July 26, 2016

Kudos- July/August 2016

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments!

Funding

The San Diego Air & Space Museum (San Diego, CA) recently selected 13 graduating seniors from San Diego County high schools to receive a total of $51,000 in scholarships. These scholarships are awarded annually to inspire young people to tackle the challenges of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics academic disciplines, and to make a difference in tomorrow’s world through an innovative, adventurous spirit.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) received $7,800 from The MetroWest Health Foundation for the development of programs and resources related to sexual violence education and prevention.

Duke Energy Foundation has awarded a $15,000 grant to Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) to help establish a new maker’s program set to debut in phases starting later this year. The grant will help Conner Prairie develop and prototype programming, create temporary venues to implement and evaluate its programs and provide continued learning opportunities for teachers that focus on how the making movement supports STEM learning. The grant will also help the museum build a permanent maker space that will feature year-round programming and maker-oriented school programs that meet or exceed Indiana’s educational standards.

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs through the Historical Resource Development Program awarded Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) $14,500 to help the museum conserve and exhibit a set of historic architectural drawings, created by renowned landscape architect Alfred Caldwell, of Eagle Point Park.

The Flushing Council on Culture and Arts, based in Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, NY), received nearly $600,000 in capital funding from the borough of Queens.

The Connecticut Humanities Council announced that Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT) is the recipient of a $9,979 grant that will help the maritime museum establish two training programs for the museum staff. One program will explore methods of producing interpretive techniques while the other will encourage the use of evaluation for continuous improvement.

Awards and Recognition

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) announced the winners of the 71st annual Leadership in History Awards including the following Affiliate initiatives:

California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA), Stephanie DeLancey, and dewdropstudios: for the exhibit Coloring Independently: 1940s African American Film Stills from the Collection of the California African American Museum.

HistoryMiami (Miami, FL) for the exhibit Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus.

Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) for the project Indiana History for the Secondary Classroom.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) for the exhibit Forgotten Pioneers: The Chinese in Montana.

North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, NC) for the exhibit Starring North Carolina!

Greensboro Historical Museum (Greensboro, NC) for the exhibit Warnersville: Our Home, Our Neighborhood, Our Stories.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) for the exhibit We Can Do It! WWII.

Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, TN) for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum permanent exhibits.

Museum of History & Industry (Seattle, WA) for the exhibit The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop.

The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (Hershey, PA) received six NAAMY Awards during the National Association of Automobile Museums (NAAM) Conference in the following categories:

Second Place – Division II Newsletters & Magazines for the Reflections Newsletter publication intended to share information about the AACA Museum exhibits and activities with our members and donors.

Second Place – Division II Events & Public Promotions for the Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Tribute Car & Future Day promotional event.

Second Place – Division II Film & Video for the Motorbikes for the Masses exhibit promotional video hosted on the AACA Museum website and social media channels.

Second Place – Division II Educational Programs for the grade specific educational materials created by Lebanon Valley College Masters students inspired by AACA Museum exhibits.

Third Place – Division II Events and Public Promotions related to the 6th Annual Wedding Showcase event held in February.

Third Place – Division II Films & Video for the Lotus: The Art of Lightness video to promote the exhibit to visitors of the AACA Museum website.

The readers of Miami New Times have named The Wolfsonian (Miami Beach, FL) as Miami’s Best Museum of 2016!

The Honorable Dennis Ross (Florida) recognized in the Congressional Record, the Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland, FL) for its’ 50 years of service to the community.

The Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR) is one of 10 recipients of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 22 years, the award has celebrated institutions that respond to societal needs in innovative ways, making a difference for individuals, families, and their communities.

Leadership and Staff Changes

Best wishes to President and chief executive, Stuart Ashman of the Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA) who announced he will be stepping down from his position in July to take a leadership position at the Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe in New Mexico.

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 28, 2016

Affiliates in the news: April 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.

Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts (Alta Loma, CA)
Jimmy Carter on Sam Maloof: ‘He was the best woodworker that ever lived’ (VIDEO)

South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD)
SD Food Heritage Is Theme For Annual History Conference
Friday’s keynote speaker is Susan Evans McClure, director of Smithsonian Food History Programs at the National Museum of American History, discussing “Food at the Nation’s History Museum.” McClure oversees the creation, planning and production of programs that explore the complexity of American history through our experiences with food and agriculture.

Museum of American Finance (New York, NY)151119_1750_barnett
Gold Starring at Museum of American Finance
It’s only fitting that the Museum of American Finance (MOAF), an affiliate of the Smithsonian Museum system located in New York City, would turn its attention to gold.

DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
DuSable Museum partners with the Smithsonian

Chicago’s DuSable Museum granted Smithsonian Affiliation
The museum, established in 1961, becomes the second cultural institution in Chicago to be granted the prestigious affiliation (the Adler Planetarium is the other).

The DuSable Museum of African American History Obtains Smithsonian Affiliation Status
“With Affiliate status, the DuSable will bring the Smithsonian to the community and the DuSable to the world,” said DuSable President and CEO Perri Irmer. “The partnership will also expose the museum’s Masterworks Collection to a broader audience by giving the work and the artists international exposure.”

Pinhead Institute (Telluride, CO)
Museum Day Live! at Pinhead
“I want them to see how much they can learn from it,” she said. “They are in control of their future. … Kids can come alive and realize they can accomplish something.” Free Museum Day Live! is funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant through the Smithsonian. Holbrooke said it’s the first time Pinhead has participated in Museum Day Live!

The Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX)
VIDEO- Witte Museum exhibit explores how horses transformed Texas

clippings1

Museum of Design Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
Astrophotography Afterschool Program
MODA is excited to be joining the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics program, Youth Capturing the Colorful Cosmos, to bring astrophysics and scientific visualization skills to young astronomers. Students will have access to telescopes and images as they design their own experiments.

The Rockwell Museum (Corning, NY)
Storytellers aid Rockwell’s outreach to women of color
The museum will join hundreds of other cultural institutions across the country as the Smithsonian celebrates a nationwide campaign to reach women and girls in underserved communities.

clippings2Idaho Museum of Natural History (Pocatello, ID)
Largest snake in the world comes to ISU (VIDEO)
“We couldn’t be more happy to finally bring this snake to Idaho,” said Leif Tapanila, the museum director.

Replica of world’s largest snake at ISU
The IMNH hosted family friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to coincide with the opening of the new exhibit “Titanoboa: Monster Snake,” a Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service exhibit.

World’s largest snake slithers into East Idaho
The exhibit also includes 3D animation of Titanoboa created by the Idaho Virtualization Lab (IVL). In addition, guests will get the opportunity to handle a 3D printed Titanoboa backbone and compare it to the backbone of a Green anaconda, the heaviest snake species alive today.

Largest snake in history to open at Idaho Museum of Natural History
On March 19, the IMNH will host family friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to coincide with the opening of the new exhibit “Titanoboa: Monster Snake,” a Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service exhibit. Activities will include bubble snakes, snake mobiles, sleeping bag snake races and cold blooded activities. Activities are free in the museum’s Discovery Room, while Titanoboa can be seen in the gallery with payment of admission.

New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamagordo, NM)
NASA’s First Female Hispanic Flight Director, El Paso Native, to Speak at Museum
For Museum Day LIVE!, the museum will present a speaker series featuring women in STEM careers. Headlining the series will be Ginger Kerrick, a native of El Paso, graduate of Hanks High School and Texas Tech where she holds a Masters degree in physics. Kerrick began working for NASA as an intern in 1991 and in 2005 became  NASA’s first Hispanic female flight director.

The TechGYRLS at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

The TechGYRLS at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, TN/VA)
Birthplace of Country Music Museum Hosts Museum Day Live! March 12
“This partnership is a great way to share the museum with young girls in our local community and to give them the opportunity to really experience the radio station – and get a chance to make their voices heard!” says Rodgers. “It’s been wonderful to watch the TechGyrls develop their own program, one that we feel will inspire other girls too.”

Museum Center at 5ive Points (Cleveland, TN)
Cleveland’s Museum Center searching for new director
The Museum Center at Five Points will lose Hassan Najjar as its executive director today after a three-year tenure that has been credited with revitalizing the museum’s mission and lifeblood.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
Toy exhibition at Heinz History Center offers fun and nostalgia
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History has loaned two items: a 1950s-era Mr. Potato Head and a Digi-Comp 1, an early mechanical computer.

Mr. Potato Head and Friends on display at "Toys of the '50's, '60's and 70's," at the Heinz History Center.

Mr. Potato Head and Friends on display at “Toys of the ’50’s, ’60’s and 70’s,” at the Heinz History Center.

Museum Center at 5ive Points (Cleveland, TN)
Hassan Najjar resigns museum position
Najjar point outs that his was not a one-man-show. “Our remarkable staff and board of trustees deserve so much credit,” says Najjar. “We’ve set out on some pretty large projects in these past three years, and our team continued to work hard to realize each of them. This group of individuals fueled our success and I’m thankful for each of them.”

