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April 20, 2012

a new face at SEEC!

In 1988, the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center was founded, in part, to demonstrate the tremendous learning potential of museums on very young children, and to share those lessons as broadly as possible.  Dr. Sharon Shaffer, SEEC’s founding director, has grown the organization to three centers on the National Mall and an ambitious outreach program that has trained thousands of educators, including many Affiliates.  Sharon has made an indelible mark on the Smithsonian community, enriching our understanding of early childhood education.  She leaves big shoes to fill upon her retirement later this year. 

SEEC's new executive director, Dr. Kimberlee Kiehl

In July, SEEC will welcome Dr. Kimberlee Kiehl, its new executive director.   Kim currently serves as Chief Strategy and Operations Officer and Senior Vice President for the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio.  Of her many accomplishments at COSI, Kiehl was responsible for the physical and programmatic design of little kidspace®, a 12,000-square-foot “museum-within-a-museum” designed specifically for young children.  She has also been a faculty member at Ohio State University, teaching early childhood education and development courses, and running the University’s laboratory school for children under 6.  Kim earned her doctorate degree in education from Pennsylvania State University. 

the new early childhood space at the B & O Railroad Museum

Affiliates have a long successful history of working with SEEC.  The B & O Railroad Museum in Baltimore consulted with SEEC when developing their dedicated spaces for early learners.  SEEC has conducted trainings and workshops for the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, and the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, MS among others.  In January 2012, four Affiliate representatives from the California Science Center, the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City, the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas and the Miami Science Center all came to Washington, D.C. to participate in a planning session for a National Symposium on Early Learning in Museums, currently under development.

We look forward to continuing the Affiliate-SEEC collaboration for the benefit of our museums’ youngest visitors, in thanking Sharon for the foundations she has laid, and welcoming Kim as a new partner in education.

Look for SEEC at the Resource Fair at the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, June 12-14.  And for more, check out the latest issue of the Journal of Museum Education, guest edited by Sharon Shaffer and focusing on early learning.

December 22, 2011

coming up in affiliateland – december 2011 and january 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.:
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.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:
The
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.

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

 

December 21, 2011

kudos! december 2011 – january 2012

Congratulations Affiliates on ending the year so strong!

Two Affiliates received SITES’ Smithsonian Community Grants, supported by MetLife Foundation:

        The Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, Florida) received $5,000 to fund honoraria, travel, materials and marketing for three programs related to the themes of Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente.   

        The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore, Maryland) received $3,310 to fund a panel, “Clemente in Context/Clemente en Contexto,” to provide museum visitors with some historical and cultural context about Afro-Latino populations in the Caribbean and in the United States. All programming relate to the themes of Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente and IndiVisible: African-Natives Lives in the Americas.

 Chabot Space and Science Center (Oakland, California) received $200,000 to fund the Redwoods overnight environmental education center from the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council which promotes programs and projects to bring young people in touch with the environment. 

The Center for Jewish History (New York, New York), announce the expansion of its international fellowship program to include senior scholars, early career scholars and emerging artists and writers through a new five-year, $750,000 grant from The Vivian G. Prins Foundation. The grant will support fellowships for those who seek permanent teaching and research positions in North America.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) received a $5 million gift from the estate of the late William S. Dietrich II to turn a vacant building into an artifacts storage facility and conservation center. The Center also received a $2 million grant from UPMC to support educational programs and operations at the museum, where the library and archives will be renamed for Thomas and Katherine Detre.

Three Affiliates received Art Works grant awards from the
National Endowment for the Arts:

     Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, Michigan) will receive a $40,000 grant to support the 2012 Great Lakes Folk Festival. In collaboration with the City of East Lansing, the university will produce a festival that showcases the traditional music, dance, foodways, and other cultural expressions of the nation’s Upper Midwest using an innovative approach, highlighting the cultural sustainability and adaptive reuse (recycling) inherent in traditional culture in conjunction with modern technology (a solar powered stage).

     Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art (Biloxi, Mississippi) will receive $34,000 to support the exhibition, George Edgar Ohr: Apostle of Individuality. Designed to be installed in the Knight Gallery, the exhibition will include works by Mississippi ceramic artist George Ohr.

     Whatcom Museum (Bellingham, Washington) will receive $34,000 to support the exhibition, Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775-2012. The exhibition will examine the artistic legacy of the planet’s frozen frontiers — glaciers, icebergs, and fields of ice– now jeopardized by climate change through the presentation of 75 works.

Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) received a $1 million donation from Love’s Travel Stops to help kick off a capital campaign and $30 million renovation for the museum entrance and the addition of a permanent exhibit aimed at introducing young children to science.

Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre (Davenport, Iowa) received $5,000 award from the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend to support the Putnam Power Mission video production. 

