FLORIDA The Mennello Museum of American Art opens the African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era and Beyond exhibition, with 100 artworks on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in Orlando, 2.1.
PENNSYLVANIA The Heinz History Center opens 1968: The Year that Rocked America exhibition which contains three artifacts on loan from the National Air and Space Museum, in Pittsburgh, 2.2.
Smithsonian Affiliations regularly collaborates with colleagues to engage Affiliate partners in projects throughout the Institution. Here’s a look at a few current projects, and opportunities for the future. Let us know if you are interested in learning more about any of these!
In January 2012, eight Affiliate representatives served on the advisory committee for this project.
In the summer 2012, the Affiliations office, collaborating with SIMI and central Smithsonian Education, received a grant to conduct a feasibility study of the Affiliate network. A central goal of this initiative is to engage youth in digital, self-documentary projects about their experiences with immigration and migration. The feasibility study is designed to identify those Affiliates who have both an interest in this topic and the youth target audience, as well as the capacity to collaborate in the development of digital products for possible exhibition in years to come. In addition to a survey to be sent in January 2013, the feasibility study includes support for select focus groups, and a pilot program at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.
On a parallel track, colleagues in the Smithsonian EdLab are working with teachers to design mission-based challenges that link the themes of SIMI to school curricula. Working with Affiliate educators at the International Museum of Arts and Sciences in McAllen, Texas, to test a pilot model of the program, EdLab colleagues are interested in expanding the project to work with other Affiliates. They will be leading a workshop on this topic at the Affiliations Annual Conference, June 10-12, 2013.
Young Historians, Living Histories
This is an educational initiative to engage underserved youth in Asian Pacific American communities. Young Historians, Living Histories is funded by the Smithsonian’s Youth Access Grant program. The program is led by the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center, in partnership with Smithsonian Affiliations. The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) and Smithsonian staff will prepare comprehensive instructional programs and curriculum guides that will be used to train educators to implement the youth workshops. Youth will learn a variety of 21st century skills, methods of community outreach, digital storytelling and more to explore, contextualize, and deepen their understanding of Asian Pacific American history and culture while learning new technologies. Nine Affiliate partners will be selected to participate in helping to reach the target youth audience, as well as bring together critical community partners to support the program.
Staff from six Affiliates and their community partners kick off the Places of Invention project at a day-long workshop with the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Photo: National Museum of American History
Places of Invention (POI)
Six Affiliates are currently serving as partners in the Places of Invention project, an initiative of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Supported by a major grant from NSF, Places of Invention Affiliate partners are conducting extensive community research, the products of which will be shared in an interactive map in a 2015 exhibition at the National Museum of American History.
The POI team has funds to train 20 more Affiliates to document their communities, and will be sharing their work at the Affiliations Annual Conference, June 10-12, 2013.
National Youth Summits
In collaboration with the National Museum of American History, Affiliates have hosted several Youth Summits, wherein students from across the country watch a live webast program in D.C., and then continue the discussion with experts in their home communities. The Freedom Rides National Youth Summit featured five Affiliate partners in February 2011; and the Dust Bowl National Youth Summit partnered with nine Affiliates in October 2012.
More National Youth Summits are being planned for the future, with Affiliate participation. A program on Abolition is set to take placeon February 11, 2013; Latino history in America in fall 2013; and one commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in 2014.
Let’s Do History tour
This is a national outreach program that brings the National Museum of American History’s resources and strategies to communities nationwide. Designed to energize and support K-12 social studies teachers, the program introduces them to exciting and effective techniques, powerful online tools, and standards-based content they can use in their classrooms. In each targeted city, Smithsonian colleagues work with Affiliate educators to highlight local resources.
In 2012, Affiliates in Alabama, Texas, South Dakota, and Tennessee took part in presenting their own educational resources.
In the coming years, the National Museum of American History is looking at cities in Hawaii, Louisiana, California, Washington, and Oklahoma.
Courtesy Pinhead Institute.
Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos
Thirteen Affiliates took part in the YCCC program, a collaboration with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The goal of the program is to teach youth participants to control robotic telescopes over the internet. Participants learned to take their own astronomy images of the universe. Images created have been displayed in astrophotography exhibitions featuring their unique images, captions, poems, and comparisons to images taken by NASA’s space-based observatories. The program promotes increased interest, awareness, and knowledge of astronomy content, understanding of technology and proficiency in real scientific research skills. Participating Affliates will be offering a second round of astrophotography workshops in 2013.
One Giant Leap
An initiative of the National Air and Space Museum, the pending proposal to NSF is designed to create mentoring opportunities for African American students interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Affiliate participation will include hosting videoconference sessions with scientists from NASA and the Smithsonian, and supporting the local mentoring partners.
Special thanks for this guest post to Liz Cook, Environmental Educator at History Colorado.
We were thrilled that the History Colorado Centerwas to be selected as one of the nine Smithsonian Affiliatesites to participate in the National Youth Summit: Dust Bowlon October 17, 2012. Over 150 high school and middle school students from around Colorado participated, including students from western Colorado, Denver, and the Colorado Springs’ neighborhoods that were impacted by this summer’s Waldo Canyon Fire. Students watched the live broadcast from the National Museum of American History, which included insights from Dust Bowl survivor Cal Crabill, who grew up near Holly, on the plains of eastern Colorado. In the second half of the Youth Summit, presenters made connections between current environmental issues in Colorado and the lessons of the Dust Bowl, including hydraulic fracturing, wildfire, climate change and water. Media partner Rocky Mountain PBS taped the presentations, which will be available online for future use by students and teachers. The Youth Summit was a perfect opportunity for us to explore these topics, as our “Living West” exhibition (opening in 2013) will focus on how natural systems have impacted human history and how human choices have impacted the environment in Colorado, and will include stories of the Dust Bowl in southeastern Colorado, and current issues in our state.
