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March 4, 2014

Young Historians, Living Histories- Today’s Stop: Honolulu, HI!

Special thanks to Paula Lee, Smithsonian Affiliations intern, for this guest post. This is the third of a five-part blog series she is writing as part of the Young Historians, Living Histories (YHLH) collaboration with the Asian Pacific American Center and our Affiliate network.

pa.2As we travel west to hear from our Affiliates at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, HI) we take flight almost literally, with those who once navigated overseas when aerial travel was a rare and exciting introduction to history. Shauna Tonkin, Director of Education at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, connects us with Curtis Joe, immediate nephew of Chinese-American aviator and stunt pilot, Tom Gunn and Pan Am Japanese-American flight attendants, Mae Takahashi and Aileen Sodetani.

Tonkin partnered with Chris Facuri, Digital Media Teacher at Aliamanu Middle School, enabling the oral histories collected and edited throughout the school year to be incorporated into students’ curriculum. Participating students in the class took a field trip to visit the museum to meet Joe, Sodetani and Takahashi, where the entire group received a historical tour before sitting down for interviews. The two flight attendants live locally in Honolulu while Joe flew out from San Francisco to be a part of this project. All were very appreciative and realized the value of sharing the experiences that they’ve endured with younger generations. In response, the interactions with the pioneers made the experiences and stories come alive for the students studying them, activating their interests and courage to solicit knowledgeable questions.

Ford Island, where the museum is located is in the middle of Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, HI. On December 7, 1941, Japanese aircraft led a surprise attack initiating World War II. This led to a hard time for both Americans and Asian Americans, because the following year over 150,000 Japanese were ordered into internment camps although 62% of them were American citizens.

“The program served to be education, dynamic and responsive due to the nature of its interactive learning environment” observed by cooperating teacher Chris Facuri. Sparking the curiosity and interests of the youth was an important experience for Tonkin as she empathized with the difficulties of 1st generation children and their journey towards finding homage and respect for their culture while adapting to American influence. Tonkin emphasizes that this collaboration has “instilled a greater appreciation for diversity and culture of the Asian American Pacific experience. The oral histories collected barely scratched the surface.” She said, revealing her excitement towards starting new projects.

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Students capture footage of Curtis’ interaction with youth of YHLH during a field trip tour to Pacific Aviation Museum

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Students take a tour of the museum to learn about Pacific Aviation history

 

Curtis Joe, nephew of Tom Gunn, Chinese Aviator of the Pacific Ocean sitting in for an interview

Curtis Joe, nephew of Tom Gunn, Chinese Aviator of the Pacific Ocean sharing the stories of his childhood

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Students take a tour of the museum to learn about Pacific Aviation history

February 18, 2014

Young Historians, Living History- Today’s Stop: Greensboro, NC!

Special thanks to Paula Lee, Smithsonian Affiliations intern, for this guest post. This is the second of a five-part blog series she is writing as part of the Young Historians, Living Histories (YHLH) collaboration with the Asian Pacific American Center and our Affiliate network.

Students of the Montagnard community proudly representing the Smithsonian Museum and Greensboro Historical Center

Students of the Montagnard community proudly representing the Smithsonian Museum and Greensboro Historical Center

 

Greensboro, North Carolina is home to the largest Montagnard community living not only in the United States, but outside of Vietnam which makes Greensboro, a pretty big deal. Today I’ll share what the Young Historians, Living Histories project has enabled the Smithsonian and its collaborators to discover in the recent weeks! Dean Macleod, Curator of Education at the Greensboro Historical Museum (Greensboro, North Carolina), guided me through some fascinating facts about the Montagnard community that he learned through interacting with the community’s youth.

French for “mountain people,” the Montagnard (pronounced mon-tuhn-yahrd), are the indigenous people of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Due to political, religious, and land disputes initiated by the Communist majority of North and South Vietnam, the natives were evacuated from the highlands at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 through American efforts. The refugees began their resettlement to Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte, NC starting as early as 1986 in multiple but slow waves of immigration. There are as much as 9,000 Montagnard refugees in North Carolina with a majority in Greensboro, some of which have identified as Americans.

No 'I' in Team - Students take on different roles in order to complete the oral histories.

The diverse Montagnard youth unite to complete each role required for the interviewing processes.

With this in mind, Macleod approached the community with caution and respect and discovered that “the youth of the Montagnard community were thrilled that the Museum was engaging with them, and interested in digitizing their stories.” Although the 15 Montagnard students are of one community, they are unique to each other. Each student represented separate tribes as well as being refugees from different waves of immigration; some were born in Cambodia, others raised in Vietnam, and a few even born in America. Macleod remarks that the students’ involvement in the program was a way for them to feel like they were giving back for the sacrifices made by their ancestors.

