On February 6, 2014, Harold Closter, Director of Smithsonian Affiliations based in Washington, DC made the big announcement at a private reception at the museum. At only four years old, TCMU was named the only children's museum in association with the Smithsonian Institution. As an Affiliate, the Children's Museum of the Upstate has access to Smithsonian resources, including its 136 million-object collections, scholarships, traveling exhibitions, and membership benefits. It also gives the Museum and the Smithsonian Institution an opportunity to pursue high level collaborations around Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) initiatives.
"This affiliation allows us to provide enriched opportunities to our community and visitors," says Nancy Halverson, President and CEO of the Museum. "Partnering with the internationally recognized Smithsonian is an honor. It enables us to further our mission and maximize the educational impact of the Museum. Additionally, it adds credibility to the idea that the serious work of childhood is play. We also believe our Smithsonian affiliation will be an important platform for us to engage more corporate partners and donors who share our passion to improve the educational opportunities for the youth in the Upstate."
TCMU is the only children's museum in a network of 184 esteemed museums and educational and cultural organizations in 43 states, Panama, and Puerto Rico that hold affiliate status. The Smithsonian considers proposals from institutions whose missions are parallel to the Smithsonian's and who demonstrate a strong commitment to serving their communities. These networks within the Smithsonian Affiliate community provide new and unforeseen avenues for regional, cultural, topical and audience-oriented types of support and collaboration.
ABOUT SMITHSONIAN AFFILIATIONS:
Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational, and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. More information is available here.