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SITES’ corner

By Ed Liskey, Senior Scheduling & Exhibitor Relations Coordinator, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service

We’d like to share some of the great experiences Affiliate museums have had hosting SITES exhibitions this past summer.  When will you get your SITES on? 

Native Words, Native Warriors at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum

The Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI) is hosting SITES’ Native Words, Native Warriors, from July 23- October 2, 2011. It’s the remarkable story of Indian soldiers from more than a dozen tribes who used their Native languages in the service of the U.S. military.

Museum Educator Wendy Lutzke reports that the museum has made  interesting historical connections between the exhibition and its World War II submarine, the USS Cobia.  The Cobia is the largest artifact in the museum’s collection, and is moored right outside the gallery.  “While researching the history of the Code Talkers in the Pacific, intern Nick Oswald found that both the Code Talkers and the crew of the USS Cobia had a direct impact on the outcome of the battle of Iwo Jima.  Code Talkers revealed deceptive Japanese communications that mimicked those sent by the Allies, while the crew of the USS Cobia destroyed two Japanese vessels, one of which was carrying tanks intended for Iwo Jima.” 

Native Words, Native Warriors at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum

In September, the museum will feature Oneida Nation historian Loretta Metoxen, to speak on the Oneida’s contribution to the Code Talker Program.  A medal recognizing the Oneida individuals involved in the program will be struck by the U.S. Mint later this fall. 

The Charlotte Museum of History (Charlotte, NC) hosted SITES’ Becoming American:  Teenagers & Immigration exhibition April 23 – July 17, 2011, and visitors loved every minute of it.  Photographer Barbara Beirne’s images capture first-generation immigrants and children of immigrants, revealing a diverse array of teenage responses to the immigrant experience.

Becoming American installation at The Charlotte Museum of History

 Exhibits Manager Lee Goodan reported that “the Museum actively works to engage the diverse community of the Charlotte/Mecklenburg region, home to many immigrants from other areas of the world and transplants from around the country. The stories of Becoming American reflect the diverse make-up of the area, and provide compelling examples of finding identity with migration. As we explore the theme of home within our institution, this exhibition illustrated the challenges and opportunities of finding and remembering ‘home.’ The focus on teenagers provided us the opportunity to create a successful program for high school students. Based on visitor feedback, the content resonated with our visitors who identified with the stories or found the exhibition insightful on a topic with which they were not personally familiar.”

Becoming American high school program at The Charlotte Museum of History

 Ms. Goodan continued:  “It was an excellent exhibition- compelling, thought-provoking, and directly presented. The primary strength of the exhibition was that it seemed to be very effective at evoking responses- either intellectual or emotional- from visitors. Based on comments left in the exhibition response book, we received more comments of a personal or substantive nature than usual. Some included political or social commentary, some shared personal experience with immigration, and some simply noted that they had been touched or affected by the stories.”

Farmers, Warriors, Builders a the South Florida Museum

The South Florida Museum and Parker Manatee Aquarium (Bradenton, FL) is currently hosting Farmers, Warriors, Builders:  The Hidden Life of Ants, on view through October 9, 2011.  More than 140 guests got buggy with entomology family fun on Saturday, August 6 at a “Family Night” program at the museum.  Hands-on crafts, a cartoon movie about the critters, and a scavenger hunt through the museum including the Farmers, Warriors, Builders exhibition all made the event a huge hit.

The museum team is thrilled about another exhibition-related event with Dr. Mark Moffett, the world-renowned ant expert, award-winning photographer, and Smithsonian Research Associate whose work is featured in the exhibition.  On September 29, he will present “Adventures Among Ants: A Global Safari with a Cast of Trillions” based on his newest book of the same title. “We are thrilled to bring such a witty, experienced, renowned scientist and real-life adventurer to our community,” said Brynne Anne Besio, Executive Director. “This fascinating exhibition and the chance to meet Dr. Moffett represent such a unique opportunity for our members and the general public to learn from a modern-day explorer.”

Please visit our website to learn more about all of our exhibitions that will help you get your SITES on.

The Affiliate flag in the Becoming American installation at the Charlotte Museum of History

 

 

 

SITES in your neighborhood this summer!

