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.



August 26, 2014

coming up in affiliateland in September 2014

Affiliates are “going back to school” with gusto this September!

Smithsonian Affiliations staff will participate in a ceremony with Senator Patrick Leahy to announce our new affiliation with the Sullivan Museum and History Center, the first Affiliate in Vermont, in Northfield, 9.2.


new book by National Air and Space Museum educator

The Abbe Museum welcomes Tim Grove, educator at the National Air and Space Museum, for a talk and signing of his new book A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History, in Bar Harbor, 9.4.

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute hosts the Save Our African American Treasures program organized by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Birmingham, 9.6.

Chef and expert on Native cuisine Richard Hetzler presents a lecture and cooking demonstration at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum in St. Augustine, 9.6.

The Museum of Arts and Sciences presents Septembers with the Smithsonian, which includes a public lecture by Craig Saffoe, Curator of Big Cats from the National Zoo, 9.20; and a concert and student workshops with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, in Daytona, 9.27.

The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum opens SITES Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America in Clewiston, 9.13.

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science hosts a workshop on Creating Collections with Young Children led by educators from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, in Dallas, 9.11-12.

George Jacob, Executive Director, Ellen Noël Art Museum (Odessa) will give a lecture on the meaning of WPA era murals as part of The Art of Tom Lea: Preserving Our National Heritage symposium hosted by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., 9.24.

visitors enjoy Ramp It Up

Ramp It Up exhibition coming to Florida

The National Museum of American History collaborates with the Arizona Historical Society and the Arizona State Museum to present the Let’s Do History professional development program for teachers in Tucson, 9.20, 27.

The Idaho Museum of Natural History opens SITES I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story exhibition in Pocatello, 9.20.

Renee Anderson, textile conservator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, will spend a week at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, in dialogue with staff on conservation projects and future collaboration opportunities, in Carlisle, 9.22-26.

The Riverside Metropolitan Museum presents Smithsonian Week in Riverside featuring talks by experts from the National Museum of the American Indian, 9.24-27.  The Museum also opens Cahuilla Continuum, an exhibition featuring three objects from the National Museum of the American Indian, in Riverside, 9.26


curator Jeff Post talks gems in Illinois

More than 75 Affiliates will participate in Smithsonian Museum Day Live!, offering free admission to their museums, 9.27. Find a list of participating Affiliates here.

The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art hosts a talk by National Museum of Natural History curator Jeff Post on A Look Inside the Smithsonian’s Gem & Mineral Collection in Elmhurst, 9.28.

Smithsonian Affiliations staff will attend the opening ceremonies of the new BioMuseo when it opens to the public in Panama, 9.29.

February 24, 2014

Affiliates in the news!

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, South Carolina)
Article- Children’s Museum partners with Smithsonian: Partnership helps museum expand reach, focus on STEM growth
The Children’s Museum of the Upstate has been named a Smithsonian Affiliate, becoming the only children’s museum in the nation to partner with the century and a half old institution that serves as custodian of a large swath of cultural and historical heritage.

Photo gallery-

Greensboro Historical Museum (Greensboro, North Carolina)
Montagnard teens tell stories in Smithsonian-funded documentary
The film was made through a grant to the Greensboro Historical Museum from the Smithsonian Affiliates and the Asian Pacific American Center. The staff at the historical museum reached out through church sponsors to find Montagnard teenagers, convened about a dozen of them to discuss what kind of story they wanted to tell about themselves, put video cameras in their hands and then set them loose to interview each other.

Schiele Museum of Natural History (Gastonia, North Carolina)
Smithsonian traveling exhibit on ants opens at Gastonia’s Schiele Museum
It’s an intricate, highly regimented insect society that conducts business out of sight from most humans. A new traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution that opened Saturday at Gastonia’s Schiele Museum of Natural History explores this diverse world.

Fun social media opportunity coinciding with Titanoboa exhibit. Photo courtesy University of Nebraska State Museum.

Fun social media opportunity coinciding with Titanoboa exhibit. Photo courtesy University of Nebraska State Museum.

University of Nebraska State Museum (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Replica of giant snake slithers into Lincoln for exhibit expected to scare, inspire visitors
The collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Florida Museum of Natural History and University of Nebraska State Museum is expected to be a hit. “It will be very popular with families and with the students — everyone likes a good scare,” said Cheryl Washer, registrar and project director for the Smithsonian traveling exhibit service.

The University of Nebraska State Museum has been named an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
“The State Museum’s new designation as a Smithsonian Affiliate builds on our long-standing research collaborations with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History,” said Priscilla Grew, director of the museum. “Three of our curators are Smithsonian research associates, and the Smithsonian’s national scarab beetle research collection has been on long-term loan to the State Museum for many years.”

Titanoboa, world’s largest snake, replica comes to Morrill Hall
Titanoboa is coming to Lincoln. The 48-foot-long replica of the world’s largest snake will be featured at the University of Nebraska State Museum in Morrill Hall starting Saturday. The exhibit is part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and will be open through Sept. 7.

World’s largest snake replica slithers to Lincoln
UNL paleontologist Jason Head helped bring the Smithsonian exhibit to Nebraska. He is the world-renown snake expert who, on a video conference five years ago, helped researchers identify the beast from a fossil. The titanoboa was uncovered in a Colombian coal mine.

