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.

February 23, 2014

Latino Young Ambassadors + Affiliates = next generation of leaders

The Smithsonian Latino Center’s Young Ambassadors Program (YAP) is a national program for graduating high school seniors aimed at fostering the next generation of Latino leaders in the arts, sciences, and humanities via the Smithsonian Institution and its partners. YAP is a college preparatory and leadership program encouraging participants to explore various academic and career opportunities through the lens of the Latino experience.

young-ambassadors-program-sealStudents are selected to travel to Washington, D.C. for a week-long seminar at the Smithsonian, followed by a four-week  internship in museums and other cultural institutions in 17 cities across the United States and Puerto Rico, including 10 Affiliates.

Do you know a Latino teen who aspires to be a leader in the arts, sciences or humanities? 

Who? Graduating high school seniors with a commitment to the arts, sciences, or humanities as it pertains to Latino communities

What? Week-long, all-expenses paid training and leadership seminar and a four-week internship with a $2,000 program stipend

Where?  Washington D.C. and internships in 17 cities across the U.S. and Puerto Rico

When? June 22-August 1, 2014

Why? Opportunity to explore various career paths, embrace your own cultural heritage, and gain practical and leadership skills and intellectual growth

Application deadline: April 7, 2014

YAPFor more information, to view the promotional video, and to apply visit: http://latino.si.edu/programs/youngambassadors.htm

With questions: Email SLCEducation@si.edu



And thanks to the 2014 YAP Affiliate partners!
Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ)
California Science Center (Los Angeles, CA)
Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA)
Chabot Space and Science Center (Oakland, CA)
Miami Science Museum (Miami, FL)
Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL)
Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR)
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (Fort Worth, TX)
International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, TX)
The Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA)


January 6, 2014

starting the new year off right! Affiliate kudos for January 2014


The PPG Industries Foundation announced a $5,000 donation to the Frontiers of Flight Museum (Dallas, TX) to support aviation and space-flight education programs for Pre-K through 10th-grade students.

The Putnam Museum (Davenport, IA) has received a $300,000 grant to develop a Science and Technology Innovation Center. The Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant from Vision Iowa will support the $2.2 million STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning center that will provide hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore, MD) received a $128,000 grant award through The Star-Spangled 200 (SS200) Grant Program in the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 for maximum benefit to Marylanders. The funding will go to support the exhibition “For Whom it Stands: The Flag and the American People” highlighting Grace Wisher’s contribution to the original Star-Spangled Banner and investigates the broader history and representation of the United States flag as an icon of our nation and its people

The Schiele Museum of Natural History (Gastonia, NC) received a $1,000 Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Service Smithsonian Community Grant, sponsored by MetLife Foundation.  The award will be used to fund speakers’ fees for “Bugapolooza,” the museum’s annual celebration of the contributions made by insects to the natural world. Programs will include hands-on activities, interaction with entomologists, museum displays, and presentations by insect researchers in order to increase interest in entomology, as well as an awareness of the value of biological research programs. All programming relate to the themes of Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants.

 A citizen science initiative led by the Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) and Oxford University won $1.8 million from Google’s Global Impact Awards. Zooniverse, a nonprofit collaboration between the two institutions that has already had close to 1 million volunteer scientists participating, links ongoing research to willing volunteers who, in most cases, comb through data that requires human interpretation. The 18 current projects include searching for lightcurve anomalies in telescopic images to help discover distant planets and classifying animals caught in Serengeti National Park camera traps. Zooniverse will use the money to rebuild its platform to make it easier for more science projects to take part. The money will also help the Adler extend the project to schools and youth and community groups locally. 

Historic Bethlehem Partnership  (Bethlehem, PA) will hire and train costumed docents to act as historic ambassadors to Bethlehem’s Moravian history, thanks to a $45,000 allocation in 2014 by the Northampton County Council.

Awards and Recognition

The New England Museum Association (NEMA) elected Susan Funk, executive vice president of Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT), as president of its board of directors.

The American Alliance of Museums has announced that eight museums were newly accredited including  an Affiliate, the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History (Albuquerque, NM).

Assistant Superintendent Peter Aucella of the Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA) received the
Department of the Interior’s Superior Service Award in recognition of his 23-year career with the National Park Service and his stewardship of the Lowell Summer Music Series. 

The Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm (New Milford, CT) was awarded the honor of 2013’s Best Cooking Classes by Connecticut Magazine. 


The Executive Board of Trustees of the International Museum of Art & Science has appointed Danella Hughes as its new Interim Executive Director.


August 28, 2013

The Sun Sets on the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion


The IMAS team de-installs the Pavilion. Photos courtesy Don Williams.

After 5-years on the road visiting 5 Affiliates in Illinois, Texas, New York, and Kentucky, a team of experts packed-up the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion at the International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, Texas) at the end of August. The Pavilion reached nearly 150,000 visitors while on view at Peoria Riverfront Museum, Irving Arts Center, Flushing Town Hall, The Headley-Whitney Museum and IMAS. We’re grateful to Don Williams from the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute who traveled to each Affiliate with a team of volunteers to help install and de-install the Pavilion.

Feeling nostalgic? Wander down memory lane through these past posts from The Affiliate Blog:

Goodbye Texas, Hello New York! Part 1

Goodbye Texas, Hello New York! Part 2

Where Will the Pavilion Go Next?

