January 30, 2017

Affiliates in the news

Here’s a recap of our Affiliate news makers since January 1, 2017. 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 you would like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee

High Desert Museum (Bend, OR)
High Desert Museum partners with Smithsonian
“We don’t have everything, and everyone is doing work that is complementary,” Closter said. “The natural history of Oregon is different than other parts of the country. For us, it’s having a first-class partner in that part of the world and being able to share the expertise of both organizations.”

The High Desert Museum Partners with Smithsonian
The High Desert Museum has been selected as a Smithsonian Affiliate, which will give it access to exhibits and artifacts from the world’s largest museum and research complex.

Oregon museum becomes Smithsonian Institution affiliate
Dana Whitelaw, executive director of the High Desert Museum near Bend, told the Bulletin newspaper that the Smithsonian affiliation will allow the wildlife and history museum to supplement its exhibits by borrowing artifacts from the massive Smithsonian Institution. It will also expand access to training and conferences.

visitors filter through Star Wars Costume Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

visitors filter through Star Wars Costume Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Denver Art Museum plays with the power of creation: Star Wars
You’re not coming just to look at costumes,” said project lead, Stefania Van Dyke. “We want you to think about all the creativity that went into it.” ­

Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE)
Expert to explain ‘sheer weirdness’ of celestial wonders as part of new
Dussault is the project director for “Black Holes: Space Warps & Time Twists,” an exhibit that opened at the museum this month. More than 1,300 visitors attended opening day of the 2,500 square-foot interactive exhibit, said Deb Hermann, marketing director at the museum. The exhibit offers visitors the chance to learn about black holes by exploring 13 stations, logging their progress on an explorer card. At one station, visitors can take a digital journey to the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Expert to present interactive event on black holes
The Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum brings in Harvard-Smithsonian keynote speaker during its opening celebration of its new exhibit “Black Holes: Space Warps and Time Twists.”

College Park Aviation Museum (College Park, MD)
College Park Aviation Museum Features Smithsonian Photography Exhibit
The exhibition is composed of 50 large scale photographs by Smithsonian photographer Carolyn J. Russo and explores the forms and functions of airport traffic control towers in the U.S. and around the world.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum (Las Vegas, NV) (VIDEO)
Scientist makes 3-D images of artifacts from Las Vegas museum to share online
We think that if we put things online, people won’t want to come to the museum, and what museum professionals find is exactly the opposite,” Hansen says. Seeing items online actually spurs their interest in visiting the museum, where they view the other collections as well.

Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR)
Artyfacts: Mid-America Science Museum – 1.14.1
Creative Mind combines materials from the National Visionary Leadership Project, the African American History Program, the Smithsonian Museum of African American Culture and History, the Arkansas Educational Television Network, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Centre and the Garland County Historical Society.

Ned Buntline, Bufalo Bill Cody, Giuseppina Morlacchi, Texas Jack Omohundro (1846-1880) (Wikimedia Commons)

Ned Buntline, Bufalo Bill Cody, Giuseppina Morlacchi, Texas Jack Omohundro (1846-1880) (Wikimedia Commons)

Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY)
Murder, Marriage and the Pony Express: Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Buffalo Bill
“This isn’t a simple case of a backwoodsman becoming a celebrity,” says Jeremy Johnston, the Hal and Naoma Tate Endowed Chair and curator of Western history at the Smithsonian-affiliated Buffalo Bill Center of the West. “He was quite in tune with American society, American politics, and was very interested in using technology to tell the story of the American West.”

Schingoethe Center of Aurora University (Aurora, IL)
Schingoethe Center of Aurora University named as a Smithsonian Affiliate
“We are a small museum, but we’ve always thought big,” said Meg Bero, executive director of the Schingoethe Center. “The Smithsonian Affiliates designation is a wonderful way for us to build awareness among our students and the community of the museum as a resource.”

National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA)
What’s next for the National Museum of Industrial History
The museum, built out of Steel’s 1913 Electric Repair Shop, tells the story of the Industrial Revolution in America through more than 200 artifacts. It covers the steel, silk and propane industries and features machines that were part of a Smithsonian exhibit that celebrated the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

National Museum of Industrial History

National Museum of Industrial History

National Museum of Industrial History
The National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH), located on Bethlehem’s Southside, is a must-see for locals and tourists alike. The first exhibit area, called Machinery Hall, includes 21 different artifacts from the Smithsonian Institute that had also been on display at the National Museum of American History.

Lehigh students design souvenirs for museum
And, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, are pieces from the Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia and patented machines typical of what was on display there. The Lehigh students studied all those machines as they developed ideas for the souvenirs they designed.

The Old Governor’s Mansion (Milledgeville, GA)
Historic ballots at Old Governor’s Mansion
Museum Director, Matthew Davis explained how the Mansion got their hands on the artifacts. “ The Governor’s Mansion is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. We are one of nine Smithsonian affiliates in Georgia and with that partnership it allows us to receive loans from the Smithsonian,” Davis said.

