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January 29, 2014

Announcing Leadership Seminar for Affiliates

gwlogoRecognizing that the need for leadership skills is fundamental in the field, Smithsonian Affiliations has recently signed an agreement to offer leadership training to staff of Affiliate museums in collaboration with George Washington University’s Museum Studies Program.   The Smithsonian has a long standing collaborative relationship with GW that encompasses internships, joint research programs, and research fellowships.   GW’s Museum Studies program is a nationally-known graduate training program with core curriculum in collections, exhibition development and design, new media, and museum management and leadership.  Since conducting a survey of Affiliate staff in 2012, GWs Associate Professor of Museum Studies, Martha Morris, has worked with Affiliations Director, Harold Closter, to design a two-day seminar to be held here in Washington, D.C., on June 26 and 27, 2014, following the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference.

Museums today face incredible challenges as well as new opportunities. Globalization, new technologies, competition,  accountability, collections preservation, financial turmoil and staffing changes are all major concerns. In addition, professional standards and ethical mandates continue to evolve.  Museums need highly trained staff, committed governance, and innovative leaders to assure their long term sustainability.  The 21st-century workforce demands individuals who are collaborative, flexible, imaginative, and innovative.  The goal of this collaboration between the Smithsonian and GW is to provide opportunities for staff at all levels of the museum to gain needed skills that will position them and their organization for success.

The program will provide opportunity for interaction with leaders at the Smithsonian and other museums as well as faculty of GW.  Topics will include practical skills in management systems as well as strategic thinking and leadership philosophy.   The value of the seminar will be in developing new skills as well as creating new networks for continuing professional growth.

The program will be reasonably priced with a limited number of scholarships available.  Registration will be opening in April, but we encourage you to save the dates now.  For further information about the seminar please contact Professor Martha Morris, George Washington University Museum Studies program at morrism@gwu.edu.

Photo courtesy George Washington University.

Photo courtesy George Washington University.

January 28, 2014

coming up in Affiliateland in February 2014

It may be chilly across the country, but the temperature is not stopping Affiliates from offering great programming in February!

NATIONWIDEnational_youth_summit
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, 12 Affiliates will join the National Museum of American History to hold a National Youth Summit, linking high school students across the U.S. in an engaging program on the history and legacy of the 1964 youth-led effort for voting rights and education, 2.5.

Participating Affiliates include:
African American Museum & National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia, PA
American Jazz Museum, Kansas City, MO
Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, MI
History Colorado  Center, Denver, CO
Institute of Texan Cultures, San Antonio, TX
Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, OH
Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, OH
North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh, NC

NEBRASKA

The Durham Museum opens The 1968 Exhibit featuring three Apollo 8 artifacts from the National Air and Space Museum, in Omaha, 2.8.

snakeThe University of Nebraska State Museum opens the Titanoboa: Monster Snake exhibition (SITES) in Lincoln, 2.22.
IOWA
The Putnam Museum opens Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964 (SITES) in Davenport, 2.15.

January 27, 2014

kudos Affiliates! February 2014 edition

Nice going Affiliates!  Bravo!

Funding

Students experience Textile Revolution: An Exploration through Space and Time, the permanent exhibition at the American Textile History Museum.

Students experience Textile Revolution: An Exploration through Space and Time, the permanent exhibition at the American Textile History Museum.

For the eighth consecutive year, Citizens Bank charitable foundation donated $25,000 to the African-American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) in honor of Martin Luther King Day. The funding was used to underwrite the museum’s costs to offer free admission and cultural activities to more than 3,000 expected visitors.

The American Textile History Museum (Lowell, MA) has received a major gift of $1 million from the late G. Gordon Osborne and his wife, Marjorie, which will go towards the museum’s endowment fund.

The  Western Reserve Historical Society recently received a $407,000 grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation to work with its local school district to implement an entrepreneurial curriculum for 4th-6th graders. The 3-year program will be implemented this spring.

