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¡Escuchame! 5 Questions With Dr. Kathleen Franz

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is working on a new initiative, Escuchame: The History of Spanish Language Broadcasting in the U.S.  The museum has rich collections related to television, but few that tell the story of Spanish-language broadcasting in the U.S. This initiative will document stories from early Telemundo and Univision stations as well as other public and independent stations. Documenting these stories will help show the influence these stations have had on the national narrative and the way the history of American television is written.

Portrait of Dr. Kathleen Franz

Dr. Kathleen Franz, Chair of Work & Industry and Curator of Business History at the National Museum of American History.

To understand more, and how our Affiliate network may participate, I asked five questions of Dr. Kathleen Franz, Chair of Work & Industry and Curator of Business History at the National Museum of American History.

Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be interested in your area of expertise?
In graduate school, I studied with one of the leading historians of advertising history in the U.S. and really became enthusiastic about the history of television and advertising as business history but also as popular culture. My work sits at the intersections of those two things.

Your current project centers on capturing the history of Spanish-language television in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. What sparked that idea and why is it important to capture this story?
I grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and saw first-hand the long history and power of Spanish-language broadcasting in the U.S. through the pioneering station of KWEX whose roots go back to the 1950s. However, general and popular histories of television often leave out the history of Spanish-language TV in the golden era of the 1950s and 1960s. So, building an archive that housed, preserved, and made available the stories of women and men who created stations and the networks is really important, because the earliest Spanish-language broadcasting goes back to the era of radio in the 1930s, and the earliest television stations are there in the golden era with the first successful network, Spanish International Network (SIN), created in 1961.

A common thread to this huge collection of materials—time-worn press credentials, painted tennis shoes, photographs, mic flags, scripts—is that they represent decades of Spanish-language broadcasting from the network Telemundo. (NMAH)

What have you enjoyed most about this initiative? What has been an unexpected discovery, if any?
First, I have two wonderful collaborators at the museum, Dr. Mireya Loza, curator, Department of Work and Industry, and Melinda Machado, director, Office of Communications and Marketing, who have helped make contact with stations around the country and we’ve done the oral history and object collecting as a team. I’ve learned so much from working with them and meeting the various people who run the stations and put the programming on every day. We also had tremendous support from a private donor — of the Nicolas family in San Antonio who founded KCOR in 1954— the Smithsonian’s Latino Center, Telemundo, and Univision. I can’t name everyone here but I am so grateful for the support of the networks! This has been a serious collaboration to capture and preserve this history. One of the best, and unexpected discoveries, was a painting of the Televisa studios in Mexico City commissioned by Emilio Nicolas in the early 1960s. It’s so unusual to have an artist’s rendition of a TV set and the image captures the look and feel of that exciting era in television. Mr. Nicolas traveled regularly to Mexico City to produce programming at the studio and bring it back to the US Spanish-speaking market for SIN.

What would you like to share with Affiliates? And what would you like Affiliates to share with you?
I’m always delighted to talk to local audiences and I would be happy to talk about the collecting and sharing resources with Affiliates. In turn, it would help us to work with Affiliates to do collecting or memory days at their sites, especially ones who are in cities with long-running Spanish-language stations. We really want to capture what audiences thought and how they viewed and used the stations in their own lives.

What is your next project and what are you looking forward to with it?
Dr. Loza and I would like to publish an edited volume of the oral histories and we’ll be working on that over the next 18 months or so. I’m also currently working on the National Museum of American History’s major women’s history initiative exhibition for the centennial of Women’s suffrage. That exhibition will open at the museum in 2020 and then travel the country starting in 2021.

Dr. Franz is open to the possibility of visiting our Affiliate network in the fall to share more about this initiative. Do you have connections to Spanish-language television history? Contact your National Outreach Manager for more information about bringing Dr. Franz to your neighborhood.

Telemundo Microphone cubes

This series of microphone cubes used over the years by Telemundo 51 WSCV-TV in Florida was donated by Marilys Llanos, senior political reporter at at the station. (Photo by Laura Duff, Smithsonian Institution)

Kudos Affiliates! June 2018

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

Funding

Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana) announced a partnership with Ritz Charles to invest approximately $3 million to renovate and expand Eli Lilly’s historic Chinese House. Support for the project includes a $500,000 pledge from Jay and Nancy Ricker, the founders of Ricker Oil Company, Inc., and a $500,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc.

