April 27, 2016

coming up in Affiliateland: May 2016

Washington, D.C.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, 5.5.

Smithsonian Affiliations welcomes staff from Affiliate organizations at a reception celebrating our 20th Anniversary on the first day of the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting, 5.26

Maria del Carmen Cossu, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service project manager, will serve as a juror at the Mayfaire Arts Festival at the Polk Museum of Art, 5.7.

The Mennello Museum of American Art opens Pop Art Prints, an exhibition of 37 items from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The installation includes works from the 1960s by Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, and others. The installation is part of a series that highlights objects from the collection that are rarely on public view, opening 5.6.

Last chance to see Above and Beyond at the Saint Louis Science Center. The exhibition celebrates the power of innovation to make dreams take flight and features two artifacts from the National Air and Space Museum. The exhibition closes 5.8.

California, Michigan, Washington, Hawaii, Colorado
Four Affiliates– Arab American National Museum, Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, and History Colorado – and the National Museum of American History will connect via webcast to a live Youth Town Hall at the Japanese American National Museum for National Youth Summit: Japanese Incarceration in World War II, 5.17.


The Ohio History Connection will host a videoconference featuring Dr. Jeremy Kinney, curator at the National Air and Space Museum.  The videoconference will connect NASM with the Ohio History Connection and Stone Gardens Assisted Living Complex near Cleveland. Kinney will discuss the Enola Gay and its restoration while a curator from OHC will address the Ohio connections to the plane, 5.19.

Last chance to see two of George Washington’s battle swords together for the first time in over 200 years. One sword is on loan to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens from the National Museum of American History. Exhibit closes 5.30.

There’s still time to see Titanoboa: Monster Snake at the Idaho Museum of Natural History, an exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. On view through 6.12.

October 8, 2015

Kids go bonkers for Superman suit

The signature blue, red and yellow suit worn by mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent wore as Superman is at the Ohio History Center, the headquarters of Ohio History Connection, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Columbus, Ohio, thanks to a loan from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The suit, worn by actor George Reeves in the 1950s televeision show, is part of 1950s: Building the American Dream, a new exhibit at the History Center.

Read the O Say Can You See? blog about this loan.

The Columbus Dispatch posted this video the day the suit was unveiled. They were on hand to see some local school children go bonkers over the suit. Check it out below.

And read the entire Columbus Dispatch story here.

Follow @SIAffiliates, @amhistorymuseum, and @OhioHistory on Twitter to follow the #superman weekend (October 10, 2015 the exhibition opens to the public).

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 http://nsnsports.net/colleges/norwich/

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).

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