TWITTER FEED

March 26, 2011

Make the Smithsonian YOUR classroom…

Eric Stanley (left) meeting with Peter Liebhold at the National Museum of American History.

In November 2010, the Sonoma County Museum (Santa Rosa, CA) opened the SITES exhibition Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964 and was ecstatic with the positive response within the local community.  The museum was able to share the bracero story so well in part due to curator Eric Stanley’s participation in the Affiliations Visiting Professionals Program.  Eric was able to meet with and learn from the Smithsonian curators who had planned programming for the original show, which inspired some facets of the installation at the museum, including a hands-on table at which visitors could try out some of the tools braceros used. In all, Eric met with more than 30 Smithsonian experts during his residency and said, “The time I spent with those individuals, each one knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and warmly receptive of my presence, was a tremendous benefit to me and my institution.” Read Eric’s guest blogs about the exhibition and his visiting professionals experience at the Smithsonian.  

Fall 2010 visiting professional, Silvia Ros from The Wolfsonian at Florida International University (Miami) worked at the National Museum of American Indian's Cultural Resources Center.

How can you apply for the Affiliations Visiting Professionals Program?

  • If you are a full-time Affiliate staff member looking to gain more experience in a certain area of interest for your museum, you’re eligible.
  • NEW THIS YEAR!- To help you coordinate your schedule with your sponsoring Affiliate museum, selected candidates have the opportunity to complete their program during any consecutive two-weeks beginning October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012.
  • Affiliate organizations are still not responsible for providing a stipend!
  • Click here for application requirements.
  • Apply online by August 1, 2011!   

Annette Shumway interned at the National Postal Museum in 2010.

And perhaps you have an intern you’d like to recommend to spend a summer at the Smithsonian working on an area of interest for your museum? In 2010, the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University (Miami) recommended Annette Shumway for the Affiliations Intern Partnership Program.  Once accepted, Annette spent the summer at the National Postal Museum cataloging and digitizing the Postmaster General collection. During the second part of her internship back at the Frost, she piloted a digital imaging project involving the permanent collections, made recommendations for turning digitizing projects into programs at the Frost, and researched elements to include in an emergency management plan for the digital collection—all skills she was able to further practice after spending the summer at the Smithsonian.  And even better…Annette was HIRED by the National Postal Museum at the end of her internship and is now a staff member continuing her work on the Postmaster General collection! Read Annette’s blog about her internship experience at the Smithsonian.  

Shawn Pirelli, an intern partner from Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) researched at the NMAH Archives in 2010.

How can you recommend an intern for the 2012 Intern Partnership Program?

  • If you have an established relationship with a college or graduate student (prior/current intern or volunteer perhaps) and a specific project in mind for the intern to work on during the second half of their internship back at the Affiliate organization, direct them to apply online!
  • Interns will work in a more general area of interest while at the Smithsonian and on a more specific project back at the Affiliate organization during the second half of their program.
  • NEW! Affiliate organizations are no longer responsible for any of the intern stipend. Interns will receive a modest stipend from the Affiliations office for D.C. commuting expenses.
  • Interns can apply online! Note- Online registration for the 2012 summer program will not open in October 2011.
  • Click here for application requirements. 

Who can you contact with questions?  Elizabeth Bugbee, External Affairs and Professional Development Coordinator- (202) 633-5304, BugbeeE@si.edu.

January 3, 2011

Sonoma County Museum shares local bracero stories through SITES exhibition

Juan Villa and friend performing Corridos at the "Free Family Day" at the Sonoma County Museum.

This past November, Sonoma County Museum opened the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service’s (SITES) Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964 and they hoped that their local community would help bring the exhibition alive.  The museum was not disappointed.  Through a busy schedule of public events at the museum, visitors responded to the exhibition in a very personal way.  

When the National Museum of American History (NMAH) began researching the Leonard Nadel photographs that were taken to document the lives of the migrant farm workers, curators realized that they had an enormous asset to learn more about the images: the people who were there.  Many braceros are alive today, never having shared their past stories with anyone other than their immediate families.  In some cases, their children are not even aware of their pasts.  Research focused on collecting oral histories and documenting experiences of the thousands of workers that participated in this government program.  When the traveling exhibition was organized, curators hoped that each stop on its tour would yield more stories from this important chapter in American history.  Sonoma County Museum’s programs did just that.  

Oral history screen in the "Bittersweet Harvest" exhibition.

Eric Stanley, Exhibitions and Collections Curator at the Sonoma County Museum told us how they approached the programming that complemented the exhibition so well.  The museum began with video oral histories of local braceros, filmed several months before the opening.  “The oral history project was sponsored in part by a programming grant from SITES, which helped facilitate the project,” said Eric.  Eric also had the opportunity to see the NMAH installation of the exhibition, while in Washington, D.C. as a Smithsonian Affiliations Visiting Professional.  He was able to meet with staff who had planned programming for the original show, which inspired some facets of the installation at the Sonoma County Museum, including a hands on table at which visitors could try out some of the tools braceros used.  

The video oral histories became the centerpiece of the opening reception, which drew many of the interviewed braceros and their families.  One guest, Cruz Leon Martinez, worked as a bracero before settling in Sonoma County- where he found work in a winery.  Mr. Martinez attended with several generations of his family and guests, proud to share the video oral history with them. 

Former bracero Cruz Leon Martinez (seated with hat) and his family at the opening reception.

Sonoma County Museum also hosted a “Free Family Day” which featured live performances of corridos and other songs about labor and migration.  The standing-room only event featured a recent documentary on the Bracero Program and was well covered in the media.   Eric told us that the exhibit has been very popular with tour groups and that he has received many thank you’s from students who have visited the exhibition.  One such note says, “I want to thank you because you gave us the opportunity to go see the museum. I learned about how people were living in their past … I’m going to ask my mom to go to the museum with my sister, because I would like to see my little sister learning about our past.”  

Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964 is on view at the Sonoma County Museum until January 30, 2011.

All photographs courtesy Sonoma County Museum.

 

Privacy

site designed by - ivey doyal