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities announced a total of $136,429 in new grants to 14 humanities initiatives across the state including the Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence). The Society received a $12,000 Documentary Films grant to support films that preserve Rhode Island’s stories and bring its history to life.  The funding goes towards the development of the film Triple Decker, A New England Love Story.

DaVinci at New Mexico Museum of Natural History and ScienceThe New Mexico Humanities Council awarded a $5,000 grant to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science to support its series of education programs, Da Vinci Dialogues. The Dialogues consist of public lectures, panel discussions, and workshops that illustrate the many facets of Da Vinci’s genius as an artist, inventor, and scientist.

Awards and Recognition

Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) has named the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, Iowa) the “Silos & Smokestacks People’s Site of the Year.”

During the Pennsylvania Museums Annual Statewide Museum Conference, the winners of statewide Institutional Achievement Awards were announced including two Senator John Heinz History Center sites. Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village was recognized for its newest educational curriculum, First Peoples: Archaeology at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter. The Fort Pitt Museum at Point State Park, Downtown, was recognized for its newest exhibition, From Maps to Mermaids: Carved Powder Horns in Early America.

Leadership Changes

W. James Burns has been named the new executive director of the Arizona Historical Society (Phoenix, Arizona). Dr. Burns comes to the Arizona Historical Society from the University of Arizona, where he served as Director of the Center for Creative Photography and the University of Arizona Museum of Art.

W. James Burns, Ph.D., Executive Director, Arizona Historical Society, Phoenix, AZ

Affiliations at AAM 2018

Myriam Springuel

Meet Myriam Springuel, Smithsonian Affiliations Interim Director and SITES Director on Monday and Tuesday during the AAM Meeting. Photo by Dane Penland. [Apollo DestinationMoon-2-22-2017-0223] [NASM2017-00421]

Are you headed to the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting in Phoenix? Three Smithsonian Affiliations team members will be attending and have organized several opportunities to meet with Affiliates.

On Monday, May 7, brainstorm possible programs and events with the Smithsonian and fellow Affiliates around the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing in 2019. We’ll also talk about how we can work together to promote and leverage one another’s programming. 3:00 – 4:00 pm in the Curtis Room, 2nd Floor, Hyatt Regency Phoenix.

On Tuesday, May 8, meet the team at the SITES booth in the MuseumExpo! Interim Affiliations Director, Myriam Springuel; Interim Associate Director, Tricia Edwards; and National Outreach Manager, Laura Hansen, will be at the booth for an informal meet and greet. 3:00 – 5:00 pm, Booth 2814, MuseumExpo.

Throughout the meeting, look for Laura Hansen, National Outreach Manager. Laura works with Affiliate partners in the west and can answer any questions about the benefits of a Smithsonian Affiliation. Want to meet with her? Email her for availability- HansenL@si.edu.

Affiliates are featured in many AAM sessions.  We’ve compiled a list below of sessions in which Smithsonian Affiliates are presenting or moderating. Stop in and say hello, or stick around for the entire session. Don’t forget to mention us in any social media posts – we’re @SIAffiliates on Twitter and @smithsonianaffiliates on Instagram. Have a great time in Phoenix!

If you don’t see your session listed, please let us know.

Sunday, May 6 

1:00 – 2:15 PM
Room 226ABC
Beyond the Four Walls: Effectively Assessing Museum Programs in School Classrooms
Featuring the Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, California) and the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Room 125 AB
Case Study: Live-Tweeting a Century-Old Race Riot: Sharing Difficult History through Social Media
Featuring the Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

tricia edwards

Meet Tricia Edwards, Smithsonian Affiliations Interim Associate Director, on Monday and Tuesday too.

Room 128 AB
Education Collections: Connect with Me, and I Care
Featuring Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana) and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, Colorado)

2:30 – 3:45 PM
Room 225AB
A Tale of Three Buildings: The Things You Need to Know before You Start Your Renovation 
Featuring the Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)

Room 129 AB
Leaders in Education Leading Museums
Featuring the Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, Ohio)

Room 231ABC
Stop, Experiment, and Listen: A Fresh Approach to Creative Problem Solving 
Featuring the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, Tennessee)

Find Laura Hansen, Smithsonian Affiliations National Outreach Manager, throughout the entire AAM Meeting. Email her to set up a meeting- HansenL@si.edu

Room 229AB
Who’s the Boss? Examining the Relationship Between Exhibition Contractors and Staff
Featuring the National World War II Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana)

4:00 – 5:15 PM
Room 227 ABC
Engaging the Arctic: Working with Northern Communities to Tell Their Stories
Featuring the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, Alaska)

