May 30, 2016

Coming up in affiliateland: June 2016

Texas
The SITES exhibition Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964 opens at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, part of the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, 6.4.

South Dakota
“Smithsonian Saturday” moves to Sunday for this online program at the South Dakota State Historical Society. The rebroadcast will feature the life of Hank Aaron, originally broadcast by the Smithsonian Channel, 6.5.

Roy Lichtenstein, Sweet Dreams, Baby!, from the portfolio, 11 Pop Artists, Volume III, 1965, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Philip Morris Incorporated, copyright Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

Roy Lichtenstein, Sweet Dreams, Baby!, from the portfolio, 11 Pop Artists, Volume III, 1965, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Philip Morris Incorporated, copyright Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

Florida
A selection of 37 prints from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s permanent collection are included in the Pop Art Prints exhibition at the Mennello Museum of American Art, opening 6.10.

South Carolina
The National Museum of Natural History loaned a meteorite to the Museum of York County to be included in its exhibition Dinosaur Revolution Maze, on view beginning 6.11.

Idaho
Last chance to see Titanoboa: Monster Snake at the Idaho Museum of Natural History, through 6.12.

New York
The Smithsonian Associates presents a New York City tour featuring the Museum of American Finance and its exhibition Worth Its Weight: Gold from the Ground Up, which includes artifacts from the Smithsonian and three Smithsonian Affiliates, 6.17.

Ellen Feingold, curator at the National Museum of American History, brings her expertise to the Museum of American Finance for a lecture on The Value of Money, 6.23.

North Carolina
The Schiele Museum of Natural History will partner with its local YMCA to host middle school students for the third installment of the astrophotography program, Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 6.20.

Maryland
Under Secretary, Richard Kurin, joins Smithsonian Affiliations Director, Harold Closter, to announce the new affiliation of Historic Annapolis. Dr. Kurin will also speak about the Hope Diamond following the affiliation announcement ceremony, 6.22.

Connecticut
Mystic Seaport concludes its Stars of the Smithsonian series with The Art of Oceanic Navigation and Land Finding lecture featuring Douglas Herman, Senior Geographer at the National Museum of the American Indian, 6.23.

Illinois
Harold Closter will visit the DuSable Museum of African American History, to announce its new affiliation with the Smithsonian, 6.25.

Beautiful Users is organized by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Beautiful Users is organized by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Georgia
Beautiful Users, a traveling exhibit from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, features nearly 100 objects that illustrate the evolution of “user-centered design,” at the Museum of Design Atlanta, 6.26.

May 29, 2016

Affiliates in the news: June edition

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee

Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle President and Executive Director Douglas Dolan; Director of Smithsonian Affiliations Harold Closter and Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle Board of Trustees Chair John Augenblick show off the certificate that states the museum and the castle are now Smithsonian Institution Affiliates during a gathering at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown on Thursday, May 19, 2016. Photo by Christian Menno, Staff

Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle President and Executive Director Douglas Dolan; Director of Smithsonian Affiliations Harold Closter and Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle Board of Trustees Chair John Augenblick show off the certificate that states the museum and the castle are now Smithsonian Institution Affiliates during a gathering at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown on Thursday, May 19, 2016. Photo by Christian Menno, Staff

Mercer Museum & Fonthill Castle (Doylestown, PA)
Doylestown museums now Smithsonian affiliates
The museum — which is celebrating its 100th year since first opening its doors in Doylestown — is now a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate along with Fonthill Castle.

2 Bucks County museums named Smithsonian affiliates
The Mercer Museum and its Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, Pa., have been named Smithsonian Institution affiliates, making the institutions two of only about 210 Smithsonian affiliates across the United States.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, HI)
Interview: National Youth Summit at the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor  VIDEO
The Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor is participating in a National Youth Summit.  The discussion will focus on Japanese American Incarceration in World War Two.  We talked with Shauna Tonkin, she is the Director of Education at the Pacific Aviation Museum. 

Museum to participate in youth summit
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is one of four Smithsonian affiliate organizations hosting a regional youth summit, and is partnering locally with the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii to host a panel discussion with scholars, family members of those incarcerated at Honouliuli Internment Camp, and Hawaii’s youth.

Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

A Muslim American child reads a letter from a Japanese internment camp victim, with Rep. Mike Honda. (Courtesy of Frank Chi)

A Muslim American child reads a letter from a Japanese internment camp victim, with Rep. Mike Honda. (Courtesy of Frank Chi)

Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
The Smithsonian asked Muslim American children to read Japanese internment-camp letters
In the 1940s, as Japanese American families were being rounded up and sent into years of imprisonment, a librarian in San Diego named Clara Breed gave children paper and ink and stamps. She told them to write to her, and she sent them books and letters. Chi came across the collection of letters on the Japanese American National Museum’s website. The museum, in Downtown L.A., houses the collection in an archive.

Space Center Houston (Houston, TX)
Sky-high ambition: : Greenfield native reflects on his path to becoming Space Center Houston CEO
The job comes at a particularly exciting time, Harris said, as NASA continues to pursue its vision of humans on Mars within the next several decades. “The other side of the coin here, too, is our nation faces a real crisis in science learning,” he said. “We have a whole generation of baby boomers who have worked in science careers that are retiring, and we do not have an adequate number of people in the pipeline to fill those positions.” A critical part of the space center’s infrastructure, he said, is to inform, engage and motivate young people’s interest in the STEM fields through outreach and education — skills that run thick in Harris’ blood.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
NEXT Up: Andy Masich
I’m looking forward to a call with John Gray from the Smithsonian to discuss the American History 101 initiative, designed to help improve all Americans’ basic knowledge of history and civics. The History Center is proud of our Smithsonian affiliation—we’re “the Smithsonian’s home in Pittsburgh.”

The National Museum of Industrial History in Bethlehem opened its doors May 5, 2016, for a sneak peek at its collection. Planned since 1997, the museum is scheduled to open in the summer in a former Bethlehem Steel Corp. building. It features many items on loan from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. Photo Sue Beyer for lehighvalleylive.com

The National Museum of Industrial History in Bethlehem opened its doors May 5, 2016, for a sneak peek at its collection. Planned since 1997, the museum is scheduled to open in the summer in a former Bethlehem Steel Corp. building. It features many items on loan from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Photo Sue Beyer for lehighvalleylive.com

National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA)
Time to close one chapter of history in Bethlehem | Editorial
“We’re really trying to showcase the stories of people,” Hollander said, adding that the nation’s industrial heft will be displayed through the efforts of laborers, innovators and entrepreneurs, connecting the past with the future of industry and innovation. And thanks to the museum’s affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution, the grand opening will also showcase pieces from the Smithsonian Institution’s 1876 Centennial exhibit.

1st look: Sneak peek at National Museum of Industrial History (PHOTOS)
When the museum opens, the public will again have a chance to see pieces from the Smithsonian Institute’s 1976 bicentennial exhibit, which was a recreation of the original 1876 centennial exhibit. The museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian and exhibits are on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

VIDEO- Sneak peek: National Museum of Industrial History gives tour to history buffs
The museum has artifacts donated and lent by companies and community groups all over the Lehigh Valley. It features the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s collection of 19th-century machines representative of those at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, an event often regarded as the United States’ coming out party as an industrial powerhouse.

Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland, FL)
Judge looks forward to Mayfaire return: Maria del Carmen Cossu selected
Cossu said she was chosen to be judge by the Mayfaire coordinators Brenda Friedman and Maya Beck partly because of her work – the Smithsonian Institution and the Polk Museum of Art being a Smithsonian affiliate. She is the sole judge of the event.

Hagley Museum and Library (Wilmington, DE)
Hagley Museum Displaying Large Collection of Patent Models
Hagley Museum and Library now has the world’s largest private collection of patent models, second only to that of the Smithsonian Institution, after it acquired more than 4,000 models from the Rothschild Collection

Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Star Wars invades Denver at art museum May the Fourth kickoff event
Dozens clad in intergalactic costumes gathered outside the Denver Art Museum on Wednesday to celebrate the ticket sales kickoff of the upcoming ” Star Wars and the Power of Costume” exhibit.

