April 30, 2010
April 27, 2010
April 26, 2010
April 23, 2010
Katey Ahmann at the National Postal Museum.
Twice a year, Affiliate staff members have the unique opportunity to work alongside SI experts for research and hands-on training through our Visiting Professional Program. Affiliations was delighted to welcome six Affiliate staff members for the fall 2009 and spring 2010 programs. Here’s a taste of what past visiting professionals experienced to inspire you to apply!
In October 2009, Katey Ahmann from the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences spent a month working in the Smithsonian’s Office of Policy and Analysis where she conducted visitor evaluation studies at the National Postal Museum. She learned strategies for interpreting the data through observation and discussions with other visiting residents.
Lee Goodan at the National Museum of Natural History
Also in the fall, Lee Goodan, from the Charlotte Museum of History, spent three-weeks working among four Smithsonian divisions—the Spark!Lab at the National Museum of American History (NMAH), Discovery Center at the National Museum of Natural History, the National Air & Space Museum, and Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center. Lee learned how young visitors were using exploratory spaces at the Smithsonian and how the educators were using the galleries in a larger educational context. This will help Lee as the Charlotte Museum develops plans to create a new Hands-on History Room, an interactive area for early Pre-K students.
Eric Stanley (left) at the National Museum of American History.
Joining us in February 2009 from the Sonoma County Museum, Eric Stanley worked with the staff at NMAH to learn about the development, research, and design phases of exhibitions, as he looks forward to planning expanded history galleries at the museum. Eric said, “It was a tremendous opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look and broad overview of a world-class history museum. I also cannot say enough about the individuals I met, the insights they shared, and the lasting connections I made. In addition to what I learned about exhibitions, I also came away with a richer sense of the possibilities that exist through the Affiliates program.”
Chena Popper in the Gems & Minerals department at NMNH.
Chena Popper, from the San Diego Natural History Museum just wrapped-up her visiting professional program in mid-April. Chena had the opportunity to work directly with the ten SI artifacts that are being loaned to her Museum for their All that Glitters: the Splendor & Science of Gems & Minerals exhibition opening May 15, 2010. Working directly with experts at NMNH, Chena worked in the gem collection to help prepare the gems and jewelry which will be displayed at her Museum. In addition to working directly with the artifacts, Chena also spent two-weeks in the registrar’s office at NMNH learning all the methods of care and registration for incoming and outgoing loans.
And starting soon, Juan Carlos Lopez, a curator from the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, will be researching collections across the Smithsonian that pertain to Puerto Rican and Latino fine art. Supported by a grant from the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool, Juan Carlos plans to develop an exhibition that explores the progression of Latin art from 1960- 1990, among other potential topics. Check back in the coming weeks as we blog about his experience!
Don’t forget the fall 2010 deadline for applications is June 4! For more information and program guidelines, contact Elizabeth Bugbee, (202) 633.5304.
April 22, 2010
The Save America’s Treasures program offers grants for preservation and/or conservation work on nationally significant intellectual and cultural artifacts and historic structures and sites. Intellectual and cultural artifacts include objects, collections, documents, sculpture, and works of art. Historic structures and sites include districts, buildings, areas, and structures.
- Grants are awarded through a competitive matching grant program. The program is administered by the National Park Service. A dollar-for-dollar, non-Federal match is required. The minimum grant request for collections projects is $25,000 Federal share; the minimum grant request for historic property projects is $125,000 Federal share. The maximum grant request for all projects is $700,000 Federal share. The deadline for proposal submission is May 21, 2010.
The Council on Library and Information Resources, an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to expand access to information, however recorded and preserved, has opened the pre-proposal application period for its Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant program.