The Montagnard stories in Greensboro even inspired other participating Affiliates to learn more. “I didn’t know anything about the Montagnard until hearing about this project. Thanks to the Greensboro Historical Museum, I’ve done a bit of research as a result,” said Shauna Tonkin, Director of Education at the Pacific Aviation Museum (Honolulu, Hawaii).

Because of this research, Greensboro Historical Center included the stories and artifacts in their Voices of a City: Greensboro North Carolina  exhibition. This exhibit displays 300 years of local history that enlighten its viewers on the extraordinary stories that the city has to say about the community that shaped it.

Voices of a City Exhibition Photo Credit: Greensboro Historical Center

Voices of a City Exhibition. Photo courtesy Greensboro Historical Center

Don’t forget to check back, next week’s entry will highlight students in action as we step into the spotlight and begin filming and interviewing!

Mic Check! Students prepare to begin filming the interviews.

Mic check ! Let’s get these stories heard.

Students help edit each other's interviews using Mac OS Editing Software

Students are using Mac OS Editing Software to edit their videos.

 

April 30, 2013

what’s new at SITES?

From amazing animals to the immigration experience in America, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) exhibitions reflect the depth and breadth of the Smithsonian’s research and collections.  Host a SITES exhibition and find out how it can expand your community of visitors and supporters, lead to creative programming opportunities and generate greater press coverage.  Here are some of our newest available exhibitions:

Rothschild Giraffes, Barbara von Hoffman, Nature’s Best Photography

Rothschild Giraffes, Barbara von Hoffman, Nature’s Best Photography

Nature’s Best Photography:  Windland Smith Rice International Awards
Nature’s Best Photography features 48 award-winning, large-scale, color photographs of wildlife and wild places from around the globe.  From animals on land, in the sea and in the air to images of people in nature, Nature’s Best Photography reveals the majesty, diversity and even humor of the animal and natural world.  Nature’s Best Photography includes information about the species and its habitat, a description of how each photographer captured their shot, technical photo specifications and a video of polar bear cubs in the wild.  Don’t miss your chance to host this eye-opening exhibition of rare and wonderful images of our animal cousins. Now booking! Tour begins April 2014. Contact:  Ed Liskey, liskeye@si.edu, 202.633.3142

Asians worked the Hawai’i plantations, playing a major role in the archipelago’s agricultural industry. Photograph courtesy The Bishop Museum, Hawai’i

Asians worked the Hawai’i plantations, playing a major role in the archipelago’s agricultural industry. Photograph courtesy The Bishop Museum, Hawai’i

I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story
Asian and Pacific Americans (APAs) make up more than 5% of the U.S. population –over 17 million people—and those numbers are growing. In the first exhibition of its kind, the Smithsonian celebrates APA history across the multitude of incredibly diverse cultures, and explores how APAs have shaped and been shaped by the course of our nation’s history. Rich with compelling, often surprising stories, the exhibition takes a sweeping look at this history, from the very first Asian immigrants to the influx of highly skilled workers many decades later. Thanks to a generous grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Wide American Earth is available at a modest fee of $2,000 per 10-week booking, plus outgoing shipping. Now booking! Tour begins September 2013. Contact: Minnie Russell, russellm@si.edu, 202.633.3160

Bollywood dancers

Dancers and musicians perform a Bollywood show at a restaurant in Jackson Heights. Queens, New York. Photo by Preston Merchant

Beyond Bollywood:  Indian Americans Shape the Nation
Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation is a groundbreaking exhibition exploring the vibrant heritage, daily experience, and diverse political, professional and cultural contributions of Indian Americans in shaping the United States.  Told through captivating images, music, visual art, and first-person narratives, Beyond Bollywood documents a history of discrimination, resistance, achievements and the lasting influence Indian Americans have had on the American experience. Tour begins January 2015. Contact:  Ed Liskey, liskeye@si.edu, 202.633.3142

February 25, 2013

Young Historians, Living Histories

   

Asian American LEAD students participate in the Asian Pacific American Center's (APAC) summer outreach program. Photo Credit: Sandra Vuong, APAC.

Asian American LEAD students participate in the Asian Pacific American Center’s (APAC) summer outreach program. Photo Credit: Sandra Vuong, APAC.

 

Young Historians, Living Histories is a collaborative educational program that draws on the exhibition, I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story, from the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center (APAC).

Smithsonian Affiliations and APAC have partnered in a grant collaboration and have been awarded funds from the Smithsonian Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education and Access’s Youth Access Grant program to work with nine Affiliates across the country that are positioned to engage underserved youth in select Asian Pacific American communities.

