusetts Colleges – will test the hypothesis that underrepresented students will achieve higher academic outcomes if free, culturally-relevant course materials that reflect their experiences are utilized. Student savings on textbooks over the three-year grant period are projected to be over $800,000, and the goal is to create a new model that provides continued savings long into the future.

The Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) received a $20,000 operational support grant from the Dubuque City Council as a result of the financial impact from the pandemic.

The Infusion Fund awarded Carolinas Aviation Museum (Charlotte, NC) an $80,573 grant to support the museum’s operating budget which was impacted by the pandemic. The Museum also received a $1.5 million gift from Honeywell to catalyze the launch of the The Lift Off Campaign to develop a new state-of-the-art facility in Charlotte.

The National Park Service announced the award of 17 projects of the Underrepresented Community Grant Program which is focused on working towards diversifying the nominations submitted to the National Register of Historic Places:

  • History Colorado (Denver, CO)- $46,930 to conduct a survey and solicit nominations for Women’s Suffrage Sites in Colorado.
  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH)-$50,000 to administer a nomination process for three Green Book sites in Ohio.
  • Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK)-$50,000 for the architectural/historic survey of Oklahoma’s All-Black Towns.

The following Affiliates initiatives were some of the 239 humanities projects awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities:

  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) ($75,000) for planning for Cruising J-Town: Nikkei Car Culture in Southern California, an exhibition on Japanese Americans’ car culture throughout the 20th century in California.
  • Florida International University (Miami, FL) ($250,000) for preparation of a collection of essays on the architecture of the African diaspora in the United States entitled Architecture of the African Diaspora in/of the United States.
  • Florida International University ($349,646) for the rehousing of works on paper, photographs, and textiles from an offsite storage facility to new compact shelving and cold storage at The Wolfsonian.
  • Kona Historical Society (Kealakekua, HI) ($10,000) for the purchase of storage materials and installation of shelves to house a collection of historical photographs, unpublished diaries, journals, letters, family records and memorabilia, land documents, and selected Kona newspapers and articles documenting regional history and vanishing cultural traditions.
  • Krannert Art Museum (Champaign, IL) ($200,000) for implementation of a reinterpretation of the museum’s permanent gallery of Andean art and the creation of a digital portal allowing deeper exploration of the collection.
  • Plimoth Patuxet Museums (Plymouth, MA) ($163,742) to develop a two-week, residential institute Ancient Stories, New Neighbors: Decolonizing Indigenous Homelands and 17th-Century New England for 25 K–12 teachers on the history of Indigenous peoples in southern New England.
  • Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) ($263,415) for the digitization of 100,000 pages of Montana newspapers to increase geographic coverage, especially of Native American newspapers published on or near reservations, as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program.
  • City Lore, Inc. (New York, NY) ($75,319) for the development of a feature-length film The Colfax Massacre about a Reconstruction-era conflict between southern whites and African Americans and its legal and social legacy.
  • The Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX) ($75,000) for the planning for a reinterpretation of the museum’s permanent exhibition Where Nature, Science and Culture Meet on the history of Texas.
  • Hermitage Museum & Gardens (Norfolk, VA) ($9,366) for a preservation assessment of the collections representing more than 30 global cultures and 5,000 years of world history, from the Neolithic era to the early 1950s.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced grant awards through the agency’s largest competitive grant program, Museums for America, and its special initiatives, Museums Empowered and Inspire! Grants for Small Museums to improve services to their communities:

Museums for America

  • History Colorado ($249,886) to strengthen the implementation of the “Museum of Memory” project by maximizing community-led collective memory work and its contribution to social wellbeing. This public history program brings community together to remember and document their experiences, creating opportunities for those historically impacted by systems of oppression and inequality to explore their past through memory sharing, storytelling, grassroots collecting efforts, and art-based community share backs. 
  • North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC) ($250,000) to add a new, permanent paleontology exhibition, Dueling Dinosaurs, and a public lab that will allow middle school students to explore a variety of fossils using hands-on tools and techniques.
  • Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK) ($181,143) seeks to decolonize its collection through the dissemination of images and materials related to the Chickaloon Native Village. The project will expand access to collections with digital surrogates and newly created metadata made available online through both the village’s and the museum’s online image databases. The museum will hire an archivist, a collections technician and involve village elders to work on the project. Although this is the first project of this kind undertaken by the museum, it will serve as a model for future relationships with other Alaska Native villages.
  • Wing Luke Museum (Seattle, WA) ($178,311) to develop a new program series, Wing Luke Community Connections, of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) art workshops, art talks, free public readings, film screenings, and discussions. The series will feature a variety of artists, authors, filmmakers, and scholars who have been exploring the diverse AAPI immigrant experience to bring greater understanding to historic roots, heritage and culture, socio-political issues, and ongoing identity formation.
  • Plimoth Patuxet Museums ($212,742) to develop History in a New Light: Reimagining Wampanoag and Indigenous Museum Education, a series of educational programs, resources, and events responding to increasing demand for nuanced and fact-based histories told from indigenous perspectives.
  • Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) ($245,639) to partner with the Science Museum of Minnesota—creators of the Race: Are We So Different? exhibit—for the “Ground on Which We Stand” project. The initiative will distill the themes of the Race exhibit through the lens of local history so that participants can learn about, build pride in, and embrace the collective identity of their diverse community.
  • Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT) ($167,830) to create an exhibit exploring the region’s Native people. “American Indian Voices: Natives of the Northern Plains and Rockies” will examine cultural history, language and storytelling, and contemporary art and voices. The museum also will create a K–12 curriculum in accordance the Montana Office of Public Instruction that will assist teachers in interpreting American Indian culture and prepare students to visit the exhibit.
  • Arizona State Museum (Tucson, AZ) ($190,953) in partnership with The Poetry Center and Center for Digital Humanities will create a digital museum with exhibit locations in diverse areas of Tucson as well as accompanying activities for K-12 classrooms, families, and adults. The collaborative virtual outdoor museum will use geolocation technology and offer augmented reality encounters with curators, educators, poets, and community tradition bearers.
  • Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) ($170,332) to improve storage conditions for a large and diverse collection of apparel and textiles that are used for teaching and research. 
  • High Desert Museum (Bend, OR) ($217, 350) to develop design plans for a new 4,500 square-foot permanent exhibit entitled “Creating Together”, to help visitors better understand the indigenous plateau region, ancestral homeland of many indigenous communities and plateau tribes.
  • Michigan Science Center (Detroit, MI) ($105,499) to purchase a portable planetarium that will bring planetarium shows to more than 2,000 children through its Traveling Science Program.
  • Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, CT) ($219,385) to create a new public-facing initiative, the Community Historian Project. This contemporary collecting project—which gathers items of the recent past as well as from events happening today—will develop community historians to identify, document, and preserve their experiences as residents of Connecticut, and share these experiences during a series of community presentations.
  • Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (Spokane, WA) ($249,589) to expand access to its collections of inland northwest history, art, and cultures with a long-term plan and policies for digital preservation of collection materials.
  • History Colorado ($249,725) to create an exhibition on the Sand Creek Massacre. The museum will partner with three tribes: Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, Northern Arapaho Tribe, and Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. This exhibition will be the first in the U.S. to share the culturally vetted history of the massacre with the general public through the voices of Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal members.
  • Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (Easton, PA) ($120,734) to conduct a wall-to-wall inventory of the museum’s main collections storage facility and physically and digitally improve access to the objects stored there.
  • Museum of Us (San Diego, CA) ($229,940) to reimagine the exhibit, Race: Are We So Different? and provide complementary educational programming to meet community needs. This will expand the museum’s culture of community collaboration and serve as a framework for community-centric activities, tours, workshops, and public programs.

Museums Empowered

  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO) ($137,930) to develop an evaluation tool that measures the meaningfulness of the visitor experience. Project activities focus on developing, testing, and disseminating a tool to understand what makes visitors choose a museum, how that experience is remembered and shared, and how to create experiences to which visitors will want to return.
  • Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI) ($26,618) to increase organizational capacity to address inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) issues across the museum, building upon existing institutional assessments of programming, interpretation, hiring processes, facilities, and vendor relationships.
  • Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA) ($217, 427) to hire a full-time diversity, equity, access, and inclusion (DEAI) coordinator who will further the museum’s strategic DEAI goals.

Inspire! Grants for Small Museums

  • The Dennos Museum Center (Traverse City, MI) ($47,100) to address the issue of overcrowding in their collections storage area which was identified through a 2020 Museum Assessment Program (MAP) report.
  • Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning (Framingham, MA) ($49,964) to implement a team mentorship and project-based learning program for local high school students. Program participants are tasked with creating campaigns (exhibits, videos, and presentations) that increase awareness of environmental challenges helping participants to develop knowledge, analytical and communication skills, and ethical viewpoints that guide their actions on local and global environmental issues.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, IL) and the Greensboro History Museum (Greensboro, NC) were recipients of the Media & Technology MUSE Awards, presented by The Media & Technology Professional Network of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM):

Digital Campaign

GoldAs Shedd Aquarium Closed, Penguins Waddled into the Limelight
Shedd Aquarium

Research and Innovation

GoldPieces of Now: Murals, Masks, Community Stories and Conversations
Greensboro History Museum

2020 Response

SilverPieces of Now: Murals, Masks, Community Stories and Conversations
Greensboro History Museum

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.

Coming Up in Affiliateland in February 2021

Welcome to a new year of collaboration!

NATIONWIDE
Eight Affiliates present two more opportunities to view the Pandemic Perspectives: Stories through Collections virtual programs in collaboration with the National Museum of American History:
Race and Place: Yellow Fever and the Free African Society in Philadelphia on 2.2.21
Essential Workers: Prestige Versus Pay on 2.16.21

The eight participating Affiliates are:

Professional tennis player Althea Gibson in full motion hitting a difficult tennis shot.

RHODE ISLAND
The International Tennis Hall of Fame (Newport) will present a talk by Dr. Damion Thomas, Curator of Sports at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, on Althea Gibson and the History of Tennis on 2.24.21. Register here.

MASSACHUSETTS

The Springfield Museums (Springfield) will feature Dr. Dorothy Moss, Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery in a conversation with artists about their artistic processes as learning experiences, 2.11.21.  Later in the month, the Museums feature Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony, Curator at the National Air and Space Museum to discuss her new book, Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo on 2.25.21.

WISCONSIN

The Civil War Museum, part of Kenosha Public Museums (Kenosha) will host Doretha Williams, Program Manager for the Robert F. Smith Fund at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, for a virtual program in collaboration with the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative about Black Women in the Central Plains 1890-1920.

 

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!! 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.