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.



May 27, 2015

Coming Up in Affiliateland in June 2015

Even though we’ll see many Affiliates in DC for the Affiliations National Conference, some will be home leading this great roster of events.

Dr. Libby Haight O’Connell (Chief Historian, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, History Channel and A+E Networks, and Alumnus of the Board of the National Museum of American History) presents The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites, a time-traveling dinner program at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, 6.4.

Attendees at the Jewel City Jamboree in Huntington, WV will hear Smithsonian Folkways recordings.

Attendees at the Jewel City Jamboree in Huntington, WV will hear Smithsonian Folkways recordings.

The Heritage Farm Museum and Village will live stream Smithsonian Folkways recordings during its Jewel City Jamboree in Huntington, 6.6.

The Wolfsonian at Florida International University opens SITES’ Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise exhibition in Miami, 6.12.

The Tampa Bay History Center opens SITES’ Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard exhibition in Tampa, 6.20.

A team of textile conservators from the National Museum of the American Indian will be touring and consulting with the U.S.  Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, 6.16-18.

The Museums of Sonoma County opens SITES’ I Want the Wide American Earth exhibition in Santa Rosa, 6.20.

Twelve Affiliates will welcome interns from the Smithsonian Latino Center’s Young Ambassadors Program from June 29-July 31.  Thank you to the Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL); California Science Center (Los Angeles,  CA); Chabot Space and Science Center (Oakland, CA); Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (Fort Worth, TX); History Colorado (Denver, CO); Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR); Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA); Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ); Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA); and the Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX).


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:

With questions: Email



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)


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 26, 2013

kudos Affiliates! march 2013

2013 continues to a be a successful one for our Affiliates!


Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas

The new Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, Texas) announced a partnership with the Dallas Cowboys after franchise owner Jerry Jones and his wife, Gene, donated $5 million dollars to the museum. Their donation funded the Perot Museum’s atrium, the naturally lit entrance area that spans almost 14 stories high. The area will be named the Gene and Jerry Jones Dallas Cowboys Atrium.

The Long Island Museum (Stony Brook, NY) was awarded three separate grants recently from the New York State Council on the Arts totaling nearly $80,000.  The generous funds from New York State will be used toward educational folk art programs, replacement of heating equipment in the Visitors Center and general operating expenses, which include maintaining museum exhibitions and education programs throughout the year. 

The Center for Jewish History (New York, New York) was awarded a $1.5 million grant from The Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust to establish a reference services division. The grant will be used to create the Lillian Goldman Reference Services alongside the New York center’s reading room, also named for Goldman, and to facilitate research by students, teachers and other patrons.

Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, California) received a $25,000 donation from the Hyundai Motor America car company, in order to help it buy a bus so that it can bring an additional 5,000 students to the museum every year.

January 25, 2013

kudos Affiliates! february 2013

2013 begins with success for our Affiliates!


Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) announced the museum has been awarded a $12 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and plans to open a new exhibit area for young children. The new 21,000-square-foot exhibit space will be devoted to children between 3 and 6 years old. The museum also plans a new main entrance and lobby along with improved parking and updated landscaping.

Mystic Seaport (Mystic, Connecticut) was awarded a $100,000 grant by the Beagary Charitable Trust which the museum will use to create activities and learning tools for use in school, at the museum and online.  The funding will be used to develop educational programs to coincide with the completed restoration and 38th voyage of the museum’s 1841 whale ship, Charles W. Morgan. The designation will afford students across the state an opportunity to learn about Connecticut maritime history, the significance of the whaling industry and the importance of the state’s maritime heritage.

The Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan) received $750,000 as part of the investment in Detroit arts and culture from the Knight Foundation. The grant will enhance the annual Concert of Colors free global music festival, of which the museum is lead producer. In particular, the Knight funding will restore the summer festival’s annual Forum on Community, Culture & Race and help rebuild the Cultural Exchange Network of 50 arts groups that originally facilitated the Concert of Colors.

Pennsylvania Humanities Council recently funded a film and art series to complement “Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges,” at the National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). The exhibit focuses on the story of Jewish professors who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s and found positions at historically black colleges and universities in the Jim Crow South.

The Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, California) received a $25,000 donation from Hyundai Motor America that will go toward the purchase of a bus to be used to provide free tours and art workshops to students from the Los Angeles area.

AAM Accreditation

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) announced that 10 museums have been newly accredited and 13 museums earned re-accreditation at the November 2012 meeting of the Accreditation Commission. Accredited status from the Alliance is the highest national recognition achievable by an American museum. The following Affiliate museums were awarded accreditation.  Congratulations!

Executive Transitions

  • Smithsonian Affiliations would like to extend our best wishes to Robert Ellis, who served 35 years at The Air Zoo (Portage, Michigan).  Former Da Vinci Science Center executive director and CEO, Troy Thrash has been named new chief executive at The Air Zoo.
  • We bid a fond farewell to Paul Knappenberger  who served 22 years at the Adler Planetarium (Chicago, Illinois). Astrophysicist Michelle Larson has been named as the next president of the Adler.
  • Affiliations welcomes Mark Lizewskie, new executive director at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (Hershey, Pennsylvania).

May 22, 2012

coming up in affiliateland in june 2012

The San Diego Museum of Man will be hosting a reception for the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies during the International Society for Technology in Education in San Diego, 6.25.

The Michigan State University Museum will be represented in the Community and Culture Program of the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C., 6.27-7.8.

Following a week of training in June in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian Latino Young Ambassadors will be interning for a month at the following Affiliate host sites:  California Science Center, Museum of Latin American Art, Chabot Space and Science Center, Miami Science Museum, Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Ft. Worth Museum of Science and History, International Museum of Art and Science, and The Museum of Flight, 6.24-8.3.

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