The Smithsonian AffiliationsÂ Conference commenced on June 5 last week after three days of meetings, tours and receptions in Washington, DC.
When it was all said and done, there wereÂ Â 91 staff members representing 61 Affiliates attended the conference.Â Registrants came from 29 states, Panama, and Puerto Rico.Â
Altogether, 40% of our 153 Affiliates were represented by at least one staff member, and 74% of our locations (39 states, DC, Panama, and Puerto Rico) were represented.Â 25 Affiliates, or 41% sent more than one staff member, there were four Affiliates who sent either three or four staff members each.Attendees had their choice of touring among four different Smithsonian facilities.Â In the formal program there were 30 presenters among 12 sessions.Â
In addition, Smithsonian staff from at least 30 museums and units throughout the Institution participated in the Smithsonian Resource Fair, designed to introduce staff and resources to the Affiliate network.
Feedback from Affiliates at the “Open Mic” session on June 5:
Shawn Parker â€“ Heritage Harbor Museum Providence RIÂ : thanks for connecting us with other Affiliates, returning phone calls, setting up meetings
Sarah Henrich â€“ Headley-Whitney Museum :Offering a traveling exhibition of Haydar Hatemi â€“ an Iranian artist who paints in the 16th century traditionÂ with prospectus availableLisa GirolamiÂ : Millard Sheets Gallery Pomona, CA: Needs traveling exhibitions of short durations â€“ for the 4 weeks when LA County Fair is happening â€“ short time, but gets 1.8 million people through the gallery;proposed a traveling exhibition created by Affiliates for Affiliates or if a 4-week loan is possible, let her know
Kate SchuremanÂ : Peoria IL â€“ Lakeview Museum What is happening with search for new Secretary? And how will this affect Affiliates?
Lawrence J. Pijeaux : Birmingham National Civil Rights Museum â€“New affiliate : thank you to Harold and his staff
Nancy BellÂ : VA Museum of Natural History â€“ ask for the elevator speech on what it means to be an Affiliate:â€œLong-term partnership between SI and Affiliate museums and organizationsÂ to bring SI outside DC and allow people to experience SI in their own communities without having to travel to DC â€“ establish that long-term partnershipâ€
Suggestion: Harold Closter director, should sendÂ a letterÂ to Affiliates 2-3 times a year to place in newsletters as a personal message to members -Ohio Affiliate
Suggestion : at conference, have peer groups get together to identify issues within their museums and with AffiliatesÂ Suggestion â€“ post on Affiliations Web site a list of traveling exhibitions that are available from Affiliates Suggestion â€“ Post confernece participants on the Affiliate only web site – get list of conference participants ahead of time â€“ have each participant list the current challenges of their museum and little bios â€“ then could contact people ahead of timeÂ -Â Lider Sucre Museum of Biodiversity
Suggestion: people are hungry for anything from SI â€“ identify a small group of objects from each museum â€“ put together a catalog of these objects (already conserved and with traveling crates and therefore, ready to go) for Affiliates to tap into in order to borrow
SITES: Why areAffiliates not given preferential treatment for SITES exhibitions and how can Affiliations assist with this? Â