October 27, 2016
Here’s a recap of our Affiliate news makersÂ in October.Â If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science youâ€™d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contactÂ Elizabeth Bugbee
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. (Tamika Moore | firstname.lastname@example.org)
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL)
Birmingham Civil Rights District should be designated a national park
While I walked through NMAAHC and shared information with my two daughters, I was reminded of Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s long connection with the museum. Before there was one brick in place, BCRI collaborated with NMAAHC on numerous projects, including showcasing one of its traveling exhibitions, “Let Your Motto Be Resistance,” back in 2009. Our staff has supported its efforts in planning, the securing of objects and community support.
Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH)
New Smithsonian museum has Dayton connection
A traveling exhibit â€œA Place for All Peopleâ€ is also designed to pique interest in the new museum. That show, a collection of posters, is currently on display at the Springfield Museum of Art. Ann Fortescue, the Springfield museumâ€™s executive director, says one of the many benefits of being a Smithsonian Affiliate museum is sharing whatâ€™s happening at the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. with audiences in the Miami Valley.
“Star Wars and the Power of Costume” showcases not only the outfits that have become iconic, but the process behind the creation of the characters and their adornments. In the exhibition, you’ll see both concept art (left) and the final looks (right), including these of C-3PO and R2-D2 from “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.” â€”Photo Â© & â„¢ 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization
Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Behind the Scenes of the DAM’s Upcoming “Star Wars” Exhibit
It’s been a few days since the latest Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer was released, and it’s another two months until the film hits theatersâ€”but don’t despair. You can get your fill of the Star Wars world in the interim with Star Wars and the Power of Costume, which takes over the second floor of the Denver Art Museum (DAM) from November 13 through April 2.
New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM)
New Exhibit to Showcase Gene Roddenberryâ€™s Vision
But the smallest exhibit cases may be the ones that hold the real treasures, straight from the vault of the Smithsonian. The Star Trek episode The Trouble With Tribbles, written by David Gerrold who will be a special guest on opening night, revolves around furry little critters that multiply at an incredible rate and who also have a serious dislike for Klingons. Although the Starship Enterprise was overrun by tribbles at the time, only a very few remain in existence today. The tribble visitors will admire inside its eight inch case was actually used in that episode and is on loan to the museum from the Smithsonian.
National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN)
The Smithsonian Names the National Civil Rights Museum as an Affiliate Museum
The National Civil Rights Museum has been named a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. The Museum is the second Smithsonian Affiliate in Memphis, and seventh in the state of Tennessee.Â
Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA)
National Museum of American History Examines Religion in America
Led by Richard Pickering, deputy executive director of Plimoth Plantation, the documentary theater program will explore the intersection of two musical traditions: hymns and psalms from the Church of England and Calvinist congregations and the sacred songs and dance of the Wampanoag, the indigenous people of Cape Cod, the Islands and southern Massachusetts.
Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, IL)
Peoria Fine Arts Society hosts lectures on new national African American museum
Author, lecturer and teacher John W. Franklin will speak at the Peoria Riverfront Museum on Oct. 13 about the National Museum of African American History and Culture that recently opened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Researchers simulated a gannet plunging into water, capturing the process with a high-speed camera. (Image by Sunny Jung/Virginia Tech)
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
STUDY SHOWS HOW BIRDS DIVE SAFELY AT HIGH SPEEDS
To analyze the birdâ€™s body shape and neck musculature, the team used a salvaged gannet provided by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. They also created 3-D printed replicas of gannet skulls from the collection at the Smithsonianâ€™s National Museum of Natural History, which helped them measure the forces on the skull as it enters the water.Â
DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
Whatâ€™s Ahead for Chicagoâ€™s DuSable Museum (VIDEO)
The DuSable Museum of African American History was founded in 1957 and it continues to showcase a rich and sometimes difficult history. Over the last year, two new executives have taken charge of the DuSable Museum. President and CEO Perri Irmer and chief curator Leslie Guy join host Eddie Arruza in discussion.
Las Vegas Natural History Museum (Las Vegas, NV)
Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Introduces Worldâ€™s Largest Snake
Slithering in at 48 feet long and weighing an estimated one-and-a-half tons, a realistic replica of the worldâ€™s largest snake will on exhibit at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum from Oct. 14 through Jan. 8.
