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Kudos Affiliates!! January 2021

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

FUNDING

The Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) and the California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA) are recipients of an Art Museum Futures Fund grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The emergency COVID-19 grants will be used to support general operations.

The Ohio State Controlling Board approved $1.2 million to Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) for the support of educational initiatives. The funding is part of Ohio’s response to the health and economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Guinness Open Gate Brewery is donating to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore, MD) as part of its Guinness Gives Back Baltimore Community Fund. As an extension of the brewery’s mission to contribute to America’s craft brewing scene in a positive way as makers and creatives, the brewery’s support will champion underrepresented artists to inspire the next generation.

Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH) received $61,200, an Ohio Arts Council CARES Act Economic Relief for the Arts award, to support salaries and operating expenses. In addition, the museum received $61,227 from the Park National Bank to support general operating expenses.

The Andrew W. Mellon and William Penn Foundations selected the African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) as one of 37 institutions to split an $8 million fund. The museum was awarded $200,000 to support general operating costs.

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission announced nearly $2 million in grants to museums and historical societies across the commonwealth including the following Affiliates:

Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded grants to the following Affiliates as part of its Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative. The funding will be used to develop exhibitions and education programs that accurately portray the role of religion in the U.S. and around the world.

  • Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) ($500,000) – to create a new storyline on the role of religion in African American history in the early 19th century.  The project will “explore the vital role of religion in the lives of antebellum Black settlers, who often thought of the Northwest Territory as their Promised Land.”
  • Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ) ($2,500,000) – to develop a permanent exhibition that will explore the origin stories of four North American indigenous tribes — the Seneca in the Northeast, the Yup’ik in the Arctic, the Akimel O’odham, and the Navajo in the Southwest — in an immersive and educational presentation that seeks to educate about the diversity and beauty of indigenous religion and spiritual practices.
  • Plimoth Patuxet Museums (Plymouth, MA) ($2,499,110) – to support The Light Here Kindled: Providence, Manitou and the Legacy of America’s Founding Faiths program that seeks to strengthen and expand the museum’s capacity to incorporate the crucial role of faith, particularly the beliefs and practices of Reformed Christianity, into its interpretations of Colonial Plymouth and the people of the indigenous Patuxet.

Putnam Museum (Davenport, IA) received a $35,000 grant from the Scott County Regional Authority to support the design and construction of a world culture gallery.

Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI) received a $138,000 State COVID-19 Cultural Organization grant to help sustain operations through challenges posed by the pandemic.

Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, IL) received $700,000 through the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program to support its STEM Inspires program for dome planetarium capital upgrades.

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (Cedar Rapids, IA) received a $10,000 Virtual Arts Experience grant through the Iowa Arts Council, to offer 15 virtual music performances by local artists for K-12 music classrooms and aging adults in care centers. Participating students and aging adults will engage in a virtual pen pal program. Students will submit music-related questions to adult learners who will record their responses with the help of care center staff.

Four Affiliates received a grant from the Iowa Arts and Cultural Recovery Program to provide relief for lost income or extra expenses incurred due to the pandemic. The grants may be used to offset operating expenses, as well as costs associated with reopening in person or adapting programs to virtual formats.

The Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) will renovate its library using a $3 million gift made by the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation. The gift allows for the continuation of the physical and cultural transformation of its main campus and headquarters by renovating the library’s first floor public reading room and consolidating staff workspaces.

LEADERSHIP

Dr. Kimberly Robinson, a 31-year NASA veteran, has been named the executive director and CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL). She will assume her role Feb. 15. Robinson is NASA’s Utilization Manager for Advanced Exploration Systems and was previously the Payload Mission Manager for Artemis I, the first integrated flight test of the NASA’s Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System rocket, and the Exploration Ground Systems at Kennedy Space Center.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore, MD) announced the appointment of Terri Lee Freeman, former President of the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN) as the new Executive Director. As a national leader, who brings an entire career in philanthropy, focused on fundraising and building strategic alliances, she will join the museum in February.

Ben Jones was named the new executive director of the South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD). Ben is the former Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education.

Dan Joyce announced he will retire as executive director of the Kenosha Public Museums (Kenosha, WI) at the end January following more than three decades at the museum.