- The program will award funds to institutions (including historical associations and societies as well as archives, museums, libraries, and other cultural heritage organizations) holding collections of high scholarly value that are difficult or impossible to locate through existing finding aids. Award recipients will create descriptive information for their hidden collections that will be linked to and interoperable with all other projects funded by this grant with the purpose of forming a federated environment that can be built upon over time. Funding for the program comes from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- CLIR expects to award about $4 million in total grants ranging from $75,000 to $500,000 each. Go to http://www.clir.org/ for complete program information. The deadline is April 23, 2010 for pre-proposals.
The Endangered Language Fund provides grants for language maintenance and linguistic field work. The language involved must be in danger of disappearing within a generation or two. The work most likely to be funded is that which serves both the native community and the field of linguistics. Work which has immediate applicability to one group and more distant application to the other will also be considered. Publishing awards are a low priority, but will be considered.
- Grants in this round are expected to be less than $4,000 each, and to average about $2,000. Eligible expenses include consultant fees, tapes, films, travel, etc. Overhead is not allowed. Grants are normally for a one-year period. Researchers and language activists from any country are eligible to apply. Awards can be made to institutions, but no administrative costs are covered. For complete details visit www.endangeredlanguagefund.org. The deadline for proposals is April 20.
The American Sportfishing Association’s FishAmerica Foundation invites proposals for citizen-driven habitat restoration projects under its partnership with the NOAA Community-based Restoration Program.
- The partnership requests proposals for local efforts to accomplish meaningful on-the-ground restoration of marine, estuarine, and riparian habitats, including salt marshes, seagrass beds, mangrove forests, and freshwater habitats important to anadromous fish species (fish like salmon and striped bass that migrate to and from the sea). Emphasis is on using a hands-on, grassroots approach to restore fisheries habitat across coastal America, the Great Lakes region, and U.S. Territories of the Caribbean.
- A portion of the total available grant funds will be dedicated to projects that further NOAA’s Open Rivers Initiative. These projects must remove dams and other river barriers, in order to benefit living marine and coastal resources, particularly diadromous fish.
- The funders anticipate the availability of approximately $1 million in total funding; approximately $200,000 of the available funding will be dedicated specifically to projects furthering NOAA’s Open Rivers Initiative. Sub-awards will range between $10,000 and $75,000 per project. The RFP and application are available at the FishAmerica Foundation Web site, www.fishamerica.org. The proposal deadline is June 7.
April 21, 2010
@ the Smithsonian's Fossil Lab
The educational game designers at MIT’s Education Arcade have been working with Smithsonian scientists and educators to create an online curated game for middle school students to be played over six weeks in the spring of 2011.
In the game, players will receive encoded messages from scientists in the far future. These scientists are writing because much of the scientific record has been destroyed. Through scientific reasoning, research and exploratory challenges at museums, online collaboration with other players, and online experiment simulations, players unravel a multilayered mystery about the possible future of our earth – a science fiction scenario that incorporates very real environmental issues and natural science.
Players will explore, hypothesize, and test in the areas of cryptography, mathematics, anthropology, astronomy, climatology, zoology, environmental science, paleontology, archeology, and forensics.
How can Affiliates play? During several weeks, players will be encouraged to collect “clues” – many of which can come from the Affiliate network. Affiliates are encouraged to participate at any number of levels – from minimal to fully engaged. Here are some examples of Affiliate involvement:
- Encourage your Museum’s after-school club to play the game or distribute information sheets to your teacher constituents to encourage their students to play.
- Distribute a “clue” at your front desk to visitors who provide a particular password.
- Discuss any relevant exhibits or collections you have with the game designers, so that they may possibly be included in the game itself.
- Maintain a “drop box,” placing items (hidden clues!) in a Tupperware box on your property for gamers to find.
- Host a dedicated treasure-hunt style challenge in conjunction with the game.
The game hopes to drive student players and their families to their local Affiliate museums, to discover the resources in their own backyards that unlock the mystery of the future.
Interested in more information or how to sign up? Contact Jennifer Brundage, National Outreach Manager at 202.633.5306 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Game designers will also be discussing this opportunity at the Affiliations Annual Conference – hope to see you there!
April 20, 2010
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