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September 26, 2013

“Health is a Human Right” featuring images from the National Museum of American History

Filed under: General,Museum Day — Tags: — Elizabeth Bugbee @ 10:30 am

Special thanks to Judy M. Gantt, Director, David J. Sencer CDC Museum, for this #MuseumDayLive guest post.

Opening on Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live, 9.28.13, Health is Human Right: Race and Place in America examines some historic challenges of the past 120 years in achieving health equity for all in the U.S. The exhibition is on view at the David J. Sencer CDC Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Atlanta, Georgia. The exhibition features images from the National Museum of American History that document the El Bracero program, a guest worker program started in 1942 to address the shortage of labor needed for agriculture and railway maintenance, as many men in the U.S. left to fight World War II.  During the period from 1942-1964, about 4.6 million Mexican agricultural workers crossed the border under the program to work in more than half of the states in America.   Many of these workers faced discrimination, poor living conditions, and inadequate housing.

cdcblogimage

Upon crossing the bridge from Mexico, men were led through a makeshift booth, and sprayed with DDT by Department of Agriculture personnel. Photograph by Leonard Nadel, 1956.

Is the Smithsonian in your neighborhood? Find out which other Affiliates are participating in #MuseumDayLive on September 28, 2013, here.

September 24, 2013

Bring 101 Smithsonian Objects to your Neighborhood!

101objectsbookOk, so we can’t actually send 101 artifacts on the road all the time, but we can send Smithsonian Under Secretary for Art, History, and Culture Richard Kurin! Aided by a team of top Smithsonian curators and scholars, Richard’s new book The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects, is a literary exhibition of objects from across the Smithsonian that together offer a marvelous new perspective on the history of the United States.

After the success of his book tours in Affiliateland—Madcap May: Mistress of Myth, Men, and Hope and Hope Diamond: The Legendary Story of a Cursed Gem—Richard is looking forward to visiting Affiliates again and sharing these fascinating stories from American history.

Richard kicks off the Affiliate tour on Tuesday, November 12 at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. One of the unexpected selections in his book is a vial of Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine—which just happens to be on view at NMAJH in their Only In America gallery, on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

KurinHope_web

Richard traveled to more than 10 Affiliates during his book tour for “Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem.”

Ranging from the earliest years of the pre-Columbian continent to the digital age, and from the American Revolution to Vietnam, each entry pairs the fascinating history surrounding each object with the story of its creation or discovery and the place it has come to occupy in our national memory. He sheds remarkable new light on objects we think we know well, from Lincoln’s hat to Dorothy’s ruby slippers and Julia Child’s kitchen, including the often astonishing tales of how each made its way into the collections of the Smithsonian. Other objects will be eye-opening new discoveries for many, but no less evocative of the most poignant and important moments of the American experience. Some objects, such as Harriet Tubman’s hymnal, Sitting Bull’s ledger, Cesar Chavez’s union jacket, and the Enola Gay bomber, tell difficult stories from our nation’s history, and inspired controversies when exhibited at the Smithsonian. Others, from George Washington’s sword to the space shuttle Discovery, celebrate the richness and vitality of the American spirit. In his words, each object comes to life, providing a near-tactile connection to American history.

Photo courtesy Smithsonian Institution.

Photo courtesy Smithsonian Institution.

Publishers Weekly called it a “humanistic approach to storytelling (he even includes digressions on things that didn’t make it in, like the ubiquitous stuffed animal named after the first President Roosevelt: the Teddy Bear) which makes for immersive, addictive reading.”

Beautifully designed and illustrated with color photographs throughout, The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects is a rich and fascinating journey through America’s collective memory, and a beautiful object in its own right.

Interested in booking Richard for a speaking engagement and book signing at your organization? Contact your National Outreach Manager. Availability is February 2014- June 2014.

Interested in stocking your shelves with a great gift? Pre-order here!

coming up in affiliateland in october 2013

NEW YORK
Smithsonian Regent David Rubenstein will be featured in the Titans of Industry seminar at the Center for Jewish History in New York City, 10.2.    