Kudos Affiliates!! August 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 Nissan Foundation awarded $740,000 in grants to 30 nonprofit organizations for its 2019 grant cycle. The grant recipients and projects include:

Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) ($10,000)- Arab American Arts Festival and Community Development/Placemaking

San Diego Museum of Man (San Diego, CA) ($10,000)-Making San Diego Safe for Human Differences

Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA ($30,000)-School Visits Program

The Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) announced it has received several grants in support of its operations, educational programs, and a project to digitize its permanent collections:

$23,065 from the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, to carry out a three-year project to photograph and digitize nearly 2,500 works of art and upgrade its collections management software to increase public access, encourage scholarship, and foster engagement with its growing collection of American art;

$10,000 from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, to support the museum’s operations and programs through June 30, 2020;

$9,259 from the Dubuque Racing Association to upgrade the museum’s server and to make other key technology upgrades;

$2,500 from ITC Midwest to fund K-12 arts education and field trips, building art skills into the 21st century, and creating more inclusive, affordable and culturally diverse programming.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno pauses to look at the childhood home of Theodor S. Geisel.

The Dr. Seuss Foundation contributed a major gift to begin work on the Ted’s House and Innovation Center project. This will transform the childhood home of Dr. Seuss author Theodor S. Geisel and incorporate it into the Springfield Museums (Springfield, MA). The Innovation Center will focus on family, community, and environments of innovation and creativity, and use multimedia, multi-lingual resources to help visitors engage in an entertaining and exciting exploration of Geisel’s childhood, his home and neighborhood, and the many influences Springfield may have had on his art and writing.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanic Gardens (Staten Island, NY) received a $1 million allocation from the Staten Island borough’s council members for infrastructure and HVAC system upgrades at the facility.

Ball Brothers Foundation awarded $10,000 to Conner Prairie Museum (Fishers, IN) to support 60 visits to Delaware County, IN, schools to bring history and science programming to students and teachers.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) announced the winners of the 74th annual Leadership in History Awards, the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. The winners include:

Conner Prairie Museum and Asante Children’s Theatre received the Award of Excellence for Giving Voice: African-Americans’ Presence in Indiana’s History.

History Colorado (Denver, CO) for the History Colorado Collections on view in Silverton, Colorado.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) for project Montana and the Great War.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) for the We Can Do It: WWII Traveling Exhibit Outreach Project.

Judy Rand with her award winning script for the special exhibit Underwater Beauty at the Shedd Aquarium.

Congratulations to Judy Rand, winner of the 2019 American Alliance of Museums’ Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing competition for Shedd Aquarium’s (Chicago, IL) special exhibit Underwater Beauty. Sponsored by AAM’s Curators Committee in cooperation with the Education Professional Network (EdCom) and National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME). The competition recognizes outstanding label writing that’s “clear, concise, and captivating…a combination not easily achieved.”

LEADERSHIP

The Board of Trustees of the Springfield Museum of Art announced the appointment of J.D. Beiting as Interim Executive Director. Mr. Beiting replaces Ann Fortescue, who departed for McAllen, Texas. Mr. Beiting will serve as Interim Executive Director for a period of three to six months or until the permanent successor is announced.

Cathy Green has been named executive director of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitiwoc, WI). Green served as interim director the past six months after the resignation of previous director Rolf Johnson. She had previously served as deputy director and chief curator of the museum throughout 2018.

Kudos Affiliates! October 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

The Dane G. Hansen Foundation has awarded the Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS) a $50,000 grant to bring the science center’s outreach programs to rural schools in Northwest Kansas. Programs supported by the grant will serve students in grades K-12.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) is one of 96 colleges and universities in the country to be recognized by by INSIGHT into Diversity, a higher education diversity magazine and website, for its efforts to support diversity and inclusion. The school received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED, Award. Framingham State has received the award three previous times beginning in 2014, more than any other public university in the state.

Bank of America has donated $50,000 to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore, MD) and is the presenting sponsor of the upcoming exhibit, Romare Bearden: Visionary Artist.

The Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) has received grants to support two new projects that will culminate in Summer 2020. The National Park Service, through its Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) program, awarded the museum nearly $488,000 and the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program awarded the museum $30,000. The money will support the development and implementation of a virtual and augmented reality exhibition about a Nisei soldier killed in battle during World War II and another exhibition exploring the role of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in America’s concentration camps during the war. In addition, the museum received a bequest in excess of $525,000 from the estate of Setsuko Oka, a longtime museum member. The funds will go toward educational initiatives as well as exhibitions and programs focused on Japanese artistic and cultural heritage in the United States, through the soon-to-be-established Setsuko Oka Japanese Heritage Fund.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced grant awards totaling $22,899,000 for museums across the nation to improve services to their communities through the agency’s largest competitive grant program, Museums for America, and a special initiative, Museums Empowered. Affiliate recipients include:

Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC)-Award: $50,795
The Children’s Museum of the Upstate will expand its STEAM outreach programming to benefit both teachers and students in the Greenville County Schools.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO)-
Award: $249,500
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will create two mobile museum experiences to engage underrepresented audiences in nature and science by going outside the museum’s physical location. The museum will fabricate an expandable vehicle similar to an RV and a smaller, pop-up truck.

