September 23, 2015

Coming up in Affiliateland in October 2015

The weather may be getting cooler, but activity in Affiliateland is as vigorous as ever.  Happy autumn!

Dr. Kurin visited the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia in November 2013. Photo courtesy NMAJH.

Dr. Kurin will visited the Sullivan Museum and History Center in Northfield, Vermont.  Photo courtesy NMAJH.

Smithsonian Under Secretary Richard Kurin will deliver the Affiliations’ 20th anniversary kickoff lecture on his book The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects at the Sullivan Museum and History Center in Northfield, 10.2.
The talk will be webcast live for all Affiliates at

The City of Austin’s Asian American Resource Center will open SITES’ I Want the Wide American Earth exhibition with a grand opening in Austin, 10.3.

Sarah Zenaida Gould, lead curatorial researcher at the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio will speak on a panel about Latinos and baseball at the National Museum of American History in Washington, 10.15.

The Smithsonian Associates will be hosting a 4-day tour of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory that features an evening at the Museum of Appalachia and a special tour of the American Museum of Science & Energy in Oak Ridge, 10.3-6.

OHC_Superman_5x7-Postcard_150722c (2)

What’s that flying over Columbus?!

The Ohio History Connection unveils its first loan from the Smithsonian, the iconic Superman costume worn by George Reeves in the 1950s television show (borrowed to complement the ongoing exhibition 1950s: Building the American Dream) with an interview featuring the object’s curator, Dwight Blocker Bowers from the National Museum of American History at a reception in Columbus, 10.8.

The South Dakota State Historical Society will host a celebration for the return of the Great Sioux Horse Effigy that will feature a talk by Kevin Gover, Director of the National Museum of the American Indian, 10.10-12.  The celebration complements an exhibition entitled Oyate Tawicoh’an (The Ways of the People) featuring loans from the National Museum of the American Indian, on view in Pierre 10.15.15-10.15.17.

Scientist Ron Bishop from the National Museum of Natural History will be doing research and a public lecture on Tlatilco ojbects in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in Riverside, 10.18-22.

SITES’ Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation exhibition opens at the Sonoma County Museums in Santa Rosa, 10.31.

August 26, 2015

kudos Affiliates! September 2015

Affiliates end the summer with great news from the National Endowment for the Humanities and impressive accomplishments all around.  Bravo!


The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced $36.6 million in grants for 212 humanities projects including the following Affiliate awarded initiatives:

Project Title: American Indian Boarding Schools: History and Legacy, Transition in American Indian Boarding Schools Project
Description: Planning for the reinterpretation and expansion of a permanent exhibition, two traveling exhibitions, and a catalog that would examine the experience of Native American youth in boarding and tribal schools from the nineteenth century to the present.

Project Title: The American Maritime Commons Project
Description: A five-week institute for twenty college and university faculty on America’s maritime history.

Project Title: Mississippi Digital Newspaper Project, Phase Two

Project Title: Demon Times: Temperance, Immigration, and Progressivism Project
Description: Two one-week workshops for seventy-two school teachers on temperance and immigration in the Progressive Era.

Project Title: From Immigrants to Citizens: Asian Pacific Americans in the Northwest Project Description: Two one-week workshops for seventy-two school teachers to explore the histories and cultures of Asian immigrants in the Pacific Northwest and their significance to the nation.

Project title: Optimization of the Preservation Environment
Description: For preservation, collections and building management stakeholders to work collaboratively to achieve the best possible preservation environment, with the least possible energy consumption, that is both sustainable and appropriate to the particular collections that reside within the Center’s walls.

Project Title: Inventing America: Lowell and the Industrial Revolution Project
Description: Two one-week workshops for seventy-two school teachers on the textile industry in Lowell, Massachusetts, as a case study of early nineteenth-century industrialization.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) announced that the organization will be awarding a $7,120 grant to the Museum of Appalachia (Clinton, TN), to aid with the Peter’s Homestead Roof Preservation and Restoration Project on an early 1800’s rare saddle bag style log house in Appalachian Pioneer Village.

