July 26, 2016

affiliates in the news: july/august 2016 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

DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
DuSable Gala honors rising stars and history-makers
Harold Closter, director of Smithsonian affiliations, presented Irmer with a certificate recognizing the DuSable’s official status as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. “Dr. Margaret Burroughs was a visionary who built this museum from scratch and recognized the need to build a museum from within the community for the community,” Closter said.

Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, FL)
Preserving love and sorrow: The History Center collects Pulse tributes
Perkins said he conferred last week with curators at the Smithsonian in Washington about the challenge of keeping the keepsakes. But now is still “far too soon” for the history center’s executive director to envision a permanent exhibit of the June 12 tragedy that killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 others inside the nightclub which served as a gathering place in Orlando for the LGBTQ community, he said.

Efforts underway to preserve memorial for Pulse shooting victims at Dr. Phillips Center
“It is our mission to make sure the  community’s response is not forgotten and is memorialized in its own way for future generations,” said Michael Perkins, manager of the Orange County Regional History Center. Employees from the history center will begin the preservation process. The plan is to save items left in honor of the victims. Teams will box everything up and document each detail.

Museum of Design Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
Art review: User-centric design focus of inspiring MODA show
Not only considering the needs of the user, “Beautiful Users,” which originated at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, also looks at how users have “hacked” existing products. It’s one of the most entertaining, and also inspiring, segments of the show because their inventions show the ingenuity of ordinary people in adapting design to fit their needs.

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (Scottsdale, AZ) (Affiliate to Affiliate loan)
Historic ‘Lone Wolf’ exhibition opens at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
“This wonderful exhibition is made possible through the support of numerous institutions and private collectors who contributed in various ways, including the Museum of the Plains Indian and Crafts Center, the Montana Historical Society, the Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Adelante Foundation, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and the Butterfly Lodge Museum.”

Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI)
Small Arab-American Museum Attracts Diverse Visitors
The museum has garnered unusual national attention for a facility of its size winning accrediation from the American Alliance of Museums in record time and being picked as one of 210 Smithsonian Institution affiliate museums, meaning the two organizations share artifacts, exhibits, and educational programming.

Arab-American museum steps into second decade
AANM has become a key cultural player in Metro Detroit,  won coveted recognition from the Smithsonian Institution, and — perhaps most significant, given its mission — succeeded in attracting half its 2015 attendance of 52,189 from outside the Arab community.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, TX)
Research on massive vertebrae sheds new light on Alamosaurus sanjuanensis
“The paper is just the culmination of almost two decades of hard work and incredible collaboration and partnerships between so many agencies and institutions,” said Tykoski. “From people at UT-D, Big Bend National Park, Bell Helicopter, the Smithsonian Institution, the Vertebrate Paleontology Lab at UT-Austin, the dedicated staff and volunteers at the Perot Museum, and other paleontologists who offered advice and insight about these animals, so many people contributed to getting the science done and the information out there for the world to see.”

Historic Annapolis (Annapolis, MD)
Historic Annapolis partners with Smithsonian
Smithsonian Affiliations “admires” Historic Annapolis for its work to preserve the structures and stories of Annapolis, Closter said. The city has important history, he said, and it can dissipate if people aren’t taking care of it. “We complement each other,” Closter said. “We tell a national story and they tell a local story, but there’s so many places where we intersect.”

Historic Annapolis partners with Smithsonian
The Annapolis nonprofit is now a part of the Smithsonian Affiliations program and will have the opportunity to borrow items from the Smithsonian museums, as well as organize educational collaborations and traveling exhibitions, said Carrie Kiewitt, spokeswoman for Historic Annapolis. The organization is one of six affiliates in Maryland and one of 200 in the country.

Mennello Museum of Art (Orlando, FL)
Pop Art Prints from the Smithsonian pack a serious punch at the Mennello
There will also be the Family Days the Mennello is known for, with kids’ activities involving Lichtenstein’s dots and a “Make Your Own Warhol” event. But, Fitzgerald says, “I want more things for adults to do. We need to connect what’s going on in here with the outside world.” Pop Art Prints seems like the ideal show for the Mennello to bridge the gap between kids and adults, between folk and fine art.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
Shaler Area teacher helps to test Smithsonian online lab for schools
Gray was one of 33 middle school teachers in 15 Allegheny County schools to test out the new Smithsonian Learning Lab over the last school year, Naranjo said. The opportunity was made available through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and Heinz History Center thanks to a grant from the Grable Foundation.

Idaho Museum of Natural History (Pocatello, ID)
Smithsonian water exhibit traveling through Idaho
Idaho Humanities Council Director Rick Ardinger believes the latest Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit to grace the state is especially timely, given the Legislature’s recent commitments to maintaining a stable water supply… The exhibit will be displayed in six Idaho cities, moving to the Sun Valley Museum of History in Ketchum from July 16 through Aug. 28, to the Idaho Museum of Natural History in Pocatello from Sept. 3 through Oct. 16…

Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Denver Art Museum to display original ‘Star Wars’ costumes
‘Star Wars’ fans are in for a treat served up by the Denver Art Museum this November, 2016. The ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’ exhibit begins Nov. 13, 2016. Fans will get the chance to listen to the music of John Williams while they tour through a display of over 60 original costumes from all seven of the films. Get those phones and cameras ready as attendees will get to meet and take photos with ‘Star Wars’ characters. The costumes of ‘Star Wars’ are not only pop culture, they are a part of most people’s lives. Most any person can be shown a costume and they can instantly identify the character by the brilliance in the design.

