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New Year Kudos Affiliates!! January 2020

Congratulations to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments to begin 2020! Do you have kudos to share? Please send potential entries to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

FUNDING

The Bath Community Fund (BCF) of Akron Community Foundation (ACF) recently awarded $26,250 to 12 nonprofits serving the township including a $4,500 grant to Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) to create an orientation space inside the new Gatehouse Welcome Center at Hale Farm & Village. The interpretive space will educate visitors about the history of the Hale family farm and its journey of becoming a living history museum.

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque, IA) are the recipients of two grants. Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust awarded the museum $250,000 to support its River of Innovation exhibit. The exhibit will feature a 19th-century machine-belt shop theme and will have interactive attractions for guests and add STEM-based learning into its growing educational programs. Alliant Energy also awarded the museum $5,000 for a new otter pup exhibit and press on the importance of watershed ecosystems.

The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo announced the winners of grant funding totaling $28,000 including $1,100 to the Air Zoo (Portage, MI) to support participation in the 2020 International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo.

The Iowa West Foundation Board of Directors recently approved $4.7 million in grants and initiatives funding to 18 nonprofit organization and government entities in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska including the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE) The museum will receive $17,000 to develop and enhance after school STEM enrichment programs.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

HistoryMiami Museum (Miami, FL) announced that Michele Reese Granger, marketing director at the museum, is one of this year’s PRNEWS Top Women in PR Awards winners, a recognition for her accomplishment of increasing attendance at the museum by 40 percent between 2017 and 2019.

ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services) announced renowned scholar, respected author and passionate activist, Dr. Anan Ameri, as the recipient of its 2020 Arab American of the Year award. Dr. Ameri is the founding director of the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI).

The Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) has been recognized with a major award for its work in bringing together a team of women to provide technical support at SC, a leading super computing conference. The initiative won the “Readers’ Choice: Workforce Diversity Leadership Award” in the annual HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards. WINS is a collaboration among the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, CO), the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network, and the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research. Following a national competition, WINS selects women who work in IT departments at universities and national labs around the country to help build and operate SCinet, the very high capacity network at SC conferences.

Jay D. Vogt, director of the South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD), will be appointed to serve as an expert member of the President’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). As an independent federal agency, the ACHP works with federal agencies to promote historic preservation and oversees the historic preservation review process. It also advises Congress and the President on historic preservation policy. The members of the ACHP provide advice and policy direction to the federal agency with the same name.

The B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD) received the 2019 Greater Baltimore Committee Business Recognition Award for the First Mile Stable project: a state-of-the-art equestrian facility and community center for the Baltimore City Mounted Police Unit. Each year the mayor of the City of Baltimore joins with the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Baltimore Development Corporation to recognize businesses that have demonstrated significant corporate leadership and service to improve the quality of life in Baltimore.

LEADERSHIP

The York County Culture & Heritage Commission has named a new executive director for its museum group. Richard Campbell, who took over Aug. 6 as acting executive director, now assumes the roll permanently and oversees the Museum of York County (Rock Hill, SC),  Main Street Children’s Museum, Historic Brattonsville and the McCelvey Center.

The American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) has selected a new executive director to lead the institution. Rashida Phillips will take the helm in January. Rashida Phillips will relocate from Chicago, where she served as senior director of community ventures of the Old Town School of Folk Music, the largest community school of the arts in the United States.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC) has named Eric Dorfman as its next museum director. Currently the director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Powdermill Nature Reserve in Pittsburgh, he will join the museum in early 2020.

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe recently announced its appointment of Joe Baker as the new Executive Director of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (Mashantucket, CT).  Baker comes to Mashantucket from the Palos Verdes Art Center in Rancho Palos Verdes, California where he has served as Executive Director for the last six years.

Kudos Affiliates!! December 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 Mercer Museum (Doylestown, PA) is the recipient of a $230,000 Pew Center for Arts & Heritage grant. The two and half year grant will support a major initiative called Plus Ultra: Awakening the Mercer Museum Core. The project will reinvent two empty rooms located in the original historic core of the Fonthill Castle into “community-centric, intimate spaces designed for meaningful and active learning through the power of objects.”

The Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC) received a $6,000 grant from the Commercial Waste Reduction Grant Program. The funding will be used to support the Compost and Recycling Education Series, which will divert waste generated at two museum cafes and educate museum staff and visitors about recycling and composting.

As part of a $250,000 grant from The Edward and Mary Lord Foundation of Norwich, Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center will help fund interpretive signs and tours at the Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT).

Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE)  was awarded a $17,000 grant from the Iowa West Foundation to develop an after school science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) enrichment program.

Eight Affiliates will receive sub-awards to collaborate with the Smithsonian on the Universe of Learning educational project next year. Congratulations to the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK); Cape Fear Museum (Wilmington, NC); Cerritos Library (Cerritos, CA); Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS); Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum McMinnville, OR); International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, TX); Schiele Museum (Gastonia, NC); and the Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, GA).

