Tag Archive for: Putnam Museum

Kudos Affiliates!! September 2022

Kudos 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 Bishop Museum of Science and Nature (Bradenton, FL) has secured $547,000 in state funding to expand its manatee care program, providing additional holding and acute care space in the statewide effort to rescue, rehabilitate, release, and monitor Florida’s manatees.

The National Coral Reef Conservancy (ReeFLorida) at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (Miami, FL) secured $1,150,000 in state funding for the Conservancy. The monies will provide groundbreaking research, education, and conservation to save Florida’s damaged coral reef while connecting the Miami community to STEM-based education opportunities with the goal of conserving, restoring, and sustaining Florida’s Coral Reef.

The Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ) was awarded $15,000 under the Morris County Small Business Grant Program, to assist in part with operating expenses following a four-month shutdown of the museum due to the pandemic. In addition, the Museum was approved for a $186,939 Historic Preservation Trust Fund grant. The grant will help the museum to continue restoring the slate roof of the historic building.

The Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) received an equity grant from the Terracon Foundation, which support organizations that mirror Terracon’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. These grants are focused on systemic changes in racially diverse and underrepresented communities.

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

Museums of America supports projects that strengthen the ability of individual museums to benefit the public by providing high-quality, inclusive learning experiences, maximizing resources to address community needs through partnerships and collaborations, and by preserving and providing access to the collections entrusted to their care. Affiliates funded through this year’s Museums for America program include:

  • Las Cruces Museum System (Las Cruces, NM) ($54,000) to adapt a museum exhibit into an educational resource for school-based settings. The Indigenous Borderlands exhibit will launch at the Branigan Cultural Center in late 2022, exploring Indigenous history and culture of the “borderlands,” in the present-day Las Cruces, NM, El Paso, TX, Ciudad Juárez, MX region. The project team will collaborate with local Indigenous academics and cultural leaders to develop educational activities that complement the exhibit and augment school curricula. They will design a traveling trunk as a mobile educational kit loaned to schools for use by teachers. Indigenous partners will provide in-classroom and recorded talks in connection with the trunk.
  • Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) ($224,961) to implement an outreach program to support history organizations and individuals across Indiana in preserving their local stories. In response to a statewide needs assessment, the project will provide local organizations with training on best practices for collecting and retaining digital content.
  • Museum of History and Industry (Seattle, WA) ($151,580) to redesign the True Northwest: The Seattle Journey exhibition with a focus on integrating accessibility and inclusive design principles. The redesign will incorporate findings from a three-year evaluation of True Northwest and develop an exhibit that better reflects the lived experiences in the Puget Sound region.
  • Mercer Museum (Doylestown, PA) ($111,907) to improve the care, management, and intellectual control of 500 objects installed in 1916 in its Central Court, which has been preserved and exhibited as an historic interior.
  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) ($249,810) to launch the “Marking Queer Ohio” project to identify the stories, spaces, and places that reflect the impact of LGBTQ+ Ohioans in shaping the state’s larger history. As part of its Gay Ohio History Initiative, the museum will partner with Equality Ohio and a network of partners to build a foundation of primary sources to support the placement of ten LGBTQ+ historical markers across Ohio.
  • Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH) ($250,000) to fabricate and install the exhibit Ancient Worlds Hiding in Plain Sight, combining its invertebrate paleontology collection of more than 450,000 specimens with cutting-edge technology. Using an interdisciplinary approach and inclusive lens, the exhibit will blend science, history, and technology to enliven stories of the city’s prehistoric environment.
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO) ($222,670) to conduct a three-year project to advance collections stewardship for logistically challenging large bones of dinosaurs in the Morrison Formation fossil collection. The project will increase access to these scientifically significant specimens—including holotype specimens—for scholars and the public.
  • Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) ($236,788) to stabilize and improve the condition of film negatives from its collection that have been affected by a form of severe deterioration known as vinegar syndrome.
  • Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ) ($245,678) to improve the care, management, and long-term preservation and access to its collection of Native American materials, books, artist documentation, and archival collections.
  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) ($104,690) to catalog and conserve items from its collection of art and associated ephemera of Japanese American artist Henry Sugimoto.
  • Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) ($116,857) to collaborate with Illinois library system partners to reach audiences throughout the state in advance of the October 2023 and April 2024 solar eclipses. The planetarium will develop a booklet and poster for librarians featuring solar eclipse educational activities and content. It will distribute these resources, along with a supply of solar viewing glasses, to every public library in Illinois, equipping them to share sky observing resources with their community members.
  • City Lore (New York, NY) ($190,000) to expand its “Creative Traditions” initiative by implementing a series of community-curated exhibitions, public programs, and mentoring opportunities to sustain the cultural traditions of diverse communities in New York City. The center will create a citywide network of folk and community-based artists, host monthly convenings and performances, and offer fellowships for four Cultural Ambassadors to curate exhibitions about their communities’ traditions and aspirations.
  • South Carolina State Museum (Columbia, SC) ($249,856) to improve the stewardship of its collections through a collections inventory and digitization project of 3,500 objects in its science and technology collection as well as 2,000 objects currently on view in its exhibition galleries.
  • Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, CT) ($84,015) to provide digital access to primary sources as a response to new state legislation mandating every secondary school in Connecticut offer a course on Black and Latino studies starting in the 2022–2023 school year. Project activities include developing 10 digital resource packs that will contain digital copies of primary sources from the history society’s collection, a lesson plan linking the primary sources to themes in the state curriculum, and a short video giving deeper context to the primary sources.
  • Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) ($92,129) to improve the care and management of over 2,000 vertebrate specimens that include rare, endangered, threatened, and extinct species.

