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August 24, 2011

kudos affiliates! september 2011

Affiliates have been busy in September!  Kudos to all.

The Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) raised $285,887, with $150,000, from the Museums for America grant program. The funds will benefit the museum’s Understanding Arabs, Arab-Americans and Islam initiative, which aims to educate students throughout the Midwest. The museum also has been awarded a $150,000 grant by the American Association of Museums (AAM) for a project titled Watch Your Waste. The grant enables the Museum to partner with the Children’s Museum Jordan in Amman, Jordan, to create an e-museum where children from both countries will simultaneously conduct research about the garbage their families generate and dispose of.

Seven other Affiliates received Museums for America grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services:

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, Michigan) will receive nearly $150,000 to complete chemical testing for natural science specimens and to make database and technological enhancements for its natural science and cultural collections.

 USS Constitution Museum Foundation(Charlestown, Massachusetts) will received $149,023 for a hands-on, Old Ironsides 1812 Discovery Center gallery and programs, grounded in research and designed for all ages, to learn about the USS Constitution and the War of 1812.

National Civil War Museum (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) will receive $138,600 to fund The Civil War 150 Years Later—Bringing History Back for the Future, a primarily Web-based project that is intended to enhance educational resources available to teachers, students, and the public on the Civil War.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) will receive $112,760 to design, create, and coordinate travel for a 500-square-foot exhibition about the role of western Pennsylvania in the Civil War. 

Chabot Space and Science Center (Oakland, California) will receive $149,963 to implement the design phase of its upcoming outdoor exhibit, Launchpad. Through Launchpad, students and visitors will learn about space and the sciences as they play and engage in hands-on activities throughout the exhibit.

Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana) will receive $141,885 to develop and implement Test Lab: Indiana Inventions, a 500-square-foot exhibit focusing on the themes of energy, innovation and invention; life sciences; and environment and nature; that will place visitors in the role of a scientific investigator. 

Hubbard Museum of the American West (Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico) will receive $79,355 to upgrade and add technology to its new distance learning center to provide new opportunities to learn about the history and culture of the southwest for adults, families, and pre-K through grade 12 students.

 Two other Affiliates received funding for the 2011 Museums & Community Collaborations Abroad (MCCA) program by the American Association of Museums and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs:

Atomic Testing Museum (Las Vegas, Nevada) will partner with the Karaganda Ecological Museum (Karaganda, Kazakhstan) to develop Nuclear Weapons Testing Legacy: The Tale of Two Cultures. Students in both cities will collect oral histories and radiation data from the areas surrounding the Nevada and Semipalatinsk test sites. Ultimately, participants will produce a joint report and conduct symposiums with experts in each country to explore the local and international implications of their findings.

California Science Center (Los Angeles, California) will work with Maloka (Bogota, Colombia) to create Rainforest Leadership Academy: Cross-Cultural Teacher Training and Mentoring.  To empower teachers with the resources, skills, knowledge, and the confidence to deliver inquiry-based science lessons to their classes, the California Science Center and Maloka will enlist mentor teachers from local public schools to collaboratively develop materials for teacher professional-development trainings and student activities.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was awarded $149,287  as part of the Museum Grant for African American History and Culture by The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  AAMP will create resources for smaller museums through a project that trains future African American museum professionals.

Three affiliates received grants from The National Endowment for the Humanities to support ongoing projects.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, Montana) received $290,000 to digitize over 100,000 pages of Montana’s microfilmed newspapers, dating from 1864 to 1922, as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Center for Jewish History (New York, New York) will receive $103,657 to support the digitization of approximately 1,000 volumes to add to the Wissenschaft des Judentums library, which was dispersed and partially destroyed during World War II.

Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) was awarded $325,000 to support the digitization of 100,000 pages of Oklahoma newspapers dating from 1836 to 1922, as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

 JP Morgan Chase & Co. is donating $1 million to the Perot Museum of Nature & Science (Dallas, Texas) to support the Bio Lab and related educational programming in the Being Human Hall, which will be part of the new museum under construction.

Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center (Dowell, Maryland), received a $12,000 grant from The Dominion Foundation’s to give more than 60 teens an opportunity to participate in center’s summer arts program.

