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July 27, 2014

kudos Affiliates! August 2014

Great news from Affiliateland!  Bravo to all!

FUNDING

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.

ACHIEVEMENTS & RECOGNITION

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.


LEADERSHIP

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.

 

September 24, 2013

kudos affiliates! october 2013

The air is turning crisp, but Affiliate accomplishments continue to shine!

FUNDING

Chabot Space & Science Center (Oakland, CA) was presented a “Waste Management Cares” award in the amount of $95,000 for their environmental education programming. 

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced the recipients for the Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums programs featuring the following Affiliates:

History Colorado (Denver, CO)
Award Amount: $134,425; Matching Amount: $214,622
History Colorado will design, create, pilot, and evaluate five multilevel 21st century skills-based Colorado History Digital Badges for children in fourth, seventh, and eleventh grades. Each badge will challenge students to complete various quests or activities in conjunction with the learning standards for their appropriate grade.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO)
Award Amount: $149,965; Matching Amount: $150,099
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science will purchase new storage cabinets to rehouse its Asian collection of 1,130 objects, and enter collections information into its database, making images available for publication through its website. The collection illustrates the main materials, designs, and technologies used by indigenous cultures of China, Taiwan, Japan, South Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.  

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT)
Award Amount: $80,343; Matching Amount: $85,864
Mystic Seaport will catalog, digitally photograph, and place a group of 4,950 objects and photographs into secure storage. The items were selected to support an online learning project for students and teachers, and programming associated with whaling and the restoration and planned voyage of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan, a National Historic Landmark.  

B & O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD)
Award Amount: $135,232; Matching Amount: $185,880
The B&O Railroad Museum will restore the B&O #600 J.C. Davis locomotive that was severely damaged by a collapsed museum roof in a 2003 blizzard. It is one of only two locomotives surviving from Philadelphia’s1876 Centennial Exposition. Four staff and 10 trained volunteers will restore the engine to its 1875 appearance.  

USS Constitution Museum  (Boston, MA)
Award Amount: $280,623; Matching Amount: $286,936
The USS Constitution Museum (USSCM) will use its grant to identify characteristics of family programming that result in active intergenerational engagement, enjoyment, and learning in museums and libraries. The project seeks to create a robust yet flexible set of guidelines for creating genuine intergenerational learning experiences disseminated through workshops, online resources, conferences, and publications.

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI)
Award Amount: $77,292; Matching Amount: $81,117
The Michigan State University Museum will purchase archivally stable storage materials, museum-quality cabinets, and a mobile storage system to create appropriate storage for an 827-box prehistoric and historic archaeological collection to ensure its safety and that of its users and to provide capacity for future collection expansion. The rehousing project will facilitate access by faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars who regularly use the collections.

Center for the History of Psychology, University of Akron (Akron, OH)
Award Amount: $52,454; Matching Amount: $55,038
The Center for the History of Psychology will partner with 10 local high school teachers to design, implement, and evaluate educational resources to provide meaningful, informative, and memorable fieldtrips. The teachers will attend a one-day workshop to brainstorm with the project team. The museum will develop a Teachers Resource Package with guides to the museum, exhibits, and classroom activities; lesson plans based on state standards; and an online repository of archival materials for classroom activities. The museum will also create a “Measuring the Mind” interactive exhibit for teenagers and young adults, providing access to historical materials from the collections.  

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience  (Seattle, WA)
Award Amount: $150,000; Matching Amount: $167,269
The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience will produce a newly designed tour program to empower the Asian Pacific American community to share their stories, help stimulate the local economy, and promote the historic and cultural vibrancy of the district. The Chinatown International District, on the National Register of Historic Places, is Seattle’s lowest-income neighborhood, struggling with multiple issues that threaten its preservation.  

Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody, WY)
Award Amount: $149,958; Matching Amount: $153,004
The Buffalo Bill Historical Center will complete a two-year Picturing Buffalo Bill project to digitize 6,000 photographs in its McCracken Research Library related to the life and career of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Staff will scan, catalog, and upload images to expand the “Buffalo Bill Online Archive” on the museum’s website, along with subject headings and descriptive metadata.  


RECOGNITION

The Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) has earned accredition by the American Alliance of Museums.


LEADERSHIP
Clarence G. “C.G.” Newsome, Ph.D. is the new president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH) 

The Board of Trustees of the Long Island Museum (Stony Brook, NY) announced that Neil Watson has been appointed Executive Director.