New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM)
New Mexico Museum of Space History Celebrates 40 Years
The museum is celebrating its 40th anniversary with several signature events beginning onMarch 1. In recognition of the museum becoming a Smithsonian Affiliate in 2013, Governor Susana Martinez declared March 1 as “New Mexico Museum of Space History Day” and made it a free day at the museum for New Mexico residents. As part of the museum’s 40thAnniversary Celebration, the Tombaugh Theater will be offering “buy one, get one free” tickets all day.

Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA)
Museum of Latin American Art celebrates 20-year history
“It’s a great moment for the museum and for the community,” said Stuart Ashman, president and CEO of MOLAA. “ Some people don’t realize this museum has been here for 20 years and don’t recognize the importance of this museum.”

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, CA)
Agua Caliente Native FilmFest to be a free for all
The Native FilmFest has never been about ticket sales, says Agua Caliente Cultural Museum executive director Michael Hammond. It’s a tribal educational program. And now, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, the tribe isn’t going to make people pay for that education. Two Agua Caliente Cultural Museum board members have agreed to underwrite unlimited ticket sales to all six days of the festival starting Tuesday at the Camelot Theatres.

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum Brings Back Native FilmFest
Now in its fifteenth season, Native FilmFest presented by Agua Caliente Cultural Museum Tuesday, March 1 through Sunday, March 6 is one of the most highly regarded festivals of its kind ̶ showcasing the best in films by, about, and starring Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples. Guest Programmer Elizabeth Weatherford is Director and Founder of the Film and Video Center at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Guest Programmer Elizabeth Weatherford & Executive Director Michael Hammond Ph.D.

Guest Programmer Elizabeth Weatherford & Executive Director Michael Hammond Ph.D.

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (Scottsdale, AZ)
Jewel of the Valley

Western Spirit: Scottdale’s Museum of the West rises as a top museum in the country
“They have a very strong commitment to education and they want to show the West in its great variety and diversity,” said Harold Closter, director of the Smithsonian Affiliations, part of the Smithsonian Institution. “This is just a wonderful museum. You can feel it as soon as you walk in the door.”

April 17, 2015

may kudos Affiliates!

Congratulations on  your spring accomplishments!

FUNDING

Allied Arts announced the distribution of $137,881 in educational outreach and capacity-building grants to fund 47 projects in support of local arts and cultural organizations, including scholarship and transportation assistance for Title 1 schools to attend Space Day at Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, OK).

The National WWII Museum (New Orleans, LA) announced a $20 million gift from former board chair Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger. The gift will be used to add an iconic architectural piece to the six-acre campus — the Canopy of Peace. The Museum also received a $75,000 contribution from Whitney Bank. The gift will be used to support the museum’s researchers and historians in their ongoing educational and preservation efforts, as well as honor the longtime Museum volunteer group affectionately known as the A-Team.

ACHIEVEMENTS AND RECOGNITION

Birthplace of Country Music Museum currently hosts New Harmonies: Celebrating Roots Music exhibition from the Smithsonian

Birthplace of Country Music Museum currently hosts New Harmonies: Celebrating Roots Music exhibition from the Smithsonian

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, TN) received the following prestigious awards from the Tennessee Association of Museums:

-Past President’s Award of Excellence
-Award of Excellence, Permanent Exhibit
-Award of Excellence, Temporary Exhibit-Carter Family: Lives and Legacies
-Award of Excellence, AV -Music Mixing Station at BCMM
-Award of Commendation, Films -Chapel Film at BCMM

The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (Hershey, PA) was awarded seven awards during the National Association of Automobile Museums (NAAM) Conference. The AACA Museum received awards in the following categories:

– First Place – Division II Events and Public Promotions related to “An Evening with the Tuckers” event that was held in April to commemorate the Tucker automobile and the family.
– First Place – Division II Interpretive Exhibits related to the “Cammack Tucker Exhibit” that features a collection of Tucker vehicles donated to the Museum by David Cammack.
– Second Place – Division II Events and Public Promotions related to the “Sirens of Chrome” event.
– Second Place – Division II Collateral Materials related to the 2014 Wedding Show Mailer.
– Second Place – Division II Collateral Materials related to our “Motoring Mysteries of the Far East” Exhibit.
– Third Place – Division II Events and Public Promotions related to the Night at the Museum event held in October, celebrating the grand opening on the Cammack Tucker Gallery.
– Third Place – Division II Collateral Materials related to the AACA Museum Rackcard used to promote the Museum for its events and exhibits alike. This is a constantly updated publication to reflect the current exhibits and events at the AACA Museum.