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, Massachusetts) will receive a $235,000 grant from the state’s Cultural Facilities Fund to fund repairs, improvements, and expansions. 

The Coca-Cola Foundation awarded $50,000 to the North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, North Carolina) for the development and implementation of the initiative “Educational Outreach Programs for North Carolina Students.”

Two Affiliates were recipients of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) 2011 Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards:

     Center for Jewish History (New York, New York) received $229,600 to fund Illuminating Hidden Collections at the Center for Jewish History.

     San Diego Museum of Man (San Diego, California) received $115,200 to fund Capturing History: Cataloging the San Diego Museum of Man’s Photographic Collection.

 

 

 

September 14, 2011

Art, Community, and Culture on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

Special thanks to Sharon Shaffer, Executive Director, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, for this guest post.

Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art, Welcome Center

The Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art (Gulfport, MS) tells three significant stories through its museum and collections. It is the museum design of Frank Gehry, the unparallelled collection of pottery by George Edgar Ohr, and the artifacts of freed slave and craftsman Pleasant Reed that tell important stories of culture and heritage in the Mississippi Coastal Region.

The Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) partnered with the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art (OOMA) to bring these stories to area students through educational field guides, supported by an IMLS grant.  SEEC museum professionals–Sharon Shaffer, Betsy Bowers, and Anna Forgerson– authored the field guides, while OOMA professionals will vet, edit, and create the visual design for the materials.

The student field guides are specially designed for developmental levels (early elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school) with six individual experiences defined for each level.  Each set offers an introduction to the museum, an exploration of the work and life of George Ohr, Pleasant Reed, and Frank Gehry, and a culminating experience that looks at the intersection of these individuals.  The intens is to fully engage students to look, reflect, connect, relate, and imagine, in the galleries and then return to the classroom to extend learning with standards-based ideas provided in teacher’s guides.

"Blackberry Woman" by Richmond Barthe on loan to OOMA from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

A group of K-12 educators from local Mississippi schools serve on an educational planning committee and have offered an inside voice for the experiences crafted by SEEC educators.  They will also play a role in the two days of professional development that SEEC will lead at OOMA in January 2012.

Teachers are eager to begin using the new standards-based materials and the museum is excited to be able to serve area students through newly developed experiences that highlight the stories of their museum.  For all, particularly SEEC, this has been a labor of love… collaborating with exceptional museum professionals and dedicated classroom teachers to tell stories of Mississippi culture and heritage through the beauty of the museum.

December 2, 2010

Kudos for December 2010

Great job Affiliates for ending the year on a high note!  and congratulations to all Affiliates for their accomplishments this year.   Bravo!

Big congratulations to Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana) and Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, California) for being two of 10 museums and libraries to receive the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from The Institute of Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries that make extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental, and social contributions. In addition to the National Medal, each institution receives a $10,000 award.

 As part of the Illinois Public Museums Capital Grants Program, the Adler Planetarium(Chicago) will receive a $750,000  grant towards new and expanded facilities, exhibits and infrastructure improvements.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has awarded a new $3 million grant to  the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art (Biloxi, Mississippi) to complete the structure for the gallery that displays the work of the celebrated Mississippi potter, George Ohr. The new addition will be named the John S. and James L. Knight Gallery.

The Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona) recently won two grants to help support free school admission for students to tour the museum during field trips. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, awarded the museum $75,000 to support school tours, while the Orange County, California, Community Foundation’s S.L. Gimbel Foundation Fund gave a $7,500 grant to support student programming.

PPL Montana Community Fund awarded the Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, Montana) a $2,500 grant to allow eligible Head Start families a free annual museum membership, part of a team effort between the museum and Head Start to provide financially disadvantaged children the opportunity to visit a museum.

The New York State Museum (Albany, New York) has received a $1 million federal grant to conduct a new research project aimed at protecting endangered species of native freshwater mussels from the lethal fouling impacts of invasive zebra mussels. The grant from the  Environmental Protection Agency, through its Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, will allow museum scientists to use their environmentally safe invention to continue their research with a new emphasis on open-water applications.

Museum of Design Atlanta (Atlanta, Georgia) received a $50,000 grant from the Charles Loridans Foundation to help support its move from downtown to Midtown, where it will open across Peachtree Street from the High Museum of Art in February.

October 26, 2010

coming up in affiliateland in november 2010

November is another busy month in Affiliateland!

ILLINOIS
Sousa and His League of Players: America’s Music and the Golden Age of Baseball opens at the Sousa Archives at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in Champaign, 11.1.

NEW YORK:
The Smithsonian American Art Museum loans a 1966 Charmion von Wiegand painting to the Rubin Museum of Art, in New York, 11.5. 

WASHINGTON:
The Museum of History and Industry will announce their Affiliation at an event with Smithsonian Regent Patty Stonesifer, in Seattle, 11.5. 