August 20, 2013

kudos Affiliates! September 2013

Summer 2013 is winding down but continues to be a hot one for our Affiliates!

Funding

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The National Endowment for the Humanities recently announced the recipients of $33 million in grants for 173 humanities projects, including the following Affiliate projects:

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT)-$164,280
Project: “The American Maritime People” NEH Summer Institute 2014
Project Description: Implementing a five-week summer institute for twenty college and university faculty to examine recent social, cultural, and ecological approaches to American maritime studies.

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT)-$450,000
Project: Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers: The 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan
Project Description: Implementing a long-term exhibition, a website, and public programs at the Mystic Seaport Museum that examine the broad economic, social, and cultural impact of whaling. 

Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME)-$220,000
Project: Implementing Sustainability Strategies for the Abbe Museum’s Collections Environment
Project Description: The implementation of environmental improvements, consisting of upgrades to the climate control and lighting systems, for a museum that collects, preserves, and exhibits ethnographic and historic material relating to the four tribes of central Maine,  collectively known as the Wabanaki.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT)-$300,000
Project: Montana Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization 100,000 pages of Montana newspapers dating from 1836 to 1922, as part of the state’s continuing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Ohio Historical Society (Columbus, OH)-$40,000
Project: Ohio’s Ten Tribes
Project Description: Planning for a five-thousand-square-foot permanent exhibition, a website, and educational materials examining the forced removal of ten Native American tribes from Ohio in the early 19th century and the historical and contemporary impact on these tribes.

Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK)-$300,000
Project: Oklahoma Newspaper Digitization Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Oklahoma newspapers issued between 1836 and 1922, as part of the state’s continuing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA)-$300,000
Project: Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Jews in America
Project Description: Implementation of an artifact-based traveling exhibition, a smaller panel version to be displayed in baseball parks, a catalogue, a website, and related public programs.

- Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, WA)-$179,914
Project: Asian Pacific American Immigrants in the Pacific Northwest: Transforming the Nation
Project Description: Two one-week Landmarks workshops for eighty school teachers to explore the history and culture of Asian immigrant groups in the Pacific Northwest and their significance to the nation.

Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody, WY)-$200,000
Project: The Papers of William F. Cody: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and the European Frontier
Project Description: Preparation for publication of materials related to the tours by Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show of Great Britain and Germany in 1887-1906.

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services recently announced recipients of its grants for African American History and Culture, including the following Affiliates:

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL)-$74,277 to implement the Collection Storage Improvement Project, the goal of which is to safeguard its archival and fine arts collections to ensure that they will be available for use by current and future staff, scholars, and researchers.

– The Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH)-$150,000 for an apprentice program, recruiting recent talented graduates from colleges and universities across the country, with a focus on those from HBCUs.
 

The Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) is going a little Hollywood with its historic collection of films and still photographs that will help tell the story of Sen. Lee Metcalf and his contributions to what he helped make “The Last Best Place.” A two-year grant from the private sector Council on Library and Information Resources will allow them to arrange, preserve and describe the Metcalf photographs and film. The grant provides the resources necessary to spend time researching, identifying and preserving all of the materials in the collections.

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) received a $200,000 grant from the Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) to support the renovation and expansion of the Museum’s Craft Center, providing essential visitor services like climate control and additional area for demonstrations and hands-on activities. The Museum also plans to construct a bakery in the Craft Center, where guests can view demonstrations of 17th-century baking techniques and learn how to make bread.

Leadership

Patricia Wilson Aden has been named the new President & CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia

The International Storytelling Center (Jonesborough, TN) has hired Kiran Singh Sirah, a prominent folklorist, as its new Executive Director.

Carrie M. Heinonen has been named President and Director of the Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ)

April 29, 2013

early learning in museums

SEEC5

Students from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center explore shapes in a nearby sculpture garden.

In 2012, the Institute of Museum and Library Services hosted a series of meetings to inform the development of a groundbreaking report on the role of libraries and museums in early learning.  Among the advisors to those meetings were representatives from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, a model school on the Smithsonian campus that combines the best practices in both early childhood and museum education. 

In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama declared, “Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road… I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America.”

Given the increased interest and discussion at all levels about the importance of early learning, the timing is prime for museums and libraries to articulate and advance their participation in this arena.  The IMLS report, to be released this month, will make the case for decision makers at the local, state, and federal levels to fully use the capacity of libraries and museums in their early learning efforts.  The role (both current and potential) that museums and libraries play in the effort to educate our youngest children is immense, powerful, and inspiring.