The Museum of History & Industry (Seattle, Washington) has received a gift of $10 million from Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive officer of Seattle-based Amazon.com. The grant will be used to establish the Center for Innovation at the new MOHAI opening in late fall of 2012.

July 27, 2011

happy 10th anniversary Annmarie Garden!

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Jennifer Brundage @ 9:00 am

July 27, 2011

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s affiliation with Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center.  My, what a decade it’s been!

'Africa' by sculptor Isaac Witkin, on loan from the Hirshhorn Museum, on view at Annmarie Sculpture Garden

 Annmarie Garden is currently home to more artwork loans from the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum than any other Affiliate, with a total of 27 sculptures on long-term loan.  This impressive record is the result of a true partnership.   Annmarie Garden has consistently been willing and able to help the Smithsonian conserve, care for and preserve these works.  Beautifully arranged in a .25 mile meandering path through woods and open space, the first loan dates from 2003.  With the opening of a beautiful new art building in 2008, Annmarie Garden has also featured indoor sculpture from the Smithsonian’s collections.

Our collaboration extends beyond art works.  Annmarie Garden was one of only 5 Affiliates chosen to participate in a pilot project of the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  The Center’s popular “Spark!Lab” activities were transformed into traveling kits, and adapted by participating Affiliates to complement and highlight their own collections and programming.

The Smithsonian and Annmarie share expertise as well.  A Smithsonian expert is a regular feature on juries for the Garden’s highly creative invitational exhibitions.  Past participants have included an associate director from the National Zoo judging works for the Wild Things exhibition;  the Smithsonian’s director of mobile strategy choosing works for a teen exhibition called text/message, and a Postal Museum curator judging portraits for the About Face exhibition. 

new art building at Annmarie Garden, debuted in 2008

Happy anniversary to Annmarie Garden, and may our creative collaboration continue to flourish in the next decade!

April 26, 2011

affiliates collaborate to Spark! imaginations

Despite being the world’s largest museum complex, one of the challenges at the Smithsonian Institution remains taking the unique offerings away from the invisible walls of the National Mall and “encourage inventive creativity in young people” who may never visit Washington D.C.

The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation has met this opportunity head on by launching the Spark!Lab Outreach Kit Project, through a distribution of six organizations including five Affiliate museums. This collaboration is seen as an effort to extend the reach of Spark!Lab—the center’s hands-on invention activity center—beyond the boundaries of the National Museum of American History. The kits will be designed to replicate some of the most popular Spark!Lab activities and provide opportunities for partner museums to connect their collections and exhibitions to themes of invention and innovation.

The Spark!Lab kits will test and engage students in a variety of interactive stations including “Shaping Space,” a structure building activity; “Now What?,” a problem-solving game; “Snap Circuits,” which gives visitors the chance to use real circuit components to create and test their own electric inventions; and “Soundscapes,” which encourages children to use items, including musical ramps, xylophone staircases and bridges with bells, to create music and sound pathways for marbles. The “Spark!Lab Jr.” program helps learners under the age of 5 develop inventive thinking and problem-solving skills. 

“At the Lemelson Center we believe that a playful approach to problem solving can spark new ideas and lead to great inventions,” said Arthur Molella, director of the center. “This outreach project allows us to reach children outside of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and inspire a new generation of inventive Americans.”

During this pilot program, Spark!Lab kits will be featured at the following Smithsonian Affiliate museums-the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Annmarie Garden in Solomons, Maryland, the Western Science Center in Hemet, California, the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Florida, and the Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.

“Science Museum Oklahoma is excited to partner with the Smithsonian and offer a new challenge to our younger guests!” said Suzette Ellison, vice president of Programs and Interpretation at the museum.

An educator at Annmarie Garden inventing with a Spark!Lab kit

“We are very excited to introduce the Spark Lab kits in our classrooms,” said Jaimie Jeffrey, Education Director at Annmarie Garden. “As an arts center, teaching children to apply creative problem-solving skills and innovative thinking to everything they do is paramount for us. These kits are great reinforcements for these strategies in all of our kids’ and family programs.”

The Lemelson Center expects to develop an online Spark!Lab “tool kit” based on evaluations and ‘lessons learned’ from the in-museum activity kits. The on-line content will outline Spark!Lab’s educational philosophy, mission, and vision, and will include simple at-home activities and a list of additional resources for parents and kids.