NORTH CAROLINA:
David Bohaska, collections manager in the Department of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History will participate in the annual Fossil Festival at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, in Raleigh, 11.6. 

MISSISSIPPI:
The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art will host a Grand Opening of their new museum  and will unveil “Blackberry Woman,” a Richmond Barthe bronze sculpture, on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in Biloxi, 11.6.

PENNSYLVANIA:
The National Museum of American Jewish History hosts a Grand Opening Weekend showcasing several Smithsonian loans, in Philadelphia, 11.12-14. 

PUERTO RICO
Three José Campeche paintings travel for the first time from the Smithsonian American Art Museum to the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, in San Juan, 11.18. 

FLORIDA:
Smithsonian Secretary, G. Wayne Clough, will give a public lecture at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, in Miami, 11.19. 

CALIFORNIA:
The SITES’ exhibition, Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964 will open at the Sonoma County Museum, in Santa Rosa, 11.20. 

*amazing* loans at Affiliates this fall

More than 25 amazing and unique artifacts are on the move from the Smithsonian to Affiliates in six states,  from September to November this year.  This concentration of extraordinary activity gives testament to months (and sometimes years!) of hard work and planning by Smithsonian and Affiliate staffs alike. 

“Americans unable to visit the Smithsonian in Washington now have an opportunity to see some amazing Smithsonian artifacts from our collections in their own communities,” said Harold Closter, Affiliations Director.  “Something special happens when an artifact returns to its location of origin or joins an exhibit where it can be seen in a new context. Thanks to our Affiliates, the Smithsonian has a strong, visible presence in every part of our country.”

From the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY:

Lexington's skeletal head, next to its image while alive.

The fall season kicked off in Kentucky, site of the 2010 World Equestrian Games.  The International Museum of the Horse borrowed the complete skeleton of Lexington, the most famous 19th-century American racehorse, returning him to his birthplace 160 years later.   Read more about this amazing loan in the upcoming Fall 2010 edition of The Affiliate newsletter. 

Isn’t Monopoly the way most of us learned about finance and economics?  A solid gold, jewel-encrusted Monopoly game from the Museum’s gem collection was unveiled with great fanfare in October at the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street in New York City.  While students competed in a Monopoly tournament, the artifact’s creator, jeweler Sidney Mobell, spoke about this one-of-a-kind artwork.   

From the SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM:

Barthe's almost 3' Blackberry Woman

Artist Richmond Barthe’s bronze sculpture Blackberry Woman will soon be on view at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum in Biloxi, Mississippi for the inaugural exhibition in its new African American gallery.  Barthe grew up in Mississippi, and was inspired by the women he encountered there in his childhood.  How elegantly appropriate for this sculpture to return to the genesis of its inspiration!

In November, the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico will display three paintings from SAAM’s Vidal Collection by legendary 18- 19th-century Puerto Rican Old Master, José Campeche.  These inclusions in a definitive retrospective of Campeche’s work represent the first loans ever between these two important art museums, a signficiant accomplishment.

Likewise, SAAM’s painting by Charmion von Wiegand “Nothing that is wrong in principle can be right in practice” will be part of the Rubin Museum’s Grain of Emptiness: Buddhism-inspired Contemporary Art exhibition, the Museum’s first loan to this NYC Affiliate.

 From the ARCHIVES CENTER at the National Museum of American History:  

Detail from the illustrated sheet music, Oh! You Babe Ruth

The Archives Center is making a significant contribution to the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music’s Sousa and His League of Players: America’s Music and the Golden Age of Baseball exhibition, marking the 100th anniversary of the Sousa Band’s World Tour.  With 11 baseball cards (including Ty Cobb’s) and several examples of illustrated sheet music (including Oh! You Babe Ruth and Stars of the National Game music), this exhibition will be the core of the University’s 2010 American Music Month Celebration.

From the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN:

In an unexpected request, the Museum has loaned a 19th-century Sioux flute and hide scraper from the Dakota Territory to the National Museum of American Jewish History.  What’s the connection?  When NMAJH opens its brand new building on Independence Mall this November, part of the history it will tell is the western expansion of Jewish Americans, and the kinds of peoples and objects they encountered along the way.   

And from the MUSEUM CONSERVATION INSTITUTE:

Within the Emperor's Garden - on view at Flushing Town Hall

MCI’s extraordinary object, the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion, made its way between two Affiliates this fall, from Texas to Flushing, New York.  Flushing Town Hall is located in one of New York City’s largest Asian communities, a perfect context for this 1:5 scale model replica from the Imperial Garden in the Forbidden City in Bejing.  Read more about the deinstallation and NYC installation of this object.

THANK YOU to all of our Smithsonian colleagues for their work on these loans, and for our Affiliate friends who so consistently collaborate with us to bring the Smithsonian to their neighborhoods.

 

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