Awards and Recognition

The Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK) announced the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has selected The Daughter of Dawn as one of 25 films inducted to its 2013 National Film Registry, a collection of cinematic treasures that represent important cultural, artistic and historic achievements in filmmaking. The 80-minute, six-reel silent movie was shot during the summer of 1920 in Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge outside of Lawton.

Charlene Donchez-Mowers and the Historic Bethlehem Partnership (Bethlehem, PA) have been named the recipients of the seventh Tribute to Historic Preservation Award sponsored by the Sun Inn Preservation Association.

Leadership

The board of governors of the Strategic Air and Space Museum (Ashland, NE) announced that Michael McGinnis has been appointed as the museum’s new Executive Director.

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.

Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, Montana)
Museum of the Rockies T. rex to arrive at Smithsonian in April
The T. rex unearthed in Montana in 1988 will arrive at the National Museum of Natural History on April 15 on a 50-year loan by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Smithsonian is planning a new, 31,000-square-foot dinosaur hall that is scheduled to open in 2019.

Jack Horner, Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, provides scale for Tyrannosaurus rex fossils at the excavation site near the Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana in June 1990. Named for its discoverer, Kathy Wankel, the Wankel T.rex is estimated to have weighed six to seven tons. Photo courtesy Museum of the Rockies.

Jack Horner, Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, provides scale for Tyrannosaurus rex fossils at the excavation site near the Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana in June 1990. Named for its discoverer, Kathy Wankel, the Wankel T.rex is estimated to have weighed six to seven tons. Photo courtesy Museum of the Rockies.

American Textile History Museum (Lowell, Massachussets)
American Textile Museum Receives Major Gift
The American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA has received a major gift of $1 million from the late G. Gordon Osborne and his wife, Marjorie, who passed away last year.

January 24, 2014

Smithsonian Secretary kicks off 2014 Affiliations National Conference

Education and access have always been at the core of all of our work. Our Affiliate network provides countless opportunities for informal learning in local communities across the U.S. through research, scholarship and exhibitions both real and virtual. Many Affiliates have collaborated with the Smithsonian on online national summits for teens, science webcasts, and even collected oral histories all captured for a virtual audience as well as developed as engaging public programs at each organization.

We’ve invited Smithsonian Secretary, G. Wayne Clough, to be our Keynote Speaker at our 2014 Affiliations National Conference* (June 23-25) to share how Affiliates are our partners in tackling a digital world.

“While digital technology poses great challenges, it also offers great possibilities. For the Smithsonian and our nation’s other museums, libraries and archives, today is a time when we can serve the role our founders envisioned for the educational systems of our republic. We can help all the people, not just a few of the people, to understand our culture, the cultures of other countries and life in all its dimensions.”

Join us on June 24 and discover the possibilities when we partner in making our collections more accessible and provide lifelong learning experiences to all of our visitors through innovative digital access.

To read the Secretary’s free book Best of Both Worlds: Museums, Libraries, and Archives in a Digital Age and see a short video, go to http://www.si.edu/BestofBothWorlds. The book is also available for free at iTunes U. Read the full press release for the Secretary’s e-book here.

*The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, or have an application in progress and would like to attend the Conference, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee for more information.

January 23, 2014

Unearthing Paleontologists in Miami

A special thanks for this guest post to Michelle Beumer, Restoration and Social Action Coordinator at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami, Florida.

Ever wanted to be a Paleontologist? Last Thursday, over 100 fifth grade students from Goulds Elementary School in Homestead got to experience a day in the life of a paleontologist. Through a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science staff joined Goulds Elementary students for a fossil whalebone scavenger hunt, a live science webcast with Dr. Nick Pyenson, and a question and answer session hosted by the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.

Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science staff member, Ta-Shana Taylor is our very own whalebone expert, and guides the students through their scavenger hunt activity. Photo courtesy Frost Museum of Science.

Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science staff member, Ta-Shana Taylor is our very own whalebone expert, and guides the students through their scavenger hunt activity. Photo courtesy Frost Museum of Science.