May the 4th be with you
Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume will open Nov. 13, 2016 at the Denver Art Museum. The exhibition will showcase more than 60 iconic costumes from the films and examine the captivating process of costume design. It was developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in partnership with the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and in consultation with Lucasfilm Ltd.

Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum (Bisbee, AZ)
Bisbee tops list of top historic towns
Bisbee’s appeal lies in its Victorian architecture, pretty scenery and laid-back vibe, and the Smithsonian-affiliated Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum does an excellent job of recounting the town’s colorful history

Museum of American Finance (New York, NY)
Museum of American Finance Founder Makes Final Visionary Gift to Institution
Wall Street veteran John E. Herzog has announced a final $5 million gift to the Museum of American Finance, the New York institution he founded more than 25 years ago. Herzog established the Museum in response to the Crash of ’87 and has been the institution’s largest donor ever since.

Museum of American Finance founder donates $5 million to cause
John E. Herzog, founder of the Smithsonian Institution-affiliated Museum of American Finance, will be feted May 17 for his recent $5 million contribution to carry on the finance museum’s mission.

Photo courtesy Smithsonian American Art Museum

Photo courtesy Smithsonian American Art Museum

Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts (Alta Loma, CA)
Famous for His Rocking Chair, Sam Maloof Made Furniture That Had Soul
Curator Atkinson points out that “Maloof’s elegant curves just grow and bend as his designs mature.” A good example of this can be seen in the Smithsonian chair, on which the rockers curve slightly downward at the back ends. While this has a safety purpose, preventing a too-energetic sitter from falling over backwards, the curve adds to the chair’s elegance. Robyn Kennedy (no relation to any of the Kennedys previously mentioned), chief administrator at the American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, points out that the “way Maloof sculpts his elements gives even practical features an aesthetic feel.”

South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD)
SD History Conference in Pierre focuses on food, including beer and ice cream
The idea of the heritage of food in the state, said keynote speaker Susan Evans McClure, is that since most people eat from time to time, looking at food is a good way to look at the wider history of any culture, or people or state. McClure is director of the Smithsonian Food History Programs at the National Museum of History and she spoke Friday.

The Rockwell Museum (Corning, NY)
Reimagining the Rockwell Museum in Corning
A newly established affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution will help the Rockwell bring new pieces and exhibits to Corning. The Rockwell Museum is the only Smithsonian-affiliated museum in upstate New York.

Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT)
Retiring Jack Horner celebrated at Museum of the Rockies
The Museum of the Rockies was just a small building back in 1982 when then-director Mick Hager hired Horner….Horner’s summer digs in Montana’s badlands filled the museum with the world’s largest collections of Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops fossils. The nearly complete Wankel T-rex he dug up in 1988, renamed the nation’s T-rex, will be the centerpiece of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History when it opens in 2019.

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque, IA)
Milwaukee zoo official to take over Dubuque’s River Museum
The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium and Dubuque County Historical Society announced Dr. Robert Davis will take over as President and CEO on Jun. 6. … Additionally, Davis has been a…a Smithsonian faculty fellowship recipient, Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park/Department of Animal Health/ Reproductive Physiology Program.

April 27, 2016

Affiliates in the news: May edition

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee

The musicians Terri Davis, left, and Bill Saxton at the opening of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times The National Jazz

The musicians Terri Davis, left, and Bill Saxton at the opening of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times

National Jazz Museum in Harlem (New York, NY)
National Jazz Museum in Harlem reopens in new location
On the very same day that the United States Postal Service held a ceremony in Newark, New Jersey, to celebrate the new Sarah Vaughn postage stamp, Harold Closter, Director of Smithsonian Affiliations, told a funny anecdote about his contribution to the history of jazz. Addressing the audience at the opening night of The National Jazz Museum in Harlem’s new location, Closter joked that his contribution to jazz history was the time he was tasked with carrying the train of “the Divine One’s” (as Vaughn was known) dress onstage once.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem Finds a Permanent Home
The museum found its footing, in incremental steps, under the executive leadership of Loren Schoenberg. A veteran saxophonist, pianist, educator and historian, Mr. Schoenberg brought an air of authority to the museum, while strengthening its bonds with the jazz public and institutions like the Smithsonian.