Museums Empowered: Professional Development Opportunities for Museum Staff is a special initiative of the Museums for America grant program supporting staff capacity-building projects that use professional development to generate systemic change within a museum. Affiliate awards include:

  • Wolfsonian (Miami Beach, FL) ($249,877) to expand the professional development opportunities that it offers to undergraduate and graduate students at Florida International University, a designated Hispanic Serving Institution.
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO) ($211,531) to develop a training program for emerging leaders in the museum. Six cohorts of 12 staff members will participate in a 12-week training program led by a newly hired training specialist to develop leadership skills.

Inspire! Grants for Small Museums, a special initiative of the Museums for America grant program, is designed to reduce the application burden on small museums and help them address priorities identified in their strategic plans. Awarded Affiliates include:

  • Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, VA) ($37,781) to enhance its science education programs and outreach activities by transforming an existing underutilized laboratory into a new Exploration Lab.
  • Dennos Museum Center (Traverse City, MI ) ($24,665) to improve the care of its collection through rehousing and inventory updates. Informed by a recent Museum Assessment Program (MAP) report, the museum will purchase and install five compact shelving units and reorganize their storage space to optimize collections care for approximately 165 objects from Michigan and the Midwest.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the projects for the National Leadership Grants for Museums program including:

  • Spurlock Museum (Urbana, IL) ($48,454) to develop an affordable, simple tool to measure the presence of ultraviolet (UV) light, which can cause irreparable damage to museum collections in galleries, work areas, and storage.
  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) ($49,340) to test and evaluate a community of support program model to encourage museum visits through Museums for All, an initiative through which museums offer free or reduced admission to people receiving food assistance.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Union Station, Kansas City (Kansas City, MO) has been named one of the 37 most beautiful train stations in the world by Architectural Digest.

LEADERSHIP

The trustees of the Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) announced the selection of Betsy Richards as the new Executive Director and Senior Partner with Wabanaki Nations. For over 25 years, Betsy Richards has been dedicated to building cultural and narrative power for Indigenous peoples and other BIPOC communities. A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, she brings to her role a wealth of experience in museums, philanthropy, social justice, and the performing arts.

The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs has named Anthony R. Fiorillo as the new executive director of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (Albuquerque, NM). Previously, Fiorillo has been a senior fellow at the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at Southern Methodist University. He will begin on September 19.

