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May 22, 2012

kudos affiliates! june 2012

As summer heats up, so too do Affiliate accomplishments!

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced that the Lowell Festival Foundation along with Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, Massachusetts) is one of 788 not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The Lowell Festival Foundation is recommended for a $30,000 grant to support the 2012 Lowell Folk Festival. 

The Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, Michigan) has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Traditional Arts Program. Totaling $80,000, the NEA grant will assist with documentation of traditional artists and folk arts events and develop social media tools to connect folk artists, audiences and other cultural workers. The Michigan Traditional Arts Program provides support for the Michigan Heritage Awards and Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, which research, document and share traditional arts and expressive culture of Michigan.

Inasmuch Foundation announced the distribution of $11.3 million in grants to 37 organizations in Oklahoma, including $500,000 to Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) for the new Children’s Hall, 20,000 square feet of friendly streets, buildings and “outdoor” spaces containing interactive exhibits in which families can engage in a playful and child-friendly world of science play. Stafford Air and Space Museum (Weatherford, Oklahoma) received $50,000 for the restoration and outdoor display of two historic aircraft; and a busing and admissions assistance program for Oklahoma school children and senior citizens.

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (Fishers, Indiana) received $5,000 from The Kroger Co. to support its K-12 education programs.

The Museum of Arts & Sciences (Daytona Beach, Florida) announced in cooperation with the City of Daytona Beach and the Volusia County Council, the Museum has been chosen as the site for a new structure – an expansion housing the collection of more than 2,600 Florida oil and watercolor paintings of Cici and Hyatt Brown as part of a $13 million gift from Cici and Hyatt Brown.

Dr. Annette B. Fromm of the Frost Museum (Miami, Florida) has been approved for candidacy for the Fulbright Specialists Roster, creating an opportunity to engage in short-term collaborative projects at host institutions in over 100 countries.

The Frank H. McClung Museum (Knoxville, Tennessee) received re-accreditation from AAM.

 

April 28, 2011

Think Globally

Smithsonian Affiliations staff recently met with Heather Berry, manager of International Programs at the American Association of Museums to learn more about their Museums and Community Collaborations Abroad (MCCA.) MCCA is a program that connects US communities with people abroad using museums as the catalysts and facilitators for connections and collaborations.

The projects are proposed by participating institutions with their international partners and matching funding is available. Heather agreed that working with Smithsonian Affiliates is a wonderful opportunity. “We think Affiliates, which are found all over the country, would make great partners. The diversity of the Affiliates’ missions and collections would be a great fit for international collaboration.”

While visiting the Toh-Atin art gallery in Navajo Nation. US and Taiwan team members talk about weaving techniques

Previous partners  include the World Awareness Children’s Museum in Glens Falls, New York who worked with counterparts at the Museo de la Ciudad in Ecuador. The middle schoolers involved used art and video conferencing to explore challenges faced by their own communities. They produced “traveling culture kits” which can be shared with other middle schools.

The National Taiwan Museum in Taipei City worked with the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History in Boulder to develop an online application that will provide improved access to collections of tribal objects. The application, iShare, enabled both groups to provide additional information about the objects, information not traditionally captured.

To her colleagues from the National Taiwan Museum and the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, Navajo Nation Museum Curator Clarenda Begay explains the use, meaning, and reasons she selected certain items to be included on iShare

“Forging cross-cultural ties is critical to creating a sustainable, prosperous world,” said AAM president Ford W. Bell. “Museums, in partnership with their local communities, are taking a leading role towards that end thanks to the MCCA program and our partners in the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.”

To learn more about how Affiliates can take part in this program, AAM staff will be available at this year’s Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference. Or you may contact MCCA staff at mcca@aam-us.org to be added to the emailing list for the next cycle. For more information, visit http://www.aam-us.org/mcca/ or follow MCCA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mcca.aam.

September 28, 2010

Kudos! October 2010

In these times of economic challenges, it’s nice to see some bright spots!

Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences (Peoria, Illinois) has been awarded a $10,000 Arts Education Invitational Grants Initiative grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to digitize the Picture Person Program, an art appreciation outreach program in which parent volunteers borrow art kits from the Museum and present them in K-6 classrooms monthly throughout the school year.

