September 28, 2015

Kudos Affiliates! for October 2015

Affiliates continue to demonstrate significant impact, all over the country. Congratulations to all!


The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced grants for 217 museum projects awarded through the highly competitive Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums programs including the following Affiliates:

The San Diego Natural History Museum will improve the management and accessibility of data for more than 1.2 million specimens in its paleontology research collection by upgrading its current database to “Specify 6,” a database designed specifically for natural history collections.

The Denver Art Museum will develop a Latino artist-in-residence program to better reflect the full diversity of the community. The museum will create a series of one-month Latino artist residencies, bringing Latino artists of local, national, and international stature to the museum.

The Denver Art Museum will conduct a first-ever detailed conservation survey of 604 three-dimensional objects in its Architecture, Design, and Graphics collection. The project will advance institutional long-range goals for strengthening collections management by improving curatorial knowledge of the collection condition in anticipation of heightened exhibition, rotation, and program activity.

History Colorado seeks to improve the stewardship of a collection of 6,187 historic objects and more than 50,000 archaeological artifacts through relocation of the items to a new storage facility. Relocation to an 15 environmentally stable and readily accessible facility will allow History Colorado to more effectively preserve and manage its collections.

The Mystic Seaport Museum will improve the physical state of the 1908 steamboat, Sabino, a National Historic Landmark vessel and the last remaining wooden, coal-fired, operating steamboat in the United States.

The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art will undertake two video projects to help visitors better understand the museum and earth science, and to provide an incentive for more school-driven visits. The museum plans to update its welcoming video, and a second video will focus on earth science with STEM-related material.

Conner Prairie Museum will implement a series of on-going maker programs using the tools, materials, and philosophy of the modern maker movement by drawing inspiration from the historic crafts and trades visitors experience at the museum.  

  • Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) – Award Amount: $150,000;

The Abbe Museum will design, fabricate, and install a permanent exhibit showcasing the history and culture of Maine’s native Wabanaki people. The exhibit will include content, artifacts, images, and interactive elements informed by the museum’s interpretive framework, its Native Advisory Council, and Native advisors.

The USS Constitution Museum will create an online collections, research, and interpretive portal for educators and information seekers of all ages offering free and unlimited access to the museum’s nationally significant collection of manuscripts, rare books, artifacts, and artwork capturing the role of the Constitution during the War of 1812.

The Michigan State University Museum will preserve an important collection of rare and fragile barn models located for decades in substandard space, by rehousing them in the museum’s cultural collections resource center, a climate-controlled repository.

The Senator John Heinz History Center will develop, fabricate, and tour a traveling exhibit that will use life figures, modular panels, hands-on objects, cases with artifacts, oral histories, and video components to help audiences at small local museums explore how World War II transformed the lives of Pennsylvania residents.  

The Museum of History and Industry will launch a two-year project designed to engage participants, pre-K through adult learners, through a coordinated set of museum, classroom, and community experiences in exploring the region’s legacy of innovation, collaboration, experimentation, and perseverance skills.

The Wing Luke Asian Museum will expand and strengthen its guided neighborhood walking tours to provide opportunities for members of the Asian Pacific American community to share their stories, to stimulate the local economy by fostering partnerships with neighborhood businesses and organizations, and to promote the historic and cultural appeal of the Chinatown International District.

Madison Children’s Museum will model a creative approach to behavioral change encouraging increased physical activity by redesigning stairwells in its historic building and by producing related programming to counteract decreased activity and a rise in obesity among Wisconsin children. During the two-year initiative, the museum will produce three examples of stairwell transformation.

Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA) and Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) have been selected to receive a competitive Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. As two of 203 grant recipients selected from across the country, both will receive a cash grant of $3,000 to hold public programming — such as public film screenings, discussion groups, oral history initiatives, local history exhibitions, multi-media projects or performances — about Latino history and culture.

The Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) has received a grant from Grants to Green Maine to provide an energy efficiency audit for the museum’s historic downtown location. The grant complements the museum’s Greening the Abbe Initiative and the near completion of the National Endowment for the Humanities funded projects that have helped reduce the Abbe’s carbon footprint and operating costs.