Saint Louis Science Center (St. Louis, MO)
Saint Louis Science Center selected as Smithsonian Institution Affiliate
“We are very pleased to join the ranks of some very distinguished organizations and institutions across the country,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of the Saint Louis Science Center. “Having the opportunity to share Smithsonian artifacts, including space capsules, aircraft and rare minerals with our visitors will help to spark interest and excitement in science and the important role it plays in our lives.”

Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR)
Mid-America Science Museum wins prestigious national award
Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs has landed the Institute for Museum and Library Services National Medal for Community Service. The award stands out as only 10 museums and libraries around the country are awarded it each year.

Visitors at "The Art of Video Games" exhibition. Photo courtesy Frost Art Museum.

Visitors at “The Art of Video Games” exhibition. Photo courtesy Frost Art Museum.

Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum (Miami, FL)
Remember ‘Pac-Man’? Museum exhibit has fun with classic video games
From “Pitfall!” and “Space Invaders” to “Super Mario Brothers,” the collection celebrates the artistic and creative factors involved in creating the games’ virtual landscapes and moving images.

1960s Living Room at the Senator John Heinz History Center. (Photo: Rachellynn Schoen)

1960s Living Room at the Senator John Heinz History Center. (Photo: Rachellynn Schoen)

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
Playing With the Past
There were many other surprises in this exhibit of nearly 500 favorites developed in partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society. For those of you who destroyed or failed to hold on to your childhood treasures, the 8,000 square-foot exhibit may well be worth the trip to Pittsburgh. Your head will be swiveling as Mr. Potato Head, Gumby, Barbie, and action figures from three decades vie for your attention.

National Inventors Hall of Fame
The Greatest Celebration Of American Innovation Inspiring The Future And Honoring The Past
The National Inventors Hall of Fame and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host the Greatest Celebration of American Innovation May 4-5. The two-day event will include the Induction of 16 innovation trailblazers into the Hall of Fame [at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery] and the unveiling of the expanded National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum.

DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
DuSable Museum named as Smithsonian Institution affiliate
Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History has been granted affiliation status by the Smithsonian Institution. The distinction, announced Thursday, gives the museum access to Smithsonian artifacts and traveling exhibits. The DuSable is the second Chicago facility to receive Smithsonian Affiliate status, joining the Adler Planetarium.

April 18, 2016

YWCA Bristol TechGYRLS: Radio Stars at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Special thanks to Rene Rodgers, curator of exhibits and publications at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Virginia, for this guest post.

As a new museum, this past September was the Birthplace of Country Music Museum‘s first time participating in Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day Live! So we were excited when a special Museum Day Live! event was planned for March 12, 2016. Having been open for a year and a half, we were ready to make something special of this special day.

Being held during Women’s History Month, this year’s Museum Day Live! was focused on encouraging all people – and particularly women and girls of color – to explore our nation’s museums and cultural institutions. We wanted to see new visitors come through our doors for this March event – and we did! We saw around 340 visitors bearing their free admission ticket, many of whom had never been to the museum before, along with several dedicated volunteers and members.

TechGyrls1More importantly, we wanted to create a learning opportunity at the museum for underserved girls within our community. Therefore, in keeping with this year’s theme, we partnered with the YWCA Bristol TechGYRLS, a local afterschool program based on a STEM-focused curriculum and geared towards supporting girls aged 9—15 who would otherwise have limited access to and experience with technology.

We decided that a fun focus for this partnership would be helping the TechGYRLS to create a special radio program for WBCM, our in-museum working radio station. To prepare for their radio debut, the girls toured the museum in early February, exploring the exhibits to find topics to cover in their radio program. They also got the chance to record a “radio drop,” or teaser, to promote the show. With very little rehearsal, the girls nailed their radio drop – they were complete naturals!