Monday, May 7

8:45 – 10:00 AM
Room 131 ABC
Decolonizing the Museum: Reflection, Vision, and Change
Featuring the Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, Maine)

Room 126 ABC
Equity at the Heart of Professional Learning
Featuring the Ohio History Connection (Columbus, Ohio)

Room 121 BC
From Leadership to Impact: Taking Risks, Redefining Success, and Finding Your Voice
Featuring the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, Alabama)

1:45 – 3:00 PM
Room 221 ABC
Straight to the Source: Connect and Engage with Teens in Your Community
Featuring the Bakken Museum (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Room 222 ABC
Museum Compensation: Best Practices in Design for Sustainability
Featuring the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, Alaska)

Room 225 AB
(Non)Profiteering: Mission Versus Margin
Featuring The Museum of Flight (Seattle, Washington)

Room 229 AB
The Role of the Community Engagement Curator
Featuring the Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)

Tuesday, May 8

8:45 – 10:00 AM
Room 228 AB
75 Ideas in 75 Minutes – Accessibility Edition
Featuring the John G. Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, Illinois)

Room 129 AB
Are Museums the Right Home for Confederate Monuments?
Featuring the North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Room 227 ABC
Breaking Free: Two Years of Curating Our Communities
Featuring the Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Room 226 ABC
A Dialogue with IMLS Reviewers: Tips and Techniques from the Experts
Featuring the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, Washington)

Room 229 AB
Making Space for (Other) Voices: Challenging Perceptions
Featuring the Arizona State Museum (Tucson, Arizona)

1:30 – 2:45 PM
Room 222 ABC
Membership on Center Stage to Deliver Financial Impact and Transform Museum Cultures
Featuring Space Center Houston (Houston, Texas)

Room 121 ABC
Case Study: Collections Inventories in Support of Object-Based Learning Programs
Featuring the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Room 122 AB
Case Study: The National World War II Museum Reimagines Its Digital Presence
Featuring The National World War II Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Room 122 AB
Case Study: Social Humanity Immersed in Technology: The Art of Modern Communication
Featuring the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, Alaska)

Wednesday, May 9

10:15 – 11:30 AM

Room 231 ABC
10 Practical Actions to Museum Accessibility
Featuring the Saint Louis Science Center (St. Louis, Missouri)

Room 128 AB
A Change in Elevation: Museums Rising to the Challenge of Equity
Featuring the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan)

Room 229 AB
Measuring Visitor Motivation, Expectations, and Satisfaction
Featuring the Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Room 129 AB
Museums and Race Report Card: Looking Back to Move Forward
Featuring the San Diego Museum of Man (San Diego, California)

Room 125 AB
Project Management: It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore
Featuring The Museum of Flight (Seattle, Washington)

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM

Room 124 AB
Inspiring Latinx Community Engagement through a Traveling Exhibition Mentorship
Featuring the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (Austin, Texas)

Room 125 AB
Inclusionary Museums: Paths to Elevation in Descendant Communities
Featuring the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum Seminole Tribe of Florida (Clewiston, Florida)

Room 231 ABC
Teaching Teachers: Using Evaluation to Develop Effective Professional Development
Featuring Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, Connecticut)

Room 131 ABC
(Not as) Easy as 1,2,3: The ABCs of Collections Moves
Featuring The National World War II Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Room 128 AB
Not for Sale: Preserving a Community Collection
Featuring the Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, California)

Join the Universe of Learning

Universe of Learning logo

Smithsonian Affiliations, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and funded through NASA’s Universe of Learning, is launching a new, two-year science literacy pilot program and looking for participants. Funding is available–up to $2,000 per year– for seven Affiliate organizations to use resources from the Universe of Learning site to develop programs exploring  art, history, and natural science. The goal of the pilot is to create sustainable models of innovative STEM learning for youth, families, and lifelong learners.

To participate, interested candidates must complete three of  seven professional development online webinars.* The webinars are hosted by astrophysics scientists and educators and discuss NASA’s three main questions: How does the Universe work? How did we get here? Are we alone? An accompanying online forum will further strengthen the discussion topics and address how your organization can best use the available resources to develop and share your program model.

Webinars are every two weeks on Wednesday at 2pm EST (the next one is on Sept 13th). *Two out of the seven webinars have already occurred. However, they were recorded and we encourage for your institution to partake in this great opportunity.

The application opens in November and is only available to Smithsonian Affiliates.

For any inquiries, please email Patty Arteaga at ArteagaP@si.edu.