PNC’s Grow Up Great program has awarded a $30,000 grant to The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology (Newark, OH) to provide early childhood science education this coming school year. The programs will feature classroom instruction, field trips and family nights at the Works. New this year will be a teacher professional development day at the Works facilitated by an instructor from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center.

The Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX) announced the beginning stages of construction for the H-E-B Lantern, the entrance to the New Witte and home to a Pterosaur, “Quetzy” through a generous donation of $2 million on behalf of H-E-B to the New Witte.


Susan J. Weller, former executive director and curator at the J.F. Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota, has been named director of the University of Nebraska State Museum (Lincoln, NE). She succeeds Priscilla Grew, who has directed the museum since 2003.

Fundraising professional Karrie Zuccarello of Indianapolis has been named chief development officer at Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN). She joins the museum from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, where she was director of development since 2011.

The Denver Art Museum (Denver, Colorado) has named fashion and art historian and curator Florence Müller as its next Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art, Curator of Fashion.



February 24, 2015

kudos Affiliates! for March 2015

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.

The Army Heritage Center Foundation recently received two grants from The Donald B. & Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation and the G.B. Stuart Charitable Foundation to support the expansion of the Visitor Center at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA.)  The grants are in addition to a $2 million Economic Growth Initiative Grant awarded to the Foundation by the State commonwealth earlier this year.

The iconic helium balloon that has flown high in the central Indiana sky since 2009 has a new sponsor. Reynolds Farm Equipment is now the presenting sponsor of the 1859 Balloon Voyage experience at Conner Prairie, an interactive history park (Fishers, IN).  Through 2019, the company will provide up to $375,000 to support the balloon and its new exhibit space.

The Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation will donate $250,000 toward building a “space portal” that will connect Science City, the Gottlieb Planetarium and the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre at Union Station (Kansas City, MO).   The portal will be designed to resemble a futuristic space station.  The project is part of a planned $10 million renovation.

A $1 million donation will enable the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History  (Ft. Worth, TX) to focus on new technology for its digital learning programs. Museum officials said they hope to raise another $1 million to match the donation from the Kleinheinz Family Foundation.  The money will go toward upgrading technology for the institution’s science, math and language literacy programs, which run from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, along with its public programs for families and adults.

Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT) announces a gift of $1 million from the Thompson Family Foundation honoring the late Wade Thompson, a Museum trustee for 27 years. This gift will be directed to a new 14,000 square-foot exhibition building to include a state-of-the-art, 5,000 square-foot exhibit hall. This will be the largest among Mystic Seaport’s seven galleries and will provide the caliber of conditions required to curate not only exhibits from the Museum’s collection, but also permit the borrowing of outstanding art and artifacts from other museums around the world.

Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, NY) has met its campaign goal of raising $35,000 to match equal funding from an anonymous donor, ahead of its February 28 deadline.   The “35” in the campaign goal represents this year’s 35th anniversary of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, a member of New York City’s 33-member Cultural Institutions Group.

Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, GA) was recognized with awards during the recent Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries annual conference.  Tellus was honored with three distinguished awards:

  • The Moon Rock display received a Best Museum Exhibition award. The exhibit combines Apollo artifacts from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum with an impressive lunar sample from NASA.
  • Tellus volunteer Bob Gossman was recognized as Museum Volunteer of the Year for his outstanding contribution to Tellus. Working full-time in a career that takes him all over the world, Gossman has still volunteered more than 1500 hours in less than 6 years.
  • Tellus was also voted Best Kid-friendly Museum by readers of Atlanta Magazine for 2014.

Julie Johnson recently started her tenure as President of the International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, TX).  Julie came from leadership positions at the Michigan Science Center and Detroit Children’s Museum.

January 7, 2015

coming up in Affiliateland in winter 2015

A roundup of events throughout the Affiliate network from December 2014 – February 2015.

U.S. mail box, plated with 24-karat gold and studded with 137 sapphires, 100 rubies, 25 diamonds, and 10 emeralds, on view at the Tellus Science Museum.

U.S. mail box, plated with 24-karat gold and studded with 137 sapphires, 100 rubies, 25 diamonds, and 10 emeralds, on view at the Tellus Science Museum.

The Tellus Science Museum opened Jeweled Objects of Desire with 47 objects on loan from the National Museum of Natural History in Cartersville, 12.6.14

The Museum of Flight opened SITES’ Suited for Space in Seattle, 12.13.14.

