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Kudos Affiliates!! October 2020

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

FUNDING

The Durham Museum (Omaha, NE) received a $25,000 grant from The Iowa West Foundation to develop resources, programs, and projects that focus on economic development, education, place making, and healthy families.

The Nissan Foundation awarded $680,000 in grants to 27 nonprofit organizations for its 2020 grant cycle including awards to:

The NASA in Kansas program received a $2.8 million grant to help continue STEM-based education and research in the Sunflower State. The four-year award from NASA will help fund a consortium of universities and science museums, including the Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS).

The International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, TX) was awarded a Collections Assessment for Preservation grant for $7,000 from the Foundation for the Advancement in Conservation. The funding will be instrumental in providing credible information for long-term planning for collections care and preparing for re-accreditation in 2022.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission awarded grants to the following Affiliate organizations to support the general operations of the museums:

Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) received a $20,000 Cultural Leadership Partners grant administered by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The grant will support a wide range of programs and events the Museum and Science Center will provide in the coming year.

New Mexico’s legislative session concluded with a $250,000 allocation for renovations at the Hubbard Museum of the American West (Ruidoso Downs, NM) and $750,000 to the New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM) for facility and exhibit improvements.

The National Park Service, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, announced $12,800,000 in Save America’s Treasures grants to fund 42 preservation and conservation projects in 26 states including the following Affiliates:

  • Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) – $102,000-for the preservation and accessibility to curatorial files.
  • YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (Center for Jewish History), (New York, NY) – $119,433-for the preservation and accessibility for Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Online Collections.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded grants totaling $25,899,000 for museums across the nation to improve services to their communities through Museums for America, and special initiatives-Museums Empowered and Inspire! Grants for Small Museums. Affiliate awardees include:

Museums for America

  • Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) – $172,000.00-The Arab American National Museum will work with a learning design firm and a museum-focused exhibition design firm to develop, design, and fabricate new components for their children’s gallery spaces. This project will result in four new bilingual, less text-heavy exhibition elements that will allow young visitors in grades K-5 to gain a more balanced perspective on cultural and racial diversity within their communities, as well as an appreciation of the large-scale impact of all immigrant communities on American life.
  • Springfield Science Museum, part of Springfield Museums, (Springfield, MA) – $84,637.00-Museum staff will undergo Disability Inclusion and Universal Design training to redesign and enhance a core multi-use learning space and principle STEM program that can remove physical, cognitive, and social barriers to learning. External evaluators will measure access needs and learning outcomes before and after project upgrades in order to track progress and develop a scalable model of inclusive practice for all the museum’s science programming.
  • Mercer Museum (Doylestown, PA) – $40,000.00-Mercer Museum will conduct a detailed condition survey of 256 windows (including dormers and skylights) located in its original 1916 National Landmark Mercer Museum building. The survey will result in a comprehensive report, with recommendations and methodologies for repair and remediation intended to improve environmental conditions for the exhibited collections.
  • Arizona State Museum (Tucson, AZ) – $122,471.00-The Arizona State Museum will ensure the long-term preservation and accessibility of 50 items including large, handcrafted barkcloth fabrics and woven basketry mats from Indigenous groups in northern Mexico (Pima Bajo, Pipil, Tarahuamara, Tepehuan, Warhio, Yaqui, Tohono O’odham, and Otomi) and the Pacific Islands (Fijian, Hawaiian, Javanese, Melanesian, Philippine, Samoan, and Tongan).
  • Museum of Us (San Diego, CA ) – $249,668.00-The Museum of Us will engage with representatives of the Kumeyaay Nation (Kumeyaay) in a community-driven exhibit and program development process. This project will engage Kumeyaay community members in large forums, focus groups, one-on-one meetings, and written evaluations to accurately capture content for a new exhibit that is self-determined by the community.
  • Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) – $248,825.00-The Adler Planetarium will expand access to STEM programs for African American and Latinx Chicago teens through a progressive series of entry-point, introductory, intermediate, and advanced level programs. Students in grades 7-12 will be invited to join teams of scientists, engineers, and educators to undertake authentic scientific research and solve real engineering challenges. In collaboration with schools and community-based organizations, Adler will develop and implement new participant recruitment and retention strategies to reach teens in specific neighborhoods.
  • South Carolina State Museum (Columbia, SC) – $245,239.00-The South Carolina State Museum will improve the stewardship of its collections through a two-year collections inventory and digitization project. The project will result in refined inventory and photography protocols for digitization of collection objects, the implementation of a new collections management system, and the acquisition of a dedicated server to ensure that the database has capacity for future growth.
  • Florida International University (Miami, FL) – $250,000.00-Florida International University will expand the shelving capacity in its Rare Books and Special Collections Library, improve storage conditions for the collection, and improve public access to the collection.
  • National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque, IA) – $206,286.00-The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium will conduct a collections survey and planning project that will build upon previous successful collections stewardship projects and improve the museum’s ability to care for and interpret its historical collections.
  • High Desert Museum (Bend, OR) – $155,280.00-The High Desert Museum will bring together key stakeholders to develop and implement the first High Desert Project, deconstructing the traditional conference structure to create a new approach to engaging broad audiences in dialogue-one that builds on the unique strengths of museums.
  • Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, CT) – $238,604.00-The Connecticut Historical Society will inventory, rehouse, catalog, and digitize the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program CCHAP collection which documents the cultural traditions and heritage within the rich diversity of Connecticut’s ethnic and workplace communities.
  • Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT)-$167,303.00-Mystic Seaport Museum will restore its 1921 fishing schooner-L.A. DUNTON-a National Historic Landmark vessel and one of the last surviving examples of its kind. Progress will be captured on video for podcast and other forms of distance learning to further expand the project reach.
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO)-$240,740.00-The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will advance stewardship and public access for 718 objects in its Northwest Coast Collection through collaborative conservation that involves Kwakwaka’wakw, Makah, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Tlingit and Haida tribes.
  • Center for Jewish History (New York, NY) – $52,230.00-The Center for Jewish History will improve stewardship of the 35mm and 16mm motion picture film collections of its five in-house partners: the American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum, and YIVO Institute, as a pilot of a new digitization process.
  • USS Constitution Museum (Boston, MA) – $250,000.00-The USS Constitution Museum will launch a Salute to Service initiative to transform itself into a hub for conversation, connection, and community around military service so the community can see the museum as a trusted space for community engagement, and civilian participants in Salute to Service programs to gain an elevated understanding of military service and family sacrifice.
  • Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX)-$250,000.00-The Witte Museum will improve the conservation and preservation of its paleontology and geology collections to support continued fossil preparation for new fossil finds and acquisitions.
  • Krannert Art Museum (Champaign, IL) – $250,000.00-The Krannert Art Museum will reinstall its collection of ancient Andean art. This reinstallation will transform the ancient Andean gallery into an innovative teaching and research tool that better serves their core constituents and exposes audiences to the historical depth, cultural richness, and contemporary relevance of ancient Andean civilizations.
  • Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) – $227,272.00-The Plimoth Plantation will develop a suite of educational resources for teachers, students, and the general public focusing on the relationship between the early Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people.

Museums Empowered: Professional Development Opportunities for Museum Staff

  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) – $249,920.00-The Ohio History Connection will conduct an online professional development program to help the network become better managed, more resilient, and better able to serve the public. Modules will focus on topics such as board development; collections handling; engaging with local communities; and essential museum knowledge for boards, directors, staff, and volunteers from outside the museum field.

Inspire! Grants for Small Museums

  • Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) – $40,975.00-The Dubuque Museum of Art will upgrade its collections management software through a four-phase project that will increase public access to the museum’s collection.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded $52.2 million in grants for 562 humanities projects featuring the following Affiliate initiatives:

  • Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ) – $4,622-The Heard Museum will use the funding for the preservation assessment of a library and archive collection dedicated to Native American art and cultures, covering topics such as Native American fine art, literature, anthropology, and museum studies.
  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) – $172,445- The Japanese American National Museum will develop two, one-week workshops -Little Tokyo: How History Shapes a Community Across Generations- for 72 school teachers about the history and culture of Japanese-American immigrants and their place in U.S. history.
  • History Colorado (Denver, CO) – $224,914-History Colorado will digitize 100,000 pages from Colorado newspaper titles, published from 1859 to 1942, as part of the state’s continuing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).
  • History Colorado (Denver, CO) – $208,808-History Colorado will produce eight 45- to 60-minute podcast episodes about Colorado and Western U.S. history entitled the Lost Highways Podcast Program.
  • Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA) – $6,000-Grinnell College staff will conduct research for a book on the development of the Filipino diaspora in the United States and Europe, as a case study to understand how diasporas evolve.
  • Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) – $49,200-The Plimoth Plantation will conduct an assessment of the collections and buildings at Plimoth Plantation, which has extensive collections of archaeological artifacts, fine and decorative art, and archival materials.
  • Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) – $9,901-Michigan State University Museum will purchase storage equipment for the Siyazama Project collection, which is housed at the university’s museum and consists of 66 traditional craft works created by South African women as part of an organized art and health initiative during the HIV/AIDS crisis.
  • Center for Jewish History (New York, NY) – $65,500-The Center for Jewish History will provide 12 months of stipend support (1 fellowship) per year for one year and to defray costs associated with the selection of fellows.
  • Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA) – $236,824-Museum of Flight will arrange, describe, catalog, and select the digitization of 170 cubic feet of archival materials and 260 objects from the William P. and Moya Olsen Lear Collection, including correspondence, photographs, model planes, invention prototypes, and 33 audio recordings and 18 films related to groundbreaking discoveries in aviation and radio that span the twentieth century.
  • Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY) – $48,933-Buffalo Bill Center of the West will construct a plan for storage spaces at all six of the center’s collecting units to maximize the preservation environment, space efficiency, and access to collections by staff and the public. Center staff would work with a consulting conservator, architect, and engineer to develop the plan.
  • Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, WA)-$189,984- Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience will create two one-week workshops for 72 school teachers about the history and culture of Asian Pacific American immigrants in the Pacific Northwest.

The Mary Black Foundation awarded new grants to 19 nonprofits serving Spartanburg County, including $15,000 to Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Spartanburg, SC) to assist with operational costs to provide high-quality learning opportunities for young children in Spartanburg County.

Mid-America Arts Alliance awarded $50,000 to the American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) to assist operational costs and digitizing of their collections.

Oklahoma History Center (Oklahoma City, OK) was awarded a grant through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) for personal protective equipment (PPE) to be utilized by the OHC Education Department. The funding has been used to purchase sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer and disinfectant for use by museum visitors and staff, as well as to be included in the trunks for our award-winning Traveling Trunk program.

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, IA) received funding from two area foundations to support conservation education and equitable access for Dubuque County residents. Alliant Energy Foundation has awarded the Museum $5,000 towards the expansion of its conservation education live animal outreach program address Iowa bird conservation initiatives and provide teacher workshop opportunities. The McDonough Foundation awarded $2,000 to increase equitable access through the Everybody’s Museum Membership (EMM) program—a free membership program that is open to economically challenged youth and families in Dubuque County, as well as community members with physical and intellectual disabilities.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Mercer Museum & Fonthill Castle (Doylestown, PA) and USS Constitution Museum (Boston, MA) recently received reaccreditations from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

RANDY PARKER/THE DAILY TRIBUNE NEWS Booth Western Art Museum is named the Best Art Museum in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards contest.

The Booth Western Art Museum (Cartersville, GA) was named Best Art Museum in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards contest.

The Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center (Pierre,SD) earned an AASLH Award of Excellence for the exhibit “Silent Silos: South Dakota’s Missile Range.”

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) received the Special Achievement – Excellence in Community Empowerment award for its exhibition – “Finding Our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak” at the 32nd annual Excellence in Exhibition Competition, presented by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were recognized for their efforts to support diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus with a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. The award is given by INSIGHT into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education.

Kudos Affiliates!! November 2019

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

FUNDING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEADERSHIP

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

Kudos Affiliates! September 2018

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

In the final round of fiscal year 2018 funding, nine Affiliates received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of a $43.1 million award to 218 projects across the U.S. Grants support research, education, preservation and public programs in the humanities:

University of Arizona-Arizona State Museum (Tucson, AZ): $350,000
Project Title: Creating a Sustainable Environment for the Preservation of ASM’s Anthropological Photographs
Project Description: An implementation project to create a secure and controlled, multi-climate suite for the Arizona State Museum’s anthropological photographic collection, which contains over 525,000 prints, negatives, and transparencies providing visual documentation of the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and technologies of the indigenous peoples of the American Southwest.

Juanita Ahill gathers saguaro fruit. Photographer, Helga Teiwes. One of the over half a million anthropological photographs in the Arizona State Museum’s collection.