Using the ideas they had gathered from their tour, the TechGYRLS then worked directly with museum and radio staff to develop their script and create a lively complementary playlist of songs from Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited. They also got the chance to learn more about how a radio station works and how to put together a radio program from our radio staff.

For their Museum Day Live! radio program, we decided on three main spoken segments:

  • Telling radio listeners about the YWCA Bristol TechGYRLS program and how being a TechGYRL will impact their future
  • Talking about which exhibits they enjoyed during their tour of the museum
  • Picking one subject in the museum that particularly interested them and doing a feature on it

After a bit of tweaking and some rehearsal time, the TechGYRLS came back to the museum a few days before Museum Day Live! to pre-record their show. Their interviews were filled with energy and enthusiasm. They described how their visit to the museum showed them how important the Bristol Sessions were in American music history and that the old-time music playing in our exhibits made them want to dance! And they shared the many ways the YWCA Bristol TechGYRLS program impacts their lives, with one student saying that it “teaches you to include everyone no matter how different…and that just because you aren’t a man, doesn’t mean you can’t grow up and be what you want to be.” Wisdom out of the mouths of babes!

TechGyrls3

When March 12 finally arrived, we were excited – and so were the girls. YWCA Bristol brought several of them to the museum an hour or so before their radio broadcast, giving them plenty of time to explore the museum further and take a peek at our new special exhibit “Made in Tennessee: Manufacturing Milestones.” A few parents came along too, and we heard that a couple of families were ready to listen together at home to the show on WBCM. While the show was broadcasting on the radio, we streamed it into the museum’s performance theater, inviting our museum visitors to come in and listen as part of their Museum Day Live! experience.

Seeing the girls faces as they listened to themselves on the radio, seeing them really realize that listeners throughout Bristol (and possibly across the world!) were hearing their ideas and thoughts, was amazing. The TechGYRLS shared their time and energy with us, they gave voice to their lives and experiences, and the result was one of the most fulfilling and proudest moments we’ve had at the museum so far.

TechGyrls2Tonja Leonard, Director of TechGYRLS, emphasized how important it is to provide the girls with experiences and opportunities to see technology as part of their everyday lives. She noted that this experience brought huge value to the TechGYRLS program – it not only provided a wonderful learning experience for the girls but also helped to broaden their perspectives and further their educational values, giving them an opportunity that was not possible through the school system. Tonja added, “this opportunity certainly empowered our TechGYRLS.”

We also got to hear directly from the girls about their experience at the museum and on the radio (along with a lovely thank you card, signed by all of them!):

  • Holly:  “It was really amazing to know that the songs I picked were going to be on the radio. I really enjoyed learning the history behind the music and all about the radio and how the broadcast is done.”
  • Michaela:  “It was really fun to have the experience to get to work with the technology in the radio booth. I learned a lot from the museum and learning about classic country music.”
  • Allie:  “As a future engineer, it’s important to learn about technology in other fields.  While at the museum I learned that technology-based equipment is a fun necessity.”
  • Jayda:  “I liked learning about the Carter Family and the Carter scratch [Maybelle Carter’s well-known and influential guitar-playing technique]. The karaoke booth [Sing-Along Station in the Making Music area of the exhibits] was also very fun because we got to sing different types of music and learn about the instruments that were used.”

Hearing the impact this partnership – inspired by Museum Day Live! – had on the TechGYRLS has been incredibly moving. But the things we gained from this experience were just as positive: the use of our radio station as a wonderful community learning tool; the ability to share our museum with young girls and get their feedback in a direct and meaningful manner; the possibilities for further partnerships and outreach programs in the future; and the way a program like this, written and produced by local youth, took our museum and its mission further into our community – to name just a few.

March’s Museum Day Live! was a huge success for us – and an amazing experience. Most importantly, it had as significant an impact on us as it did on the TechGYRLS, and for that we couldn’t be more grateful.

TechGyrls4

All photographs courtesy Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

March 21, 2016

Get to know one of our Affiliate partners: the Conner House, the heart of Conner Prairie

Our diverse network of Smithsonian Affiliates helps connect local stories to our shared national history. With more than 200 Affiliates in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Panama, each has a special story to share about what makes them unique to our network. Here’s one of those stories. Special thanks to Duane Brodt, Director of Public Relations at Conner Prairie for this guest post.

