February 27, 2017
Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.
The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (Strasburg, PA) has met a $50,000 matching grant challenge by the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society, with funds designated for the preservation of five historic Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotives.
The National Park Service (NPS) announced funding for 39 projects in over 20 states that will preserve and highlight the sites and stories associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the African American experience, including the following Affiliate organizations:
- Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) $50,000
20th Century African American Civil Rights Movement in Ohio: Evaluating and Nominating Historic Properties
- Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI) $49,557
African-American Struggle for Civil Rights in Rhode Island: The 20th Century
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL) $47,000
Preserving History, Building Community” project. This project will focus on the A.G. Gaston Motel as a case study for preservationists and the community to work in partnership to preserve and revitalize a historic civil rights site.
Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA) in partnership with Lowell Community Health Center, Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association, City of Lowell Senior Center, Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School, and YWCA of Lowell has been selected to receive a 2017 Active Trails grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The Discover Lowell’s Urban Trails initiative will offer new outdoor recreational programming to Lowell’s canalway trails and will be targeted toward non-users in adjacent neighborhoods.
The Kenosha Community Foundation has awarded 26 grants totaling over $51,000 to 22 non-profit organizations and projects serving Kenosha County residents including funding to the Kenosha Public Museum Foundation (Kenosha, WI) to support its upcoming “Re-Riding History: From the Southern Plains to Matanzas Bay” exhibit, which features how contemporary art retraces the historical experiences of American Indian communities.
Former cable TV mogul John Sie and his wife Anna have donated $12 million for the construction of a new welcome center at the Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO). The new welcome center is part of the museum’s plans to renovate the North Building. When it’s completed, the new welcome center will include a restaurant, café, ticketing and orientation space, event space, underground art storage and the museum’s conservation lab.
16th Street Baptist Church near the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, part of a new Civil Rights National Monument in Alabama
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
The Durham Museum (Omaha, NE) housed in Omaha’s Union Station was designated as one of 24 new National Historic Landmarks by the Department of Interior.
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL) was recently designated by Former President Barack Obama as part of a new Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument. Along with BCRI, other sites designated as the monument include the A. G. Gaston Motel, 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, and Bethel Baptist Church.
The Hawaii State House of Representatives presented Kona Historical Society (Kona, HI) with a certificate of honor on its 40th anniversary for efforts to preserve local history and share Kona’s culture with residents and visitors.
California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA) deputy director Naima J. Keith has been named the winner of the High Museum of Art’s David C. Driskell Prize, which is awarded annually to a scholar or artist who has made a major contribution to African American art history.
February 9, 2017
Young astronomers from across the nation will convene for an out of this world Youth Summit in Washington, D.C., on February 22nd and 23rd. The astro-photographers, ranging in age from 10 to 14 years old, have all participated in the Smithsonian Institution’s Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program, held at 13 Smithsonian Affiliate organizations over the past year. Participants used an online portal to control real robotic telescopes located at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory sites in Cambridge, MA, and Amado, AZ. Using the same tools, technologies, and techniques as professional astronomers, the youth observed planets, stars, and galaxies; analyzed and enhanced their astronomical images with scientific software; and even designed their own robotic telescope components.
A student astronomer at the Carolinas Aviation Museum. Photo credit: Carolinas Aviation Museum.
While in DC these youth astronomers will share the multi-disciplinary knowledge they have gained from Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos with the public. On Wednesday, February 22nd at 1:00pm, the youth will host a poster presentation at the National Air and Space Museum, featuring the astronomical images they have captured and processed. This poster session will be followed by a live presentation from the students, How to Control a Telescope & Create a Colorful Cosmic Image.
The Youth Summit also includes events to broaden the students’ understanding of science, technology, and innovation, including programming at the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of Natural History. On Thursday, February 23rd, select participants will interact with a forum of Smithsonian educators to learn about their love of space, and discover how technology can enhance access to Smithsonian learning experiences.
- College Park Aviation Museum (College Park, Maryland)
- New Mexico Museum of Natural History (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
- Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, Georgia)
- The Pinhead Institute (Telluride, Colorado)
- Cerritos Library (Cerritos, California)
- Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, Hawaii)
- Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, Ohio)
- The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, South Carolina)
- South Carolina State Museum (Columbia, South Carolina)
- Carolinas Aviation Museum (Charlotte, North Carolina)
- Schiele Museum of Natural History (Gastonia, North Carolina)
- Museum of Design Atlanta (Atlanta, Georgia)
- Culture & Heritage Museums (Rock Hill, South Carolina)
Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos is supported by the Smithsonian Institution’s Youth Access Grants program managed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education and Access. The program is a product of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in partnership with Smithsonian Affiliations, and includes participation in YouthAstroNet, a digital network of youth interested in astronomy funded by the National Science Foundation.
January 31, 2017
January 30, 2017
Here’s a recap of our Affiliate news makers since January 1, 2017. If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science you would like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee
High Desert Museum (Bend, OR)
High Desert Museum partners with Smithsonian
“We don’t have everything, and everyone is doing work that is complementary,” Closter said. “The natural history of Oregon is different than other parts of the country. For us, it’s having a first-class partner in that part of the world and being able to share the expertise of both organizations.”