VIRGINIA 
George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens will host a field trip and sessions as part of the International Museum Theater Alliance Global Conference in Mount Vernon, 10.8.   

FLORIDA
The Polk Museum of Art opens Paintings of the Space Age, featuring five paintings on loan from the
National Air and Space Museum, in Lakeland, 10.12.  

SOUTH DAKOTA
South Dakota State Historical Society will host a special webcast of the National Air and Space Museum entitled Star Trek’s Continuing Relevance, in Pierre, 10.13.

D.C.
wankel-rex-is-comingJack Horner, Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT) comes to Washington to discuss the bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex which was excavated near the Museum, but will be coming to the Smithsonian in 2019, in Washington, 10.16.  

Affiliations’ staff takes part in Smithsonian Teachers Night, distributing digital, educational materials from more than 15 Affiliates across the nation in Washington, 10.25.   

CONNECTICUT
The Mashantucket Pequot Museum hosts a conference on 17th Century Warfare, Diplomacy & Society in the American Northeast featuring James Ring Adams, a historian from the National Museum of the American Indian, and a historical theater presentation by Plimoth Plantation, in Mashantucket, 10.18-19.  

TEXAS
The Institute of Texan Cultures opens the Native Words, Native Warriors  (SITES) exhibition in San Antonio, 10.19.    
 

affiliates in the news! october 2013

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.

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Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post – Kirk Johnson of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, is pictured through the cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex head.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, Colorado)
Meet the Smithsonian’s fossil guy
“Kirk Johnson, the museum’s director, isn’t your typical coat-and-tie Washingtonian. In fact, the paleontologist and former chief curator for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is happiest when he’s digging in the dirt in search of fossils. Add a lasso and a hat, and you’d get something like Indiana Jones (only he’s a stickler for permits).”

Frost Museum of Art (Miami, Florida)
“Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art” Opens at the Smithsonian American Art Museum Oct. 25
“The exhibition will tour the U.S. after closing at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Confirmed venues include The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami (March 28, 2014 – June 22, 2014)…”

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, Massachusetts)
Mashpee Wampanoag dugout canoe on way to Smithsonian
“It’s huge,” Coombs said of the honor of having the Smithsonian accept the mishoon. “We’ve always been on the map, but a lot of people think of the Indians as only being in the West.”

Traditional Wampanoag canoe made at Plimoth Plantation headed to the Smithsonian
Darius Coombs, associate director of the Wampanoag Indigenous Program, came up with the idea of making a mishoon for donation to the Smithsonian. He calls the Smithsonian’s acceptance of the canoe an honor. 

PLIMOTH PLANTATION: Mishoon accepted by Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
“It’s an honor that the Smithsonian will accept it, and we enjoy doing new work – it keeps the job challenging,” Coombs said. “It has been a fun and educational experience. The mishoon is an invaluable piece that will add depth to the Smithsonian’s already rich representation of Northeast Native life.”

Plimoth Plantation makes replica of Native American canoe for Smithsonian
Plimoth Plantation’s Wampanoag Indigenous Program has been creating mishoons, traditional Native American canoes, for the past 40 years, but this year the hard work is being recognized. On Thursday, a mishoon made this spring will be ready to leave for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

 

Japanese American laborers at Tule Lake War Relocation Center. (Library of Congress)

Japanese American laborers at Tule Lake War Relocation Center. (Library of Congress)

Smithsonian Accepts Dugout Canoe from Plimoth Plantation
“As a museum dedicated to the history and culture of Native American communities, we’re delighted to welcome a creation like this one that represents a living tradition among the Wampanoag,” said Kevin Gover (Pawnee) Director, National Museum of the American Indian

Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, Texas)
Beloved Institute Of Texan Cultures Planning For The Future
“I think that’s one thing absolutely fantastic about the history of the United States is that you do not necessarily have to be from that place to make a difference. And I still think that continues today because we see it throughout the wonderful history of our country,” Docog said.

