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May 28, 2014

Affiliates in the news!

sixtiesCongrats to these Affiliates making news! Each month we highlight Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines.  If you have a clipping highlighting a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

Multiple Affiliates
CNN, Smithsonian Affiliates Announce in New York’s Grand Central Terminal
11 Smithsonian Affiliates, additional world-class institutions, and private collections, including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, bring the 1960s to life with artifacts from the Cold War, Civil Rights Movement, Woodstock, and more.

Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland, Fla.)
Ollie up for All Decked Out at Polk Museum of Art: Skateboarding art and more celebrate the sport in Lakeland this summer.
This summer, the city of Lakeland kicks off a local version of the event, Innoskate Lakeland, which will feature a similar lineup of attractions — from a skateboard obstacle course to panel discussions — at the newly constructed Lakeland SkatePark on Lake Bonny. The Polk Museum of Art, an affiliate of the Smithsonian, also anchors the celebration with an exhibition of skateboard inspired art, already on view, called All Decked Out!

Skateboarding As Art at New ‘All Decked Out’ Exhibit at Polk Museum
The museum’s show is part of Innoskate 2014, a festival sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute to share skateboard culture’s creative spirit with public audiences. Innoskate Lakeland, the local, affiliated event sponsored by the city of Lakeland, will be celebrated June 21, Go Skateboarding Day.

Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Japanese American National Museum offers free, family-fun day themed around baseball
May 10 is also photo and video capture day for “A Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America,” a crowd-sourced online exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Flickr. The museum encourages people to upload their photos and videos to the #LifeAPA Flickr group.

The Museum of Flight (Seattle, Wash.)
Alaska Airlines Announces $2.5 Million Gift to Build Aerospace Education Center at The Museum of Flight
The Alaska Airlines Aerospace Education Center, to be located in the Museum’s T.A. Wilson Great Gallery, will be a resource center where teachers, parents, and students will be able to explore the many K-12 education programs offered at the Museum.

New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM)
New Exhibit At Alamogordo Space Museum
Andrew Johnston, geographer and curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, collaborated with other organizations to create the travelling exhibit Earth from Space, featuring 40 beautifully detailed satellite images of the planet…Now on temporary display inside the Clyde W. Tombaugh Theater at the New Mexico Museum of Space History, Earth from Space explains in stunning detail how satellite imagery is gathered, explores the remote sensing technology used to gather the images, and discusses the individual satellites whose images are on display.

Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT)
Freight and Logistics Operation Treats a National Treasure as Carefully as if it Were Alive
Sometimes however something comes along that is truly deserving of a rapturous round applause when a subsidiary of an international logistics behemoth, FedEx Custom Critical, safely transported the remains of a rare Tyrannosaurus Rex from the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana way east to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, VA)
VMNH gets antsy with newest exhibit
Farmers, Builders, Warriors: The Hidden Life of Ants” debuted Thursday at the museum on Starling Avenue in Martinsville during a reception for invited guests. The exhibit includes close-up photos taken by Dr. Mark Moffett, a research associate in the entomology department at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, of ants in their natural habitats.

Image courtesy Smithsonian Institution.

Image courtesy Smithsonian Institution.

South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD)
Object lesson: Smithsonian tells nation’s history in 101 ways
Kurin will be in Pierre on Monday, May 5, to talk about his latest book, “The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects.” His list includes everything from fossils and archaeological objects from 500 million years ago to a fragment of Plymouth Rock and Kermit the Frog.

Smithsonian brings presentation of 101 pieces of Americana to Pierre
The stop in South Dakota’s capital, arranged by the South Dakota State Historical Society Museum, which is a Smithsonian associate, is part of a series of presentations Kurin is giving across the country about select items from the institute’s collection.

The Charles W. Morgan, shown here at its home, the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, is the only wooden whaling ship still in existence, and—after a five-year-long restoration—is embarking on a voyage to historic ports of New England. (Courtesy of Mystic Seaport)

The Charles W. Morgan, shown here at its home, the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, is the only wooden whaling ship still in existence, and—after a five-year-long restoration—is embarking on a voyage to historic ports of New England. (Courtesy of Mystic Seaport)

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, Connecticut)
For the First Time in 93 Years, a 19th-Century Whaling Ship Sets Sail
And now, the Charles W. Morgan—the last remaining wooden whaling ship in existence, and the most treasured possession of the Mystic Seaport Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate—will set out on her 38th voyage.