Exhibition of Tucker automobiles at the Antique Automobile Museum in Hershey, PA

Exhibition of Tucker automobiles at the Antique Automobile Museum in Hershey, PA

The B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD) received a “Top Choice 2015” medal by Asian visitors and judges from Lianorg, the leading tourist website in Asia.

The American Marketing Association chapter in Lincoln announced University of Nebraska State Museum (Lincoln, NE) the recipient of their top award, “Prism” in the Social Media Non-Profit Category for the #MonsterSnake Selfies, and a “Merit” award (second place) in the Special Event Non-Profit category for the promotion of Titanoboa: Monster Snake Exhibit Opening Weekend.

The American Alliance of Museums has announced that eight museums including the Kentucky Historical Society, (Frankfurt, KY) earned reaccreditation.

LEADERSHIP

New York City’s tourism arm, NYC & Company, has appointed Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (Staten Island, NY) CEO and President Lynn B. Kelly to its board’s executive committee. Kelly, a Staten Island native, was also tapped to head the organization’s Arts & Culture Committee.

10TH ANNIVERSARY
MOR_Logo2013The Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT) officially became an affiliate on 5/10/2005.  Happy Anniversary!

April 14, 2015

New Harmonies, New Opportunities at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Many thanks for this guest post to Rene Rodgers, Ph.D, Associate Curator at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Would you like to be a guest author? Contact us.

At the beginning of August 2014, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum (BCMM) in Bristol, TN/VA, opened its doors for the first time after several years of planning, fundraising, community support, and finally, exhibit design and construction. For everyone who had believed in the museum becoming a reality and worked so hard to make it happen, the grand opening weekend was a real thrill with staff and volunteers, local and regional supporters, and visitors from many states and even other countries, enjoying the museum’s exhibits, live music performances, and a vintage radio show recording.

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum at night. Photograph by Fresh Air Photo

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum at night. Photograph by Fresh Air Photo

Since that first day, we’ve had the excitement of opening our first special exhibit, the development of a variety of education and outreach programs, the opportunity to partner with other local museums and cultural organizations, media coverage from outlets such as National Geographic and The New York Times, and so much more. And as one of the oldest Smithsonian Affiliates with one of the newest museums, we’ve had the opportunity to see firsthand the resources and support that are possible through our link to the Smithsonian.

In fact, we saw our community benefit from that affiliation even before the museum opened. Back in 2012, we were able to offer “Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos,” an after-school astrophotography program for under-served middle school students using the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Micro-Observatory Telescope Network. This program gave these students access to resources and opportunities they might never have had otherwise, a truly significant benefit we were able to share with our community through the Smithsonian.

The New Harmonies crates arrive at BCMM. Birthplace of Country Music Museum

The New Harmonies crates arrive at BCMM. Birthplace of Country Music Museum

More recently, we have opened our first Smithsonian special exhibit – New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music. After its life as a Museum on Main Street (MoMS) traveling exhibit, New Harmonies has now found its permanent home at BCMM, something made possible through the hard work of our Smithsonian Affiliations National Outreach Manager Alma Douglas and Carol Harsh, Director of MoMS at the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

After several months of negotiating the many steps in the process, 19 huge crates arrived on a truck in January of this year. Unloading and unpacking each of the crates was like opening a treasure chest – each one revealing another piece in the exhibit puzzle: a panel about sacred music, a diddley bow, a flip panel about the Kingston Trio, an audio box, a banner.

In March, we prepared the special exhibits gallery for New Harmonies. Two days were spent with our volunteers figuring out how the panels fit together – using directional pictograms that made it a little bit like putting together IKEA furniture – and working out the best configuration of all the elements in the gallery. We also created some of our own elements to add to the space – a “woodshed” where visitors can watch short videos about how to play various instruments and then have a go themselves and a lounge area where records can be played on a retro record player.

Visitors enjoy the New Harmonies exhibit on its opening night at BCMM, March 2015. Photograph by Haley Hensley, Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Visitors enjoy the New Harmonies exhibit on its opening night at BCMM, March 2015. Photograph by Haley Hensley, Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Visitors enjoy the New Harmonies exhibit on its opening night at BCMM, March 2015. Photograph by Haley Hensley, Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Visitors enjoy the New Harmonies exhibit on its opening night at BCMM, March 2015. Photograph by Haley Hensley, Birthplace of Country Music Museum

BCMM’s core exhibits focus on the story of the 1927 Bristol Sessions, their role in the development of the commercial country music industry, and the impact of the 1927 recordings on American music. New Harmonies is a wonderful fit for our museum, and its exploration of the distinct cultural identities of American roots music allows us to extend our mission beyond the focus of our core exhibits. It has also proved a wonderful opportunity for developing interesting programming that will give us the chance to bring new audiences to the museum over the coming months – from screening films by Alan Lomax and a concert by Piedmont blues artist John Dee Holeman to a shape note sing and Native American music and dancing. We are also looking into the possibility of sharing this exhibit with smaller regional institutions, libraries, and schools in the future.

