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).

December 22, 2011

coming up in affiliateland – december 2011 and january 2012

a busy ending to 2011… and full steam ahead into 2012!  

Frontiers of Flight Museum hosts the the National Air and Space Museum’s At the Controls in Dallas, 12/1.

Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History celebrated its 10th anniversary as a Smithsonian Affiliate in Kennesaw, 12/3.

Littleton Museum hosts SITES’ 125 Years of Lasting Light: Grand Canyon Photography in Littleton, 12/8.

American Museum of Science and Energy hosts SITES’ Earth From Space in Oak Ridge, 12/16.

Mennello Museum of Art will host SITES’ William H. Johnson: An American Modern in Orlando, 1/6.

The Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center will present a professional development workshop at the
Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, 1/12.

Orange County Regional History Center will host SITES’ Beyond Baseball: Roberto Clemente in Orlando, 1/21.

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA), Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL), National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA), Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI), Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA), Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA), Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, TX), and the Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) will participate in a two day meeting to brainstorm ways in which the institutions could work together to foster civic engagement on immigration/migration issues, 1/25-1/26.

Rubin Museum of Art (New York, NY), the Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, TX), Miami Science Center (Miami, FL), and the California Science Center (Los Angeles, CA)  will participate in planning meeting for a National Symposium on Early Learning, 1/27-28.

Columbia Memorial Space Center will host SITES’ Suited for Space in Downey, 1/28.


August 6, 2011

happy anniversary to the American Jewish History museum

August 6, 2011
Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the Smithsonian’s partnership with the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) in Philadelphia.  When we met, the Museum shared space on Independence Mall with the  Congregation Mikveh Israel (known as the “Synagogue of the American Revolution”), whose members founded the Museum in 1976.   As the only Museum in the nation dedicated exclusively to the American Jewish experience, its 15,000 square feet presented an opportunity to share over 100 exhibitions and the largest collection of Jewish Americana in the world. 

Barry Halkin/Halkin Photography, courtesy of the National Museum of American Jewish History

Today, the Museum has moved a half-block, to a new,  state-of-the-art five-story building facing the Liberty Bell that will be celebrating its first birthday this November.  This location is significant and appropriate.  The Museum documents the 350+ year history of Jews in America, and in so doing, celebrates the freedoms that have made it possible for Jewish Americans – or any other ethnic group – to flourish in this country. 

The Smithsonian has been a proud partner with the Museum during our decade-long relationship.  For example, in 2002 the Institution worked with the Museum during Philadelphia’s ‘Culturefest’ to present Smithsonian curators and scholars on a variety of topics.  In 2005, the Museum hosted an ‘antiques roadshow’ program, designed to help its visitors save their personal collections, with the help of a Smithsonian conservator.

With the opening of the Museum’s new home, our partnership reached new heights.  NMAJH is now displaying artifacts that are among the most rare and valuable in all the Smithsonian’s collections.  Visitors to the Museum can see Albert Einstein’s pipe, Sandy Koufax’s baseball glove, and Irving Berlin’s World War II uniform, among other items of Jewish Americana.  And our plans to share even more objects extend for many years forward.

So, to our friends and colleagues in Philadelphia – mazel tov!  Here’s to our accomplishments and may there be many more to come in the next ten years.

January 14, 2011

affiliates in the news

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week! 

Conner Prairie received the National Medal for Museum Service, a top honor for museums and libraries. (Photo Courtesy Conner Prairie)

Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana)
Top museum honor goes to Conner PrairieREAD MORE 

Miami Science Museum (Miami, Florida)
MiaSci receives girls’ education grantREAD MORE 

African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Citizens Bank Foundation donates $25,000, sponsors free Community Day at the African American MuseumREAD MORE 

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
A Museum Taken on Faith…READ MORE
Here’s how to navigate Philly’s newest addition…READ MORE

Montana Historical Society
(Helena, Montana)
Montana Historical Society keeps accreditation…READ MORE

U.S. Space and Rocket Center (Huntsville, Alabama)
Bobby’s Bama: U.S. Space And Rocket CenterREAD MORE

December 20, 2010

affiliates in the news: monday, december 20

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines today!

Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
Michelle Obama Presents Highest Honors for Museums to Japanese American National MuseumREAD MORE
Remarks by the First Lady at the National Medal for Museum and Library Services CeremonyREAD MORE 

Honoring outstanding Museums and Libraries…WATCH VIDEO

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA)
The National Museum of American Jewish History opens in PhiladelphiaREAD MORE

Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana)
Conner Prairie gets White House honorsREAD MORE
Indiana living history museum gets national honorREAD MORE
Honored in Washington Conner Prairie named one of the best in the U.SREAD MORE
Remarks by the First Lady at the National Medal for Museum and Library Services CeremonyREAD MORE
Conner Prairie Honored Among Nation’s Best MuseumsREAD MORE
Conner Prairie wins medalWATCH VIDEO

November 26, 2010

affiliates in the news

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week!

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, Massachusetts)
The real Thanksgiving unveiled at Plimoth PlantationREAD MORE
History Channel airs show on Thanksgiving produced by local nativeREAD MORE  
Plimoth Plantation helps reveal “The Real Story of Thanksgiving”READ MORE


The Air Zoo (Portage, Michigan)
Air Zoo expandingREAD MORE
Air Zoo expansion to consolidate exhibitsREAD MORE

Arizona State Museum (Tucson, Arizona)
Southwest’s roots on exhibit at Arizona State MuseumREAD MORE

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Refined Jewish Museum Shows Up Drab Philadelphia Mall: ReviewREAD MORE
National Museum of American Jewish History, designed by James Polshek, opensREAD MORE
National Museum of American Jewish History’s new home unveiledREAD MORE
National Museum of American Jewish History comprised of multiple interlocking volumesREAD MORE 

Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, Montana)
MSU Paleontologist Receives International AwardREAD MORE

November 12, 2010

affiliates in the news

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines!

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Jewish history museum set to open near historic Philadelphia sitesREAD MORE
New National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia Celebrates Jewish LifeREAD MORE 
New Philadelphia museum celebrates Jewish lifeREAD MORE
New museum traces accomplishments of American JewsREAD MORE 
Jewish Museum Completes New Home in PhiladelphiaREAD MORE
American Jewish History Museum To OpenWATCH VIDEO
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of IdentityREAD MORE
Museum shows view of American history through Jewish lensREAD MORE
A Walking Tour Through TimeREAD MORE
Jews You Can UseREAD MORE
A People’s HistoryREAD MORE

Museum of American Finance (New York, New York)
Monopoly’s diamond yearREAD MORE 

Poverty Point State Historic Site (Louisiana)
Poverty Point accepted as Smithsonian AffiliateREAD MORE 

Rubin Museum of Art (New York, New York)
Buddhism’s Influence on Contemporary Artists Explored by the Rubin Museum of ArtREAD MORE
The Rich, Detailed Fullness Found in Empty

Historical cottage at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center (Staten Island, New York)
Staten Island gem: A guide to the new Snug Harbor Cultural CenterREAD MORE

The Museum of Flight (Seattle, Washington)
Museum Of Flight Names New President And CEOREAD MORE 

Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)
Heard Museum receives grant from local tribeREAD MORE
Grant allows more students to visit Heard MuseumREAD MORE 

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, Massachusetts)
Thanksgiving Virtual Field Trip Brings More than a Million Students Nationwide to Plimoth Plantation on November 16, 2010READ MORE  
Debunking Thanksgiving Myths at Plimoth PlantationREAD MORE
Plimoth Plantation: A step back in timeREAD MORE

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