National Museum of the American Indian curator Cecile Ganteaume will present a keynote talk at a three-day program on American Indian basketry, hosted by the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane, 2.26.15.

The South Dakota State Historical Society presented Native Sports with Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills – a rebroadcast of an online seminar by the National Museum of the American Indian on Native Olympians, and a discussion with a South Dakotan Olympic athlete in Pierre, 12.14.14

National Air and Space Museum curator Andrew Johnston served on a jury panel for an upcoming exhibition on the cosmos at the Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Art Center in Solomons, 12.16.14.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum for Maryland African American History and Culture will host a screening of the Smithsonian Channel’s new documentary The Legend of Leadbelly with a talk by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings producer Jeff Place in Baltimore, 2.5.15.

The Museum of American Finance presented Smithsonian Board of Regents member David Rubenstein with the Whitehead Award for Distinguished Public Service and Financial Leadership at its annual gala in Manhattan, 1.13.15.

The Smithsonian National Board enjoyed a private tour of the Museum of American Finance, as well as a performance by a jazz ensemble organized by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem in Manhattan, 1.22.15.

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will talk about Women of the West at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will talk about Women of the West at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

The Heard Museum  opened Beautiful Games: American Indians in Sports including two paintings on loan from the American Art Museum, 12.18.14.  The Heard Museum also hosted a public program entitled What It Means to be American: The Women of the West, co-created by the National Museum of American History, 1.14.15.  Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum of the American Indian, will deliver a keynote lecture as part of the Indigenous Stereotypes in Sports symposium at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, 1.30.15.

The Schiele Museum of Natural History opens The Solar System: A Journey of Exploration exhibition featuring object loans from the National Air and Space Museum in Gastonia, 1.17.15

The Riverside Metropolitan Museum opened SITES’ I Want the Wide American Earth in Riverside, 12.20.14.

The Sonoma County Museum will open SITES’ Indivisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas exhibition in Santa Rosa, 1.24.15.

The Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts will announce their Smithsonian affiliation with a lecture by Nora Atkinson of the American Art Museum in Alta Loma, 1.24.15.

The Mennello Museum of American Art will open the Real Lives: Observations and Reflections by Dale Kenington exhibition which includes one painting on loan from the American Art Museum in Orlando, 1.23.15.

Conner Prairie will host a lecture by National Air and Space Museum curator Tom Crouch on ballooning in the antebellum Midwest in Fishers, 1.28.15.

Smithsonian Undersecretary for History, Art and Culture Richard Kurin will give a public lecture on his book The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, 1.29.15.

UCAR in Boulder, Colorado.

UCAR in Boulder, Colorado.

The Telluride Historical Museum will host a film screening and viewing of student projects in relation to their Places of Invention project with the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, in Telluride, 1.13.15.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research will announce its Smithsonian affiliation with comments from Affiliations program director Harold Closter in Boulder, 1.29.15.

History Colorado will open the exhibition 1968: The Year that Rocked America with loans from the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History.  The Museum will open a complementary exhibition, El Movimiento, to include comments from Eduardo Díaz, director of the Smithsonian Latino Center, in Denver, 2.6-7.15.
The Museum will also host a screening of the Smithsonian Channel’s new documentary The Legend of Leadbelly with a talk by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings producer Jeff Place in Denver, 2.19.15.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia will host a screening of the Smithsonian Channel’s new documentary The Legend of Leadbelly with a talk by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings producer Jeff Place in Philadelphia, 2.12.15.

The Heinz History Center will also host The Legend of Leadbelly screening in Pittsburgh, 2.18.15.

One of Chuck Jones' drawings, soon to be on view in Fort Worth.

One of Chuck Jones’ drawings, soon to be on view in San Antonio.

The Forth Worth Museum of Science and History  opens SITES’ What’s Up Doc? The Animation of Chuck Jones exhibition in Fort Worth, 2.14.15.

The Institute of Texan Cultures opens the Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab exhibition organized by the Smithsonian, in San Antonio, 2.21.15.

The Las Cruces Museum System will host the outreach and professional development program Let’s Do History in collaboration with the National Museum of American History, in Las Cruces, 2.19-20.15.