Is the Smithsonian in your neighborhood? Probably so! These Affiliates are bringing the Smithsonian to communities across the U.S. in November!
From Clay to Copper: The Story of the Etowah Valley, a new exhibition at the Tellus Science Museum, includes 64 Native American artifacts and minerals from the National Museum of Natural History, in Cartersville beginning 11.5.
National Museum of American History features Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) in Waking the Ancestors: Recovering the Lost and Sacred Sounds of Colonial America, a public program at the museum on 11.5-6.
Daniel Piazza, curator at the National Postal Museum will present a lecture on communicating during the Revolutionary War at St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, in St. Augustine 11.10.
Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Warsâ„¢ and the Power of Costume opens at the Denver Art Museum, in Denver 11.13. The exhibition was developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in partnership with the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and Lucasfilm Ltd.
The Civil War Museum, part of Kenosha Public Museums, will display Changing America:Â The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963, an exhibition presented by the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History, in Kenosha 11.16.
Button for the 1941 March
National Museum of American History, gift of Rita Jaros
May 27, 2015
November 25, 2014
#FindingNEMA – the adorable Boston Terrier mascot for the conference.
The New England Museum Association conference is one of my favorite events of the year.Â It always takes place in November â€“ when the air is crisp and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.Â What could be a better time to visit New England?
This yearâ€™s conference took place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was the biggest to date with about 1100 participants.Â Even with that number, the conference feels intimate, and I was so delighted to run into so many Affiliate colleagues during the week.Â The theme of this yearâ€™s conference was Health and Wellness â€“ so appropriate as museums play such a critical role in the health of their communities.
The keynote panel set the tone for the week.Â The panel brought together three local museum directors and two physicians, an interesting mashup that revealed all the ways that museums heal people and communities.Â They talked about museums being among the most trusted community resources, and places of respite and beauty, which is why people tend to flock to cultural institutions in times of crisis.Â The doctors for example, discussed the importance of careful looking when making a diagnosis â€“ a skill they teach in part by taking students to museums.Â What a great discussion.
A colleague from the Abbe Museum looks through “the Great Refractor” telescope at SAO.
Looking directly at the Sun.. or live images of it anyway, at SAO.
A few Affiliate colleagues and I got an opportunity to hang out at an amazing research center near the hotel, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory [SAO].Â There, a Smithsonian educator showed us the Great Refractor, built in 1847 and once the largest telescope in the United States.Â We all got the chance to try out the unique seat designed for looking through the telescope, an elegant 19th century solution.Â From the old to the new, we then visited SAOâ€™s state-of-the art control room for studying the Sun, and â€œsawâ€ it at several different temperature iterations in close to real time.Â It was beautiful and flaring in a way weâ€™d never seen before.
Conference attendees also had the great fortune to visit the USS Constitution Museum for an evening reception.Â The Museum, an Affiliate since 2011, is a trailblazer in terms of research into family learning. They have already published the Family Learning Forum websiteÂ based on research and testing on engaging exhibition techniques.Â The Museum is now turning its attention to programming with the same vigor, and funds from an IMLS National Leadership Grant.Â One
Which role would you play? Learning the importance of teamwork at the USS Constitution Museum.
of the activities under testing asks visitors to be part of a 4-person team required to fire cannons from the USS Constitution ship, a much more difficult process than I imagined.Â With a blue tarp as the ocean and a print of an enemy ship on the other side, my team fired an â€œalka seltzer cannonâ€ and learned about the teamwork required to be successful in those conditions.Â The Museum staff is refining a body of knowledge about family learning and best practices that will ultimately and undoubtedly benefit the entire museum field.
On the last day of the conference, I was honored to speak in a session with colleagues from our other New England Affiliates, Mystic Seaport and Plimoth Plantation.Â Titled, It CAN be all Fun and Games, we looked at Affiliate examples of incorporating games and physical activity into museum interpretation.Â The best part was that the directors of interpretation and education from Mystic and Plimoth brought actual games that they play on their 17th and 19th century living history sites, like skittles, Wampanoag football, stoolball, stilts, hoop games, harpoon throwing, marbles and even stilts.Â I was a little anxious that audience members might not want to â€œplayâ€ on the last day of the conference.. but I was wrong.Â It reminded me of an important lesson â€“ adults also want to play and have fun like kids do.Â Give them an opportunity â€“ at a conference or at a museum – and they will literally run with it.
