(Alamogordo, New Mexico) - The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, is the first museum within the state system to become a Smithsonian Affiliate. An Apollo Boilerplate Command Module, the first artifact to arrive as part of the Smithsonian Affiliations Program, is scheduled to be delivered to the museum at noon on Friday, March 1, 2013 (weather and road conditions permitting). The official announcement will be made on the patio of the museum upon arrival of the boilerplate.
“New Mexico was a pioneer of the United States’ space program,” said Cabinet Secretary Veronica N. Gonzales. “Being chosen as a Smithsonian Affiliate is a significant milestone for a museum and the New Mexico Museum of Space History is privileged to be among those chosen.”
“The arrival of the Apollo Boilerplate represents the first of many new artifacts and exhibits that the Museum will be able to share with its visitors because of our Smithsonian Affiliation,” stated Chris Orwoll, New Mexico Museum of Space History Executive Director.
Affiliate organizations are selected for their record of presenting high quality exhibitions, scholarship, professionalism, and museum educational programs. The New Mexico Museum of Space History will be offering new museum membership packages beginning May 1, 2013, that will include Smithsonian benefits such as a one year subscription to either Smithsonian Magazine or Air & Space Magazine, personalized Smithsonian membership cards, and travel and tour opportunities. Of the thousands of museums across the country, there are currently only 177 Smithsonian Affiliates representing 41 states, Puerto Rico and Panama.
The Department of Cultural Affairs is New Mexico’s cultural steward and is charged with preserving and showcasing the state’s cultural riches. With its eight museums, eight historic monuments, arts, archaeology, historic preservation and library programs, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs is the largest state cultural agency in the nation. Together, the facilities, programs and services of the Department support a $3.3 billion cultural industry in New Mexico.