Smithsonian exhibit makes its way to Lincoln
Cheryl Washer of the Smithsonian Institute has been traveling with exhibits for more than twenty years. She’s the one responsible for getting Titanoboa to look her best before the exhibit opens up to the public. “When I get to go to the museum to see the reaction of the staff, if I get to see the visitors,” Washer said. “This is an exhibit that’s not only educational but a lot of fun. And that’s a joy.”

 National World War II Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Monuments Men’ Records Hit National Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian
A permanent “Monuments Men Experience” is being developed at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. It’s scheduled to open in 2016.

Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
JANM Joins Smithsonian National Youth Summit on Freedom Summer
Approximately 200 students will be at JANM to participate in the National Youth Summit by joining in the conversation and hearing from Tamio Wakayama, a Nisei Japanese Canadian who joined the American Civil Rights Movement as a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art (Elmhurst, Illinois)
Lizzadro Museum exhibits ‘showy’ Smithsonian jewelry
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but Dorothy Asher took explicit care to look for other gem stones when cultivating the Lizzadro Museum’s current “Modern Designer Jewelry from the Smithsonian” exhibit.

This is a replica of the Apollo 11 space suit. While the space suits were life-giving, remarkable engineering feat in space, they are too fragile for the earth’s atmosphere. The originals from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum do not travel.

This is a replica of the Apollo 11 space suit. While the space suits were life-giving, remarkable engineering feat in space, they are too fragile for the earth’s atmosphere. The originals from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum do not travel.

Tampa Bay History Center (Tampa Bay, Florida)
Exhibit explores space through astronaut clothing
The latest exhibition at Tampa Bay History Center explores space through astronaut clothing. The History Center’s “Suited for Space” opened in February 1st and will be on display through April 27.

What to Wear? The History and Future of Spacesuits
The issue of “what to wear?” takes on an extra dimension of life and death when it comes to space travel…We recently had a chance to see the past, present and future of space suit technology in the Smithsonian Institutions’ touring Suited for Space exhibit currently on display at the Tampa Bay History Center in Tampa, Florida.

January 20, 2011

kudos affiliates! february 2011

Affiliates start the new year off right with news of support.  Nice going!

Jack S. Parker, a former Vice Chairman of the General Electric Company, made a legacy gift to the Heard Museum’s (Phoenix, Arizona) endowment through the Maie Bartlett Heard Society, the Heard’s planned giving program. Parker’s gift included a $1 million cash annuity and a $1.6 million American Indian art collection bequest. The Heard Museum also received another significant gift with the donation of the Santa Fe Collection of Navajo Rugs from Dr. Charles and Linda Rimmer. The 77 Navajo textiles, created in the late 20th century, represent many styles hand woven by some of the most accomplished Navajo weavers.

Two Manitowoc couples and maritime enthusiasts donated $10,000 for the installation of three vintage MK-14 World War II torpedoes on the USS Cobia docked at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, Wisconsin). The project is part of the ongoing restoration of the Cobia, a restored WWII submarine on display.

The Telluride Foundation awarded $15,000 to the Pinhead Institute (Telluride, Colorado) to support its science-based educational programming.

The Miami Science Museum was awarded a $75,000 grant by Chase to implement the Girls SPICE (Science Program Inspiring Creative Exhibits) project. The grant will allow the Museum to work with Charles R. Drew Middle School’s Visual and Performing Arts Magnet Program to implement an afterschool and summer program targeted to female students in grades 7-8.

The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art (Elmhurst, Illinois) has received a $150,000 state grant to use for capital expenses related to the project to renovate and improve its Rock and Mineral Experience exhibit, which focuses on the earth sciences, lapidary arts and science.

The Citizens Bank Foundation announced a donation of $25,000 to the African American Museum in Philadelphia to underwrite the museum’s commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 17. The foundation grant will provide free admission to the museum, as well as special events, including the Citizens Bank Scavenger Hunt for Heritage designed to help children learn about the museum and African American history.

December 30, 2009

affiliates in the news: week of dec. 28

Congratulations to these Affiliates in the news!

San Diego Natural History Museum (San Diego, CA)
Natural History Museum now LEED certified

Morris Museum of Art (Augusta, GA)
The Morris Museum of Art Embarks Upon Reinstallation of Its Permanent Collection
Museum making changes to showcase art

Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, VA)
Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s “bug guy” to leave for Virginia post

 North Carolina Transportation Museum (Spencer, NC)
Museum display: The World Aloft 1908

Chabot Space and Science Center (Oakland, CA)
Allen: Chabot explores “Tales of Maya Skies” in new exhibit

Frost Art Museum at Florida International University (Miami, FL)
Cintas Foundation Program at FIU Frost Art Museum Announces 2010 Competition for Coveted Visual Arts Fellowship

Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, FL)
Orange County Exhibit Depicts 12,000 Years of Fla. History

The Air Zoo (Portage, MI)
Air Zoo’s free-admission promotion nearly doubles attendance for 2009

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art (Elmhurst, IL)
Golden chessboard one of exhibit’s gems
Lizzadro gem of a museum

Frontiers of Flight Museum (Dallas, TX)
The Dallas Morning News Robert Miller column: New executives taking over at Frontiers of Flight Museum



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