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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.

January 21, 2011

Five Smithsonian Affiliates host live webcast for “National Youth Summit: The 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides”

From May until November 1961, more than 400 diverse and committed Americans rode south together on buses and trains, putting their bodies and freedom on the line to challenge the Jim Crow laws that enforced racial injustice and inequality in public transportation. The Freedom Rides changed the Civil Rights Movement and demonstrated the power of individual action to change the nation. 

On Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 12:00-1:15PM EST, middle and high school students across the country will join together electronically for a National Youth Summit on the Freedom Rides and activism at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Freedom Rides veterans Congressman John Lewis, D-GA, Diane Nash, Jim Zwerg, and Reverend James Lawson will share how they became involved in the Freedom Rides and how their lives were affected by them. They will join filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders) and scholar Raymond Arsenault to discuss the meaning of the Freedom Rides and the role of young people in shaping America’s past and future. 

Image courtesy Library of Congress.

The discussion in Washington will be joined by five audiences at Smithsonian Affiliate museums around the nation as well as by registered viewers of the webcast.  The Affiliates’ programs will be augmented by a discussion guide produced by the National Museum of American History. Each Affiliate will welcome a veteran Freedom Rider to their museums to participate in the discussion and coordinate with local schools to engage students. 

The Affiliate museums and their legendary Freedom Riders are: 

Students will be encouraged to participate in the discussion through the National Museum of American History’s email, Facebook, Twitter, and the conference portal, and will be asked to think about themselves as makers of history. 

Registration is free, and will include access to preparatory classroom materials, film clips, follow-up materials, and technical assistance. Register today! 

 

The National Youth Summit is presented by the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, in collaboration with Smithsonian Affiliations and American Experience/WGBH.

October 25, 2010

kudos, Affiliates! for november 2010

Always nice to see bright spots around the network - great job and congratulations to all!

The Kresge Foundation of Troy, Michigan, recently awarded the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, Iowa) a $1 million challenge grant for the construction of the Diamond Jo National River Center. The challenge was contingent on the museum raising the remaining $4 million of its $12 million in private donations toward the $40 million project.

Richard Willich, chairman and CEO of MDI Holdings, has pledged a $50,000 gift to the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum (St. Augustine, Florida) to upport maritime education for the maritime archaeology internship program.

The Oracle Education Foundation (OEF) has partnered with The Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science (Tallahassee, Florida) to launch an innovative online learning initiative for students and teachers. The initiative will leverage ThinkQuest, OEF’s online learning platform, to create three online projects focused on museum exhibits. In addition, OEF and The Brogan Museum will work together to train 1,000 teachers on how to integrate ThinkQuest and project learning into their curricula.

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan approved a $100,000 grant for the Arab American National Museum over two years for programming to support an exhibition about Arab American contributions in civilian and military service from the Revolutionary War to the present. Patriots and Peacemakers: Arab Americans in Service to Their Country will travel to museums, military academies and bases throughout the country.

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience was honored by First Lady Michelle Obama in a recent White House ceremony.  “The Wing” was one of just 15 programs across the country to receive the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the highest honor for afterschool arts and humanities programs.

February 19, 2010

let’s get the word out… send us your videos!

SmithsonianNeighbor

Smithsonian Affiliations created the SmithsonianNeighbor YouTube channel in July 2009 with the goal of bringing more awareness to Smithsonian Affiliates across the country.  We started with a few Affiliate videos that we had on hand, not having a clue about what was going to happen.

One of the earliest videos we posted came from the National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) called Its Your Story. It’s a simple, elegant video about the American Jewish experience and a promotional piece for the opening of the museum in November 2010. We posted the video October 30, 2009 and, at first, saw a few hundred hits which we were ecstatic about.  And then something happened. The magic of social networking? Strategic viral marketing? Yes to both! All of a sudden, NMAJH’s video was viewed 25,000 times, then 75,000 times and now, three months after it was posted, their video has reached almost 200,000 viewers. And that’s not all! Not only were people positively commenting, but one commenter even wanted to know who to contact at NMAJH to donate to the opening!

And we have more success stories.  Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) sent us 250 Years of Pittsburgh Innovation. It was viewed more than 20,000 in two months. Conner Prairie’s (Fishers, Indiana) video History Rising: Conner Prairie’s Balloon Adventure was viewed almost 2000 times in about a month.  And the Arab American National Museum’s (Dearborn, Michigan) short video tour has been viewed 1500 times. We are on to something!

How can you get involved? Send us your videos! We’d love to spread the word about what Smithsonian Affiliates are up to. Send us videos about any significant openings or re-openings; extraordinary programs, events, and exhibitions. Have an interview with a curator who you think other Affiliates could learn from? Send it to us! Have a traveling exhibition that other Affiliates could take advantage of?  Send that too! And of course, any videos highlighting Smithsonian collaborations are always welcome!  Help us help you reach even more people.

Send DVDs to the attention of your National Outreach Manager:

Smithsonian Affiliations
MRC 942   PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012

-or for FedEx deliveries-

Smithsonian Affiliations
470 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Suite 7400
Washington, DC 20024

September 28, 2009

What’s Coming Up in Affiliateland in October?

PANAMA is in DC!
Museo del Canal Interocánico de Panamá and the Smithsonian Latino Center collaborate on programming, including the Panamanian Passages exhibition, opening at SI’s International Gallery on 10.5.
10.1-9 – The Tremendous Encounter puppet show is presented in SI’s Discovery Theater.
10.15 – The Latino Center’s annual gala celebrates Panama.
10.16 – Interpreting 500 Years of Panamanian History panel at the DC Historical Society.

MONTANA: Smithsonian historian Michael J. Neufeld lectures on his book Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, 10.1.

MICHIGAN: Oud virtuoso Rahim AlHaj, Smithsonian Folkways recording artist and three-time Grammy nominee, presents a concert at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, 10.1.

NEBRASKA: Smithsonian Teachers Night at the Durham Museum in Omaha, 10.9. SITES’ American Letterpress: The Art of Hatch Show Print opens, 10.30.

TEXAS: The Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future in Dallas will host an opening reception for their Leadership America Program at the Smithsonian’s African Art Museum in Washington, 10.11.

MARYLAND: The B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore celebrates their 10th anniversary as a Smithsonian Affiliate, 10.15.

CONNECTICUT: Dwight Blocker Bowers, curator at the National Museum of American History, gives a lecture about his forthcoming book on the Museum’s puppet collection at Hunt Hill Farm in New Milford, 10.17.

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