The one year multi-media educational program will provide qualifying partners with one week of professional development training. The training will prepare facilitators to implement a workshop (or series of workshops) that teaches underserved Asian Pacific American (APA) youth methods of oral history documentation, research and writing skills, along with video documentary and editing skills. The goal of the program is to encourage budding historians to explore, contextualize, and deepen their understanding of APA history and culture while learning new technologies and contributing to a dialogue in their local communities. Workshop participants will gain the skills to produce multimedia online banners to be shared across a network of websites (including the Smithsonian) around the project.

Asian American LEAD students participate in the Asian Pacific American Center's (APAC) summer outreach program. Photo Credit: Sandra Vuong, APAC.

Asian American LEAD students participate in the Asian Pacific American Center’s (APAC) summer outreach program. Photo Credit: Sandra Vuong, APAC.

Selected Affiliates will be awarded $2,500 for implementation of Young Historians, Living Histories Program.

If your organization is interested in participating in this initiative, please review the following criteria for selection:
• Serve an Asian Pacific American community
• Experience in conducting and documenting oral histories
• Maintain or have the potential to develop partnerships with local community centers, after school programs and/or middle and high schools to engage youth in the multimedia project
• Capacity to organize workshops (May – November 2013) and train participants in the production of online banners

For more information on the program, join us for a Teleconference to discuss implementing the Young Historians, Living Histories program.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

Dial In: 1-877-860-3058                               Participant Pass code: 607773

Talk to the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s (SAPAC) Gina Inocencio, the Center for Asian American Media’s (CAAM) and Smithsonian Affiliations representatives Christina DiMeglio Lopez and Caroline Mah.

October 26, 2012

New from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service

Special thanks to SITES’ Scheduling Department for this guest post. 

SITES Quarterly Corner | November 2012 sites.si.edu

Whether you are a new or veteran Affiliate, one of the best ways to maximize your unique relationship with the world’s largest museum and research complex is to host a Smithsonian exhibition. SITES has a plethora of exciting new offerings in the works, and we’re pleased to give the Affiliate network the scoop before widely publicizing them. Contact us for more detailed information or click on the links below.


Jacob Lawrence Illustrates Aesop’s Fables

Jacob Lawrence, 1969. The Ant and the Grasshopper from Aesop’s Fables. Image Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York.

The classic Aesop’s Fables seen through the eyes of one of most important American artists of the 20th century. In 1969, Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) created a series of twenty-three lively ink drawings of Aesop’s Fables, which interpreted the ancient tales for a contemporary audience. As a socially engaged American artist who created powerful narratives of American history and historical figures, Lawrence often explored themes of social justice and ethical conduct. His drawings depict timeless stories, teaching morals in a simple, understandable way. Tour begins: 2014

Contact: Ed Liskey, liskeye@si.edu, 202.633.3142

  

 

Asian Pacific Americans

Princess Kaiulani, the last princess of the Kingdom of Hawaii prior to annexation.

Asian and Pacific Americans make up more than 5% of the U.S. population –over 17 million people—and those numbers are growing. In the first exhibition of its kind, the Smithsonian celebrates Asian Pacific American history across the multitude of incredibly diverse cultures, and explores how Asian Pacific Americans have shaped and been shaped by the course of our nation’s history. Rich with compelling, often surprising stories, the exhibition takes a sweeping look at this history, from the very first Asian immigrants to the influx of highly skilled workers many decades later.Tour begins: September 2014

Contact: Minnie Russell, russellm@si.edu, 202.633.3160

 

Patios, Play Sets, and the Invention of the American Back Yard

An American family enjoys their yard. Image courtesy AAG collection.

Retreats for recreation, entertainment, dining, and relaxation, the American back yard combines the comfort and convenience of living rooms with the freedom of the open air. Patios…examines the growing popularity of outdoor living since the mid-20th century with a look at fascinating social trends like the transition from the front porch to the back yard patio, the rise of the do-it-yourself homeowner, and the use of “chemical warfare” to achieve the perfect lawn. Featuring rare, vintage photographs, along with pop-culture references and period advertisements, this exhibition will be a fun stroll through America’s back yard. Learn more here.

Tour begins: April 2014

Contact: Ed Liskey, liskeye@si.edu, 202.633.3142

Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise

Newcomb Pottery Vase, c. 1931. Low relief of stylized Pitcher plant. Aurelia Arbo, decorator; Jonathan B. Hunt, potter. Collection of the Haynie Family.

This major exhibition of Newcomb pottery and crafts features 175 exceptional works of pottery, metalwork, bookbinding, and textiles from important public and private collections. Enriched by new scholarship, historical photos and archival materials, the exhibition looks beyond the beauty of the works and illuminates the philosophy of the Newcomb Art School, the women and educators who embodied it, and its place in the American Arts & Crafts movement. Learn more here.

Tour begins: June 2014

Contact: Minnie Russell, russellm@si.edu, 202.633.3160

Visit our website to search for exhibitions by subject, size, or fee. Or contact us at 202.633.3140 or sites_schedule@si.edu.

 

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