The High Desert Museum Partners with Smithsonian
The High Desert Museum has been selected as a Smithsonian Affiliate, which will give it access to exhibits and artifacts from the world’s largest museum and research complex.
Oregon museum becomes Smithsonian Institution affiliate
Dana Whitelaw, executive director of the High Desert Museum near Bend, told the Bulletin newspaper that the Smithsonian affiliation will allow the wildlife and history museum to supplement its exhibits by borrowing artifacts from the massive Smithsonian Institution. It will also expand access to training and conferences.
visitors filter through Star Wars Costume Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum
Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Denver Art Museum plays with the power of creation: Star Wars
You’re not coming just to look at costumes,” said project lead, Stefania Van Dyke. “We want you to think about all the creativity that went into it.”
Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE)
Expert to explain ‘sheer weirdness’ of celestial wonders as part of new
Dussault is the project director for “Black Holes: Space Warps & Time Twists,” an exhibit that opened at the museum this month. More than 1,300 visitors attended opening day of the 2,500 square-foot interactive exhibit, said Deb Hermann, marketing director at the museum. The exhibit offers visitors the chance to learn about black holes by exploring 13 stations, logging their progress on an explorer card. At one station, visitors can take a digital journey to the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
Expert to present interactive event on black holes
The Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum brings in Harvard-Smithsonian keynote speaker during its opening celebration of its new exhibit “Black Holes: Space Warps and Time Twists.”
College Park Aviation Museum (College Park, MD)
College Park Aviation Museum Features Smithsonian Photography Exhibit
The exhibition is composed of 50 large scale photographs by Smithsonian photographer Carolyn J. Russo and explores the forms and functions of airport traffic control towers in the U.S. and around the world.
Las Vegas Natural History Museum (Las Vegas, NV) (VIDEO)
Scientist makes 3-D images of artifacts from Las Vegas museum to share online
We think that if we put things online, people won’t want to come to the museum, and what museum professionals find is exactly the opposite,” Hansen says. Seeing items online actually spurs their interest in visiting the museum, where they view the other collections as well.
Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR)
Artyfacts: Mid-America Science Museum – 1.14.1
Creative Mind combines materials from the National Visionary Leadership Project, the African American History Program, the Smithsonian Museum of African American Culture and History, the Arkansas Educational Television Network, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Centre and the Garland County Historical Society.
Ned Buntline, Bufalo Bill Cody, Giuseppina Morlacchi, Texas Jack Omohundro (1846-1880) (Wikimedia Commons)
Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY)
Murder, Marriage and the Pony Express: Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Buffalo Bill
“This isn’t a simple case of a backwoodsman becoming a celebrity,” says Jeremy Johnston, the Hal and Naoma Tate Endowed Chair and curator of Western history at the Smithsonian-affiliated Buffalo Bill Center of the West. “He was quite in tune with American society, American politics, and was very interested in using technology to tell the story of the American West.”
Schingoethe Center of Aurora University (Aurora, IL)
Schingoethe Center of Aurora University named as a Smithsonian Affiliate
“We are a small museum, but we’ve always thought big,” said Meg Bero, executive director of the Schingoethe Center. “The Smithsonian Affiliates designation is a wonderful way for us to build awareness among our students and the community of the museum as a resource.”
National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA)
What’s next for the National Museum of Industrial History
The museum, built out of Steel’s 1913 Electric Repair Shop, tells the story of the Industrial Revolution in America through more than 200 artifacts. It covers the steel, silk and propane industries and features machines that were part of a Smithsonian exhibit that celebrated the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.
National Museum of Industrial History
National Museum of Industrial History
The National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH), located on Bethlehem’s Southside, is a must-see for locals and tourists alike. The first exhibit area, called Machinery Hall, includes 21 different artifacts from the Smithsonian Institute that had also been on display at the National Museum of American History.
Lehigh students design souvenirs for museum
And, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, are pieces from the Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia and patented machines typical of what was on display there. The Lehigh students studied all those machines as they developed ideas for the souvenirs they designed.
The Old Governor’s Mansion (Milledgeville, GA)
Historic ballots at Old Governor’s Mansion
Museum Director, Matthew Davis explained how the Mansion got their hands on the artifacts. “ The Governor’s Mansion is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. We are one of nine Smithsonian affiliates in Georgia and with that partnership it allows us to receive loans from the Smithsonian,” Davis said.
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
Astronomers Discover an Entirely New Kind of Galaxy
Astronomers at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences have identified a new class of ring galaxy. Named PGC 1000714, it features an elliptical core with not one, but two outer rings. It’s the only known galaxy of its kind in the known universe.
Kona Historical Society (Kona, HI)
Kona Historical Society Gets $28K for History Program
The community-based nonprofit and Smithsonian Museum partner Kona Historical Society (KHS) has received a $28,000 grant from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) to expand its Hands On History program at Kona Coffee Living History Farm in Captain Cook.