January 6, 2015

Kudos! Winter 2014

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.

HistoryMiami (Miami, FL) has been awarded $150,000 by the Knight Foundation as one of the 2014 South Florida Knight Arts Challenge Winners. The award will be used to tell Miami stories through images by creating a photography center at the museum focused on curating exhibitions and engaging the community in documenting life in South Florida.

The Justice Planetarium at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center (Hutchinson, KS) will undergo a $400,000 renovation in February, thanks to contributions from the Walter E. & Velma G. Justice Fund for Reno County and from Dave and Dee Dillon.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District board. The funds will be allocated for general operating expenses.

The Reynolds family and Reynolds Farm Equipment have donated $1 million to Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (Fishers, IN). The Reynolds family placed no restrictions on its use but the museum has mentioned they will use the funds towards a future project.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, HI) received a $1.5 million grant from the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust. The gift combined with the recent $550,000 State of Hawaii Grants in Aid allocation and a $100,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation will be used for interior restoration of the iconic Ford Island Control Tower Operations Building.

The United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA) will be the recipient of a $2 million state grant, recently awarded to the Army Heritage Center Foundation.  The funds will be used to add 37,000 sf to the visitor center.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens (Staten Island, NY) will receive $7.43 million from New York City’s capital budget, for the continued restoration of its Music Hall.

Several Affiliates have been selected as one of 919 nonprofit organizations nationwide to benefit from the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works Grant:

  • Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ) – $10,000 to support Free Summer Sundays in July, a multidisciplinary program featuring Latino and Native American musicians, dancers, and storytellers.
  • Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)- $25,000 to support the exhibition and catalogue “Super Indian: Fritz Scholder 1967-1980.”
  • Robert W. Woodruff Arts Center, Inc. (on behalf of High Museum of Art) (Atlanta, GA)- $60,000 to support the exhibition “Alex Katz: This is Now.”
  • City of Dearborn, Michigan– $10,000 to support the architectural design and related community engagement and outreach for the development of an artist-in-residence unit in the City Hall Artspace Lofts. Facilitated by Artspace Projects Inc., the project will include all design stages for the renovation and adaptive reuse of a unit in the concourse of the existing Dearborn City Hall, as part of a larger development of cultural facilities and space for artists and arts organizations, including the Arab American National Museum.
  • City of East Lansing, Michigan– $30,000 to support the Great Lakes Folk Festival produced by the Michigan State University Museum.
  • Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens (Staten Island, NY)- $10,000 to support residencies for emerging artists and related activities. Residents will live and work alongside established faculty artists with diverse backgrounds and practices. The project will focus on performing artists.
  • International Storytelling Association (on behalf of the International Storytelling Center) (Jonesborough, TN) – $15,000 to support Storytelling Live!, a series of residencies for master storytellers. The program will showcase storytellers representing a broad range of oral traditions from all over the world. In addition to storytelling, the master artists will offer workshops and present special programs intended to serve seniors and youth.
  • Buffalo Bill Memorial Association (on behalf of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West) (Cody, WY)- $40,000 to support “Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley (1814-1872).”

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced $17.9 million in grants for 233 humanities projects, including the following Affiliates:

  • Florida International University (Miami, FL)-$6,000 for improving the storage environment of The Wolfsonian–FIU Collection. Evaluating the existing environmental control systems inside the historic buildings would help the museum’s staff better care for this unique collection.
  • Stearns History Museum (Saint Cloud, MN) – $1,000 for NEH on the Road: For All the World to See.
  • City of Las Cruces– (Las Cruces, NM)-$1,000 for NEH on the Road: House and Home

Museum of American Finance (New York, New York)
David Rubenstein to Receive 2015 Whitehead Award for Public Service and Financial Leadership From Museum of American Finance

Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, Wyoming)
Cody Firearms Museum gets new associate curator

The Mexican Museum (San Francisco, California)
The Mexican Museum Announces New Officers for 2015

Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)
Musical Instrument Museum names executive director

HistoryMiami (Miami, Florida)
HistoryMiami appoints Holly Davis as vice president of advancement

Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden (Staten Island, New York)
Gabri Christa named new artistic director of Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center

July 27, 2014

kudos Affiliates! August 2014

Great news from Affiliateland!  Bravo to all!