Smithsonian affiliation is a real honor, and we are proud to be a part of the affiliate network. More importantly, however, Smithsonian affiliation gives BCMM the chance to bring new exhibits, resources, programming, and so much more to our local community – a way to expand horizons and opportunities. We are excited about what the future will bring!

Visitors enjoy the New Harmonies exhibit on its opening night at BCMM, March 2015. Photograph by Haley Hensley, Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Visitors enjoy the New Harmonies exhibit on its opening night at BCMM, March 2015. Photograph by Haley Hensley, Birthplace of Country Music Museum

March 22, 2015

Affiliates in the news!

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  Each month we highlight Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines. If you have a clipping highlighting a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

Dome at the Arab American National Museum. Courtesy of AANM.

Dome at the Arab American National Museum. Courtesy of AANM.

Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI)
Dearborn’s Arab American Museum celebrates 10 years of national significance
… the preeminent museum dedicated to documenting and preserving the Arab American story is located in Dearborn. The Arab American National Museum (AANM), the only Smithsonian Affiliate in Southeast Michigan, will celebrate its ten year anniversary this May. As part of the milestone, the museum will roll out a year-long series of events and renovations. “These are huge institutions that tell the American narrative and we’re always striving to include the Arab American story as part of this larger discussion,” says Akmon. “We’re based in Dearborn, but we’re a national institution.”

Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, TN/VA)
Smithsonian exhibit offers wide range of music styles at BCMM
Visitors to a new exhibit at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum can play albums on a record player or pick up the spoons, a washboard, strum a guitar or try their hand at the banjo or fiddle. New Harmonies, a Smithsonian exhibit that includes a wide range of American music styles, opened Wednesday and will appear there for the next six months.

Interactive Smithsonian exhibit at Country Music Museum
This should be music to your ears! Bristol’s Birthplace of Country Music Museum is showing off an exhibit that used to belong to the Smithsonian in Washington.

New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music
New Harmonies was once part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. Carol Harsh, director of Museums on Main Street, was instrumental in facilitating the transfer of the exhibit to the BCMM. “The exhibit has found a permanent home at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum,” said Harsh. “We feel it was a perfect fit.”

Photograph of newly built Biomuseo biodiversity museum in Panama City, Panama. Photo by: Fernando Aldo, September, 2014.

Photograph of newly built Biomuseo biodiversity museum in Panama City, Panama. Photo by: Fernando Aldo, September, 2014.

Biomuseo (Panama City, Panama)
Meet Biomuseo: the world’s first biodiversity museum
George Angehr, the Curator of Exhibits at Biomuseo and an ornithologist from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, played an integral role in developing the scientific content found in the eight exhibitions in the museum. He said Panama’s unique position made it the natural choice for the world’s first biodiversity museum…. In a 2015 interview with mongabay.com, Angehr talked about what visitors can expect when visiting Biomuseo and how the new museum could raise biodiversity awareness and further conservation efforts in Panama and beyond.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
Before There Were Crocodiles, There Was the “Carolina Butcher”
But this newfound ancestor of the modern croc had anything but a docile temperament, according to a study by paleontologists at North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. At about 231 million years old, the newly described species offers fresh insight into crocodile evolution and behavior in the days before the reign of the dinosaurs.

Audubon program to focus on ‘E-mammal’ project
The speaker will be Megan Baker-Whatton, who is the citizen science coordinator of the eMammal project at the Smithsonian Institution’s Conservation Biology Institute…She will provide an overview of the e-Mammal project, which links citizen volunteers with researchers at the Smithsonian Institution and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to document mammals throughout the mid-Atlantic region, and soon, the entire country.

Smithsonian Science How?: Arthropod Adaptations (VIDEO)
The Smithsonian Institution selected the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences as a partner for “Smithsonian Science How?” a new program to deliver real-world science directly into classrooms through free, interactive live webcasts and classroom resources. …This presentation, “Arthropod Adaptations,” featuring Bill Reynolds, Curator, Coordinator, & Containment Director of the Arthropod Zoo, originally aired March 13, 2014. It was followed by “Inside the Insect Zoo” featuring Dan Babbitt, manager of the O. Orkin Insect Zoo and Butterfly Pavilion at the National Museum of Natural History. 