Center Stage at Headley-Whitney

For more information about the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion, contact affiliates@si.edu.

July 18, 2013

coming up in affiliateland, July-August 2013

Spend your summer at a Smithsonian Affiliate! Check out these events in your neighborhood in July and August.

Kevin Gover, National Museum of the American Indian and Harold Closter, Smithsonian Affiliations, attended the public announcement of the Abbe Museum as a new Smithsonian Affiliate in Bar Harbor, 07.05.

Gabrielle Tayac (Piscataway), National Museum of the American Indian curator of the IndiVisible exhibit will give a public lecture on the similar histories of African-Native Americans and Acadian/Wabanaki relations at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, 7.10. 


Lindsay Bartholomew, science curator at the Miami Science Museum, presented as part of the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access online webinar, Do It Yourself Astrophotography:  Applications for the Classroom and Beyond, along with Mary Dussault, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, in Washington, D.C, 07.10.

The B&O Railroad Museum collaborated with the Smithsonian Science Education Center for a Science Education Academy for Teachers workshop, in Baltimore, 07.10.

Warren Perry, National Portrait Gallery curator, will guest jury the exhibition Humor Me! at Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, in Solomons, 08.07.

National Outreach Manager Aaron Glavas will be speaking at the public announcement of the Telluride Historical Museum as a new Smithsonian Affiliate in Telluride, 7.29.


The Idaho Museum of Natural History will host the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) exhibit Native Words, Native Warriors in Pocatello, 07.20.

The American Jazz Museum will host SITES’ American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music, in Kansas City, 08.01.

The USS Constitution Museum will host a teacher workshop featuring a lecture by Sidney Hart, Senior Historian from the National Portrait Gallery, in Boston, 07.26 and 08.09.

Ten Affiliates are hosting student interns as part of the Smithsonian Latino Center’s Young Ambassadors Program, through 08.02—Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Musical Instrument Museum, California Science Center, Museum of Latin American Art, Chabot Space and Science Center, Miami Science MuseumMuseum of Flight, and the International Museum of Art and Science.

Four Affiliates are participating in a Smithsonian EdLab teacher workshop, Connecting Classrooms, throughout July and August —the South Dakota State Historical Society in Pierre; the International Museum of Art and Science in McAllen, Texas; the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico in San Juan; and Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum in Arizona.

LAST CHANCE! See these exhibitions in your community before they close!


The SITES’ exhibit Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America closes at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, in Mashantucket, 07.21.

Within the Emperor’s Garden: The Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion exhibit closes at the International Museum of Art and Science, in McAllen, 08.18.

SITES’ exhibit IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas closes at the Abbe Museum, in Bar Harbor, 08.04.

February 25, 2013

affiliates in the news! February-March 2013

Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion

Richard Parker, left, Bill Ferguson, right, reconstruct pieces made of red sandalwood to create The Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion on display at the International Museum of Art & Science. photo by Joel Martinez/jmartinez@themontor.com

International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, Texas)
IMAS hosting traveling exhibit channeling 600-year-old Chinese pavilion 

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Heinz History Center exhibit examines ‘1968: The Year that Rocked America’ 

Riverside Metropolitan Museum (Riverside, Calif.)
RIVERSIDE: Smithsonian scientist to visit museum 

Carolinas Aviation Museum (Charlotte, N.C.)
NC museum will receive Smithsonian designation
Carolinas Aviation Museum joins forces with Smithsonian 

Smithsonian scientist Rusty Russell shows off a specimen he collected in the desert at the 2009 Citizen Science Week. During the week from Feb. 12 through 16, school groups will get the opportunity to work with Russell at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum.

Smithsonian scientist Rusty Russell shows off a specimen he collected in the desert at the 2009 Citizen Science Week. During the week from Feb. 12 through 16, school groups will get the opportunity to work with Russell at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum.

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian American Pacific Experience (Seattle, Wash.)
Wing Luke now partner with park service
Seattle’s Wing Luke museum now part of Nat’l Park Service
Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum now part of National Park Service

Naples Museum of Art (Naples, Fla.)
Hirshhorn ‘Mouse House’ now at home in Naples
Naples Museum of Art pleased to make a permanent home for ‘The Mouse House’

 Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, Calif.)
Monday Newsmaker: Promoting understanding of Native American culture

January 2, 2013

what’s up in Affiliateland for December 2012 and January 2013

Events in Affiliateland for December 2012-January 2013

American Textile History Museum will host SITES’ Suited for Space in Lowell, 12.08. 

The North Carolina Transportation Museum will host SITES’ Journey Stories in Spence, 01.05.

The National Postal Museum will host the EdLab! Professional Development workshop at the International Museum of Art and Science in McAllen, 01.09.

The National World War II Museum will host SITES’ Congressional Gold Medal in New Orleans, 01.11. The museum will also participate in the National Museum of American History’s Let’s Do History public program in New Orleans, 01.15.

Kevin Gover, Director of the National Museum of the American Indian, will deliver remarks and observations on Native American art and identity at the Frost Art Museum & The Wolfsonian in Miami, 01.12.

Roger Launius, space curator at the National Air and Space Museum, will present a public lecture on the history and possible futures for human and robotic spaceflight at the Museum of Arts & Sciences in Daytona Beach, 01.19.

The David J. Sencer CDC Museum will host Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum’s Design with the Other 90%: CITIES exhibition in Atlanta, 01.22.

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