The Boeing Company and Mrs. June Boeing, wife of the late William E. Boeing, Jr., announced a philanthropic partnership, each contributing $15 million to significantly expand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education offered through The Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA). These investments will launch the Boeing Academy for STEM Learning, a vigorous, new STEM-focused education initiative that aims to double the number of students served by the Museum’s immersive programs over the next two years, particularly from communities underrepresented in STEM fields, and connect them to fulfilling, in-demand jobs.

Ultimaker, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of 3D printers, based in the Netherlands, recently gifted nine new 3D printers valued at nearly $21,000, to the Maker Studio at Union Station Kansas City‘s Science Center, Science City (Kansas City, MO). The donation will allow better support of STEAM education during walk-up workshops and demos, school field trips, professional development programs for teachers, and special events.

The South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD) has received a $25,000 challenge grant from Pierre philanthropist Mansour Karim to fund an event for the Great Sioux Horse Effigy Return Celebration scheduled for October 10-12, 2015.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (Staten Island, NY) is one of several Staten Island cultural organizations to receive a share of almost $1.8 million for various infrastructure projects by the city.

Virgin America announced an education-themed partnership with the Frontiers of Flight Museum (Dallas, TX). As part of the partnership, the Burlingame, California-based airline will provide scholarships for students enrolled in the organization’s Flight School and other educational programs.


Lynn Kelly, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (Staten Island, NY), has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).


The American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) announced the appointment of Ralph Reid as interim CEO. Reid retired this year from Sprint, where he was a Vice President and President of the Sprint Foundation.


July 24, 2015

what’s going on in Affiliateland? july-august 2015

Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight exhibition from the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service opened at the Air Zoo in Portage, 7.4.

Dr. Jeremy Kinney of the National Air and Space Museum talks about the role of aeronautic innovation in western Pennsylvania during WWII.

Dr. Jeremy Kinney of the National Air and Space Museum talks about the role of aeronautic innovation in western Pennsylvania during WWII.

Brittany Vernon, Coca Cola/IMLS Museum Studies Apprentice at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati spent a three-week externship at the Anacostia Community Museum, helping the education department plan for a teen docent program in Washington, 7.6-7.24.

The Ohio History Connection will host a webinar on Early Childhood Programming in the Museum featuring Betsy Bowers of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, in Columbus, 8.5.

South Dakota State Historical Society broadcasts Smithsonian webcasts on Space Junk: Fast Trash and Hot Air Balloons and Air Pressure in Pierre, 7.21.

Dr. Jeremy Kinney, curator at the National Air and Space Museum, will give a public lecture on Innovating for Victory: How Pittsburgh Helped Win WWII lecture at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, 7.25.

Measuring 48 feet long and weighing in at 2,500 pounds, the massive predator Titanoboa cerrejonensis is coming to Seattle.   ©2012 SNI/SI Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Measuring 48 feet long and weighing in at 2,500 pounds, the massive predator Titanoboa cerrejonensis is coming to Seattle.
©2012 SNI/SI Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Center will also host the annual Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures: An Antiques Appraisal Show event, featuring Manda Kowalczyk, Preservation Specialist at the National Postal Museum, in Pittsburgh, 8.30.

The Long Island Museum opens Beth Levine: The First Lady of Shoes exhibition, featuring Levine’s portrait on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, in Stony Brook, 8.21.

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate will present Innoskate 2015 in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation in Greenville, 8.8.

The Chabot Space and Science Center hosts ¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert Family Day in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center, in Oakland, 8.22.

The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture will open Titanoboa: Monster Snake from the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service in Seattle, 8.22.

Mary Savig, curator at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, will serve as a juror for the exhibition Finding our Place: The Geography of Art at the Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center in Solomons, 8.24.

Skaters of all ages can learn innovative techniques at Innoskate in South Carolina.

Skaters of all ages can learn innovative techniques at Innoskate in South Carolina.