The National Civil War Museum (Harrisburg, PA) received a $5,000 donation from the Hall Foundation to support educational programming. The Hall Foundation is the title sponsor of the new exhibit “In the Hands of the Enemy: The Captivity, Exchange & Parole of Prisoners of War,” that highlights the brutal conditions of prisoner of war camps, Confederate and Union. The exhibit will have rare artifacts from the National Civil War Museum’s collection on display, and information panels will address and explain the conditions of the camps and daily prisoner life.

The Hawai`i State Legislature approved $500,000 in State Grant-in-Aid funding toward the new Island Heritage Gallery exhibit at the Lyman Museum (Hilo, HI).  The new exhibit will explore a historical timeline of the many people, cultures, events, and ideas that left their mark on Hawai`i Island and contributed to the rich, diverse mosaic of modern Hawai`i.

The Hall Family Foundation has donated $4 million to help fund capital improvement projects at Union Station Kansas City (Kansas City, MO). The funding will be used to make improvements to Science City as well as the development of a pedestrian bridge and a new lower-level entrance.

Two Affiliates recently received Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC) from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS):

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore, MD) Award Amount: $69,674

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture will hire a curatorial graduate student intern, create a postdoctoral fellowship in African American history, and establish a professional development fund that will allow staff at all levels to take advantage of training programs relevant to their work as museum professionals.

American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) Award Amount: $133,050

The American Jazz Museum will hire a registrar to enhance the accessibility of the museum’s collections and create four semester-long paid internship positions focusing on collections and education.

The Ellen Noël Art Museum (Odessa, TX) received a grant from the Junior League of Odessa for the “Little Free Library”, a decorative receptacle and will be filled with books for children and young adults to “take a book, leave a book.”  In addition, the Ellen Noel Art Museum has received a $20,000 grant from National Endowment for the Arts for their innovative research in the 3D printing lab meant to assist the visually impaired.

GAR Foundation distributed awards to teams of Ohio educators through its annual Educator Initiative Grant program. The awards support teacher-initiated, classroom-based projects and methods that demonstrate gains in student achievement and include the following affiliates:

  • National Inventors Hall of Fame (Akron, OH) STEM Middle School, $9,500, for “STEM E5d.”
  • Akron Public Schools, National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM High School, $4,999, for “Survivability of an Impossible Situation.”
  • Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) $10,000 for Hale Farm & Village’s Adopt-a-School Program at Leggett Elementary.
  • Western Reserve Historical Society, $5,000 for Hale Farm & Village’s Wetmore Barn Preservation.

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) announced that the Massachusetts budget for 2015 includes $2 million funding for the restoration of Mayflower II, a replica of the original ship that brought the Pilgrims to Massachusetts.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) received a $50,000 award from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation  to enhance two current art exhibits: the photography of “Distant Echoes: Black Farmers in America,” and the sculpture of “Syd Carpenter: More Places of Our Own.” The Knight-supported programming, dubbed “Beyond Sustenance,” will encompass interactive storytelling, art-making, community dining, and workshops centered on African-American traditions in farming, cooking and more.

Mystic Seaport and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center (Mystic, Mashantucket, CT) received a $30,095 grant from Connecticut Humanities to support a project called Connecticut Indian Whalers: Work, Community, and Life at Sea.  The project features digital, exhibit and program offerings designed to raise school and public awareness about the men of color from Connecticut who labored on 19th century whaling ships, in particular Native American men whose work experience was strongly intertwined with their social and kinship networks.

Staten Island City Council allocated $3.7 million to Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden for building renovations.


The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced that North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC) was one of 10 recipients of the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community.

Charlene Donchez Mowers, executive director of Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites (Bethlehem, PA), received the Strategic Partner Award from the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce.  Historic Bethlehem has recently been designated a National Historic Landmark site.

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announced the winners of the 69th annual Leadership in History Awards, the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. Below are the Affiliate recipients for the 2014 Awards:

Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) has been chosen by FlipKey Vacation Rental as one of its “Top Family Attractions Worth Traveling For.”

The Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point state park (Pioneer, LA) have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This prestigious designation is a global recognition of the site’s outstanding universal value.