The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook (Long island, New York) announced it has received accreditation from the American Association of Museums, the highest honor awarded by the national organization.

The PNC Foundation announced $3 million in grants to four of Chicago’s premier institutions including the Adler Planetarium, to enhance science education for underserved students in preschool programs operated by Chicago Public Schools and the Big Shoulders Fund.

The Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre (Davenport, Iowa) won RK Dixon’s Make My Nonprofit Run Better contest and a $20,000 grand prize of an office technology makeover. 

September 24, 2010

affiliates in the news: week of september 20

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week!

Museum of American Finance (New York, NY)
The Museum of American Finance will unveil the display of an 18-karat solid gold Monopoly set covered with hundreds of precious gemstones, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural HistoryREAD MORE

Museum of American Finance To Display Jeweled Monopoly Set and Host TournamentREAD MORE

Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland, FL)
Polk Museum of Art is pleased to announce that it has been accepted into the Smithsonian Affiliations Program…READ MORE 

Polk Museum Gets Affiliation With SmithsonianREAD MORE

Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences (Peoria, IL)
Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences has been awarded a $10,000 Arts Education Invitational Grants Initiative grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to digitize the Picture Person Program educational kitsREAD MORE

Hunt Hill Farm (New Milford, CT)
…The Smithsonian curator who got the ball rolling was Rayna Green, curator and director of the American Indian Program, Division of Home and Community Life, who will present “In Julia’s Kitchen”READ MORE

The Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages (Stony Brook, NY)
The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook announced Thursday it has received accreditation from the American Association of Museums, the highest honor awarded by the national organizationREAD MORE

The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar (Richmond, VA)
Richmond visitors have a new starting point for the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War and the end of slavery: Historic TredegarREAD MORE

Historic Tredegar: The Region’s Gateway to the Civil WarREAD MORE

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA)
On November 12th, the National Museum of American Jewish History will reopen in its new location at Independence Mall. The weekend of celebration will feature performances by Jerry Seinfeld and Bette MidlerREAD MORE

Two of the country’s most famous Jewish performers will highlight the opening of one of the most ambitious Jewish museum projects in yearsREAD MORE

North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, NC)
Exhibit in North Carolina Shows the Real George WashingtonREAD MORE

National Mississippi River Museum (Dubuque, IA)
Foundation awards river museum $1 million grant for river centerREAD MORE

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day
Everybody loves a freebie and this Saturday, September 25, marks Smithsonian magazine’s 6th Annual Museum Day, when more than 1,500 museum and cultural venues across the United States will honor Smithsonian.com’s special get-in-free ticket for twoREAD MORE

August 25, 2010

Affiliates collaborate with AAM to offer webinar

Filed under: enewsletter feature,General,You Heard It Here First — Tags: , , , — Jennifer Brundage @ 3:02 pm

Beth Ziebarth, Director of the Smithsonian Accessibility Program, discusses Universal Design principles with museum peers.

The museum profession is well-acquainted with requirements in the Americans with Disabilities Act – for ramps, accessible restrooms, and other physical infrastructure needs – but how about for exhibitions and public programs?  

This will be a topic of discussion in an upcoming webinar entitled Universal Design: Beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act on Wednesday, October 27.  In a unique onsite-online learning model, Affiliations has teamed up with the American Association of Museums(AAM) to offer opportunites for museum professionals around the country to come together to experience the webinar.  25 Affiliates(in 21 states and Puerto Rico) will serve as “host sites”for their peers to network, watch the webinar together, and engage in moderated discussions about the specific implications of universal design for their museums and communities.

“Planning a program using a universal design perspective is different from designing a program for the deaf, for example,” says Beth Ziebarth, Director of the Smithsonian’s Accessibility Program, and main webinar presenter.  Most simply, universal design is human-centered design, a user-friendly approach to the design of environments that are accessible to people of any culture, age, size, weight, race, gender and ability.   Designing with such an approach is not only beneficial for people with disabilities, but for multi-generational families, pregnant women, the elderly and more.  The webinar will explore integrating universal design into exhibitions and public programs; engaging your local disability community to inform program designs; and developing resources to share across a community’s cultural organizations.

