Museum now a Smithsonian affiliate


Collaborations, youth programs, more traveling exhibits ahead with partnership

  • The National Museum of the Pacific War was recently named a Smithsonian Affiliate. The affiliation gives the museum access to the resources of the Smithsonian Institute. — Submitted photo
    The National Museum of the Pacific War was recently named a Smithsonian Affiliate. The affiliation gives the museum access to the resources of the Smithsonian Institute. — Submitted photo

It’s often said that Fredericksburg’s National Museum of the Pacific War is “Smithsonian quality.” Now, it is officially a Smithsonian Affiliate.

The museum recently joined a network of more than 200 Smithsonian Affiliates in the United States, Puerto Rico and Panama. The program facilitates a two-way relationship among Smithsonian Affiliates and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning within communities.

“Being aligned with the Smithsonian name is a prestigious honor and one we’ve worked hard to earn over the years,” Museum Director Rorie Cartier said. “We are looking forward to the wide range of enrichment the Smithsonian Affiliations program will bring to the museum experience, including new programming that we’ll offer to our members and guests.”

Smithsonian Affiliates are collaborators on many of the Smithsonian’s strategic priorities, adding local content to national initiatives to help tell a fuller story.

“The National Museum of the Pacific War has a long history of educating and inspiring present and future learners about World War II through the human stories of those who served,” said Myriam Springuel, director of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and Smithsonian Affiliations. “We are delighted to welcome the museum into the Smithsonian Affiliations program where our new partnership and shared missions will continue to inspire generations of learners through enriching collaborations that stimulate a deeper understanding of our world.”

As a Smithsonian Affiliate, the National Museum of the Pacific War will have the opportunity to collaborate on unique, public programs and workshops, professional development opportunities, codevelop youth programs, host traveling exhibitions, borrow artifacts, and co-host public lectures by Smithsonian scholars.

The museum will also be able to participate in the Smithsonian Affiliate Membership Program, offering NMPW members and patrons “two-memberships-in-one” — NMPW membership combined with a Smithsonian membership.

Cartier said although the affiliation doesn’t mean additional funding for the NMPW, it does open up a lot of opportunity for the museum.

“Through their affiliation system … we can get content we might not otherwise have access to,” he said.

The affiliation will allow the local museum to borrow artifacts, book traveling exhibits, and access renowned experts for lectures and programs, Cartier said.

One of the first fruits of the affiliation will be a poster exhibit about Japanese internment camps during the war. “Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans in World War II” will run Feb. 15-28. Feb. 19 is a national day of remembrance for Japanese American citizens who were imprisoned during the war by their own country.

Based in Washington, DC, the Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex. Smithsonian Affiliations is a critical outreach unit at the Smithsonian, developing mutually beneficial relation ships with affiliates that have lasting impacts on audiences and communities.

The NMPW, founded in 1967, is the only institution in the continental United States dedicated exclusively to telling the story of the Pacific and Asiatic Theaters in World War II. The museum annually welcomes more than 100,000 visitors. The museum sits on six acres in downtown Fredericksburg.

Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational and cultural organizations to share Smithsonian collections, build collaborative networks and engage learners of all ages with Smithsonian resources.