PA Museums announced that the Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) received the President’s Award for its national award-winning exhibit From Slavery to Freedom.


The Board of the Western Reserve Historical Society announced that Kelly Falcone-Hall has been selected to be the new CEO. Falcone-Hall had been serving as interim CEO during the selection process.


April 25, 2014

coming up in affiliateland in May 2014


As summer approaches, things are heating up in Affiliateland!

Several staff members from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West will speak during a day-long conference at the Smithsonian on 300 Years of Innovation in Scotland and America, coming from Cody, 5.1.

Affiliations director Harold Closter will be speaking at the Colorado-Wyoming Museum Association meeting in Cody, 5.7-10.

Beth Wilson of the National Air and Space Museum leads a videoconference session on the Wright Flyer.

Beth Wilson of the National Air and Space Museum leads a videoconference session on the Wright Flyer.

Wayne Motts, Director of the National Civil War Museum (an Affiliate in Harrisburg, PA) will give a public lecture on the Civil War at the members preview of the new 1864 exhibition at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, 5.2.

The South Dakota State Historical Society hosts a talk and book signing on the Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects by Richard Kurin, Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture, in Pierre, 5.5.

The National Air and Space Museum will present an online workshop for students on Kites, Wings and Flying Things: Learning with the Wright Brothers, to be held at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, 5.6, 13 and 27.

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park  hosts a workshop on the Importance of Informal Learning with Betsy Bowers, Director of the Smithsonian Center for Innovation in Early Learning in Fishers, 5.9.

Betsy Bowers will discuss how young explorers in informal museum environments are a vital part of early childhood learning at the Smithsonian.

Betsy Bowers will discuss how young explorers in informal museum environments are a vital part of early childhood learning at the Smithsonian.

National Air and Space Museum curator Carolyn Russo will serve as a juror for the Mayfaire Arts Festival at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, 5.10-11.

The Frost Art Museum hosts a talk and book signing on the Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects by Richard Kurin, Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture, in Miami, 5.21.

A group of staff from the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center will spend a day touring collections and exhibitions with colleagues at the National Museum of American History, coming from Carlisle, 5.12

The Smithsonian Associates have organized a study tour on Natural History of the Mid-Atlantic: Stories of Calvert County that will visit Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center in Solomons, 5.17.

Allison Wickens, Director of Education at the National Postal Museum, will give a public lecture on  Colorado Mail Stories: By Train, Plane, and Pony Express at History Colorado in Denver, 5.20

September 25, 2012

kudos affiliates! funding news for October 2012

As summer turns into autumn, Affiliate accomplishments continue to shine!

The Massachusetts Cultural Council approved a proposal to create and name one of the state’s newest cultural districts, the Canalway Cultural District.  The District encompasses two Affiliates – the Boott Cotton Mills Museum (operated by the Lowell National Historical Park) and the American Textile History Museum (Lowell, Massachusetts).

Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana) is the recipient of a $2.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation. This grant will help efforts to integrate science into exhibits and programming over the coming years and create new science-based interactive fun for guests.

PetSmart Inc. is contributing $50,000 to sponsor a cultural diversity series “Unity Through Diversity” at the Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, Arizona). The series will focus on various musical traditions that unite people.

The Birmingham Civil Rights District has been named Attraction of the Year by the Alabama Tourism Department. The district, which includes The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Kelly Ingram Park and the 16th Street Baptist Church, was awarded at the Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) announced the award of a $3 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. The grant will be used to fund the extension of the Oklahoma Museum Network (OMN) program, a consortium of museums strategically located across the state working together to provide high quality, hands-on educational experiences. 

Richmond County Savings Foundation presented Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens (Staten Island, New York) with a $30,000 award to support the new Heritage Farm project, which combines urban farming with education as well as support for Island feeding programs.

Long Island Museum (Stony Brook, New York) announced that its Long Island Long Ago school program was awarded a grant from Target Corporation. The grant will help the museum reach more than 12,000 Long Island school children annually, including those from underserved communities. In addition, The Long Island Museum was selected to receive a grant from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network for the conservation of several carriages and sleighs that will be featured in two new exhibition galleries in the Carriage Museum. 

