I just returned from a whirlwind tour, visiting 8 Affiliates and 2 SI units in New York City and Newark, NJ. What exciting things are happening there!
The New Jersey Historical Society opened SITES’ Our Journeys Our Stories, welcoming a strong turnout from media, local officials and a Latino public that, while prominent in the city, has never before been represented in an exhibition at NJH. Congratulations!
Also opening, SITES’ The Way We Worked at Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island. What a beautiful installation of this exhibition. Snug Harbor had a double opening as well, and also opened Holiday Pop Ups an exhibition on moveable books on loan from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum library.
Another highlight was a hard hat tour of the Museum of American Finance‘s new home at 48 Wall Street. They have transformed the former Bank of New York into a top-rate Museum devoted to financial literacy, with interactive exhibits, a theater and multi-purpose education space, all just steps away from the New York Stock Exchange.
Finally, I was able to celebrate with the staff of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Just announced to the press, the Museum was chosen as the main cultural component in the redevelopment of the Victoria Theater on 125th street, right next to the Apollo. While the Museum enjoys enormous community support with its many ingenious programs (also available to Affiliates!), it can now look forward to a permanent home with galleries for its collections and exhibitions (and hopefully, some of the Smithsonian’s too.)
No doubt 2008 promises more such exciting developments from Affiliates nationwide. We certainly hope the Smithsonian, in its many manifestations, can be right there with you to celebrate.