Museum Center at 5ive Points (Cleveland, Tennessee)
Center of Growing Change
Najjar said the first museum that made an impact on him was the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. “Being able to walk in there and see Apollo 11. I remember my jaw just dropped, and I’ve had a love for museums ever since,” he said. The Smithsonian has now made the Museum Center at Five Points an affiliate member which means in the near future the center will have access to artifacts from what is known as “the nation’s attic.”

American Textile History Museum (Lowell, Massachusetts)
American Textile museum out ‘to make noise’
The textile museum will be one of only six museums across the country, all Smithsonian affiliates, to contribute to an exhibit next year called “Places of Invention,” which will range from today’s Silicon Valley to yesterday’s Lowell, which was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution. Unger has been working on assembling three videos of about five minutes each to tell Lowell’s story, and is basing that portion of the Smithsonian exhibit on the textile museum’s former “Inventing Lowell” exhibit.

April 28, 2014

kudos Affiliates! for May 2014

Congratulations Affiliates on your spring accomplishments!

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Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, TN) announced a $100,000 gift by Bank of Tennessee as part of the museum’s “Name Your Seat” fundraising campaign.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a partnership with Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT) to support the upcoming journey of the Charles W. Morgan, which will sail the New England coast this summer to promote conservation strategies. NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will work with the museum to develop science and outreach activities around the voyage.

Russell Ebeid, a Michigan businessman and philanthropist has made a $2-million bequest to the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) to endow the museum’s community archive. Ebeid’s gift will support oral histories, photographs, artifacts, books, newspapers and ephemera that highlight Arab-American contributions and places their immigrant experience within the larger context of American history.

The National Endowment for the Arts announced it’s awarding of $74.85 million in grants for the second half of the fiscal year for a wide variety of projects, from the avant-garde to traditional folk art including the following Affiliate projects:

To support Free Summer Sundays, a multidisciplinary program featuring Native American visual and performing artists. Economically disadvantaged residents will receive free admission to the museum on Sundays.

To support the publication and promotion of the journal “Ninth Letter,” as well as a chapbook and issues on a forthcoming iPad app. Each digital edition is centered around a theme; past themes include Midwestern literature, women’s writing, and international literature in translation.

To support the 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival, a one-day indoor and outdoor festival that will include Ramsey Lewis, Geri Allen and Arturo Sandoval.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS and RECOGNITION

Rendering of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in downtown Miami

Rendering of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in downtown Miami

The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science (Miami, FL) received a Britweek Business Innovation Award for Innovation in Sustainability by the British Consulate-General, Florida and UK Trade and Investment for the new museum, to open in 2015.

The American Alliance of Museums has announced that the National Canal Museum (Easton, PA) was one of four museums that earned re-accreditation at the February meeting of the Accreditation Commission.

The Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau presented the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (Hershey, PA) with the Platinum Award for “Excellence in Programming”.

 

LEADERSHIP

The Board of Directors of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, TX) appointed Colleen Walker as the Museum’s Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer, effective June 1, 2014.

Janis Rowe was named Associate Director of Hubbard Museum of the American West (Ruidoso Downs, NM).

affiliates in the news

Congrats to these Affiliates making news! Each month we highlight Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines.  If you have a clipping highlighting a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

Ohio History Connection (Columbus, Ohio)
Ohio Historical Society Changes Its Name To Ohio History Connection
Logan says the word “connection” also better explains how people can access Ohio history.  With more than 1.9 million artifacts in its collection, Logan says the Ohio History Connection is a national leader in changing how people can access history and believes the new name better reflects this trendsetting programming

University of Nebraska State Museum (Lincoln, NE)
Watch the Kirk Johnson’s public lecture at the Museum here!

All photos courtesy University of Nebraska State Museum.

All photos courtesy University of Nebraska State Museum.

Smithsonian director praises Nebraska’s treasure trove of fossils
“Ninety of the state’s 93 counties have supplied fossils to the world …,” Johnson, sant director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, told an audience in Lincoln on Wednesday. “You have a world resource here — not just a Nebraska resource.”