Award: $142,836
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science will implement a professional development plan for its cross-departmental data team to leverage insights from existing data sets and identify new data sources to support its mission, increase relevance, and better serve its community.

International Museum of the Horse (Lexington, KY)-Award: $225,983
The International Museum of the Horse will document and archive the history of African Americans in the horse industry and make it accessible through an online interactive website.

Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME)-Award: $169,070
The staff of the Abbe Museum will continue to decolonize its museum practice, informed by native Wabanaki people, and develop the Museum Decolonization Institute to share its process and understanding with others.

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle,WA)-Award: $250000
The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture will ensure the long-term care, conservation, and access to its ethnology textile collections by rehousing them in its new facility in a storage system that meets accepted professional standards.

Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, VA)-Award: $97,637
The Virginia Museum of Natural History will improve the care and accessibility of its Triassic and Paleozoic geologic rock core from the Virginia Piedmont by moving it to a new storage facility.

Durham Museum (Omaha, NE)-Award: $214,965
The Durham Museum will improve intellectual and physical control over its collection in response to a series of recommendations from its participation in the Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) program.

Arizona State Museum (Tucson, AZ)-Award: $230,716
The Arizona State Museum will continue its ongoing work to stabilize its basketry collections which represent its highest institutional conservation priority.

Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI)-Award: $24,586
The Wisconsin Maritime Museum will develop a collections move and consolidation plan to evaluate space and facility requirements and the future composition of its collection.

Museum of History and Industry (Seattle, WA)-Award: $31,368
The Museum of History and Industry will increase staff cultural competency and provide clear objectives and accountability for moving forward as a more inclusive organization in order to build its capacity to serve the diverse communities of Seattle and King County.

Kentucky Historical Society (Frankfort, KY)-Award: $243,604
The Kentucky Historical Society will embark on a three-year project to reshape its institutional culture to prioritize diversity and inclusion in all facets of its work.

High Desert Museum (Bend, OR)-Award: $73,534
The High Desert Museum will embed evaluative thinking into organizational practices by building staff competencies in evaluation. The project will include a mixture of skill building workshops and guided studies designed to build staff skills and confidence in evaluation processes.

Air Zoo (Portage, MI)-Award: $21,542
The Air Zoo will expand its ongoing program of diversity and inclusion training for its staff and volunteers. As one of 14 nationwide sites to be selected to participate in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative, the museum will continue its commitment to becoming a more culturally-competent, diverse, and inclusive community organization.

Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI)-Award: $22,306
The Rhode Island Historical Society will implement a comprehensive professional development program for its staff and volunteers to build their knowledge and practice in using dialogue facilitation with different audiences and improve their readiness to work on re-interpreting programming, exhibitions, and collections practices.

To read the full descriptions of each award, click here

Conner Prairie received a $70,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to help support its goal of bringing interdisciplinary education directly to elementary-age students in Indiana. The grant will allow Conner Prairie to bring its unique approach of integrating history and STEM to classrooms through education programs inspired by its Create. Connect exhibit, which blends stories of Indiana history with science experimentation, problem-solving, and critical thinking. The new Prairie Mobile will travel to elementary schools in Duke Energy’s Indiana service area with the aim of inspiring curiosity and fostering learning through history and STEM-related education and hands-on activities.

The National Park Service announced $1,657,000 in Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act grants to return ancestral remains and cultural items to Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. The 16 repatriation grants will fund transportation and reburial of 243 ancestors and 2,268 cultural items including:

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO)-$85,000
To study a large collection of artifacts and human remains that was excavated in New Mexico from sites that range in age from about 700 years old to 1,700 years old.

History Colorado (Denver, CO)-$14,700
To give back 222 funerary objects taken from tribes between the late 1880s, up until as late as the 1980s.

Other recipients include:

San Diego Museum of Man (San Diego, CA)-$89,793

Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH)-$90,000

Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH)-$88,248

The “tails” side of the new Lowell quarter (Courtesy of the U.S. Mint)

RECOGNITION AND AWARDS

A “mill girl” working at a power loom in Lowell will soon be depicted on a new quarter, the U.S. Mint announced this week. The new 25-cent piece is part of the Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters Program, in which quarters represent a national park or other site in each state and U.S. territory. Including the Massachusetts quarter and four others, 2019 will be the 10th year of the program. According to the Mint, the design for the Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA) quarter “depicts a mill girl working at a power loom with its prominent circular bobbin battery. A view of Lowell, including the Boott Mill clock tower, is seen through the window.”