US Space and Rocket Center (Huntsville, Alabama)
Part 3: Barnhart Looks Ahead 5 Years, Talks about Da Vinci Exhibition
“We will have a world quality institution for life,” said Dr. Barnhart. “We are a Smithsonian affiliate, and it’s our job to tell the story of our region and the innovation and the place of invention that Huntsville is. My job is to make sure it’s strong, financially stable, and continues to tell that story well into the generations.”

Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
‘I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story’ Opens at JANM Sept. 14

Affiliates hear it first from SITES!

Celebrate your special connection to the Smithsonian. SITES is offering Smithsonian Affiliates first dibs on booking these BRAND NEW exhibitions before we market them widely. Contact us today to reserve your preferred booking period.

Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project 

Credit:  Flip Shulke, South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida, June 1973. DOCUMERICA Photography Project. National Archives.

Credit:
Flip Shulke, South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida, June 1973. DOCUMERICA Photography Project. National Archives.

 Images of everyday life in 1970s America: disco dancing and inflation, protests and bell bottoms, gas shortages and suburban sprawl.  At a time when war and scandal wore on the national psyche, a burgeoning movement to protect our natural environment was gaining force. 

In 1971, inspired by the Farm Security Administration’s photography project of the 1930s and 40s, the newly established U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the DOCUMERICA Photography Project to document environmental troubles and triumphs across the country.  About 70 photographers, including Flip Schulke, John Corn, Danny Lyon, and John H. White, were urged to capture “the human connection” to the environment, from small towns in coal country to urban streetscapes.  What emerged was a moving and textured portrait of America.  Capturing a rapidly changing world with surprising resonances to the present, DOCUMERICA culls some of the most striking photographs from a trove of thousands.

This unique exhibition is a collaboration between SITES and the National Archives and Records Administration which now holds the original DOCUMERICA photographic materials. You can browse through thousands of DOCUMERICA images on their website and Flickr.

90 color photographs, text panels, labels, and video
$7,000 per 10-week slot plus outgoing shipping
Approximately 350 running feet
Moderate security
Tour begins: As early as February 2015
Contact: Minnie Russell, 202.633.3160


Patios, Pools, and the Invention of the American Backyard

Benton Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, circa 1950. Archives of American Gardens

Benton Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, circa 1950. Archives of American Gardens

The suburban backyard is so familiar it feels like a permanent fixture of American life.  But it’s actually an invention of the 1950s that grew up along with the Baby Boomers. Produced in partnership with the Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens, Patios, Pools, and the Invention of the American Backyard is a fun, retro look at the concept of “outdoor living” that was created in post-World War II America.  From the mid-century rise of the suburbs and changes in home design to the popularity of DIY,  barbecues, and tiki parties, the exhibition explores trends in society that were reflected in the typical American backyard.  Topics include post-war garden design such as the Western, New Canaan, and Japanese styles, and the role of female landscape architects and tastemakers.  Patios, Pools, and the Invention of the American Backyard documents the new technologies and materials that led to inexpensive home pools and aluminum patio furniture, as well as the use of chemicals such as DDT and the resulting nascent environmental movement.  From Levittown to Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, don’t miss your chance as an Affiliate to reminisce about the American backyard.

Six double-sided, freestanding structures with reproductions of garden designs, vintage photographs, advertisement art, and text
$5,500 per 10-week slot plus outgoing shipping
1,000-1,500 square feet
Limited security
Tour begins:  March 21, 2015
Contact:  Ed Liskey, 202.633.3142

 

Beyond Bollywood:  Indian Americans Shape the Nation

A celebration of Hindu marriage vows renewal. Photo: Preston Merchant.

A celebration of Hindu marriage vows renewal. Photo: Preston Merchant.

 From builders of the first railroads in the American West to leaders of the digital economy, immigrants from the subcontinent of India and their descendants have made deep and lasting contributions to the American story.  Beyond Bollywood:  Indian Americans Shape the Nation, created in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center, explores the Indian American experience and this community’s vital political, professional, and cultural contributions to American life.  Weaving together stories of individual achievement and collective struggle, the exhibition uses photography, vibrant color and design, narrative prose, and engaging interactives, to tell this uniquely American story.  Beyond Bollywood is an inspirational look at the history and contributions of this community that merges India and America.  This exhibition tour is a wonderful opportunity for SI Affiliates to educate, honor, and engage this burgeoning population across the country!