Watch live streaming video from naturalsciences at livestream.com

Smithsonian Science How?: Lemurs  (VIDEO)
“How to Eat Like a Lemur” with Chris Smith, education specialist at Duke Lemur Center, is the second presentation in the series. The Smithsonian’s Briana Pobiner will follow with “Early Human Diets” at 11am.

Heritage Farm Museum and Village (Huntington, WV)
Heritage Farm linked to Smithsonian
Heritage Farm Museum and Village has achieved a new level of recognition and entered a new realm of possibilities. It’s been named West Virginia’s first Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, a distinction that will link Heritage Farm with the many resources and learning opportunities available through the Smithsonian, said Audy Perry, the new executive director of the Heritage Farm Foundation.

Heritage Farm adds Smithsonian connection
Being accepted as part of the Smithsonian network adds an impressive “seal of approval” for the museum project begun by Henriella and the late Mike Perry almost 20 years ago. As their son Audy Perry noted last week, it also marks a “new beginning” for Heritage Farm and a chance to share the Appalachian pioneer story more broadly and more richly than ever before.

A student plays at the new Spark!Lab. Feidt/APRN

A student plays at the new Spark!Lab. Feidt/APRN

Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK)
New Anchorage Museum “lab” sparks innovation
“This is not just banging things that’s going on here,” says Arthur Molella, the director of the Lemelson Center at the Smithsonian, which created the Spark!Lab. “This is all done with a purpose. Cause some of the same energies that are happening here — essentially this curiosity, a disciplined curiosity begins here and carries on through the rest of your life.” Molella says that curiosity and creativity lead to innovation and invention. That’s why his center worked with educators to create the Spark!Lab. They’re helping museums around the United States set up their own localized versions. The Anchorage version, the sixth in the country, will soon include activities focused on the innovation required to live in the Arctic.

FORD MOTOR COMPANY FUND, SMITHSONIAN BRING SPARK!LAB TO ANCHORAGE, OPENING THE DOORS TO INNOVATION AND INVENTION
Spark!Lab, the hands-on invention experience from the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, is opening its newest location at the Anchorage Museum in Alaska. With the support of Ford Motor Company Fund, Spark!Lab will engage children and families in the invention process through science experiments, games, activities and special programs, such as SparkNite, a look at the innovation and inventions of Alaska’s history and Arctic environment.

New Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Director, Melissa Chiu, at the Frost Art Museum. Photography by Rodrigo Gaya

New Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Director, Melissa Chiu, at the Frost Art Museum. Photography by Rodrigo Gaya

Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University (Miami, FL)
Making A Museum in the 21st Century” with Melissa Chiu at Frost Art Museum FIU
The Steven and Dorothea Green Critics’ Lecture Series launched its 34th season at Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU with guest-lecturer Melissa Chiu’s presentation of “Making A Museum in the 21st Century.” Dr. Chiu is the new director of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C

The Mexican Museum (San Francisco, CA)
The Mexican Museum Hires Cayetana S. Gomez as President and Chief Executive Officer
“We are extremely pleased to have Cayetana join our team,” said Andrew M. Kluger, Chairman of The Mexican Museum Board of Trustees. “Along with her unparalleled communication skills and a vast network of professional relationships throughout the United States and Mexico, she has also held significant leadership positions for some of Mexico’s most important art, culture, and media institutions.”

Mexican Museum Set To House Over 18,000 Pieces Of Art In San Francisco Gets Lease Approved
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a lease in the city’s Yerba Buena neighborhood for The Mexican Museum, expected to house more than 18,000 pieces of art and artifacts from across the Americas.

Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR)
Mid-America Science Museum reopens with new look, unique exhibits
It’s a brand new day at the Mid-America Science Museum. Closed since Aug. 11 for renovations, the museum opened its doors Saturday, offering more than 60 exhibits, displays and experiment stations to visitors of all ages.

The exhibition presents paintings, arms and armour and modern work of art. Lakhpreet Kaur/HT

The exhibition presents paintings, arms and armour and modern work of art. Lakhpreet Kaur/HT

UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, Texas)
Sikh artwork on display at Texas University
Developed by Smithsonian Institution and sponsored by the Sikh Heritage Foundation, the exhibition presents paintings; arms and armour; traditional textiles and dress; musical instruments; jewellery; sacred texts; and modern works of art, apart from a scale model of the Golden Temple. “The bulk of the exhibit originated at the Smithsonian Institution, with whom we’re an affiliate.

Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science (Miami, Florida)
Miami Eyes Huge Tourist Draw With $300M Museum
“The museum has always been a community-led initiative to excite and educate greater Miami and its global visitors. It will enrich the lives of south Floridians and visitors by offering in-depth learning experiences and bring the best global resources to south Florida, creating a link between the education, tourism and business communities.”