Roaring Fork High School, Carbondale, CO (Garfield County Libraries)-10 students
Grand Valley High School, Parachute, CO (Garfield County Libraries)-10 students
Dora Moore School, Denver Public Schools, Denver-87 students
George Washington High School, Denver Public Schools-15 students
Coronado High School, Colorado Springs School District 11- 17 students
Local Youth Summit Presentations
“Colorado’s Water Future”
Kristin Maharg, Program Manager, Colorado Foundation for Water Education
“Catastrophic Wildfires in Colorado”
Einar Jensen, Life Safety Educator South Metro Fire Rescue Authority
Hydraulic Fracturing: Folly or Fortune?
Adrianne Kroepsch, Graduate Research Assistant, Center of the American West, and Doctoral Student, Environmental Studies, University of Colorado
“Snowpack in the Rocky Mountains”
Ryan Vachon, Director at Earth Initiatives and affiliate with INSTAAR (Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado)
The National Museum of American History partnered with the National Endowment for the Humanities, WETA television, and Smithsonian Affiliations to present the National Youth Summit on the Dust Bowl. More information on upcoming National Youth Summits at http://americanhistory.si.edu/nys
The Smithsonian and the National Endowment for the Humanities examine the legacy of the Dust Bowl era through current issues of drought, agricultural sustainability and global food security during a live, interactive discussion with experts. The program will be webcast from the museum to Youth Town Halls at locations across the nation Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. EDT.
In the 1930s, severe drought and extensive farming caused widespread agricultural damage, crop failure and human misery across the Great Plains. Called the “Dust Bowl” because of the immense dust storms created as the dry soil blew away in large, dark clouds, it is considered one of the worst ecological disasters in American history. Millions of acres of farmland were damaged and hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes. Many migrated to California and other western states where the economic conditions during the Great Depression were often no better than those they had left.
The Oct. 17 discussion in Washington, D.C., taking place in the Warner Bros. Theater at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, will be joined by audiences at nine Smithsonian Affiliate museums and the National Steinbeck Center, which will also host regional Youth Town Halls. Participants at the regional Town Hall sites will prerecord questions on video to be played during the live National Youth Summit webcast. The Youth Town Halls will take place at:
The National Youth Summit brings middle and high school students together with scholars, teachers, policy experts, witnesses to history and activists in a national conversation about important events in America’s past that have relevance to the nation’s present and future. The program is an ongoing collaboration between the National Museum of American History, the National Endowment for the Humanities, PBS and museums across the United States in the Smithsonian Affiliations network.
The summit will include segments from award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns’ forthcoming film The Dust Bowland a panel discussion, moderated by Huffington Post science editor Cara Santa Maria, and featuring: Ken Burns, Dust Bowl survivor Cal Crabill, U.S. Department of Agriculture ecologist Debra Peters, fifth-generation farmer Roy Bardole from Rippey, Iowa, and farmer and founder of Anson Mills, Glenn Roberts. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will welcome the audience through a video statement. Panelists will take questions from students participating in the summit, and offer their own perspectives on what history can teach people about their relationship with the environment.
Programming for the National Youth Summit on the Dust Bowl is produced by the National Museum of American History and the National Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with Smithsonian Affiliations and PBS/WETA.
Smithsonian Affiliations collaborates with museums and educational organizations to share the Smithsonian with people in their own communities and create lasting experiences that broaden perspectives on science, history, world cultures and the arts. More information about Smithsonian Affiliations is available here.
The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television and radio stations, and to individual scholars. For more information on the NEH, visit http://www.neh.gov/.
The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. To learn more about the museum, check americanhistory.si.edu. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.
Thanks again to our fab-five Affiliate partners who engaged their local communities during the National Youth Summit: 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides. Our recent blog post highlighted what happened before the event, but now you can get a look at what happened during it through our Smithsonian Affiliates Flicker group album! Want to add your photos? Join our Smithsonian Affiliates- National Youth Summit: Freedom Rides group and add them!
From May until November 1961, more than 400 diverse and committed Americans rode south together on buses and trains, putting their bodies and freedom on the line to challenge the Jim Crow laws that enforced racial injustice and inequality in public transportation. The Freedom Rides changed the Civil Rights Movement and demonstrated the power of individual action to change the nation.
On Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 12:00-1:15PM EST, middle and high school students across the country will join together electronically for a National Youth Summit on the Freedom Rides and activism at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Freedom Rides veterans Congressman John Lewis, D-GA, Diane Nash, Jim Zwerg, and Reverend James Lawson will share how they became involved in the Freedom Rides and how their lives were affected by them. They will join filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders) and scholar Raymond Arsenault to discuss the meaning of the Freedom Rides and the role of young people in shaping America’s past and future.
Image courtesy Library of Congress.
The discussion in Washington will be joined by five audiences at Smithsonian Affiliate museums around the nation as well as by registered viewers of the webcast. The Affiliates’ programs will be augmented by a discussion guide produced by the National Museum of American History. Each Affiliate will welcome a veteran Freedom Rider to their museums to participate in the discussion and coordinate with local schools to engage students.
The Affiliate museums and their legendary Freedom Riders are:
Students will be encouraged to participate in the discussion through the National Museum of American History’s email, Facebook, Twitter, and the conference portal, and will be asked to think about themselves as makers of history.
Registration is free, and will include access to preparatory classroom materials, film clips, follow-up materials, and technical assistance. Register today!
The National Youth Summit is presented by the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, in collaboration with Smithsonian Affiliations and American Experience/WGBH.