As the executive director of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, Dr. Kimberlee Kiehl is well-positioned to discuss how museums can take a leadership role in supporting early learning.  In her keynote talk at the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference on June 12, Dr. Kiehl will focus on collaboration ideas between the Smithsonian and the Affiliate network, and how such partnerships can change the face of early learning in our country. 

Do you have ideas to share about what your organization is doing with young learners?

Do you have specific questions about integrating early learning into your museum?

Take a few minutes to let us know in this quick, 3-question poll, so we can make this session as useful and productive as possible!   http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5NF7PRY

 The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee, 202.633.5304, for more information. Click here for 2013 Conference hotel information, agenda and registration.

 

 

 

October 26, 2012

kudos Affiliates! for November 2012

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

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan) has been awarded $750,000 to help support cross-cultural understanding.

Dr. Kenneth B. Chapman and his wife, Dr. Ulrika Holm, presented Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens (Staten Island, New York) with $10,000 to be used for restoration and repairs to the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden. The Chapman Family has agreed to contribute an additional $10,000 in matching funds for the restoration project.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, Colorado) was one of nine organizations to receive 21st Century Museum Professionals grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The $244,897 award will enable the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, through Denver-area Evaluation Network (DEN) a collaborative of 15 cultural organizations, to positively influence evaluative thinking, implementation, and use in diverse Mountain-Plains museums.

Dell Services is donating $6.5 million in technology and services to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, Texas) to power its IT operations and help support its goal to advance youth education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Union Station Kansas City (Kansas City, Missouri) announced that the funding has been secured to move forward to create a new 3-D digital theater and Innovation Center. Three local foundations – the Goppert Foundation, the Regnier Family Foundation and the Schutte Foundation – provided the funding needed to establish this new theater which will be able to serve multiple purposes: showing a variety of educational and entertainment films, first- and second-run movies, and offering digital, interactive conference space for large groups.

The Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, Arkansas) will qualify for a $7.8 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation thanks to a $520,000 pledge from the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission that completed a local $1.7 million matching requirement. The pledge means almost $10 million will go to begin construction on a massive renovation and expansion program.

Historic Bethlehem Partnership celebrated the announcement that the U.S. Interior Secretary named 14 acres in Downtown Bethlehem a National Historic Landmark District. The distinguished honor means their historic sites “possess exceptional value… in illustrating the heritage of the United States.”

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.

 

 

September 14, 2011

Art, Community, and Culture on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

Special thanks to Sharon Shaffer, Executive Director, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, for this guest post.

Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art, Welcome Center

The Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art (Gulfport, MS) tells three significant stories through its museum and collections. It is the museum design of Frank Gehry, the unparallelled collection of pottery by George Edgar Ohr, and the artifacts of freed slave and craftsman Pleasant Reed that tell important stories of culture and heritage in the Mississippi Coastal Region.

The Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) partnered with the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art (OOMA) to bring these stories to area students through educational field guides, supported by an IMLS grant.  SEEC museum professionals–Sharon Shaffer, Betsy Bowers, and Anna Forgerson– authored the field guides, while OOMA professionals will vet, edit, and create the visual design for the materials.

The student field guides are specially designed for developmental levels (early elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school) with six individual experiences defined for each level.  Each set offers an introduction to the museum, an exploration of the work and life of George Ohr, Pleasant Reed, and Frank Gehry, and a culminating experience that looks at the intersection of these individuals.  The intens is to fully engage students to look, reflect, connect, relate, and imagine, in the galleries and then return to the classroom to extend learning with standards-based ideas provided in teacher’s guides.

"Blackberry Woman" by Richmond Barthe on loan to OOMA from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

A group of K-12 educators from local Mississippi schools serve on an educational planning committee and have offered an inside voice for the experiences crafted by SEEC educators.  They will also play a role in the two days of professional development that SEEC will lead at OOMA in January 2012.

Teachers are eager to begin using the new standards-based materials and the museum is excited to be able to serve area students through newly developed experiences that highlight the stories of their museum.  For all, particularly SEEC, this has been a labor of love… collaborating with exceptional museum professionals and dedicated classroom teachers to tell stories of Mississippi culture and heritage through the beauty of the museum.

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