HistoryMiami (Miami, Florida)
Keeper of the Past
HistoryMiami has a lot of history. Previously known as the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, this Smithsonian-affiliated museum, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is the oldest nonreligious cultural institution in Miami-Dade County. In fact, the museum is now observing its 75th anniversary, and a big announcement is expected during the museum’s annual membership meeting on April 23.

Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, New York)
Flushing Town Hall meets $35,000 campaign challenge
Flushing Town Hall has met its campaign goal of raising $35,000 to match funding from an anonymous donor ahead of its Feb. 28 deadline. Since September, more than 300 people made contributions by mail or online or dropped off donations. By Feb. 10, the organization had raised more than $41,000.

Kenosha Public Museum (Kenosha, Wisconsin)
FREE space exhibit, Kenosha Family Fun, Wisconsin tourist attraction, Stunning Satellite Images
Earth from Space illustrates how satellite imagery is gathered and used to expand mankind’s understanding of life on Earth. It also explores the remote-sensing technology used to gather the images and describes the individual satellites whose images are on display. Brought to you courtesy of the United States Geological Survey and the Smithsonian Institution.

Kenosha Public Museum Hosts Smithsonian Earth from Space Exhibition
The Earth From Space exhibit is on display at the Kenosha Public Museum now through June 21, 2015. Stunning satellite images and artifacts reveal our dynamic, ever-changing planet.

Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (Spokane, Washington)
[Spokane Public Radio spot] From the Studio: The art of Joe Feddersen
Cecile Ganteaume, Curator, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Washington, DC and Multi-Media Artist and Colville Confederated Tribal Member Joe Feddersen spoke with Verne Windham on Friday morning about the Museum of Arts and Culture’s three-days of special programs focusing on American Indian Basketry.

Native Film Fest logo.

Native Film Fest logo.

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, California)
NativeFest coming of age with mature content
The festival’s mission, Hammond said, is to explore indigenous issues, such as the exploitation of Native land and sovereignty, and showcase indigenous filmmakers from around the world.

Native FilmFest: a celebration of diversity
When you have a guest programmer from the Smithsonian Institution and one of the featured films is produced by the Sundance Institute, those strategic alliances give the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum’s 14th Annual Native FilmFest “street cred” that would be the envy of many other film festivals around the country.

Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta, GA); Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH); St. Augustine, FL (St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum)
Top US family vacation destinations named
The best family-friendly vacation spots in the US as chosen by 2,000 families from across the country. Animal attractions, science museums, and tourist towns resonated with families this year.

U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL)
Space & Rocket Center celebrates 45 years with cake & Biergarten
In 1968, the state’s citizens voted to finance construction of the Center, which houses the National Historic Landmark Saturn V Moon Rocket, the Apollo 16 Command Module, the Pathfinder space shuttle display and many other exhibits. The Center is a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum and is the Official Visitor Center for Marshall Space Flight Center.

Vintage Photos celebrate the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s 45 years
Enjoy a gallery of vintage historical photos from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s 45 years of educating America and the world about the NASA and the U.S. Space program. The photos begin with the groundbreaking for the Alabama Space & Rocket Center and include visits by astronauts and celebrities to the center.

Sullivan Museum and History Center (Northfield, VT)
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum curator to speak at Norwich
Norwich University’s Sullivan Museum and History Center, Vermont’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, will host Dr. Tom Crouch, Senior Curator of Aeronautics at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum for a lunch-and-learn on Wednesday, April 8 at noon in Milano Ballroom, located in Roberts Hall.

August 25, 2014

Affiliates in the news! September edition

Congrats to these Affiliates making news! Each month we highlight Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines.  If you have a clipping highlighting a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, Wyoming)
True West Magazine Names Cody Firearms Museum in Annual Top Ten Museums List
“The Cody Firearms Museum dedication to excellence, and their mission of preserving and interpreting our great western history for all generations, is inspiring,” says True West Executive Editor Bob Boze Bell. “They keep the Old West alive.”

HistoryMiami (Miami, Florida)
Exhibit seeking items related to exodus out of Cuba
A new initiative by HistoryMiami and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is aiming to capture the experiences of both Cuban balseros, or rafters, as well as those of Cuban exiles in general: How they traveled here and what they found upon arrival.