High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA)
Walker Evans Wrote the Story of America With His Camera
Evans, who was born in 1903 in St. Louis and died 72 years later, is the subject of a long-overdue traveling exhibition of 120 pictures—a relatively small sample of his remarkable life’s work—organized by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta (a Smithsonian Affiliate), the Josef Albers Museum Quadrat in Bottrop, Germany, and the Vancouver Art Galley. The show will be in Atlanta from June 11 until September 11.

Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle (Doylestown, PA)
Mercer Museum in Doylestown now Smithsonian affiliate
This year, as the Doylestown museum celebrates its centennial anniversary, it has another honor to fete. Last month, museum officials announced that it was named a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, along with its sister site, Fonthill Castle, Henry Mercer’s former home. The designation makes them two of 210 affiliates in the country and forges a relationship with the Smithsonian that allows the institutions to share knowledge, artifacts, and exhibitions.

2 Bucks County Museums Named Smithsonian Affiliates
Two Bucks County institutions have been named affiliates of the Smithsonian Institution, giving them a wider cache of collections and artifacts, exhibitions, research and educational collaborations.

California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA), National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH), DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
12 Incredible Black History Museums Everyone Should Visit

Bakken Museum (Minneapolis, MN)
Bakken Museum is first in Minnesota to be a Smithsonian Affiliate
The Bakken Museum has been named a Smithsonian Affiliate which means it will share research, collaborate on exhibitions, and borrow items from the Smithsonian’s 136 million piece collection. It’s the first Smithsonian Affiliate in Minnesota, but one of more than 200 in 45 states, Puerto Rico and Panama.

Minneapolis’ Bakken Museum is first Minnesota affiliate of Smithsonian
The affiliation means a long-term partnership between the Bakken and Smithsonian Institution with opportunities to collaborate on projects.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, HI)
Lessons Learned from History
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii held a regional youth summit May 17 at the museum on the topic of Japanese American incarceration during World War II.  The program engaged young people in a conversation about the nation’s past and its lessons for today, and was sponsored by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in collaboration with affiliated museums.

Saint Louis Science Center (St. Louis, MO)
Science Center now a Smithsonian 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.”

Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME)
Abbe Museum’s new exhibition tells difficult Native American stories
“It means not following the standard narrative of how the country was settled and bringing in broader perspectives and multiple points of view,” said Harold Closter, director of Smithsonian Affiliations, which encourages partnerships among museums and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. “It means recognizing there were people here and those people are still here and they are part of the fabric of our history and our national culture.”

Upcountry History Museum (Greenville, SC)
Museum explores political campaigns
“We always do try to link the national traveling exhibit with something local,” says Elizabeth Gunter, the museum’s director of programs and marketing. “As part of that exhibit, we are getting objects on loan from the Strom Thurmond Institute, Clemson’s special collection. … In addition to Clemson, we’re also getting objects on loan from the Smithsonian, we’re getting objects from the National Portrait Gallery.”

April 1, 2014

Raising History’s Profile

In 2013, a group of public historians, preservationists, educators, historic site managers, and museum leaders got together and asked, “How can we re-brand history and show that it is crucial to our nation’s future?

Join us for the 2014 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, just steps away from where history is made every day!

Join us for the 2014 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, just steps away from where history is made every day!

Thus was born the History Relevance Campaign, a grassroots movement made up of public historians who aim to show why the study and practice of history develop life skills that contribute to a stronger  citizenry and are crucial to our nation’s future. The focus is on the need to raise the profile of history and its value in the general public.

Over the past year, the group has held conversations at conferences of the American Alliance of Museums, National History Day, National Council for Public History, American Historical Association, and the American Association for State and Local History.

Not connected to any one history organization, the group intends to craft a strategy to make the teaching of history and related skills an integral and essential part of the K-12 curriculum.

Attendees to the Affiliations National Conference have the opportunity to contribute to the conversation first-hand and help build an action plan for the History Relevance Campaign during a session on Tuesday, June 24:

History Relevance Campaign: Raising History’s Profile
Discussion leaders:
Kim Fortney, Deputy Director, National History Day
Tim Grove, Chief of Museum Learning, National Air and Space Museum
Kent Whitworth, Executive Director, Kentucky Historical Society

Come help shape and form a national campaign for history. Anyone can also join the discussion now on LinkedIn at http://bit.ly/historybrand.

While you’re planning your Affiliations conference attendance, consider staying for the 21st Century Museum Leadership Seminar, June 26-27, in collaboration with the George Washington University. Additional fees apply. Click here to fill out an application.

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.


Register for the 2014 Affiliations Conference here.
Reserve your room at the Holiday Inn- Capitol at a special rate.
View the preliminary agenda on our Conference webpage.



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