Colorado Historical Society-History Colorado (Denver, CO)-$224,000
Project Title: Colorado Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Colorado’s historic newspapers published between 1859 and 1922, as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP)

Dubuque County Historical Society-National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque, IA): $500,000
Project Title: Preservation & Restoration through Campus Improvements
Project Description: The renovation of climate control systems along with the restoration of several associated historic structures, which together document the history of the Mississippi River and of the people who lived on its banks.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) : $267,000
Project Title: Montana Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Montana newspapers dating from 1864 to 1963, as part of the state’s continuing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH): $246,798
Project Title: Ohio Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Ohio newspapers published between 1920 and 1960, as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD): $280,200
Project Title: South Dakota Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: The digitization of 100,000 pages of historic South Dakota newspapers published between 1836 and 1922 as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture (Knoxville, TN)
Project Title: NEH on the Road: For All the World to See
Project Description: Ancillary public programs to accompany NEH on the Road: For All the World to See traveling exhibition.

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA): $450,000
Project Title: New Burke Museum Construction of Long-Term Cultural Exhibits
Project Description: The construction of three, long-term cultural exhibit spaces as part of the new facility for the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. The grant will support building out the Ethnology Gallery, the Archaeology Gallery, and the Northwest Native Art Gallery, including casework, graphic panels, physical interactives, models, dioramas, lighting, and electrical elements.

Wing Luke Museum (Seattle, WA): $168,532
Project Title: From Immigrants to Citizens: Asian-Pacific Americans in the Northwest
Project Description: Two, one-week workshops for 72 school teachers to explore the histories and cultures of Asian immigrants in the Pacific Northwest and their significance to the nation.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded new Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) grants to support collaborations across the U.S. aimed at fostering cutting-edge materials research while increasing diversity. NSF will give $1,288,750.00 to the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus for collaborative work with the Metropolitan University, the Universidad del Turabo (Gurabo, PR), part of the Hispanic-Serving Institution program, and the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source. This educational effort of collaborative research of materials seeks to gather and develop a diverse and talented interdisciplinary scientific community with experience operating synchrotron X-ray techniques, to improve energy storage and conversion devices.

The Dubuque Historical Society (Dubuque, IA) received two grants from the Historical Resource Development and one grant from the Iowa Arts Council’s Cultural Heritage, totaling $81,675 to help fund programs and continue preservation efforts. Some of the award will be used for an innovative exhibit highlighting local businesses at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.

Awards and Recognition

The New England Museum Association (NEMA) announced that Plimoth Plantation won Best in Show in the NEMA Publication Award Competition for Plimoth Life. The publication won first place in the Newsletters and Magazines category.

EDsmart, a nationally recognized publisher of college resources and rankings, has revealed its 2018 edition of the Most Astounding College Museums in the United States including the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA) and the University of Nebraska State Museum (Lincoln, NE).

Leadership

Montana State University has hired Christopher Dobbs to serve as the next executive director of the Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT). Dobbs will begin on September 1, 2018. He succeeds Shelley McKamey, who announced her retirement in January.

The president and CEO of the Saint Louis Science Center (Saint Louis, MO), Bert Vescolani, will step down from his position to take a post at the Denver Zoo. Bert will work through the end of August and help with transition through mid-September. Barbara Boyle, the center’s chief operating and financial officer, will serve as interim president and CEO, effective September 1. Board and other community leaders will conduct a national search for Vescolani’s successor.

Part 2: Using Collections to Think About Immigration with the Smithsonian Learning Lab

In Part 1 of our Smithsonian Learning Lab series we took you to the Tsongas Industrial History Center at the Lowell National Historical Park, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Lowell, Massachusetts, where teachers were exploring the question “Who belongs?” (You can read the full blog here.) This time we’re headed to the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, another Smithsonian Affiliate in Seattle, Washington, to explore immigration through the lens of Chinese immigrants.

Wing Luke Learning Lab title pageIn his blog Beneath the Text: Analyzing Letters from Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, Rahul Gupta, education and tours director at The Wing, developed his first Learning Lab gallery using the museum’s collection of letters to to discuss three areas of immigration– “push” and “pull” factors that bring immigrants to the country or that reject their presence, and the letters’ style, writing and format.

I am often amazed at what I learn at this job every single day—and this project opened my understanding of the personal impact of colonialism, Chinese nationalism, gender relationships, and changing gender roles—and more and more. There are brilliant gems within our museum collection, and I am restlessly waiting to place more of these archives and artifacts into the hands of teachers and students around the country.

Read his blog and view his Learning Lab collection here.

The Teacher Creativity Studio program received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

If you are interested in learning more about the Smithsonian Learning Lab and how it could help your museum support teachers and students in your community, contact your National Outreach Manager.