March 24, 2015

The Rollercoaster of Brand Marketing: How to Learn from (Our) Successes and Pitfalls in Launching New Brands

Do you launch a new brand from the top down or the bottom up? Is every tactic and strategy a winner? Is your brand strategy still successful years later? Both the Ohio History Connection and the Smithsonian Institution have recently embarked on name changes or brand refreshes. At the 2015 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, colleagues from each organization will tackle what can be learned from launching new brand strategies.

A sample ad from the Smithsonian "Seriously Amazing" campaign in 2012.

A sample ad from the Smithsonian “Seriously Amazing” campaign in 2012.

Erika Ferrin is the Brand Marketing Manager at the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian launched a new branding campaign in 2012 with the new tagline “Seriously Amazing,” a way to broaden people’s understanding of what the Smithsonian is and does. But what has happened in the past three years? Erika will give an overview of what has happened, for better or for worse, since the Smithsonian decided to update its brand.

Jamison Pack is the Chief Marketing Officer at Ohio History Connection, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Columbus, Ohio. Last spring, Ohio Historical Society changed its name to Ohio History Connection to make history more accessible. The name change came after two years of research which showed that respondents saw the organization as inaccessible and antiquated. Jamison will discuss making the case for the Ohio History Connection’s name change and the cultural shifts within an organization involved in selling the value of marketing your brand.


Both panelists will show some examples of their best ideas that all Affiliates can take away, some things that didn’t go according to plan, and biggest challenges at each organization. Finally, Erika will open discussion for how Affiliates can be part of the Smithsonian brand campaign in their own communities and how the Smithsonian can learn from Affiliate methods.

Join them on Wednesday, June 17 at 2:00 p.m.

Are you registered for the 2015 Affiliations National Conference, June 15-17?!

See the full agenda.

Book your hotel room at the Residence Inn-DC/Capitol

The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, or have an application in progress and would like to attend the Conference, please contact us for more information. If you have questions or comments related to the Affiliations National Conference, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

March 23, 2015

kudos affiliates! for April 2015

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.


The National Archives awarded $2,186,024 in grants to assist in numerous history projects across the country including the following Affiliates:nhprc_logo-th

Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH)  Amount-$23,361
To support the state historical records advisory board and its electronic records training, History Day, and statewide regrant programs.

San Diego Air and Space Museum (San Diego, CA)  Amount-$99,000
To support a project to process approximately 165,000 images from the Convair/General Dynamics collection of the Atlas rocket program from its inception in the 1950s through the mid-1980s. Approximately 50,000 images will be digitized and available online.

History Colorado (Denver, CO)  Amount-$48,044
To support a two-year project to arrange and describe four large photograph collections documenting the development of modern Colorado and the American West in the mid-20th century. The museum will also digitize and post online 800 photographs that staff will select for their research value and potential research use.

The PPG Industries Foundation announced the donation of $10,000 to the Frontiers of Flight Museum (Dallas, TX) to support a Young Women’s STEM Leadership Initiative, a new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education program for 6th- through 12th-grade students from two public all-girls schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Through the new initiative, more than 600 students will participate in guided tours of the Frontiers of Flight Museum;  and includes paid internship opportunities for 10 upper-class students to assist teachers with spring break camp and 16 internships and 10 scholarships for the museum’s Flight School Summer Camp.


George Guastello will receive the Nonprofit Connect nonprofit professional award for his work as president and chief executive of Union Station Kansas City (Kansas City, MO), which has stabilized funding, programming and occupants during his tenure.

Chabot Space & Science Center (Oakland, CA) and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science (Miami, FL) have been named finalists for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in recognition of exceptional service to the community and for making a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities.



Cayetana S. Gómez, new President and CEO of the Mexican Museum in San Francisco.

Cayetana S. Gómez, new President and CEO of the Mexican Museum in San FrancisLEADERSHIP CHANGES

The Mexican Museum (San Francisco, CA) announced that Cayetana S. Gómez has been hired as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

July 27, 2014

kudos Affiliates! August 2014

Great news from Affiliateland!  Bravo to all!