The Spark!Lab Affiliate program is supported by a gift from the LEGO Children’s Fund.  And be sure to meet the Spark!Lab staff at the annual Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference in June.

March 27, 2011

coming up in Affiliateland in April 2011

Hello spring!   Like the cherry blossoms in D.C., activities at Affiliates are budding all over the country in April.

MARYLAND:
The
Smithsonian Associates presents a public tour, “The Birthplace of American Railroading,” at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museumin Baltimore, 4/2.

The B & O Museum will also open The War Came by Train, an exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and featuring the 1851 Pioneer locomotive, on loan from the National Museum of American History and recently restored by the B & O Museum, 4/14.

National Museum of American History curator Nancy Davis will serve on the jury panel for the upcoming Supersize exhibition at Annmarie Garden, 4/8.

COLORADO:
NASM curator Michael Neufeld will give a public lecture and book signing for the National Air and Space Museum: An Autobiography at the Littleton Museum in Littleton, 4/6.  

VIRGINIA:
National Museum of Natural History curator Doug Owlsey will present the keynote lecture for the VMNH Foundation Thomas Jefferson Awards at the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville, 4/8.

PENNSYLVANIA:
Smithsonian Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture Dr. Richard Kurin will present a 10th Affiliate Anniversary Plaque to the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh at their annual History Makers Award Dinner, 4/8.

CALIFORNIA:
Riverside Metropolitan Museum will feature a modern quilt on loan from the National Museum of the American Indian in its upcoming exhibition American Indian Women Artists: Beyond Craft, opening in Riverside, 4/7.

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes will celebrate the opening of their new building with an exhibition including artifacts on loan from the National Museum of American History in Los Angeles, 4/15.

NEW YORK:
National Postal Museum curator Cheryl Ganz will present a public lecture, “Fan Dancing and Fan Belts: Selling Optimism at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair” at The Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages in Stony Brook, 4/10.

NORTH CAROLINA:
The Charlotte Museum of History opens SITES’ Becoming American: Teenagers and Immigration exhibition in Charlotte, 4/23.

FLORIDA:
The South Florida Museum and Parker Manatee Aquarium opens SITES’ Farmers, Warriors, Builders:  The Hidden Life of Ants exhibition in Bradenton, 4/30.  

July 16, 2010

affiliates in the news: week of July 12

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week! 

The John E. Kushner Restoration Pavilion will consist of a build-out of the existing 940 Magazine St. warehouse.

National World War II Museum (New Orleans, LA)
For the past 10 years, visitors to the National World War II Museum have gazed upon such carefully restored artifacts as tanks, Jeeps and Higgins landing craft.By next spring, they should be able to watch restorers preparing those treasures for prime time…READ MORE

Frazier International History Museum (Louisville, KY)
WKU graduate student selected for prestigious Smithsonian internship…READ MORE 

MSU paleontologist Jack Horner and team arrive in August 2007 at a site on the Hell Creek Ranch to excavate a Triceratops (Photo by Lon Bolick)

Museum of the Rockies(Bozeman, MT)
MSU finds Triceratops, Torosaurus were different stages of one dinosaur… READ MORE

North Carolina Museum of Natural Science (Raleigh, NC)
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on Tuesday introduced the director of its new Nature Research Center and accepted a $1.5 million gift to support the centerREAD MORE  

Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN)
Kids often hear “Look, don’t touch.” At Conner Prairie, families are encouraged to explore with all their senses…READ MORE

New York State Museum (Albany, NY)
A New York State Museum paleontologist has become the only scientist in the U.S. selected to participate in an all-expense paid research program in Spain that will enable him to investigate the effects of climate change on mammals over the last 2 million yearsREAD MORE 

 

Francis Koenig, founder of AnnMarie Garden, lived long enough to see the first permanent sculpture installed as he requested, a sculpture fountain dedicated to the oyster tongers. (Annmarie Garden, Baltimore Sun / July 14, 2010)

Annmarie Garden(Solomons, MD)
…Today, Annmarie Garden is a Southern Maryland gem — a woodland preserve dotted with art ranging from world-class sculptures to whimsical fairy houses created by staff…READ MORE

 

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