We saw the power of this shared learning approach first-hand.  In March 2009, Beth led a training seminar for cultural leaders in Pittsburgh at the Heinz History Center.  About 60 professionals from the city’s museums, historical societies, theaters, operas, art galleries and more, spent a morning discussing their particular accessibility issues.  By sharing successes and challenges, they were able to brainstorm collaborative and cost-saving possibilities for solutions – i.e., sharing the costs of an LED reader or mobile assistive-listening device, to make it more affordable for several organizations.  Since then, the participants have created an accessibility task force that meets quarterly in an effort to make Pittsburgh’s cultural attractions even more accessible to everyone.

AAM is the perfect partner to help take the Pittsburgh example to a national scale.  Their popular, high-quality professional development webinar series reaches thousands of museum professionals each year.  Together, we can deliver Smithsonian expertise to a broad audience of museum peers and disability advocates throughout the country.  We are all very grateful to the Smithsonian Women’s Committee for funding this collaboration experiment.

So head to your local Affiliate this fall and join the conversation!

Affiliate host sites:
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, AL
Arizona State Museum, Tuscon, AZ
San Diego Air & Space Museum, San Diego, CA
Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Riverside, CA
History Colorado, Denver, CO
Frost Art Museum, Miami, FL
Orange County Regional History Center, Orlando, FL
Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, GA
Conner Prairie, Fishers, IN
Frazier International History Museum, Louisville, KY
National World War II Museum, New Orleans, LA
Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell, MA
Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, MD
North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh, NC
Atomic Testing Museum, Las Vegas, NV
Yeshiva University Museum, New York, NY
Archives of the History of American Psychology, Akron, OH
Oklahoma Museum of History, Oklahoma City, OK
Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
Culture and Heritage Museums, Rock Hill, SC
The Women’s Museum, Dallas, TX
Institute of Texan Cultures, San Antonio, TX
Virginia Museum of Natural History, Martinsville, VA
Museum of History & Industry, Seattle, WA

There are two ways to register:
1) Contact affiliates@si.edu or visit the Affiliations website to get a list of contacts at each Affiliate host site.  Register directly with them to attend at their site, and receive a discounted registration fee of $15.

2) Register directly through AAM and watch the webinar online, http://www.aam-us.org/getinvolved/learn/universaldesign.cfm       

November 28, 2009

mark your calendars in 2010

calendar_icon-300x3003Just a few important dates Smithsonian Affiliations staff wants to make sure are on your calendars in 2010. Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss out on these great opportunities in the coming New Year!

Recommend an intern at your museum for the Affiliations Intern Partnership Program, deadline for summer 2010 is January 15, 2010. There’s no better way to help a student build their resume and get hands-on experience at the same time! Past students have worked on projects ranging from festival planning with the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to collections care at the National Postal Museum. Read one past intern’s story here. Email Elizabeth Bugbee, BugbeeE@si.edu, for more details.

Stop by and say hello if you’re in Los Angeles for the AAM conference May 23 – 26, 2010. Smithsonian Affiliations will be hosting a reception at the Japanese American National Museum May 25 from 6 – 8 p.m. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet up with Smithsonian colleagues, celebrate our L.A. Affiliates, and network with each other.

Further your professional development by applying for the Affiliations Visiting Professionals Program, deadline for Fall 2010 is June 4, 2010. Looking to research collections for an upcoming exhibition at your museum? Need advice on exhibition design? Or do you want to know how to evaluate what visitors think of your museum? We have it all at the Smithsonian! With 19 museums, 9 research centers, and the National Zoo, there’s an expert at the Smithsonian waiting to collaborate with you. Email Elizabeth Bugbee, BugbeeE@si.edu, for more details.

Join your fellow Affiliate and Smithsonian colleagues at the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, June 13- 15, 2010. We’re tackling Grand Challenges together this year and want you to be part of it. As the Smithsonian implements its new Strategic Plan, be the first to see how you can take part. And, back by popular demand will be Funders Speed Dating. Keep checking your inbox for more conference updates!

 

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