Smithsonian Affiliates across the country are bringing Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) exhibitions to their communities this summer. Here’s what’s opening at an Affiliate in the coming months:  

Marine radio messengers on their way to Okinawa, Japan, 1945. Left to right: Private First Class Joe Hosteen Kelwood (Navajo), Steamboat Canyon, AZ; Pvt. Floyd Saupitty (Comanche), Lawton, OK; and Private First Class Alex Williams (Navajo), Leupp, AZ. Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps.

July 23 – October 2, 2011
Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, Wisconsin)
Native Words, Native Warriors
Native Words, Native Warriors
tells the remarkable story of Indian soldiers from more than a dozen tribes who used their Native languages in the service of the U.S. military. Developed with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, this inspiring exhibition was made possible in part thanks to the generous support of Elizabeth Hunter Solomon. Additional support has been provided by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee and the AMB Foundation.

July 30 – October 9, 2011
South Florida Museum and Parker Manatee Aquarium (Bradenton, Florida)
Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants
Small yet abundant, with complex and wildly diverse lifestyles, ants are everywhere, living lives mostly hidden from our view. What if we could see into their world…on their level? What would we learn? What parallels could we draw between them and us? Now, with the aid of a macro lens and the insights of ant expert and photographer Dr. Mark Moffett, SITES and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History present the world of ants.

August 13 – October 16, 2011
The Charlotte Museum of History (Charlotte, North Carolina)
Singgalot: (The Ties That Bind) Filipinos in America, from Colonial Subjects to Citizens
After tracing the first trans-oceanic trade missions between Manila and Acapulco in the 1500s, Singgalot explores the tenuous political relationship between the United States and the Philippines, when Spain ceded the Pacific-island following the Spanish-American War. Rarely seen historical images detail Filipino migration between 1906 and 1935 as Hawai’i sugar plantations, West Coast farms, and Alaskan canneries recruited Asians to join the labor force. When the U.S. government sounded the call to arms in the 1940s, Filipino immigrants answered, serving as infantrymen and earning respect from a grateful nation. Nearly 20 years later, the 1965 Immigration Act hastened a third major wave of Filipinos who would champion major changes in gender equality and class in the Filipino American community and make significant contributions to the fight for civil rights.

Singglot documents the achievements of contemporary Filipino Americans. In 2000, Navy Captain Eleanor “Connie” Mariano, Medical Corps, was promoted to Rear Admiral, the highest military rank occupied by a Filipino American. Courtesy Filipinas Magazine.

Find a Smithsonian Affiliate in your neighborhood here.
Find more Smithsonian traveling exhibitions and programs
here.

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.

kudos affiliates! february 2011

Affiliates start the new year off right with news of support.  Nice going!

Jack S. Parker, a former Vice Chairman of the General Electric Company, made a legacy gift to the Heard Museum’s (Phoenix, Arizona) endowment through the Maie Bartlett Heard Society, the Heard’s planned giving program. Parker’s gift included a $1 million cash annuity and a $1.6 million American Indian art collection bequest. The Heard Museum also received another significant gift with the donation of the Santa Fe Collection of Navajo Rugs from Dr. Charles and Linda Rimmer. The 77 Navajo textiles, created in the late 20th century, represent many styles hand woven by some of the most accomplished Navajo weavers.

Two Manitowoc couples and maritime enthusiasts donated $10,000 for the installation of three vintage MK-14 World War II torpedoes on the USS Cobia docked at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, Wisconsin). The project is part of the ongoing restoration of the Cobia, a restored WWII submarine on display.

The Telluride Foundation awarded $15,000 to the Pinhead Institute (Telluride, Colorado) to support its science-based educational programming.

The Miami Science Museum was awarded a $75,000 grant by Chase to implement the Girls SPICE (Science Program Inspiring Creative Exhibits) project. The grant will allow the Museum to work with Charles R. Drew Middle School’s Visual and Performing Arts Magnet Program to implement an afterschool and summer program targeted to female students in grades 7-8.

The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art (Elmhurst, Illinois) has received a $150,000 state grant to use for capital expenses related to the project to renovate and improve its Rock and Mineral Experience exhibit, which focuses on the earth sciences, lapidary arts and science.

The Citizens Bank Foundation announced a donation of $25,000 to the African American Museum in Philadelphia to underwrite the museum’s commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 17. The foundation grant will provide free admission to the museum, as well as special events, including the Citizens Bank Scavenger Hunt for Heritage designed to help children learn about the museum and African American history.