 

ConnerHouse

Two hundred years ago, a fur trapper named William Conner made his living in the woods of Hamilton County. He lived among the Native Americans on the banks of the White River, fought in the War of 1812 and played an instrumental role in the transformation of Indiana from a territory to statehood.

He spent the next 15 years transforming himself from a trapper and trader to a gentleman and statesman who lived in a red brick home at the top of a hill – the Conner House, the heart of Conner Prairie.

Over the years, the house bustled with business and politics. It was the meeting place for county commissioners, home to the Circuit Court and served as the post office in the early days of the county. Visitors traveled from far away to discuss legislation around the dinner table and strike business deals in the best room. It was a cultural hub where big ideas were stretched and pulled as leaders wrestled with how to best guide our state though its infancy.

On Thursday, to celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial, a renovated and reimagined Conner Homestead will open and the story of William Conner will be transformed – from a domestic story to one that tells the larger tale of Indiana’s transformation from territory to statehood.

“The Bicentennial and all of the focus on early Indiana history got us thinking about the transformation of the Conner House experience to a story that looks at the Conner family and its transformation,” said Director of Exhibits Brian Mancuso. “We have designed interactive video and audio pieces to help people experience and explore in different ways.”

Rather than entering the home through the back of the house through the kitchen, visitors will now enter the home from the actual front of the home, as those traveling the White River and traversing the prairie would have entered Conner’s home in the 1800s.

Exploring the rooms of the Conner House will now allow visitors to immerse themselves in interactive, technological exhibits that explore the questions of the day and how the land was settled, surveyed and sold. Young visitors can contrast and compare their chores, meals and clothes with those of the Conner family and friends. Interactive exhibits will encourage visitors to ask themselves how Conner and his family should be remembered in history. Exhibits will also allow visitors to choose what qualities were necessary for someone to be a successful pioneer in Indiana.

The Conner House now more strongly complements William Conner’s story and shows how the family that lived here – and the people who came in and out of the front door – helped shape our state’s history.

The restoration of the Conner Homestead at Conner Prairie is designated an official Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project.

Spanning 800 wooded acres in central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes nearly 390,000 visitors of all ages annually. As Indiana’s first Smithsonian Affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically themed destinations and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today.

Is the Smithsonian in your neighborhood?

March 1, 2016

“lets do history” with Oklahoma History Center

Special thanks to Sarah Dumas, Director of Education at the Oklahoma History Center, for this guest post.

ok_hist_1On February 11 educators from the Oklahoma History Center (OHC) were invited by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to participate in its Let’s Do History Tour in Norman, Oklahoma. OHC Education Department staff provided a one-hour presentation about various programs offered by the Oklahoma History Center. The presentation included a detailed discussion of our traveling trunk program, with an opportunity for several unique learning experiences. Teachers explored and interacted with four different trunks. They also participated in two hands-on activities facilitated by our staff.

The first activity required teachers to investigate history by analyzing an artifact, and the second activity was to assemble a pioneer family and pack their wagon for a trip to Oklahoma Territory. It was certainly a fun afternoon for us, and it seemed the teachers enjoyed themselves as well. Perhaps the best part of the afternoon was when we returned to the museum and checked our email. Waiting in our inboxes were dozens of email requests for use of OHC resources, including the traveling trunks. In fact, of the fifty teachers who attended the workshop, almost half already made plans to participate in one of our programs or utilize our resources.

What a wonderful end to an exciting day with some fantastic teachers and the great folks at the National Museum of American History.

Interested in participating in a Let’s Do History Tour? Contact your National Outreach Manager for more information.

The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is October 17-20, 2016. Join us in Washington, D.C.! 

ok_hist_2

February 22, 2016

Affiliates in the news: March edition

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

A Boa constrictor skull is scaled up to the same size as Titanoboa and compared to a human skeleton using 3-D tech in the IVL. Render courtesy of Jesse Pruitt.

