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Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference June 13-15, 2010


WELCOME TO THE Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference 2010


Director’s Message

W

elcome to the 2010 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference. We are pleased that so many have come from near and far to participate in this important gathering. Today, more than ever, museums, cultural, and educational organizations face great opportunities as well as great challenges. The landscape is much different than when this program began fourteen years ago, but the core goal of Smithsonian Affiliations — fostering collaboration and sharing resources — remains essential. We have seen the fruits of these collaborations in countless ways and have learned from each other as our unique network continues to find new ways to connect and build partnerships for the benefit of our audiences and communities. This year’s conference offers the same variety as in the past but adds a new element that will weave its way through all of our conversations. Inspiring Generations Through Knowledge and Discovery, the Smithsonian’s new strategic plan, charts a course for the Institution that places great value in strengthening research, revitalizing education, and making our collections more accessible. The strategic plan is organized around a framework that builds on the Smithsonian’s strengths and aims “to be a source of pride to Americans and a fount of knowledge and inspiration to the world.” Throughout the conference, and especially during our “Grand Challenges” roundtable session, we invite you to reflect on your own organization’s strengths to think with us about new opportunities for partnership and collaboration. We are delighted that you have taken the time to join us and look forward to a lively exchange of ideas in the company of colleagues and friends. Harold A. Closter Director Smithsonian Affiliations


Program at a Glance Sunday, June 13

4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Executive Conference Room, National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian’s New Grand Challenges Offer Grand Opportunities for Affiliates

4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Art Lab, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Orientation for New and Existing Affiliates

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. First Floor, National Museum of Natural History, Since Darwin: The Evolution of Evolution exhibition hall Affiliate Happy Hour

3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Registration

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Sculpture Garden, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Welcome Reception

Monday, June 14

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Café, National Museum of Natural History Conference Registration and Breakfast 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History Partnering for Success: Getting the Most from Your Affiliation 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Executive Conference Room, National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian Resource Fair 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch on your own 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History Keynote Address: Can Museums Save the World? 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Executive Conference Room, National Museum of Natural History Building Your Brand: Strategies for Increasing Audiences and Visibility Through Your Affiliation 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Cathy Kerby Room, National Museum of Natural History Standing Outside Your Door: New Ideas for Visitor Services

Tuesday, June 15

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Discovery Theater, S. Dillon Ripley Center Breakfast and MIT presentation: “Mass Extinction” interactive game 9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. S. Dillon Ripley Center (buses staged outside) Shuttle to tour locations 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Off the Mall Smithsonian Tours 11:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Smithsonian American Art Museum Ghosts of a Chance Interactive Game Lunch on your own 1:30 p.m. –2:30 p.m. Lecture Hall, S. Dillon Ripley Center Keynote Address: The Future of Museums: Strategies for Survival and Success 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Room 3035, S. Dillon Ripley Center Pursuing Excellence with AAM 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Room 3037, S. Dillon Ripley Center Social Media for Museums: Return on Investment vs. Return on Engagement 4:00 – 5:15 p.m. Discovery Theater, S. Dillon Ripley Center Funder Speed Dating: Find Your Perfect Match 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Congressional Atrium, Capitol Visitor Center Smithsonian Affiliations Congressional Reception


2010 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference Sunday, June 13

3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Registration 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Art Lab, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Orientation for New & Existing Affiliates Orientation is an opportunity to learn about all the benefits and resources available to you as a Smithsonian Affiliate.

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Sculpture Garden, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Welcome Reception Susan Lake, Director of Collection Management and Chief Conservator, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Agenda Monday, June 14

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Café, National Museum of Natural History Conference Registration and Breakfast 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History Partnering For Success: Getting the Most from Your Affiliation Nancy Crane, Director of Education, York County Culture & Heritage Museums Patricia Grant, Curator of Exhibits, Historic Arkansas Museum Elise B. Misiorowski, Exhibit Curator, San Diego Natural History Museum Courtney Wilson, Executive Director, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum Affiliate partners will discuss the many different ways their organizations have benefited from participating in the Smithsonian Affiliations program.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Executive Conference Room, National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian Resource Fair Meet with liaisons from the following Smithsonian museums, programs, and offices. Anacostia Community Museum National Air and Space Museum National Museum of African Art Freer/Sackler Gallery National Museum of American History National Museum of the American Indian National Postal Museum Office of Exhibits Central National Museum of Natural History Naturalist Center Smithsonian American Art Museum National Portrait Gallery Archives of American Art Smithsonian Institution Libraries Smithsonian Magazine Smithsonian Books