Smithsonian director to discuss Nebraska’s fossils at UNL
The lecture is partially connected to Morrill Hall’s recent affiliation with the Smithsonian Institute back in February. The Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program which develops relationships with museums, educational and culture organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The NU state museum joins 184 museums, educational and cultural organizations in its affiliation.

Museum Center at 5ive Points (Cleveland, TN)
Museum signs agreement to be Smithsonian affiliate
The Museum Center at Five Points has signed an agreement to become an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Hassan Najjar, the museum’s executive director, said the partnership means the local museum may soon play host to nationally traveling artifacts and exhibits owned by the Smithsonian.

Photo credit: Museum of the Rockies

Photo credit: Museum of the Rockies

Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT)
Tyrannosaurus Rex to embark on cross country journey
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District’s Wankel Tyrannosaurus Rex will soon travel from Montana, where it has resided for the past 66 million years, to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, Mont., home to the T.rex since it was excavated in 1993, will host a free, public sendoff April 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Smithsonian Museum to get a T. rex – via FedEx
Known as “the Nation’s T. rex,” the unmounted specimen is being trucked from the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman to Washington, via FedEx, where it will be unpacked April 15 and eventually serve as the centerpiece of a new National Fossil Hall, opening in 2019, according to the Washington Post.

65 million-year-old T Rex headed to nation’s capital for next 50 years
Big Mike outside the Museum of the Rockies is a creature many of us recognize. The T-Rex is actually a bronze replica of a fossil found in the 90′s which is about to head to a new home in Washington D.C.

Delicate dance with a dinosaur
In collaboration with the Museum of the Rockies, in Bozeman, Mont., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District entered an agreement to loan one of its two Tyrannosaurs Rex specimens to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History for 50 years.

Rare T.rex sets off from Montana on road trip bound for Smithsonian
The fossil of the 38-foot-long carnivore, found on federal lands in Montana in 1988, has played a starring role in scientific research at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman since its excavation by paleontologists led by curator Jack Horner.

 

#NationsTrex in crates when it arrived @NMNH on April 15. Photo credit: Smithsonian Affiliations.

#NationsTrex in crates when it arrived @NMNH on April 15. Photo credit: Smithsonian Affiliations.

Rare T.rex goes on a road trip in the US
The rare and nearly intact skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex that roamed the earth 65 million years ago set off from Montana last Friday on a cross-country road trip, its first, bound for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

65-million-year-old T-Rex fossil arrives at DC museum
The tyrannosaurus rex was FedEx-ed to the Smithsonian in 16 different crates carefully carrying all of the 200 plus fragile bones for the road trip from the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana. Estimated at about 65 million years old, the skeleton is nearly 85 percent intact.

T. rex gets new home in Smithsonian dinosaur hall
More than 100 years after dinosaurs were first displayed on the National Mall, T. rex — the king — is joining the Smithsonian collection after a 2,000-mile journey from Montana.

March 31, 2014

kudos Affiliates! April 2014

Affiliates are bursting into spring with impressive awards and recognition. 

FUNDINGP

The National Civil War Museum (Harrisburg, PA) has received a $30,000 grant from the Kunkle-Rutherford Foundation to pay for upgrades to the museum’s galleries audio system.

The George Gund Foundation awarded a $150,000 grant to the Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) for the restoration and installation of the Euclid Beach Carousel at its University Circle facility.

Thanks to a $2,000 grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI) will create four new guides on the Manitowoc River, focusing on a different facet of the river and its heritage.


RECOGNITION

Drumming at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

Drumming at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

Two Affiliates – California Science Center (Los Angeles) and Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ) – made the list of USA Today’s 20 Best Museums for Families across the USA.

As part of a marketing campaign planned for this spring, the Nebraska Tourism Commission surveyed Nebraskans and non-Nebraskans alike on what Nebraska attractions and events are the most iconic. The Strategic Air & Space Museum (Ashland, NE) came in at #7 and was the only state museum in the top-10.

Peter Aucella, assistant superintendent of Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA) is the 2014 recipient of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Lowell’s Thomas G. Kelakos Community Spirit Award, which recognizes people who give back to the community.

The Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) received the 2014 Maine Office of Tourism Leadership and Growth Award.