Research Accolades
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
Astronomers Discover an Entirely New Kind of Galaxy
Astronomers at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences have identified a new class of ring galaxy. Named PGC 1000714, it features an elliptical core with not one, but two outer rings. It’s the only known galaxy of its kind in the known universe.

Kudos/staff moves
Kona Historical Society (Kona, HI)
Kona Historical Society Gets $28K for History Program
The community-based nonprofit and Smithsonian Museum partner Kona Historical Society (KHS) has received a $28,000 grant from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) to expand its Hands On History program at Kona Coffee Living History Farm in Captain Cook. 

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, CA)
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum hires new executive director
The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum has hired Julia Bussinger, director of the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Texas, to be its new executive director.

Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN)
Ricker’s founders pledge $500K gift to Conner Prairie
The founders of Ricker’s fuel and convenience stores pledged a major financial gift to Conner Prairie Wednesday night. The $500,000 donation was announced at their annual meeting and will help restore the museum’s Chinese House, a historic venue on the property.

August 24, 2015

Is this exhibit on your event horizon?

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Jennifer Brundage @ 2:44 am

The exhibition Black Holes: Space Warps & Time Twists pulls visitors in to the modern search for real black holes—the most mysterious and powerful objects in the universe.

A view from the Black Holes exhibition.

A view from the Black Holes exhibition.

Developed by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, this 2,500 square-foot exhibition consists of 13 interactive components that captivate audiences and increase their understanding of core ideas in physical science, including gravity and light, the tools and techniques of astronomers, and the nature of theory and evidence in science. Visitors are able to:
• Collect and record their discoveries into a personal web journal
• Take an immersive interactive journey to the giant black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy
• Explore gravity and the effects of unseen forces
• Collect and weigh evidence for black holes.

Evaluations of this NSF and NASA-sponsored exhibition document strong visitor engagement and significant gains in visitor interest and knowledge about black holes and how they are studied.

Smithsonian Affiliates are eligible for a significant discount on the cost of renting this exhibition from ASTC this fall, plus free program materials and training for host-site educators from scientists and educators at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

For more information, contact Mary Dussault at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory at 617.496.7962 or mdussault@cfa.harvard.edu

Also visit these websites:
ASTC description of Black Holes
BlackHolesExhibit.Org (Exhibition Website)

November 15, 2009

musings from the new england museum association

Filed under: Conference Ideas,General,Road Reports — Tags: , , , — Jennifer Brundage @ 11:14 pm
SI Astrophysical Observatory's Black Holes exhibition, on view at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, NH

SI Astrophysical Observatory's Black Holes exhibition, on view at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, NH

One of the most interesting questions I heard asked at the New England Museum Association conference last week was, what’s the new non-profit normal?   There was a sense that both retrenching and rethinking are in order, but that steering museums through these turbulent times will produce changes that will last far beyond the economic crisis and our eventual recovery.

The new director of Affliate Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA), offered one such road map.  It’s hyper-attentive visitor experience, and a zero tolerance for unsatisfactory comments.  One of the results of recent visitor surveys at Plimoth revealed that 93% of their visitors report a very satisfactory experience.  Pretty good right?!  Except for director Ellie Donovan, a missionary for high-quality visitor experience in every regard.  She recognizes that the other 7% represent 25,000 people who are not shopping in the store for things to remember a bad experience, and are not saying nice things to their friends.  In short, that 7% represent thousands of dollars of potentially lost revenue, that no museum or historical site can stand to lose.  A powerful argument.     

The keynote speaker at NEMA made a nuanced plea for new non-profit normal too, that is, how museums need to step up to their role as builders of social capital in a community.  Social capital is a metric, measured by community and state by such statistics as the number of active voters, volunteerism, crime rates, even TV-watching rates (a negative indicator).  Unsurprisingly, his research has shown that, the higher the social capital, the higher are other rates of happiness indicators – education achievement, lower incarceration rates, etc.  Lewis Feldstein, President of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, challenged all the museum professionals present to ask themselves how their organizations are building social capital.  Do new immigrants come to your museum to learn about the community’s history or cultural activity?  Do local civic groups call you to use your facilities for meetings?  Is your staff serving on community boards, active and visible members of civic life in your city?  All (and more) are important questions for establishing the relevancy of museums to the contexts of their communities.

But not all the discussions at the conference were that deep and soul-searching.  I was lucky to see Black Holes: Space Warps and Time Twists, an exhibition organized by the Smithsonian’s Astrophysical Observatory, at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, NH.  (Ok, how many knew that Christa McAuliffe was a high school social studies teacher from Concord, NH High School?  Or that the quote, “I touch the future, I teach,” was hers?!)  It was a wonderfully interactive exhibit with a variety of media stations that allow the visitor to weigh black holes and dive into them, among other activities.    And I met the young enthusiastic safari-clad staff of scvngr – a do-it-yourself interface template for creating location-based, high-tech, mobile games.  So very fun.

Overall, a very pleasant, thought-provoking week in New England.  How about you – what’s the chatter at your regional association or museum?

 

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