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Chris Newell, education supervisor at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (Mashantucket, CT) received an Excellence Award from the New England Museum Association for his museum work as well as being a co-founder of Akomawt Educational Initiative.

American Museum of Science & Energy (Oak Ridge, TN) has been selected to receive a Secretary of Energy Honor Award. The Secretary’s Honor Awards are the Department of Energy’s highest form of internal employee recognition. The museum also received the first Leading Edge Overcomer Award from the Association of Science and Technology Centers, that celebrates an ASTC-member science center or museum that has successfully surmounted a significant and specific challenge. The museum moved from its original facility into a new, 18,000-square-foot new space, with state-of-the-art new exhibits. To engage its community in the move, the museum developed extensive new collaborations and partnerships that melded a science-rich local history, civic pride, culture, and enthusiasm for STEM engagement into something uniquely Oak Ridge

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.

Kudos Affiliates!! June 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 Air Zoo (Portage, MI) announced a $57,000 grant from the Margaret Dunning Foundation to support the renovation of its existing classroom spaces. The grant matches the investment already committed by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs in September 2018, supporting a complete $114,000 renovation of the Air Zoo’s existing classroom spaces. Renovations will enable the Air Zoo to provide an immersive, hands-on space for the more than 90 science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics educational initiatives.

The Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) has launched its Indianapolis History Collecting Initiative, supported by a $100,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment. The initiative is part of the Indiana Historical Society’s Indianapolis Bicentennial Project which hopes to identify resources about the people, places and events that have shaped the city over the past 200 years.

An $8,600 grant was awarded to the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE) by the Cass County Board of Commissioners.  The purpose of the grant is to improve the space suits exhibits and displays to encourage more tourism there.

National Inventors Hall of Fame (Alexandria, VA) received a $5,000 from Duke Energy Foundation to help keep vital resources flowing into K-12 classrooms and programs at the museum.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the recipients of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. The winners of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service including Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, FL) and National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel (Memphis, TN) are addressing unique issues and opportunities within their communities through their programs, services and partnerships.

Williams-Mystic, the maritime studies program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT), were presented with the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The 42-year-old program brings undergraduate college students to the museum for a semester of interdisciplinary research and travel centered around the ocean. More than 1,600 students have attended the program. Williams-Mystic is receiving the award from the National Maritime Historical Society and the National Coast Guard Museum Association.

The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico was awarded the American Alliance of Museums Chair’s Leadership Award, accepted by the museum’s director Marta Mabel Perez at the 2019 AAM Annual Meeting. The award was given to recognize the museum’s work in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

LEADERSHIP

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC) Board of Directors unanimously voted to appoint Hillary Spencer, a former director of operations for global business development at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, as the museum’s new director. Spencer will take over the position on May 1.

American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) announced that the board named Ralph Caro to lead the museum as interim executive director and to focus on implementing key recommendations from a consultants’ report issued in April 2018.

Kudos Affiliates! for September 2017

Great job Affiliates!

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced more than $39 million will be awarded to nonprofit organizations including the following Affiliate initiatives:

Portrait of Leonard Berstein, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science (Denver, CO) $300,000
    To support a project to rehouse an archaeology collection of 72,000 objects that focuses on North America. The artifacts will be moved to the LEED-certified Avenir Collections Center and placed on custom-created storage mounts and in new cabinetry.
  • Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) $154,811
    To support a four-week institute for twenty college and university faculty to study the social, cultural, and environmental history of American maritime regions.
  • Kentucky Historical Society (Lexington, KY) $300,000
    To prepare for digital publication of the papers of the governors of Kentucky during the Civil War.
  • Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Jackson, MS) $274,175
    To progress the Mississippi Digital Newspaper Project, Phase Three
  • National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA) $250,000
    To implement a traveling exhibition about American composer Leonard Bernstein on the centennial of his birth.
  • Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY) $200,000
    To upgrade environmental controls and improve fire and security systems at the Cody Firearms Museum, which houses a collection of 7,000 firearms and more than 20,000 related objects chronicling the development of firearms from 1425 to the present.

Humanities Nebraska recently awarded a $5,500 grant to the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE) for the case and signage of a new exhibit on Astronaut Clayton Anderson.

Affiliates in the news

Here’s a recap of our Affiliate news makers since January 1, 2017. If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science you would like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee

High Desert Museum (Bend, OR)
High Desert Museum partners with Smithsonian
“We don’t have everything, and everyone is doing work that is complementary,” Closter said. “The natural history of Oregon is different than other parts of the country. For us, it’s having a first-class partner in that part of the world and being able to share the expertise of both organizations.”

The High Desert Museum Partners with Smithsonian
The High Desert Museum has been selected as a Smithsonian Affiliate, which will give it access to exhibits and artifacts from the world’s largest museum and research complex.