The Army Heritage Center Foundation (Carlisle, PA) announced that its education director, Jeff Hawks, will receive the Adler Friend of Education Award from the Pennsylvania State Education Association for his work as state coordinator for National History Day in Pennsylvania.

Students celebrate National History Day in Pennsylvania

Students celebrate National History Day in Pennsylvania

The Building Museums Symposium selected the Museum of History and Industry (Seattle, WA) as one of two museums to be awarded the 2014 Building Museums “Buildy” Award in recognition of their exemplary accomplishment in leading their institution through the challenging process of creating new museum space. The museum converted an historic Naval Armory building into museum space, while retaining the architectural integrity of the historic landmark.

The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (AACAM in Hershey, PA) was recently awarded five NAMMY awards, bestowed by the National Association of Automobile Museums (NAAM) at their annual conference in California last week.  AACAM took home first place awards for Events & Public Promotion, Collateral Materials, and Interpretative Exhibits; and third place awards for Newsletters and Magazines, and Websites.  Mark Lizewskie, Executive Director of the AACAM, was also elected to the NAAM Board of Directors.

 

Congratulations to all!

 

 

March 6, 2014

Young Historians, Living Histories- Today’s Stop: Cleveland, OH!

Special thanks to Paula Lee, Smithsonian Affiliations intern, for this guest post. This is the fourth of a five-part blog series she is writing as part of the Young Historians, Living Histories (YHLH) collaboration with the Asian Pacific American Center and our Affiliate network.

Local Cleveland newspaper ad- how students were recruited!

Local Cleveland newspaper ad- how students were recruited!

In Cleveland, students began an early session of preliminary interviews because practice after-all makes perfect. Dr. John Grabowski, Senior Vice President of Research and Publications of Western Reserve Historical Center (Cleveland, OH), sought out partnership with local Asian Indian American community, the Asian Indian Heritage Project (AIHP).  WRHS and AIHP, having had a previous history of partnerships, rekindled their alliance and worked to produce an advertisement that was placed in two local newspapers, India International and The Lotus for recruits based off short essays. Six highly dedicated and intelligent youth from the Asian Indian community were selected to represent the Northeast Ohio population.

Read more about the students’ films at CAAM Fest here.

Interviews held inside the Western Reserve Historical Society Library utilizing the tall windows as natural lighting for filming

Interviews held inside the Western Reserve Historical Society Library utilizing the tall windows as natural lighting for filming

Students were paired and interviewed successful doctors, community leaders (founder of AIHP Mr. Paramijit Singh) and social workers gathering a riveting collection of stories in the duration of their hour-long interviews. The museum provided its Research Library to create a professional theme for the filming to take place, while interviewees dressed in traditional Indian clothing as a reminder of their culture in the midst of relocation and adaptation in America.  When they weren’t asking for help editing footage through Dr. Grabowski or Jane Mason, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, students would take the camcorders and complete the editing as home projects.  Each student dove into the project with such passion and enthusiasm, they even gathered at the museum on their own over Thanksgiving break to continue without pause!

In a follow up call with Marketing Assistant Alyssa Purvis, I was informed that that the AIHP held a banquet selling raffle tickets to raise funds for the next set of students eager to continue with the project having already received inquiries.

“The students are a huge driving force behind the continuation of this project; they keep meeting others within their community and wanting to preserve their stories.” Their efforts “have had a ripple effect, on their families and entire Indian community as a whole in Northeast Ohio.

Through all those involved in Young Historians, Living Histories, I amongst many others have had a chance to discover how proactive these youth are when it comes to using these community resources. It is amazing to see how well the youth are responding to this form of research and discovery.

As the Asian Indian Heritage Project mantra goes, we hope our accomplishments “Illuminate the Past, Light the Future”!

Dr. John Grabrowski Senior President of Marketing and Research and Jane Mason Vice President, with the 6 participating YHLH students

Dr. John Grabrowski Senior President of Marketing and Research and Jane Mason Vice President, with the 6 participating YHLH students

March 4, 2014

Young Historians, Living Histories- Today’s Stop: Honolulu, HI!