History Colorado (Denver, Colorado) was selected to receive Mountain Plains Museum Association’s Leadership and Innovation Award.

College Park Aviation Museum (College Park, Maryland) received an Anacostia Trails Heritage Area Inc. grant for $500 to support the “Aviation Meets Art” program.

10 Affiliates received Museums for America Program Grants from The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

  1. Chabot Space and Science Center Foundation (Oakland, California) Award Amount: $149,885Chabot Space & Science Center will use its grant to support and expand its Galaxy Explorers/Champions of Science program, a teen education program to enhance their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) knowledge and proficiency through hands-on, standards-based science enrichment and experimentation; to provide students with meaningful and challenging volunteer and work experience; to allow them to build crucial interpersonal and professional development skills; and to give them an opportunity to give back to their communities through science outreach.
  2.  San Diego Air & Space Museum (San Diego, California) Award Amount: $124,500The San Diego Air & Space Museum, with its partner the Balboa Park Online Collaborative, will increase public access to its photo and video collections online through the two-year Great Explorations project.
  3. History Colorado (Denver, Colorado) Award Amount: $144,895History Colorado will inventory approximately 4,500 items stored at the Museum Support Center in Pueblo, Colorado, in order to gain physical and intellectual control of the collection, improve collections access, and make collections resources and associated information broadly available for research and use.
  4. Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (Mashantucket, Connecticut)  Award Amount: $32,430Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, a tribally owned and operated institution in southeastern Connecticut, will use its grant to develop new programmatic explorations aided by handheld technologies. Each program will consist of a multimedia, in-depth exploration of an aspect of Pequot Indian history, accessed through the use of touch-screen technologies and enriched by images, oral histories, and objects.
  5. Miami Science Museum (Miami, Florida)  Award Amount: $149,955The Miami Science Museum will develop an exhibit addressing the intellectual needs of adults who accompany young children (aged three to six) to science exhibitions. The goal is to provide access to science for young learners while simultaneously providing rich learning opportunities for adults, thereby optimizing outcomes for multigenerational audiences.
  6. HistoryMiami (Miami, Florida)  Award Amount: $140,700HistoryMiami will present the Cultural Heritage Spotlight Series, an annual artist-in-residence project highlighting Miami area traditional artists and cultures.
  7. National World War II Museum, Inc. (New Orleans, Louisiana)  Award Amount: $150,000The National World War II Museum will use the grant to support The Campaigns Pavilion Road to Berlin, composed of two exhibitions, The Road to Tokyo: Asia-Pacific Campaign Gallery and The Road to Berlin: European-Mediterranean Campaign Gallery. The objectives of this project are to implement an interactive technology to allow visitors to digitally collect content, to provide a digital device for visitors to follow the stories of WWII historical figures; to create a mechanism to collect data of user interactions, and to develop a tool to collect visitor information to facilitate post-visit communications.
  8. American Textile History Museum (Lowell, Massachusetts)  Award Amount: $94,806The American Textile History Museum will accession, catalogue, and scan 2,600 photographs of textile workers, textile mills and machinery, and views of textile cities and towns from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as 1,950 insurance maps of textile mills dating from 1872 to 1953. This project constitutes the final phase of a four-phase effort to improve intellectual control of and online access to the museum’s library and curatorial collections through the Chace Catalogue.
  9. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, North Carolina)  Award Amount: $129,697The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will develop experiential programming and purchase educational supplies and equipment for its Earth Observation and Biodiversity (EOB) Investigate Lab. The EOB Investigate Lab will engage adults and teens, in authentic science research to prepare them for college, the workforce, and science and civic literacy.
  10. Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, Texas)  Award Amount: $131,289The Museum of Nature and Science will create an expanded and highly productive volunteer program to complement its move to a newly built state-of-the-art facility in downtown Dallas. The museum will develop a comprehensive updated volunteer program focused on recruitment, job placement, training, and evaluation in order to provide superior customer experiences and efficient operations, while building strong attendance and membership.

One affiliate received a Museum Grants for African American History and Culture from The Institute of Museum and Library Services:

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, Ohio)  Award Amount: $29,841
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will develop an institutional succession plan to provide professional development opportunities to mid-level managers and to mentor and train identified managers and directors to enhance their leadership and managerial skills.



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