A Boa constrictor skull is scaled up to the same size as Titanoboa and compared to a human skeleton using 3-D tech in the IVL. Render courtesy of Jesse Pruitt.

Idaho Museum of Natural History (Pocatello, ID)
Idaho Museum of Natural History uses 3-D technology to bring Titanoboa monster snake to life
“Having the opportunity for something I made to go along with something the Smithsonian created is personally very cool,” Schlader said. “Not to mention the fact that the University of Florida made the scans of the fossil available so we can print it and actually hold a copy of a piece of this snake is just amazing.”

The Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA) and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Ford Island, HI)
12 Museums for the Aviation Enthusiast

Hagley Museum and Library (Wilmington, DE)
Hagley Now Has World’s Largest Private Collection of Patent Models
The Rothschild Patent Model Collection of 4,101 one-of-a-kind models — going alphabetically from an adjustable pillow sham to a wrestling toy — builds upon 849 patent models already at Hagley and the early innovations and patents from the DuPont Company.

Space Center Houston (Houston, TX)
Space Center Houston Drives Greater Houston Economy With More Jobs
“The museum plays a vital role in the region by bringing tourism dollars and stimulating the workforce,” said the center’s President and CEO Richard E. Allen Jr. “Globally, it is inspiring creativity and innovation in people from all over the world. With our hands-on educational programs, we’re exciting young minds and inspiring them to think about a possible future career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Photo courtesy Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum.

Photo courtesy Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum.

Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum (Miami, FL)
Remember ‘Pac-Man’? Museum exhibit has fun with classic video games
Video games have scored their way into one South Florida art museum. Atari, PlayStation and other home systems are the main players of “The Art of Video Games” exhibit at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum Florida International University in Miami.

‘Art of Video Games’ on exhibit now at the Frost Art Museum
One take-away Rodriguez hopes students visiting the exhibit will go home with is that the museum is a fun, exciting place that asks a question: what is the role of art in your life?

FROST ART MUSEUM PRESENTS THE ULTIMATE MAN-CAVE EXPERIENCE: “THE ART OF VIDEO GAMES” EXHIBITION
On March 16, 2012, “The Art of Video Games” opened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. The exhibition is Melissinos’ homage to the world of Marios and Sonics. For the past three years, “The Art of Video Games” has been on a cross-country adventure visiting various museums. The final stop of the tour is Miami’s Frost Art Museum.

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU opens “The Art of Video Games”
The Art of Video Games is one of the first major exhibitions to explore the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking graphics, creative storytelling and player interactivity.

Smithsonian’s Video Game Exhibit Opens in Miami
Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibit and revolves around the 40-year evolution of video games, and their art expression.

The Art of Video Games” National Tour’s Final Stop in Miami
By teaming up with Florida International University’s Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum for The Art of Video Games exhibition as Presenting Sponsors, we have another great opportunity to be active in the community that is at the heart of Alienware,” said Frank Azor, General Manager of Alienware. “It was almost 20 years ago that Alienware started in Miami and even though we’ve evolved to a global community of gamers it’s great to have this incredible exhibit conclude in the South Florida community that’s been so instrumental in our success.”

A view of Above and Beyond, the new exhibit at the Saint Louis Science Center. Photo by Oscar Williams.

A view of Above and Beyond, the new exhibit at the Saint Louis Science Center. Photo by Oscar Williams.

Saint Louis Science Center (Saint Louis, MO)
Saint Louis Science Center unveils new exhibit
 “Above and Beyond” is produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in association with Boeing, in collaboration with NASA and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, and in educational collaboration with The Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Antique Automobile Club of America (Hershey, PA)
Pioneers in African American Automotive History at the AACA Museum
While learning the history, visitors can take the opportunity to assemble their own paper traffic signals, patented by Garrett Morgan, courtesy of the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Challenger Space Center Arizona (Peoria)
Challenger disaster: 30 years later
Inspired by and named for the lost shuttle, the Challenger Space Center in Peoria opened in July 2000. Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution and the Challenger Learning Centers, it was the first stand-alone facility not only in Arizona, but in the entire Southwest.

 

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