Special thanks to Paula Lee, Smithsonian Affiliations intern, for this guest post. This is the third of a five-part blog series she is writing as part of the Young Historians, Living Histories (YHLH) collaboration with the Asian Pacific American Center and our Affiliate network.

pa.2As we travel west to hear from our Affiliates at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, HI) we take flight almost literally, with those who once navigated overseas when aerial travel was a rare and exciting introduction to history. Shauna Tonkin, Director of Education at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, connects us with Curtis Joe, immediate nephew of Chinese-American aviator and stunt pilot, Tom Gunn and Pan Am Japanese-American flight attendants, Mae Takahashi and Aileen Sodetani.

Tonkin partnered with Chris Facuri, Digital Media Teacher at Aliamanu Middle School, enabling the oral histories collected and edited throughout the school year to be incorporated into students’ curriculum. Participating students in the class took a field trip to visit the museum to meet Joe, Sodetani and Takahashi, where the entire group received a historical tour before sitting down for interviews. The two flight attendants live locally in Honolulu while Joe flew out from San Francisco to be a part of this project. All were very appreciative and realized the value of sharing the experiences that they’ve endured with younger generations. In response, the interactions with the pioneers made the experiences and stories come alive for the students studying them, activating their interests and courage to solicit knowledgeable questions.

Ford Island, where the museum is located is in the middle of Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, HI. On December 7, 1941, Japanese aircraft led a surprise attack initiating World War II. This led to a hard time for both Americans and Asian Americans, because the following year over 150,000 Japanese were ordered into internment camps although 62% of them were American citizens.

“The program served to be education, dynamic and responsive due to the nature of its interactive learning environment” observed by cooperating teacher Chris Facuri. Sparking the curiosity and interests of the youth was an important experience for Tonkin as she empathized with the difficulties of 1st generation children and their journey towards finding homage and respect for their culture while adapting to American influence. Tonkin emphasizes that this collaboration has “instilled a greater appreciation for diversity and culture of the Asian American Pacific experience. The oral histories collected barely scratched the surface.” She said, revealing her excitement towards starting new projects.

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Students capture footage of Curtis’ interaction with youth of YHLH during a field trip tour to Pacific Aviation Museum

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Students take a tour of the museum to learn about Pacific Aviation history

 

Curtis Joe, nephew of Tom Gunn, Chinese Aviator of the Pacific Ocean sitting in for an interview

Curtis Joe, nephew of Tom Gunn, Chinese Aviator of the Pacific Ocean sharing the stories of his childhood

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Students take a tour of the museum to learn about Pacific Aviation history

February 25, 2014

Take Off with Shuttle Programs

The era of the space shuttle may have drawn to a close, but shuttles are finding new life in education at museums across the country. The retirement of the shuttle fleet presents unique educational and collaborative opportunities for a greater community of organizations to explore space history through STEM programs.

The Smithsonian and Smithsonian Affiliations community represent, in collections and educational programs, the entirety of the U.S. Space Shuttle Program, from its inception, through the history of its flights, to the commemoration of its triumphs and tragedies.  The National Air and Space Museum is home to Discovery, Smithsonian Affiliates California Science Center hosts Endeavour, and The Museum of Flight displays a full scale test shuttle to its visitors.  Several more Affiliates have significant collections related to the shuttle program; five are home to Challenger Learning Centers.

As so many Affiliates are working to interpret space history and the shuttle program, we’re facilitating projects to bring this group together to encourage sharing information and materials. To begin, we’re hosting a session at the Mutual Concerns of Air and Space Museums conference, April 11-14, 2014. In this session, three museums will present case studies demonstrating unique exhibition and educational plans for the retired space shuttle fleet with the goal of sharing experiences and resources that would benefit other museums interested in using the space shuttle program in their educational offerings.

California Science Center will discuss plans for the new facility that will house Endeavour and the immersive experiences intended to encourage creativity and innovation. The Museum of Flight will share the hands-on experience (not possible with decommissioned orbiters) that visitors have when they climb into the three-story full-body trainer at the museum. The National Air and Space Museum will talk about the installation and exhibition of Discovery at the Udvar-Hazy Center. We hope a lively discussion at Mutual Concerns will lead us to future collaborations. We’d like to hear our Affiliates ideas on how to connect: should we support a trip to Washington or connect digitally? Is this a topic that would resonate with museum visitors or spark imaginative school programming? Please contact us to take part, or join us June 23-25, 2014 at the Smithsonian Affiliations conference to continue the discussion.

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