 24 wall-hung panels with text, photographs, charts, maps and graphics; display thalis; audio station; videos on DVD; traveling trunk
$2,400 per 10-week slot plus outgoing shipping
150 running feet
Limited security
Tour begins:  May 2, 2015
Contact:  Ed Liskey, 202.633.3142

 
We hope you’ll take advantage of these early-bird notices only for Smithsonian Affiliates- another benefit of your being a partner to the Smithsonian!

kudos affiliates! october 2013

The air is turning crisp, but Affiliate accomplishments continue to shine!

FUNDING

Chabot Space & Science Center (Oakland, CA) was presented a “Waste Management Cares” award in the amount of $95,000 for their environmental education programming. 

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced the recipients for the Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums programs featuring the following Affiliates:

History Colorado (Denver, CO)
Award Amount: $134,425; Matching Amount: $214,622
History Colorado will design, create, pilot, and evaluate five multilevel 21st century skills-based Colorado History Digital Badges for children in fourth, seventh, and eleventh grades. Each badge will challenge students to complete various quests or activities in conjunction with the learning standards for their appropriate grade.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO)
Award Amount: $149,965; Matching Amount: $150,099
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science will purchase new storage cabinets to rehouse its Asian collection of 1,130 objects, and enter collections information into its database, making images available for publication through its website. The collection illustrates the main materials, designs, and technologies used by indigenous cultures of China, Taiwan, Japan, South Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.  

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT)
Award Amount: $80,343; Matching Amount: $85,864
Mystic Seaport will catalog, digitally photograph, and place a group of 4,950 objects and photographs into secure storage. The items were selected to support an online learning project for students and teachers, and programming associated with whaling and the restoration and planned voyage of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan, a National Historic Landmark.  

B & O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD)
Award Amount: $135,232; Matching Amount: $185,880
The B&O Railroad Museum will restore the B&O #600 J.C. Davis locomotive that was severely damaged by a collapsed museum roof in a 2003 blizzard. It is one of only two locomotives surviving from Philadelphia’s1876 Centennial Exposition. Four staff and 10 trained volunteers will restore the engine to its 1875 appearance.  

USS Constitution Museum  (Boston, MA)
Award Amount: $280,623; Matching Amount: $286,936
The USS Constitution Museum (USSCM) will use its grant to identify characteristics of family programming that result in active intergenerational engagement, enjoyment, and learning in museums and libraries. The project seeks to create a robust yet flexible set of guidelines for creating genuine intergenerational learning experiences disseminated through workshops, online resources, conferences, and publications.

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI)
Award Amount: $77,292; Matching Amount: $81,117
The Michigan State University Museum will purchase archivally stable storage materials, museum-quality cabinets, and a mobile storage system to create appropriate storage for an 827-box prehistoric and historic archaeological collection to ensure its safety and that of its users and to provide capacity for future collection expansion. The rehousing project will facilitate access by faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars who regularly use the collections.

Center for the History of Psychology, University of Akron (Akron, OH)
Award Amount: $52,454; Matching Amount: $55,038
The Center for the History of Psychology will partner with 10 local high school teachers to design, implement, and evaluate educational resources to provide meaningful, informative, and memorable fieldtrips. The teachers will attend a one-day workshop to brainstorm with the project team. The museum will develop a Teachers Resource Package with guides to the museum, exhibits, and classroom activities; lesson plans based on state standards; and an online repository of archival materials for classroom activities. The museum will also create a “Measuring the Mind” interactive exhibit for teenagers and young adults, providing access to historical materials from the collections.  