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, CA)
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum hires new executive director
The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum has hired Julia Bussinger, director of the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Texas, to be its new executive director.
Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN)
Ricker’s founders pledge $500K gift to Conner Prairie
The founders of Ricker’s fuel and convenience stores pledged a major financial gift to Conner Prairie Wednesday night. The $500,000 donation was announced at their annual meeting and will help restore the museum’s Chinese House, a historic venue on the property.
December 2, 2016
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Affiliations Director Harold Closter gives remarks to welcome the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania to the Smithsonian family.
On November 4, Smithsonian Affiliations welcomed the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania into the Affiliate network. The Museum, located in Strasburg, is the first member of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) properties to join the Smithsonian family. At the affiliation announcement ceremony, representatives from the state and federal legislatures gave remarks, as well as the director of PHMC and president of the Lancaster County Community Foundation.
Smithsonian Affiliations thanks Senator Patrick M. Browne of the Pennsylvania State Senate, 16th District, for the thoughtful comments he provided at the event (below) to mark this celebration and remind us of the power of history and partnerships in shaping the American experience.
“I can only guess how many of you recently shared something with me. I am proud to say that I was totally engrossed in the baseball drama of the Cubs and Indians for the last two weeks. Of course, the drama was created by the fact that the Chicago Cubs, until two days ago, were the longest standing major professional sports franchise in America without a championship. Not since 1908 were the Cubs at the top of Major League baseball.
To highlight this fact, during the contest, Fox Sports was running special interest pieces to put 1908 in perspective, such as in 1908, Al Capone was 9 years old, Thomas Edison was 62, Mark Twain was 72 and a loaf of bread cost 2 cents.
Senator Browne delivering his remarks at the affiliation announcement.
But as railroad enthusiasts tend to do, we can put all of our experiences in a railroad perspective. So, what I was thinking while these special interest pieces were running, was that 1908 was two years before Penn Station first opened in New York City. By 1908, the great Pennsylvania Railroad had yet to conquer Gotham.
I was thinking that during their last championship year, if the Cubs were traveling from Chicago to face the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds in Harlem, they probably and unfortunately rode the New York Central. Everyone knows, however, how easy it was to build a bridge across the Hudson River in Albany. Some rivalries never die. If they were traveling from the south or from Chicago, their journey on the trains of the Pennsylvania Railroad concluded in Jersey City. A ferry waited there to take them for the final mile across the Hudson to Manhattan for there was, of course, no railroad tunnels under the Hudson in 1908. The “Sand Hogs” were still working, sometimes dying, to complete those tunnels.
The fact is that one of the greatest achievements in human history — Penn Station — a building for the ages, was born, lived and died more than 40 years before the Chicago Cubs again won the World Series. That is a long time, or is it?
The interesting question is why this World Series was so compelling to so many? Why so many baseball and non-baseball fans, 40 million strong, were captivated by it? The simple answer is that it provided a bridge to the past, a connection to those whose achievements, no matter how long ago, helped in their own way to build what and who we are in 2016. In short, it served as a collective celebration of ourselves.
Well, within the walls of this “best of its kind in the nation” facility, the many who come here experience the same thing. For our past achievements in no other area but railroading define us better. Railroads have defined who we are, the communities that we live in and the quality of life that we enjoy.
Achievements in railroading took human innovation to new heights, collapsed time and space by connecting people and communities across distances never before possible, removed for the first time the shackles that Mother Nature had on human progress, provided a permanent venue for the integration of the America’s collage of culture and capacity and advanced the standard and wellbeing of millions like no other industry before or since. In short, the railroads were the epicenter of American human and technological achievement and, upon reflection, an inspiration of what the American spirit can always achieve.
With more railroad companies, more rail miles per square mile, more tonnage and more passengers, Pennsylvania railroading, of course, as the slogan goes, is the standard for the country and the world. In no other place than in Pennsylvania is the journey of railroading in the American conscience more compelling. With the Keystone State at the pinnacle of railroad lore and legacy, no Pennsylvanian can truly understand the state that they live in and its place in the world without having a knowledge and appreciation of the story told within these walls.
The Olomana locomotive, on loan from the National Museum of American History.
A Smithsonian Affiliation of course, as it does for a multitude of outstanding historical assets nationwide, provides endless possibilities to improve the value and offerings of this facility to the maximum benefit of all our citizens. But at its core, it is much more than that. Most important and most fundamental is what the partnership communicates, what it elevates in the hearts and minds of Pennsylvanians and all Americans about the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and its compelling core mission: a venue for personal reflection, through the stories of people and property of railroading, of our collective journey. A path forged on steel rails to what we have become and, as Americans, what we are always capable of being. As will be the legacy of the 2016 World Series in American folklore, this facility is a timeless celebration of ourselves.
“Trains are wonderful, wrote railroad enthusiast and author Agatha Christie. “To travel by train is to see nature and human beings, in fact, to see life.”
On behalf of the Pennsylvania Senate, to the Smithsonian and the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, thank you and congratulations for allowing our citizens to see and appreciate the value that railroading plays in their lives and the life of our state and our nation.”