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch on your own

Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center Smithsonian Accessibility Program Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service Smithsonian Latino Center Smithsonian Journeys and Collette Vacations The Smithsonian Associates Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Smithsonian Environmental Research Center


1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History Keynote Address: Can Museums Save the World? Cristián Samper, Director, National Museum of Natural History Johnnetta B. Cole, Director, National Museum of African Art Do museums have a special responsibility beyond the traditional mission of collecting, preserving, and interpreting? Should our resources and energies be used to tackle the world’s great problems? Two Smithsonian leaders offer their insights on how a natural history museum and an art museum are addressing these issues and preparing for the challenges that lie ahead.

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. (Concurrent Sessions) Executive Conference Room, National Museum of Natural History Building Your Brand: Strategies for Increasing Audiences and Visibility Through Your Affiliation Shawna Forsberg, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Durham Museum Peter Gibbons, Director, the Retail Group, Smithsonian Enterprises Andrew E. Masich, President/CEO, Senator John Heinz History Center Smithsonian Affiliates are among the most well-known and respected non-profit organizations in their communities. How can the Smithsonian and Smithsonian Affiliates leverage the power of their names for greater success in membership, earned income, fundraising, and heightened community awareness? This session explores the benefits of branding with examples from the front lines.

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. (Concurrent Sessions) Cathy Kerby Room, East Court, 3rd Floor, Room CE-340, National Museum of Natural History Standing Outside Your Door: New Ideas for Visitor Services Camilla S. Clough, Senior Program Producer, Office of Public Programs, National Museum of American History Richard Pickering, Deputy Director, Plimoth Plantation Plimoth Plantation and the National Museum of American History have conducted extensive visitor analysis and observation in recent years. This panel will explore the strategies they’ve employed to achieve superlative visitor experience as a result of their study. Ideas such as increasing the quality of facetime with visitors, employing a zero tolerance approach to poor customer service, and fully engaging all levels of staff in visitor services will be discussed.


4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m Executive Conference Room, National Museum of Natural History Roundtables: Smithsonian’s New Grand Challenges Offer Grand Opportunities for Affiliates The Smithsonian’s new strategic plan identifies four grand challenges that call for the Smithsonian to broaden access and reach new audiences by bringing the resources of our museums and research centers to people where they learn and live. The strategic plan also calls for the Smithsonian to strengthen American education and enhance our nation’s ability to compete globally. Affiliates are the foundation for diffusing these resources to their communities across the country. We’ve invited Smithsonian experts taking on each of these grand challenges to discuss potential collaborative opportunities with Affiliates. Roundtable 1: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe Margaret Weitekamp, Curator, National Air and Space Museum Erika Reinfeld, Education Specialist, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Tim McCoy, Chair, Department of Mineral Sciences, National Museum of Natural History Roundtable 2: Understanding & Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet Mark Haddon, Director of Education, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair for Marine Sciences, National Museum of Natural History Roundtable 3: Valuing World Cultures John Homiak, Director, National Anthropology Collections & Archives, National Museum of Natural History Magdalena Mieri, Director, Program in Latino History and Culture, National Museum of American History

Roundtable 4: Understanding the American Experience Diana Baird N’Diaye, Cultural Specialist and Curator, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Susan Nichols, Lunder Education Chair, Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery Roundtable 5: Revitalizing Education Deborah Stokes, Curator for Education, National Museum of African Art Stephanie L. Norby, Executive Director, Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies Tricia Edwards, Education Specialist, National Museum of American History


5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Since Darwin: The Evolution of Evolution, First Floor Exhibit, National Museum of Natural History Affiliate Happy Hour Reception

Tuesday, June 15

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Discovery Theater, S. Dillon Ripley Center Breakfast and MIT presentation of “Mass Extinction” interactive game Eric Klopfer, Associate Professor and Director of the MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program The educational game designers at MIT’s Education Arcade have been working with Smithsonian scientists and educators to create MASS EXTINCTION, an online curated game for middle school students to be played over six weeks in the spring of 2011. Find out how you can get involved.