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience  (Seattle, WA)
Award Amount: $150,000; Matching Amount: $167,269
The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience will produce a newly designed tour program to empower the Asian Pacific American community to share their stories, help stimulate the local economy, and promote the historic and cultural vibrancy of the district. The Chinatown International District, on the National Register of Historic Places, is Seattle’s lowest-income neighborhood, struggling with multiple issues that threaten its preservation.  

Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody, WY)
Award Amount: $149,958; Matching Amount: $153,004
The Buffalo Bill Historical Center will complete a two-year Picturing Buffalo Bill project to digitize 6,000 photographs in its McCracken Research Library related to the life and career of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Staff will scan, catalog, and upload images to expand the “Buffalo Bill Online Archive” on the museum’s website, along with subject headings and descriptive metadata.  


RECOGNITION

The Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) has earned accredition by the American Alliance of Museums.


LEADERSHIP
Clarence G. “C.G.” Newsome, Ph.D. is the new president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH) 

The Board of Trustees of the Long Island Museum (Stony Brook, NY) announced that Neil Watson has been appointed Executive Director.

National Youth Summit: Freedom Summer

UPDATE: DOWNLOAD TEACHER RESOURCES FOR THE PROGRAM!

UPDATE! DEADLINE TO APPLY IS OCTOBER 15, 2013

Freedom Summer: National Youth Summit
freedomsummerA collaborative program at the National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Affiliates

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH) announces the next grant opportunity for its popular National Youth Summit series. Smithsonian Affiliates are invited to apply to join the conversation during Freedom Summer on February 5, 2014.

Nearly 50 years ago, college students from across the country came together in Mississippi for a large scale, grassroots education and voter registration project known as Freedom Summer. Working in collaboration with PBS’s AMERICAN EXPERIENCE series and through the Smithsonian Affiliate network, NMAH will engage young people with the powerful story of this campaign in the strategies of the civil rights movement and their lessons for modern day activism.

Eight (8) Affiliates will be awarded $3,000* for implementation of a Regional Youth Summit.

To qualify, your organization must agree to the terms in the Expectation Form which include:

  • Maintain or have partnerships with local school districts to organize a regional conversation at the Affiliate organization in conjunction with the national webcast.
  • Have a facility which can host a discussion immediately following the webcast to include students and Freedom Summer movement veterans and scholars.
  • Have the technical capacity to watch the live webcast of the National Youth Summit at the Affiliate organization.

Freedom Summer: National Youth Summit
Students across the country will join together for a virtual National Youth Summit on Freedom Summer and civic engagement. At the NMAH in Washington, D.C., or at a location in Mississippi, civil rights activists and scholars will participate in a panel discussion about the 1964 youth-led effort to end the political disenfranchisement of African Americans in the Deep South, and discuss the role of young people in shaping America’s past and future. Students will be invited to submit questions for the panel online.  Participating students will be encouraged to think of themselves as makers of history and asked to consider their ability to be active and engaged citizens. The National Youth Summit webcast will be preserved on the NMAH website, enabling students and teachers to continue to explore this important topic.

Regional Youth Summit at Affiliate organizations
Over the past fourteen years, the Smithsonian has reached audiences nationwide through its partnership with more than 175 Affiliate museums and educational and cultural institutions. Eight (8) Smithsonian Affiliates will work with their local high schools to organize a Regional Youth Summit in conjunction with the webcast of the National Youth Summit. Immediately following a live viewing of the National Youth Summit webcast, the Affiliate organization will host a discussion between Freedom Summer movement veterans, scholars, and young people. In preparation, participating schools will receive screening copies of The American Experience film Freedom Summer, as well as a Conversation Kit to support classroom discussion and to encourage students to use the lessons of history to make a more humane future.

How to apply: (Note:Applying for the grant is not mandatory to participate in the program. Affiliates are encouraged to include the event in their programming even if a grant is not received)

  1. Fill out the Application Form
  2. Sign the Expectation Form
  3. Freedom Summer FAQs

Questions? Contact Aaron Glavas, Smithsonian Affiliations National Outreach Manager or Elizabeth Bugbee, Smithsonian Affiliations External Affairs Coordinator.

**Final award based on proposed itemized budget.

 

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