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.


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.


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.


April 28, 2014

affiliates in the news

Congrats to these Affiliates making news! Each month we highlight Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines.  If you have a clipping highlighting a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

Ohio History Connection (Columbus, Ohio)
Ohio Historical Society Changes Its Name To Ohio History Connection
Logan says the word “connection” also better explains how people can access Ohio history.  With more than 1.9 million artifacts in its collection, Logan says the Ohio History Connection is a national leader in changing how people can access history and believes the new name better reflects this trendsetting programming

University of Nebraska State Museum (Lincoln, NE)
Watch the Kirk Johnson’s public lecture at the Museum here!

All photos courtesy University of Nebraska State Museum.

All photos courtesy University of Nebraska State Museum.

Smithsonian director praises Nebraska’s treasure trove of fossils
“Ninety of the state’s 93 counties have supplied fossils to the world …,” Johnson, sant director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, told an audience in Lincoln on Wednesday. “You have a world resource here — not just a Nebraska resource.”

Smithsonian director to discuss Nebraska’s fossils at UNL
The lecture is partially connected to Morrill Hall’s recent affiliation with the Smithsonian Institute back in February. The Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program which develops relationships with museums, educational and culture organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The NU state museum joins 184 museums, educational and cultural organizations in its affiliation.

Museum Center at 5ive Points (Cleveland, TN)
Museum signs agreement to be Smithsonian affiliate
The Museum Center at Five Points has signed an agreement to become an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Hassan Najjar, the museum’s executive director, said the partnership means the local museum may soon play host to nationally traveling artifacts and exhibits owned by the Smithsonian.

Photo credit: Museum of the Rockies

Photo credit: Museum of the Rockies

Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT)
Tyrannosaurus Rex to embark on cross country journey
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District’s Wankel Tyrannosaurus Rex will soon travel from Montana, where it has resided for the past 66 million years, to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, Mont., home to the T.rex since it was excavated in 1993, will host a free, public sendoff April 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Smithsonian Museum to get a T. rex – via FedEx
Known as “the Nation’s T. rex,” the unmounted specimen is being trucked from the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman to Washington, via FedEx, where it will be unpacked April 15 and eventually serve as the centerpiece of a new National Fossil Hall, opening in 2019, according to the Washington Post.

65 million-year-old T Rex headed to nation’s capital for next 50 years
Big Mike outside the Museum of the Rockies is a creature many of us recognize. The T-Rex is actually a bronze replica of a fossil found in the 90’s which is about to head to a new home in Washington D.C.

Delicate dance with a dinosaur
In collaboration with the Museum of the Rockies, in Bozeman, Mont., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District entered an agreement to loan one of its two Tyrannosaurs Rex specimens to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History for 50 years.

Rare T.rex sets off from Montana on road trip bound for Smithsonian
The fossil of the 38-foot-long carnivore, found on federal lands in Montana in 1988, has played a starring role in scientific research at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman since its excavation by paleontologists led by curator Jack Horner.


#NationsTrex in crates when it arrived @NMNH on April 15. Photo credit: Smithsonian Affiliations.

#NationsTrex in crates when it arrived @NMNH on April 15. Photo credit: Smithsonian Affiliations.

Rare T.rex goes on a road trip in the US
The rare and nearly intact skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex that roamed the earth 65 million years ago set off from Montana last Friday on a cross-country road trip, its first, bound for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

65-million-year-old T-Rex fossil arrives at DC museum
The tyrannosaurus rex was FedEx-ed to the Smithsonian in 16 different crates carefully carrying all of the 200 plus fragile bones for the road trip from the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana. Estimated at about 65 million years old, the skeleton is nearly 85 percent intact.

T. rex gets new home in Smithsonian dinosaur hall
More than 100 years after dinosaurs were first displayed on the National Mall, T. rex — the king — is joining the Smithsonian collection after a 2,000-mile journey from Montana.



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