Affiliates in the news! July edition

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this month! Do you have a Smithsonian collaboration in the news? Email Elizabeth Bugbee, BugbeeE@si.edu, and submit your clipping for review. Each month we compile our newsmakers and distribute in our Affiliate eNewsletter.

Uncrating an exhibition

Rene Rodgers, curator of exhibits and publications, uncrates a Suffolk push mower that is part of the new Smithsonian exhibit called “Things Come Apart” that opens this weekend at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Photo-Earl Neikirk/BHC

Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, VA)
VIDEO- Birthplace of Country Music Museum hosting Smithsonian exhibit
“They will start looking around at some of the things that they use every day and really start to think about how they work and how theyve gotten to that point from where they started and actually just think about the way things are made,”Dr. René Rodgers, Museum Director and Head Curator for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum said.

Smithsonian exhibit opens Saturday at BCMM
“It’s one of those exhibits the Smithsonian Institution creates to travel around the country to various museums,” said René Rodgers, curator of exhibits and publications at the museum. “We are the third museum to have it. It’s just come to us from the Kansas City Public Library. The exhibit is based on the work of photographer and artist Todd McLellan. He has taken the idea of common, everyday objects to look at their functionality, their design, the change in technology, and he’s done that by taking them down to their component parts and creating artistic renditions of them.”

South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD)
Former Smithsonian director in Pierre on July 24
“As an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, we are delighted to bring Mr. Glass to South Dakota,” Jay Smith, director of the Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, stated in a release. “He brings with him a message about the value of saving, preserving and visiting historic places which is an important aspect of the mission of the South Dakota State Historical Society. We will be discussing some of our future plans with him as well, so this is an exciting opportunity for our museum.”

Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, GA)
SMITHSONIAN’S ‘ART OF THE AIRPORT TOWER’ CAPTURES THEIR UNIQUE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS
In the midst of a nationwide tour, the Tellus Science Museum near Atlanta is currently hosting the exhibit until September 17. The Smithsonian affiliate is home to many aviation and space flown hardware. “This is a fascinating exhibit – it combines photography, architecture, and aviation in unexpected ways,” Tellus Science Museum Executive Director Jose Santamaria said on Sunday. “It is very unique and the images are stunning.

Art of the Airport Tower exhibition

Carolyn Russo, National Air and Space Museum photographer, in front of her exhibit “Art of the Airport Tower.”

 

Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, VA)
Prehistoric adventure headed to Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville
There will also be a Stegosaurus display from the Smithsonian and fossils collected by scientists in the field.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY)
Firearms experts gather for Cody museum symposium
July 17 will feature speakers and session leaders from the following institutions: Cody Firearms Museum, National Rifle Association’s Museums Division, Autry Museum of the American West, Springfield Armory National Historic Site, United States Marshals Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Smithsonian Institution National Firearms Collection, Colonial Williamsburg , Royal Armouries Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Pearl earrings from designer brenda smith

Southern Charm,” pearl earrings from designer Brenda Smith, are among the items on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and included in a traveling exhibit that runs through next March at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst.
Courtesy of Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary art

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art (Elmhurst, IL)
Smithsonian gems on display in Elmhurst
“Most of the pieces are either donated or gifted to the (Smithsonian) museum,” said Asher. “We’re a Smithsonian affiliate.” Asher said she worked with Smithsonian gem curator Russell Feather to select the pieces visitors will see in the “Smithsonian Gems” exhibit.

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC) (VIDEO)
Children’s Museum of the Upstate provides perfect atmosphere for solar eclipse
They will also have pinhole projectors, a live stream from NASA in the Smithsonian and activities in Spark!Lab focusing on women in astronomy. “We are an official viewing site of NASA, which means that we are able to have some NASA scientists come,” Halverson told WYFF News 4’s Allyson Powell Thursday.

Tellus Science Museum and Booth Western Art Museum (both in Cartersville, GA)
Travel: Consider Cartersville, Georgia
Despite traveling extensively, I’m still impressed when I discover big things in small places. Cartersville, Ga., a city of 20,000 residents about 40 minutes north of Atlanta, has major draws. It’s the smallest town in the U.S. with two Smithsonian Affiliate Museums. The Booth Western Art Museum houses the largest permanent exhibition space for Western art in the entire country — and what a fabulous place it is.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
Apollo 11 module will visit Pittsburgh next year — after a makeover
Before the Apollo 11 command module embarks on a cross-country tour of four museums — including the Senator John Heinz History Center in the Strip District — it’s getting a makeover for the first time since it arrived in 1976 at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, NPR reported Monday .