Kudos Affiliates!! June 2022

Kudos to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments! Do you have kudos to share? Please send potential entries to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

FUNDING

Greenville City Council has allocated almost $2 million in accomodations tax funds a number of local organizations including The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC) ($25,000) for exhibitions and Upcountry History Museum (Greenville, SC) ($10,000) for general operating expenses.

Plimoth Patuxet Museums (Plymouth, MA) announced a $1 million donation from the Safe Family Foundation for the Museum’s endowment. The gift will help support the educational mission of Mayflower II.

 The Maryland state delegation from Baltimore announces $166 million in state funding to revitalize the downtown and Inner Harbor areas including $5.5 million to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore, MD) for maintenance and general operating expenses.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced a $753,397 redevelopment grant was awarded to Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites (Bethlehem, PA) to repair the historic Grist Miller House. The project involves structural repairs including electrical and plumbing; and interior and exterior restoration/preservation work.

Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) received $125,000 for their Putnam Reimagined project. The funding was one of 77 community grants approved by the Regional Development Authority Board to support area nonprofit, civic, and governmental organizations.

The Kansas City Council appropriated $1,233,850 from the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund (NTDF) to 131 nonprofit organizations to promote neighborhood, cultural and entertainment events throughout Kansas City. American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) was allocated $27,000 to support the 25th Anniversary Concert Series.

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced $33.17 million in grants for 245 humanities projects across the country featuring the following Affiliates:

History Colorado (Denver, CO) ($40,000) for the reinterpretation of Fort Garland Museum, an 1850s U.S. Army fort in south-central Colorado.

History Colorado (Denver, CO) ($360,938) to produce Season 4 of Lost Highways, a podcast series about the history of the Rocky Mountain West.

Florida International University (Miami, FL) ($50,000) to enhance access to the papers of Dana A. Dorsey, Miami’s first Black millionaire, who developed the city’s Colored Town (present day Overtown) in the early twentieth century. This work will include transcription, georeferencing, and creating tabular data from the 291 records and 620 pages of legal documents that constitute the collection.

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) ($346,206) for the expansion of the African American, African, and African Diaspora Studies Digital Resource Quilt Index to include nearly 3,900 new quilts, 100 pieces of ephemera, 54 oral histories, and expanded metadata representing African American, African, and African Diasporic quilt history, as well as the development of up to 18 related resources, such as essays, lesson plans, and exhibits.

Center for Jewish History (New York, New York) ($350,000) to support the arrangement and description of 1,475 linear feet of Connection and Community: Documenting 20th-century American Jewish Philanthropy and Public Service records dating from 1916 to 1999, as well as the digitization of 5,000 items selected from the collection.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Iowa Tourism Office presented National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, IA) with the Outstanding Attraction award recognizing excellence in the tourism industry during the 2022 Iowa Tourism Conference.

Kudos Affiliates!! May 2022

Kudos to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments! Do you have kudos to share? Please send potential entries to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

FUNDING

Kenosha Public Museum (Kenosha, WI) received a $1,000 Creativity by Kids Small Grant from the Kenosha Community Foundation. The funding will support its Artsy Afternoons program for children.

Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) was the largest grant recipient by the Hubbell-Waterman Foundation for the 2022 grant cycle. The museum will receive $140,000 per year over five years to continue a reimagining of the museum, including a long-planned regional history update. Some of the Hubbell-Waterman funds will go to match a $245,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for an ongoing community collaboration exploring regional history.

Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, OK) was awarded a $15,000 grant from the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation through its Community Grant program. The grant will assist in developing capacity at the public libraries in Checotah and Westville to deliver educational hands-on science programming.

Amesite, Inc, a leading artificial intelligence software company, is partnering with Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) to deliver an online Learning Community Environment™ system offering K-12 programs for teachers, parents, life-long learners, and students.

