Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June. ~ Al Bernstein


June 15, 2017

Knoxville Museum
of Art



Federal Funding for Cultural Agencies


At the end of May, President Trump released the administration's formal Fiscal Year 2018 budget outline. This budget proposed that several important cultural agencies that support museums be eliminated or have their funding significantly reduced, including the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The American Alliance of Museums has outlined ways to make the case for museums with your representatives and your community, from formal advocacy opportunities to social media engagement to inviting your legislators to visit your museum or site and learn more about its impact. You can read AAM's statement on the budget proposal here. For more advice on advocacy actions to take, check out AAM's list here

Finally, here's some inspiration highlighting what makes museums great -- and so very important!


Achievements of Tennessee Arts and History Institutions and Individuals 

Greeneville Greene Country History Museum -- On May 2, 2017, the Greeneville Greene County History Museum received an Award of Distinction for their program "Mornings at the Museum." This program, catering to all 3rd graders in Greeneville and Greene County, provides learning activities, music, and fun events focused on the heritage of the area.

Belmont Mansion -- On May 10, 2017, the Metro Nashville Historical Commission honored Founding Member Dr. Albert Wardin and Belmont Mansion Executive Director Mark Brown with Lifetime Achievement Awards for their work with Belmont Mansion. Read more here for the full story.

Customs House Museum & Cultural Center -- The Customs House Museum & Cultural Center has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support a project entitled "Celebrating the Legacy and Future of African American Arts." Central to the project is the opportunity for the Clarksville community to visit one of the most comprehensive exhibitions ever organized featuring works on paper by African American artists over the last three centuries. The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African Art: Works on Paper is on exhibit May 9 through August 1 and includes 70 drawings, etchings, lithographs, watercolors, pastels, acrylics, gouaches, linoleum cuts, and color screen prints.




Traveling Exhibit Available 

The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area has an eight-panel traveling exhibition, “Free at Last: Emancipation and Reconstruction in Tennessee,” available for free to museums and historic sites throughout the state. The eight banner stands provide an overview of the topic and then cover all three grand divisions by looking at a variety of topics,including education, Unionism, contraband camps, and memory. The banner stands measure 33 7/16” W x 78 ¾“ H. All eight can be exhibited at one time, or smaller venues may reserve the two overview panels with the two panels that relate to the grand division where the venue is located. The loan period is typically two months but can be flexible. The exhibition is a project of the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, which receives funding from the National Park Service and is administered by the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University. Please contact Antoinette van Zelm at antoinette.vanzelm@mtsu.edu or 615-898-2947 if you are interested.


Upcoming AASLH Opportunities


July 5, 2017: New Member Orientation

July 11, 2017: Twitter for Museums & Historic Sites (Marketing Series)

July 25, 2017: Instagram for Museums & Historic Sites (Marketing Series) 

For information about AASLH’s Continuing Education/Professional Development offerings, visit www.aaslh.org or contact Amber Mitchell at Mitchell@aaslh.org


Registration is now open for the 2017 AASLH Annual Meeting "I Am History" in Austin, Texas, on September 6--9. There are early bird rates until July 21, pre-registration rates until August 4, and then onsite rates from the August date until the conference. For more information and to register, visit http://about.aaslh.org/conference/. AASLH also offers six "hot topic" sessions through an online conference; registration for the online conference will open up in July.


Join AASLH's Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs) through June 30 -- extended from May 31 -- and you will receive four of their most popular webinars ($60 value) as a gift to jump start your progress towards building a stronger and more vibrant organization. Enrollment is only $175, which includes the StEPs workbook. For more information, click here.

- More News -
Time History's Sites to Visit This Summer 

With summer vacation finally here, Time History got travel advice from a host of prominent experts on great historic sites to visit in the United States. Many of their picks focus on Civil War history, but some are a bit more off the beaten track, exploring lesser known sites and points of historical interest, several of which are in Tennessee. The Tennessee sites include: Shiloh BattlefieldHiwassee River Heritage Center in Charleston, the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Venore, and Red Clay State Park in Cleveland. 

Most importantly, however, all of these sites will provide an engaging and fun vacation stop for you and your family this summer! Check the full list out here

There's Still Time to Become a Blue Star Museum

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums across America.  Each summer since 2010, Blue Star Museums have offered free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Blue Star Museums will be updated all summer as more institutions sign up to participate.
If you are interested in participating in Blue Star Museums in summer 2017, click here for more information.

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In Memoriam

Dr. James Huhta of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, passed away April 23. He served Middle Tennessee State University for nearly forty years, including as founder and director of the Historic Preservation Program. Dr. Huhta served on numerous preservation committees and boards, and was appointed to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation by President Clinton in 1994. 

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