To jump-start the immersion experience, students were sent on a mission to hunt for special whale fossils.  Through various stations, students took a trip around the world exploring different fossil-rich locations. Students dug through buckets of sand (not unlike real paleontologists) to find their bone.  Working as a team, students then had to figure out the story of their whalebone in a broader picture by comparing results in each of the five world locations. Then Smithsonian scientist Dr. Nick Pyenson discussed his research on the webcast and showed some of the specimens that be found through his work in Peru, Chile, the eastern United States, Panama, and Vancouver, while answering questions that students from around the country asked via a live chat window. The students from Goulds Elementary learned basic whale anatomy and how that corresponds to our own human anatomy, what whale species are rare and common now versus millions of years ago, and how paleontologists discover and dig up history.

Photo courtesy Frost Museum of Science.

Photo courtesy Frost Museum of Science.

The new Q?RIUS (pronounced “curious”) collection at the National Museum of Natural History will be presented through a series of live webcasts. From January until June 2014, nine live webcasts will air that examine a wide range of scientific topics that are perfect for you and your classrooms to watch, participate in, and enjoy. Each webcast is based on the Next Generation Science Standards and entices students to explore core science concepts through real-world connections.

Explore the topics in the schedule to access a package of classroom activities, lessons, readings and other related resources that support each webcast program.

Join us in our scientific adventures and tune in to watch real Smithsonian scientists talk about their research and answer your questions, live!

Join the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science and the National Museum of Natural History on February 12th to become Bird Detectives with featuring Carla Dove.

Students watching the Q?RIUS webcast from the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy Frost Museum of Science.

Students watching the Q?RIUS webcast from the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy Frost Museum of Science.

January 10, 2014

Happy 2014 Affiliateland!

prezi22013 was an exciting year for Smithsonian Affiliates. If you saw our recent e-Affiliate newsletter, our Year in Review Prezi took you on a coast-to-coast road trip through a Seriously Amazing year in Affiliate neighborhoods. But there was so much good news to tell we couldn’t fit it all in to one Prezi. So here are some more 2013 Affiliations by the numbers fun facts for you. Happy New Year! We are looking forward to a collaboration-filled 2014 with all of you.

There were 183 Affiliates in 43 states, Puerto Rico and Panama. Nine new Affiliates joined our network in 2013!

Our social media platforms grew and helped us engage with more than 670,000 people  interested in the Smithsonian in their neighborhood:

7,481      Blog Visits (unique visits)

2,175      Facebook Fans

2,818      Twitter Followers

671,178     YouTube views

 12,000   new museum members joined the Smithsonian through the Smithsonian Affiliations Membership Program offered at their local Affiliate.

Our National Outreach Managers helped facilitate 80  new Artifact loans for Affiliates. There are now 1,359 Smithsonian artifacts currently on view in Affiliate communities.

17 Smithsonian exhibits at 20 Affiliates opened in 2013. Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service organized 10 of them for travel. Four of those Affiliates were awarded Smithsonian Community Grants, sponsored by MetLife, to plan programming to go along with the SITES exhibits at their museum.

Our Affiliates hosted 66 Smithsonian speakers and experts in 2013, sharing stories about Citizen Science, DNA an its influence on modern discoveries, Thomas Jefferson’s Bible, the art of boat-building, Elvis, Asian American portraits and much, much more.

In September 2013,  89 Affiliates participated in Museum Day Live!, opening their doors to visitors for free thanks to Smithsonian magazine.

The 2013 Affiliations National Conference was one of our highest attended events in Affiliations history! 119 attendees from 74 Affiliate organizations in 31 states and Puerto Rico joined Smithsonian colleagues in Washington, D.C.  18 Affiliate colleagues participated as panelists, and spoke about topics including digital outreach, 3-D imaging, mobile apps, traveling exhibits, and collaborative fundraising. (Mark your calendars for this year’s conference- June 23-24, 2014!)

Thanks to all of our Smithsonian and Affiliate colleagues who helped make 2013 such a success!

 

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