Posts

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.

Young Historians, Living Histories- Today’s Stop: Oklahoma City, OK!

Special thanks to Paula Lee, Smithsonian Affiliations intern, for this guest post. This is the first of a five-part blog series she is writing as part of the Young Historians, Living Histories (YHLH) collaboration with the Asian Pacific American Center and our Affiliate network. 

Asian Pacific American youth representing the Young Historians, Living HIstory after completing a workshop

Asian Pacific American youth representing the Young Historians, Living History after completing a workshop

Early this August, I had an extraordinary opportunity to join Smithsonian Affiliations as an intern directly assisting with the Young Historians, Living Histories grant. After a few weeks of researching the project, I spoke with Leah Craig, Curator of Education at the Oklahoma History Center, an Affiliate in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma History Center is one of nine Affiliate museums selected to receive the YHLH grant funded by the Smithsonian’s Youth Access Grant program. Additional Affiliates include Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, WA), Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, TX), Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH), Pacific Aviation Museum (Honolulu, HI), Sonoma County Museum (Santa Rosa, CA), Greensboro Historical Museum (Greensboro, NC), Riverside Metropolitan Museum (Riverside, CA), and Historic Arkansas Museum (Little Rock, AR).

This program is an educational initiative designed to engage underserved youth in Asian Pacific American communities by incorporating the use of digital media to produce oral histories. Being an Asian American myself, I was particularly thrilled at the chance to be involved in a project that hit so close to home. The Affiliates have collaborated with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (APAC) and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) to provide essential curriculum guidelines that will be used to train educators to implement youth workshops. Participating Affiliates have recruited Asian Pacific American students to attend workshops at the museums. Middle and high school students will learn a variety of 21st-century skills, methods of community outreach, and digital storytelling to explore, contextualize, and deepen their understanding of Asian Pacific American history and culture.

Director Leah Craig leading one of many workshops on Asian American history

Curator Leah Craig leading one of many workshops on Asian American history

While the Affiliates were busy recruiting students, Craig had already begun to lead a team of 20 gifted and talented students from Norman High School through active learning workshops. The workshops covered essential editing, filming, interviewing and a lesson in Asian Pacific American history with the help of teachers Margaret Wadleigh, LaRadius Allen, and Moving Image Archivist Corey Ayers. Students that participated in the workshop came from diverse cultural backgrounds and were placed in groups that encouraged them to share their stories and ideas as they began their transformation into historians seeking stories within the Asian Pacific American community.  At only 1.9 percent, Oklahoma’s Asian American population isn’t large but according to the U.S. Census Bureau it includes a variety of Chinese, Korean, Pilipino, Burmese, and Hmong communities with significant Vietnamese and growing Indian communities. The program has enticed the young historians to become curious and research the immigration stories that attracted Asian Americans’ very first settlement into Oklahoma such as the Land Run in 1889.

Shoulder to Shoulder-- Oklahoman students eager to learn the film making processes of oral histries in a workshop led by Moving Image Archivist, Corey Ayers

Shoulder to Shoulder– Oklahoman students eager to learn the film making processes of oral histries in a workshop led by Moving Image Archivist, Corey Ayers

Craig boasts that “by conducting the oral histories students are helping us collect the history of our community from people with whom we may not have any other way to collect their stories.” Students were challenged to reveal the hidden struggles and accomplishments that Asian Pacific Americans in their own families/personal network had endured while en route, discovering a part of them that was never truly appreciated. Wadleigh, one of the two mentoring teachers, observed that the oral history element of this project engaged the students in a way that activated their “emotional” skills, skills that helped them discover powerful stories that couldn’t be told through any textbook.   Look forward to future posts under the YHLH Series as we begin to unravel the unique stories hidden across the nation “oh the places we’ll go” when we’re looking!

kudos Affiliates! May 2011

Bravo to the five Affiliates awarded IMLS’ 2011 American Heritage Preservation grants!

were five of 54 museums nationally to receive the  grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium received a $2,948 grant to conserve native son and nationally known artist Alexander Simplot’s painting of the steamboat Virginia titled Steamboat Taking on Wood. Plimoth Plantation received $1,153 to preserve and protect house the museum’s 130-item rare book collection which provides perspectives on both the seventeenth century and the legacy of the English colonists and native Wampanoag people living in seventeenth-century Plymouth Colony. The Senator John Heinz History Center received $2,975 to conserve the Adam Saam discharge paper, which is believed to be the only surviving example of the elaborate pre-printed form of discharge paper from the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Wing Luke Asian Museum will use their $3,000 grant to conserve the painting, Rock Island Dam, by Japanese-American Painter Takuichi Fujii. The Wisconsin Maritime Museum received $3,000 to purchase equipment to record temperature and relative humidity levels in its newly expanded museum facility and on the submarine USS Cobia, a National Historic Landmark vessel.

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust has awarded Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (Fishers, Indiana) $100,000 to support the 1863 Civil War Journey Exhibit.

The Arizona State Museum (Tucson, Arizona) was awarded a $400,000 grant from the federal preservation competition Save America’s Treasures. The project entitled Saving Woven Wonders of American Heritage will rehouse the most comprehensive collection of Southwest Native American woven basketry in a climate-controlled space, which will include visitor visibility, to mitigate threats from light, temperature, humidity, insects, and abrasion.

The Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, Wisconsin) will be part of a $39,550 Joint Effort Marketing grant presented by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism to market a new multi-community sales promotion, “Wisconsin’s Schooner Coast Passport.

Wing Luke Museum and Kona Historical Society: 10 Years in Association with the Smithsonian

2011 is a big year for organizations–20 at the latest count–celebrating their 10th anniversary as Smithsonian Affiliates.  To honor these Affiliates we’ll be blogging monthly about each one as they reach this milestone. 

Two unique Smithsonian Affiliates celebrated 10 years of collaborating with the Smithsonian in February- Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, WA) and Kona Historical Society (Captain Cook, HI). 

Pictured: Joshua Heim, Exhibits Developer and King Lau, Youth Participant, of the Wing Luke Asian Museum YouthCAN program with Michelle Obama. Courtesy IMLS.

Seattle, Washington, is home to the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, better known as “The Wing,” the nation’s only museum devoted to the Asian Pacific American experience. Active participants in Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day each year, The Wing has also included programming from The Smithsonian Associates and brought Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service exhibitions to their community. Recently, during a White House ceremony, First Lady Michelle Obama honored The Wing’s YouthCAN after school program with a prestigious national award for its impact in engaging young people in the arts and humanities.

Kona Coffee Living History Farm, courtesy Kona Historical Society.

Did you know the Smithsonian has Affiliates in Hawaii? The Kona Historical Society in Captain Cook, Hawaii, also celebrates its 10th anniversary in February. The society maintains two historic sites and the Jean Greenwell Archives, which boasts the largest photograph collection on the Big Island; over 140 maps; many rare and out-of-print books; historical records including manuscripts, pamphlets and oral history interviews; and films and videotapes of Kona. The Society is in the process of raising $1.5 million over the next three years to expand the Kona Coffee Living History Farm which will create a permanent exhibition space for “The Kona Coffee Story:  Along the Hawai’I Belt Road,” an award winning exhibition created in a partnership which included the Japanese American National Museum (another Smithsonian Affiliate) and which was donated to the Kona Historical Society.

So, Happy 10th anniversary to The Wing and Kona Historical Society! And here’s to many more years of collaboration.