Kudos to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments! Do you have kudos to share? Please send potential entries to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.
Michigan Science Center (Detroit, MI) has been awarded nearly $800,000 over three years from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), as part of NASA’s Next Generation STEM initiative. Called NASA’s TEAM II Program, the initiative aims to highlight space and STEM and bring the excitement of space science to communities.
Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ) received a $222,320 grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts to support key initiatives in economic and community development, arts education and lifelong learning, artist services and equity and access.
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (Fort Worth, TX) was awarded funding from the North Texas Community Foundation through the Fund to Advance Racial Equity. The grant will support exhibitions at the museum that address achieving a more equitable community.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC) to the following Affiliates:
- The African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) ($308,000) to research, design and install a permanent, interactive exhibition telling a more comprehensive history of African Americans. Guided by historical research, expert consultants along with focus group input will inform the development of new content and the selection of artifacts. A curriculum guide for middle-school students will be created for the School District of Philadelphia during school time and the Free Library of Philadelphia for out-of-school time.
- The National Jazz Museum in Harlem (New York, NY) ($99,935) to diversify and attract new audiences through an online video series highlighting jazz as a uniquely American art form by examining jazz in relationship to place, society, and history. The video series will help visitors gain a deeper understanding of the musical and cultural impact of jazz and its musicians with a focus on the lives of the jazz greats who called and continue to call Harlem their home.
- Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, CA) ($500,000) to expand its visual literacy and arts program to provide free classes and museum visits for over 2,900 third- and fourth-grade students from Title I schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Museum will partner with the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) to host workshops, a student literacy and art project, and a showcase of student work.
Also, the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded grants through Museums for America, and its special initiatives, Museums Empowered and Inspire! Grants for Small Museums. Museums for America supports projects that strengthen the ability of individual museums to benefit the public by providing high-quality, inclusive learning experiences, maximizing resources to address community needs through partnerships and collaborations, and by preserving and providing access to the collections entrusted to their care. These Affiliate projects were funded through this year’s cycle:
- Wisconsin Veterans Museum (Madison, WI) ($66,371) to digitize and catalog post-Civil War through World War I still images from its collection, including photographs, scrapbooks, charcoal and pastel portraits, and other images.
- Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA) ($218,146) to catalog and rehouse approximately 9,000 paleobotanical specimens in the collection, including fossil leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits, wood, plant microfossils, and fossil insects, and will undertake data cleanup of approximately 20,000 specimens. Staff will also build new and strengthen existing relationships with regional Tribes through engagement and consultation focused on learning and knowledge sharing of Washington State’s paleontological resources.
- Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT) ($236,240) to design and launch Discover Science!, a paleontology education initiative that will immerse visitors in processes of scientific inquiry of 71-82 million year old prehistoric environments by engaging them with paleontology specimens. Project activities will include producing K-12 curriculum, developing teacher training programs to be offered virtually and in person, and offering a Pop Up Museum service that will include outreach kits for classrooms and a traveling museum educator.
- Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, WA) ($249,964) to partner with community service organizations and a neighborhood community advisory committee to provide arts and cultural programs centered on health and well-being for its diverse Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities, the general public, and youth audiences. Informed by recent community surveys, the museum will develop summer arts and music festival events, as well as host two year-long artist residencies to support twenty community clinic-based cultural programs. The museum will also implement an arts training program in which two paid interns are paired with professional artists to work with youth participants to create an art installation.
- Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH) ($249,685) to develop and design a new permanent exhibition, the Indigenous Peoples Gallery, which will explore the Greater Cincinnati region’s long history of human habitation, from the earliest Native American societies to the Tribal Nations that still call the central Ohio Valley home. This project will build on relationships with seventeen federally recognized Tribal Nations, established through the museum’s ongoing Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) work. Using an interdisciplinary approach and inclusive lens, the Indigenous Peoples Gallery will center and share Indigenous perspectives, feature appropriate cultural resources stewarded by the museum, and communicate the message that Indigenous cultures live and thrive in the Greater Cincinnati today.
- Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA) ($159,028) to prototype a new methodology for its core exhibition. Using a model that encourages visitors to interact, the exhibition will share the experience of America’s Jewish community and inform the visitor’s thinking about the key values and challenges of a pluralistic society. Project activities will include creating a prototype that models one section of the new design, and testing the prototype at two locations with key target audiences of Jewish Philadelphians, non-Jewish Philadelphians, and national tourists.
- San Diego Air & Space Museum (San Diego, CA) $250,000 to improve its collection care processes and digital asset management for its collection of artifacts related to air and space history and technology. This project will enable the museum to implement a new integrated Collections Management System (CMS) across all its collections.
Museums Empowered: Professional Development Opportunities for Museum Staff is a special initiative of the Museums for America grant program supporting staff capacity-building projects that use professional development to generate systemic change within a museum.
- Museum of Us (San Diego, CA) ($249,393) to conduct an internal capacity-building project by offering an assortment of training and professional development opportunities. Project activities include conducting cultural competence training for the museum staff and board; conducting de-escalation training for forward-facing staff; offering ongoing professional development opportunities for staff; recruiting Indigenous staff, trustees, fellows, and partners; implementing a fellowship program; and auditing the employee handbook.
- Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, TX) ($209,711) to develop a leadership professional development program to attract talent and help grow the next generation of museum leaders. The program consists of four training categories: a core values academy where participants will learn how to lead with clarity, confidence, and connection; leadership training that develops curious leaders; crucial conversations for mastering dialogue training that helps leaders develop dialogue skills to have important conversations in the moment; and crucial conversations for accountability training that prioritizes the person and not the process through candid coaching, identifying goals, and supporting professional development.
Inspire! Grants for Small Museums, a special initiative of the Museums for America grant program, was designed to reduce the application burden on small museums and help them address priorities identified in their strategic plans.
- Dennos Museum Center (Traverse City, MI) ($10,110) to conduct a conservation survey of its outdoor sculpture collection. Informed by a Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) report, museum staff will work with a conservator to create a plan for object-by-object conservation care. The survey will address the environmental damage of the outdoor sculptures and help the museum staff develop a long-term maintenance and repair plan, organized by highest conservation priorities.
- International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, TX) ($37,398) to improve collection stewardship and accessibility for approximately 5,600 works of Mexican and Latin American folk art in its collection. Local and national project advisors will inform research activities and assist staff in reviewing Spanish and English text translations related to the objects.
U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill that allocates $116,000 for the New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM) to photograph and catalog its object collection and archival records, which will be made accessible on their website.
The Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry (Baltimore, MD), and the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) Department of Dental Public Health (DPH) received a five-year $1.28 million Science Education Partnership Award grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to design innovative online tools that will redefine how young learners are taught about oral health across the country. Entitled A Mouthful of History, the project will provide accessible and easily disseminated online educational modules that combine the health sciences, science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM), and the humanities to create a scaffolded learning experience that starts with Pre-K learners and continues with them until 12th grade.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) announced 27 reaccreditation awards made at the 2023 meeting of the Accreditation Commission, which featured the following Affiliates:
- Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI)
- Hagley Museum & Library (Wilmington, DE)
- HistoryMiami Museum (Miami, FL)
- Las Vegas Natural History Museum (Las Vegas, NV)
- National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (Cedar Rapids, IA)