This game from 17th century Plimoth is harder than it seems!
I attended so many useful sessions and heard so many great ideas.Â Hereâ€™s a quick roundup of the highlights:
â€¢Â Â Â Think socially responsible or responsive programming might introduce mission creep at your museum?Â But what if your mission wandered into a place that made you more relevant to your community?
â€¢Â Â Â Think itâ€™s hard to engage millennials (ages 21-40)?Â Think again.Â They are visiting cultural institutions in droves, and there are about 80 million of them in America right now.Â Donâ€™t know how?Â Itâ€™s easy.Â Ask them.Â And then empower them to create the programming they want to attend at your museum themselves.Â For a great example, check out the Portland Museum of Artâ€™s Contemporaries group.
â€¢Â Â Â Do your public spaces achieve the magic power of 10?Â That is, can people find 10 things to do in your plazas, courtyards, front steps, etc.? (eat, people watch, see a performance, access wifi, meet friends, etc.)Â For ideas, check out the Peabody Essex Museum.
â€¢Â Â Â Attending a conference is a great opportunity for a networking game. Itâ€™s super fun when itâ€™s easy and for example, on your cell phone.Â The one we played at NEMA had us asking questions of each other like â€œhave you ever lived abroad?â€ and snapping photos for extra points.Â Thanks Museum Trek.
Given the breadth, depth and richness of the conversations I attended last week, itâ€™s abundantly clear that the museum community in New England is very healthy, and helping to make their communities amazing places to live.Â A big thanks to the small but mighty staff at the New England Museum Association for bringing us together and expertly facilitating such enriching dialogue.Â And Happy Thanksgiving to all!
July 27, 2014
November 22, 2013
It’s the Friday before Thanksgiving break. We’re all excited about seeing friends and family and taking a little break from school and work. So here are a few ideas for including the Smithsonian in your holiday plans from our Affiliate partners across the country:
The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurt, Illinois, hosts Modern Designer Jewelry from the Smithsonian, an exhibition that features jewelry from American Jewelry designers from 1960 to 2009 from the collections of the National Museum of Natural History.
Take an in-depth look at Pennsylvania’s significant role during the Civil War at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. In its new major exhibition, Pennsylvania’s Civil War, you can find a tintype camera and portable printing press on loan from the National Museum of American History.
Apollo Boilerplate Command Module on loan from the National Air and Space Museum.
More than 21 artifacts on loan from the National Air and Space Museum are on view at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamagordo. Get an up-close look at an Apollo Boilerplate Command Module and see the training coveralls worn by New Mexico astronaut, Harrison Schmitt, the only scientist to walk on the moon.
If youâ€™re in San Antonio, the Institute of Texan Cultures is currently displaying two exhibitions from the National Museum of the American Indian and organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). Native Words, Native Warriors tells the story of soldiers from more than a dozen tribes who used their Native languages while in service in the U.S. military. Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America celebrates the vibrancy, creativity and history of American Indian skateboarding culture.
It wouldnâ€™t be Thanksgiving without the rich tradition of gathering together at harvest time and celebrating the abundant joys of the season. At Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts, visitors can learn all about the settlement of the Plymouth Colony in the 17th century.
Go on safari at the Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia, North Carolina. Fourteen specimensâ€”from a tiny eastern mole to a mountain gorillaâ€”are on loan from the National Museum of Natural History.
The Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida, includes five works of art from the National Air and Space Museum collection in its exhibition Paintings of the Space Age.
The Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, Florida, has Earl Cunninghamâ€™s painting Seminole Indian Summer Camp on view from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in its Earl Cunningham gallery.Â
Seminole Indian Summer Camp, ca. 1963, Earl Cunningham, oil on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Michael and Marilyn Mennello.
Arizona State Museum, in Tucson, celebrates the creative work of American Indian directors, producers, writers, and actors during the Native Eyes Film Showcase, in collaboration with the National Museum of the American Indian and many others.
If youâ€™re in California, visit the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles and see I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story. Created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and organized for travel by SITES, the exhibit tells the story of how Asian Pacific Americans have shaped and been shaped by the course of our nation’s history.
Check out the San Diego Air and Space Museum where you can see nearly 30 space-related artifacts on loan from the National Air and Space Museum.
Is the Smithsonian in your neighborhood? Find an Affiliate here.
September 24, 2013
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