Oregon museum becomes Smithsonian Institution affiliate
Dana Whitelaw, executive director of the High Desert Museum near Bend, told the Bulletin newspaper that the Smithsonian affiliation will allow the wildlife and history museum to supplement its exhibits by borrowing artifacts from the massive Smithsonian Institution. It will also expand access to training and conferences.

visitors filter through Star Wars Costume Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

visitors filter through Star Wars Costume Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Denver Art Museum plays with the power of creation: Star Wars
You’re not coming just to look at costumes,” said project lead, Stefania Van Dyke. “We want you to think about all the creativity that went into it.” ­

Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE)
Expert to explain ‘sheer weirdness’ of celestial wonders as part of new
Dussault is the project director for “Black Holes: Space Warps & Time Twists,” an exhibit that opened at the museum this month. More than 1,300 visitors attended opening day of the 2,500 square-foot interactive exhibit, said Deb Hermann, marketing director at the museum. The exhibit offers visitors the chance to learn about black holes by exploring 13 stations, logging their progress on an explorer card. At one station, visitors can take a digital journey to the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Expert to present interactive event on black holes
The Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum brings in Harvard-Smithsonian keynote speaker during its opening celebration of its new exhibit “Black Holes: Space Warps and Time Twists.”

College Park Aviation Museum (College Park, MD)
College Park Aviation Museum Features Smithsonian Photography Exhibit
The exhibition is composed of 50 large scale photographs by Smithsonian photographer Carolyn J. Russo and explores the forms and functions of airport traffic control towers in the U.S. and around the world.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum (Las Vegas, NV) (VIDEO)
Scientist makes 3-D images of artifacts from Las Vegas museum to share online
We think that if we put things online, people won’t want to come to the museum, and what museum professionals find is exactly the opposite,” Hansen says. Seeing items online actually spurs their interest in visiting the museum, where they view the other collections as well.

Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR)
Artyfacts: Mid-America Science Museum – 1.14.1
Creative Mind combines materials from the National Visionary Leadership Project, the African American History Program, the Smithsonian Museum of African American Culture and History, the Arkansas Educational Television Network, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Centre and the Garland County Historical Society.

Ned Buntline, Bufalo Bill Cody, Giuseppina Morlacchi, Texas Jack Omohundro (1846-1880) (Wikimedia Commons)

Ned Buntline, Bufalo Bill Cody, Giuseppina Morlacchi, Texas Jack Omohundro (1846-1880) (Wikimedia Commons)

Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY)
Murder, Marriage and the Pony Express: Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Buffalo Bill
“This isn’t a simple case of a backwoodsman becoming a celebrity,” says Jeremy Johnston, the Hal and Naoma Tate Endowed Chair and curator of Western history at the Smithsonian-affiliated Buffalo Bill Center of the West. “He was quite in tune with American society, American politics, and was very interested in using technology to tell the story of the American West.”

Schingoethe Center of Aurora University (Aurora, IL)
Schingoethe Center of Aurora University named as a Smithsonian Affiliate
“We are a small museum, but we’ve always thought big,” said Meg Bero, executive director of the Schingoethe Center. “The Smithsonian Affiliates designation is a wonderful way for us to build awareness among our students and the community of the museum as a resource.”

National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA)
What’s next for the National Museum of Industrial History
The museum, built out of Steel’s 1913 Electric Repair Shop, tells the story of the Industrial Revolution in America through more than 200 artifacts. It covers the steel, silk and propane industries and features machines that were part of a Smithsonian exhibit that celebrated the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

National Museum of Industrial History

National Museum of Industrial History

National Museum of Industrial History
The National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH), located on Bethlehem’s Southside, is a must-see for locals and tourists alike. The first exhibit area, called Machinery Hall, includes 21 different artifacts from the Smithsonian Institute that had also been on display at the National Museum of American History.

Lehigh students design souvenirs for museum
And, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, are pieces from the Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia and patented machines typical of what was on display there. The Lehigh students studied all those machines as they developed ideas for the souvenirs they designed.

The Old Governor’s Mansion (Milledgeville, GA)
Historic ballots at Old Governor’s Mansion
Museum Director, Matthew Davis explained how the Mansion got their hands on the artifacts. “ The Governor’s Mansion is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. We are one of nine Smithsonian affiliates in Georgia and with that partnership it allows us to receive loans from the Smithsonian,” Davis said.

Research Accolades
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
Astronomers Discover an Entirely New Kind of Galaxy
Astronomers at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences have identified a new class of ring galaxy. Named PGC 1000714, it features an elliptical core with not one, but two outer rings. It’s the only known galaxy of its kind in the known universe.

Kudos/staff moves
Kona Historical Society (Kona, HI)
Kona Historical Society Gets $28K for History Program
The community-based nonprofit and Smithsonian Museum partner Kona Historical Society (KHS) has received a $28,000 grant from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) to expand its Hands On History program at Kona Coffee Living History Farm in Captain Cook. 

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, CA)
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum hires new executive director
The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum has hired Julia Bussinger, director of the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Texas, to be its new executive director.

Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN)
Ricker’s founders pledge $500K gift to Conner Prairie
The founders of Ricker’s fuel and convenience stores pledged a major financial gift to Conner Prairie Wednesday night. The $500,000 donation was announced at their annual meeting and will help restore the museum’s Chinese House, a historic venue on the property.