9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Shuttle from S. Dillon Ripley Center to tour locations


10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Smithsonian Tours Tour 1: Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute (MCI) Paula T. DePriest, Deputy Director The MCI provides research and education in the conservation, preservation, technical study, and analysis of museum collection items and related materials. Conference attendees will get a first-hand look at current conservation projects underway. Tour 2: Smithsonian Museum Support Center (MSC) Elizabeth Dietrich, Director Jeff Williams, Collections Manager for Fishes, Department of Vertebrate Zoology Deb Hull-Walski, Collections Manager for Department of Anthropology The MSC is the principal off-site conservation and collections facility for multiple Smithsonian museums. It has over 12 miles of cabinets, and more than 31 million objects. Attendees on this tour will see rarely-seen artifacts from a variety of Smithsonian collections.

Tour 3: Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Cultural Resources Center Linda Greatorex, Assistant Collections Manager Sharla Blanche, Associate Registrar Raj Solanki, Registration Specialist Attendees on this tour will get a brief history about NMAI and discussion of architectural elements of the building, and visits into the collections storage area and Conservation Laboratory to see what is currently being conserved. Tour 4: Smithsonian Office of Exhibits Central (OEC) Mike Headley, Director OEC is the Smithsonian’s largest and most comprehensive exhibit producer. They create permanent, temporary, and traveling exhibitions for museums, research centers, and offices throughout the Smithsonian Institution and its Affiliates. Those attendees participating in this tour will get a rare, insider’s view into the creative process of fabricating exhibitions.


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Additional Smithsonian Tour “Ghosts of a Chance Game” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum The American Art Museum was the first museum in the world to develop and host an alternate reality game, a new way of engaging with the collection in its Luce Foundation Center. In this spin-off version, you’ll send text messages, decipher codes, uncover hidden objects, and answer questions in order to complete your quest. Before you depart, creators Georgina Goodlander and Bridget Callahan will fill you in on how this extraordinary game was developed.

Lunch on your own 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Lecture Hall, S. Dillon Ripley Center Keynote Address The Future of Museums: Strategies for Survival and Success Elizabeth Merritt, Founding Director, Center for the Future of Museums, American Association of Museums Changing demographics, new technologies, globalization, and generational transformations — which of these and other trends will determine the future of museums? Ever insightful, Elizabeth Merritt shares her research and challenges us with information necessary for long-term planning and survival.

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. (Concurrent Sessions) Room 3035, S. Dillon Ripley Center Pursuing Excellence with AAM Julie Hart, Senior Director, Museum Standards & Excellence, American Association of Museums Anne McCudden, Director, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum Learn the what, why, and how of AAM’s Standards and Best Practices for U.S. Museums, and the Museum Assessment and Accreditation Programs (MAP) that are built around them. Then move from theory to practice as you hear a fellow SI Affiliate talk about how pursuing standards through AAM programs benefited the museum. Return home with tips on how your museum can start using the standards, and an understanding of how the standards are relevant to you.


2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. (Concurrent Sessions) Room 3037, S. Dillon Ripley Center Social Media for Museums: Return on Investment vs. Return on Engagement Sarah Taylor, Public Affairs Specialist, Office of Public Affairs, Smithsonian Institution Sarah Banks, Social Media and Special Projects Manager, National Museum of Natural History Samantha McCoy, Communications Specialist, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture How do you measure social media success? It’s not an easy thing to determine or measure. So how do you respond to the demands of this constantly-changing market? Traditional measures and metrics are not easily applied to social media. We asked our three panelists how they are tackling this subject and they’ll share their methods in this panel.

4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Discovery Theater, S. Dillon Ripley Center Funder Speed Dating: Find Your Perfect Match What better way to find out about new funding opportunities than meeting representatives from some of the top funding agencies. In true speed-dating style, attendees will be rotated around each table in order to have the same amount of time with each funder.

Sandra M. Narva, Senior Program Officer, Office of Museum Services, Institute of Museum and Library Services Barbara Bays and Kathleen Mulvaney, Senior Program Officers, Division of Public Programs, National Endowment for the Humanities J. Scott Robinson, Director, Office of Sponsored Projects, Smithsonian Institution Margarita L. Meléndez, Teaching American History Program, U.S. Department of Education Sylvia M. James, Program Director, National Science Foundation Robert Frankel, Museums and Visual Arts Director, National Endowment for the Arts

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Congressional Atrium, Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Reception Hors d’oeuvres and buffet

Richard R. Kurin, Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, Smithsonian Institution


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Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, June 13- 15, 2010