This baby olinguito was found in a nest 40 feet above the ground in a large dead bromeliad tree. (Photo by Juan Rendon taken at the Mesenia-Paramillo Nature Reserve in Colombia, courtesy Saving Species)

This baby olinguito was found in a nest 40 feet above the ground in a large dead bromeliad tree. (Photo by Juan Rendon taken at the Mesenia-Paramillo Nature Reserve in Colombia, courtesy Saving Species)

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Crowdsourcing the Olinguito
“It’s kind of like looking at pictures of your growing child,” said Roland Kays, a zoologist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences & N.C. State University. “You can see our knowledge about the species grow with every picture sent to us.”

San Diego Air & Space Museum (San Diego, California)
SD Air & Space Museum names eight new Hall of Famers
Joe Engle, Fitz Fulton, Bill Boeing Jr., John (Jack) Dailey, Roger Schaufele, Bessie Coleman, the Ninety-Nines and WD-40 will be inducted Nov. 1 in a celebration at the museum’s Pavilion of Flight in Balboa Park.

Union Station Kansas City (Kansas City, Missouri)
New Science City attraction: Smithsonian’s Spark!Lab designed for inventive young minds
The rejuvenation of Science City at Union Station continues with the opening Tuesday of Spark!Lab, an interactive area intended to inspire kids to be inventive using simple materials. The idea is the property of the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and is only the second one in the United States outside Washington, D.C.

 

Ten-year-olds Peyton Carter of Kansas City (left) and Ethan Guo of Overland Park worked together together to build a course for a marble to roll along and make sounds while it moved. JILL TOYOSHIBA/The Kansas City Star

Ten-year-olds Peyton Carter of Kansas City (left) and Ethan Guo of Overland Park worked together together to build a course for a marble to roll along and make sounds while it moved. JILL TOYOSHIBA/The Kansas City Star

Young scientists get hands-on learning experience at new Spark!Lab
Hands-on learning is one of the best ways to learn. Now there’s a Spark!Lab dedicated to doing just that. There are only three in the world. Lucky for metro residents, one is located right here in Kansas City at Union Station.

National Atomic Testing Museum (Las Vegas, Nevada)
The nuclear story told at National Atomic Testing Museum, Las Vegas
In December 2011, the museum was designated as a national museum and is today affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution. As part of the designation, the museum has shifted its focus from a regional museum to a national museum, dedicated to telling the country’s history of nuclear development.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Cincinnati’s Freedom Center sheds its chains of doubt
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center marks the 10th anniversary of its opening Sunday, celebrating a decade in which it survived derision, doubts and debt that nearly shut it down.

Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield, Massachusetts)
Berkshire Museum To Host Smithsonian Spark!Lab
This fall, the Berkshire Museum will become one of only five sites in the United States to host a new kind of innovative science learning exhibit developed by the Smithsonian Institute

Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, Tennessee)
Going Places: Birthplace of Country Music Museum definitely worth the trip to Bristol
An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the BCMM is dedicated to telling the story of the Bristol Sessions, the first commercially-successful recordings of country music.

The Birthplace of Country Museum Museum in Bristol, Tennessee

The Birthplace of Country Museum Museum in Bristol, Tennessee

Read:At The Cradle Of Country Music, A Monument You Can Hear As Well As See

Listen: NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

Birthplace of Country Music Museum Opens
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum is opening in Bristol, Virginia this weekend. Nashville may be the mecca of this music today, but as Johnny Cash himself put it, Bristol was the site of the ‘Big Bang’ that led to the universe of country music we know today.

Birthplace of Country Music Museum set to open
This Smithsonian-affiliated museum will open in a facility designed to engage the community regularly through programming and exhibits and is expected to draw visitors from around the world.

Grand Opening Of The Birthplace Of Country Music Museum In Bristol Is This Weekend
The Smithsonian Institution-affiliated Birthplace of Country Music Museum is dedicated to preserve the legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions and their lasting influence on American popular music through interactive, multi-media exhibits, film, and more. Johnny Cash referred to the famous Sessions as “The single most important event in the history of country music.” Also known as the “Big Bang of Country Music,” the legendary recordings by Ralph Peer took country music to a new level and produced pioneers of the genre such as Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family.

Birthplace of Country Music Museum Opens in Bristol This Weekend
“The opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum is something that our community has been looking forward to for many years, and we take pride in giving our community something that celebrates our rich music heritage,” Leah Ross, the museum’s executive director, told Kingsport’s Times News.

Saving Our African American Treasures. Photo credit: Michael R. Barnes

Saving Our African American Treasures. Photo credit: Michael R. Barnes

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, Alabama)
Smithsonian and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to Present “Save Our African American Treasures” Sept. 6
“We are extremely proud of bringing ‘Save Our African American Treasures’ to Birmingham and of our partnership with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute,” said Lonnie Bunch, director of the Smithsonian museum.

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