A new project “Equitable Access to the Night Sky” created by Springfield Science Museum, part of Springfield Museums (Springfield, MA), has been approved for a $750,000 federal earmark. The funds will create a full-dome, digital projection system with state-of-the-art software for the planetarium to augment the historical star ball.

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore, MD) will received $650,000 as part of the fiscal year 2022 omnibus funding legislation. The funds will support the work of the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission and construct a permanent exhibit and memorial to educate about these extrajudicial vigilante killings and honor the memories of those whose lives were taken.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters named the Science of Grief podcast the winner of the Best Use of New Media award for Public Radio Group 2 during its 2021 Broadcast Excellence Awards ceremony. The Science of Grief podcast is a collaboration between WDET-FM, Detroit’s NPR Station, and Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI). The Broadcast Excellence Awards program recognizes outstanding achievement in broadcasting by commercial and public television and radio stations in Michigan each year.

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) announced reaccreditation awards to the following Affiliates:

USA Today announced the 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, featuring the following Affiliates in the respective categories:

Winners of Best Science Museum

Winners of Best History Museum

Winners of Best Pop Culture Museum

Winners of Best Art Museum

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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.

Kudos Affiliates!! December 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 International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS in McAllen, TX) was awarded two grants to support future programs. IMAS received a $5,500 grant from BBVA Compass Bank for “Afterschool Adventures with IMAS,” STEAM virtual programming for K-12 students.  The program features seasonal-themed topics, hands-on learning and free workshop kits for participating children. In addition, IMAS was awarded a $15,000 grant from H-E-B Helping Here to remove the financial barrier for unique informal, family learning experiences. Programs include a virtual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) program, free admission days and monthly virtual Workshop Wednesday programming with free supply kits.

Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) received three grants from local charities and foundations. Putnam was awarded a $7,500 COVID-19 Rebuilding Fund grant from the United Way Quad Cities to support essential needs for students that have resulted from the pandemic. Arconic Foundation awarded $25,000 to the museum to boost its STEM offerings and for COVID-19 relief. Finally, the Putnam received $38,500 from the Regional Development Authority to create programs to improve access and representation at the museum.

Students in the Putnam’s IMMERSE program explore the periodic table exhibit, OMG! Elements of Surprise with President/CEO, Rachael Mullins. The Putnam recently received a grant for its STEM programming from the Arconic Foundation. Credit-Putnam Museum

Humanities Nebraska provided relief grants to three Affiliates to battle the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic:

Michael “Mike” Mayo Macke donated $750,000 to the Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, GA) as part of a long-range plan to sustain the programs and activities at the museum. Tellus honored Macke by renaming its Great Hall the “Michael Mayo Macke Great Hall.”

The Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation awarded Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, OK) a $15,000 grant through its Community Grant program to enhance STEM experiences at the regional public libraries. Science Museum Oklahoma will develop hands-on science programming as well as professional development and other activities.

The National Canal Museum, part of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (Easton, PA), received a $58,923 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to expand its digital offerings.

The Center for Jewish History (New York, NY) received a donation of approximately $1 million from Sir Len Blavatnik to support general operating expenses at the organization.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Plimoth Patuxet  (Plymouth, MA) announced that Mayflower II, its historic tall ship, has been named to the National Register of Historic Places. Mayflower II is deemed historically significant for its association with the founding story of the United States and as a full-scale ship that embodies the distinctive characteristics of a 17th-century English merchant vessel.

Credit Plimoth Patuxet 

Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permian Basin (Odessa, TX) and Historic Arkansas Museum (Little Rock, AR) were reaccredited during the recent American Alliance of Museums meeting of the Accreditation Commission.

LEADERSHIP

Jay D. Vogt announced that he is retiring as director of the South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD), effective December 8. 

After a yearlong search, Trait Thompson has been selected to succeed Bob Blackburn as executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK).  Thompson will start his tenure on January 4. For the past six years, Thompson had been the project manager for the Oklahoma Capitol Restoration Project, shepherding the preservation and restoration of the state Capitol.