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Philippa Rappoport

Manager of Community Engagement
Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Smithsonian Staff
Manager of Community Engagement

I work in community engagement, education, and outreach at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA), and have a particular interest in creating collections about culture and heritage, as well as collections to support English and other language learning and the Smithsonian-Montgomery College Fellowship program. At SCLDA over the last several years I have focused on creating digital assets for schools, families, and new immigrant English Language learners to complement teacher professional development and pan-Smithsonian programming, including Learning Lab teaching collections, YouTube videos with tradition bearers, a handmade family stories book-making website, and online heritage tours.

Philippa Rappoport's collections

 

Nicholasa Mohr and New York's Puerto Rican Migration

<p>This topical collection explores Antonio Martorell's portrait of prolific Latina author Nicholasa Mohr, and is displayed with a range of resources that offer a view, through art, portraiture, and literature, into the lives of Puerto Rican migrants to the continental United States in the early to mid-twentieth century. The images and resources can be used as discussion or writing prompts in a variety of courses, including history, culture, literature, and language.</p> <p>The portrait itself,  one of a series of 45-minute portraits that Martorell made of his artist friends, captures Mohr's spirit, much in the way that Mohr's writing brings to life the people, sounds, and activities of New York's Puerto Rican migrants in the twentieth century. The collection also includes a bilingual video with National Portrait Gallery curator Taína Caragol, as well as the first page and a review of "Nilda," one of Mohr's most well-known novels, about a Puerto Rican girl coming of age in New York during World War II. This book was selected as an "Outstanding Book of the Year" by the New York Times, and a "Best Book of 1973" by the American Library Association.</p> <p>The collection includes images and a bilingual podcast by Martorell speaking about a different work in the Smithsonian American Art Museum collection, "La Playa Negra" ("Tar Beach"), which is the term used by Puerto Rican migrants for the rooftops of tenement buildings. As the label describes, in this painting, "a fashionable woman wears a fur-collared coat and sits in front of a New York City skyline. Her hardworking double on the left sits behind a sewing machine. In his "Playa Negra" ("Tar Beach") series, Martorell juxtaposed migrants' prosperous self-image with a glimpse of their tiring labor."</p> <p>The collection also includes a series of photographs from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, by Hiram Maristany, a resident and photographer of the El Barrio neighborhood. Maristany grew up with eight siblings on East 111th Street. In addition, the collection includes links from PBS Learning Media on Puerto Rican history and migration.</p> <p>#LatinoHAC #BecauseOfHerStory #EthnicStudies </p> <p>This collection supports Unit 2: Culture and Resistance, Expressions of culture and values, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part B course. "How do expressions of culture reflect assimilation and resistance to assimilation? How do distinct expressions of culture reflect specific values for various ethnic groups?" </p> <p><em>This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. </em></p> <p><br /></p>
Philippa Rappoport
24
 

Luis Cruz Azaceta's "Shifting States: Iraq"

<p>This teaching collection helps students to think critically and globally by using two Thinking Routines to explore the painting, "Shifting States: Iraq," by Cuban American artist Luis Cruz Azaceta. The work is a metaphorical representation of the unrest taking place in Iraq, and more broadly, an exploration of the human condition during times of crisis.</p> <p>Included here are the work itself from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a video with curator E. Carmen Ramos, another video from Articulateshow.org, two suggested Thinking Routines - "Colors, Shapes, Lines" and "The 3 Y's" - from Harvard's Project Zero Artful Thinking and Global Thinking materials, and three other works by Azaceta in the Smithsonian collections.</p> <p>For use in Social Studies, Spanish, English, American History, Art History classes</p> <p>#LatinoHAC</p>
Philippa Rappoport
11
 

Intangible Heritage through Material Culture: The Journey of an Ecuadorian Boat Seat

<p>This teaching collection helps students to look closely and think critically by exploring an Ecuadorian boat seat, the first object donated to the National Museum of African History and Culture, and how this tangible object represents the survival and transmission of intangible cultural heritage in the African diaspora. The seat belonged to Débora Nazareno, a descendant of enslaved Africans in Ecuador, and is engraved with Anansi, a popular spider figure in West African folklore. The boat seat was gifted to the museum by her grandson, Juan Garcia Salazar, a renowned Esmeraldan historian. </p> <p>Included here are the objects itself, a bilingual video with curator Ariana Curtis, two suggested Thinking Routines - "See, Think, Wonder" and "Unveiling Stories" - from Harvard's Project Zero Thinking and Global Thinking materials, and supporting digital content about the museum display, Maroon communities, Anansi, the oral tradition.</p> <p>For use in Social Studies, Spanish, English, and American History classes<br /></p> <p>#LatinoHAC </p>
Philippa Rappoport
19
 

"Becoming Dolores": A School/Museum Program to Engage Families through Art and Technology

<p>This collection details a photography and community engagement project that the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access did with educators from the National Portrait Gallery and the Fairfax County Family Literacy Program. It includes assets and resources designed to help teachers (art, English, social studies, and media technology), museum educators, and community-based informal learning educators recreate the program as is, or design their own, based on the specific needs of their classroom or learning community. </p> <p>For our project, pairs of native Spanish speaking immigrant moms and their middle school children did a five-day (15 hours total) training session at their school and at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery. They learned about Dolores Huerta, portraiture, and photojournalism through the exhibition, "One Life: Dolores Huerta." Participants took portraits of themselves, critiqued each other's work, and created photo exhibitions about their communities and important issues, that were displayed at the Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day at the National Portrait Gallery.</p> <p>Dolores Huerta, the "co-architect" of the American Farm Workers Movement and mother to eleven children, proved to be a huge inspiration to the participants. Before the workshop, 33 percent of the parents and none of the children saw themselves as able to make change in their community; after the workshop, 100 percent of parents and children reported seeing themselves as able to make change in their community. In addition, 100 percent of the mothers and 80 percent of the children reported that they believed they had increased their artistic skills.</p> <p>#LatinoHAC, #EthnicStudies </p> <p>This collection supports Units 2 (What is the History - Civil Rights Movements) and 3 (Critical Geography and Current Issues) of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part A course, and Unit 3 (Local History and Current Issues) of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part B course. "What would you advocate for to beneficially change your community? How can you advocate to create change within your community?" "How do you understand the concept of community advocacy? What is needed for an individual to cultivate personal change?"</p> <p><em>This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. </em></p>
Philippa Rappoport
15
 

Puerto Rico’s Fragile Modernity: An Exploration of Francisco Rodón's Portrait of Luis Muñoz Marín, using Global Thinking Routines

<p>This teaching collections aims to help students to think critically about Puerto Rico's past and present, as portrayed in the media and through close looking at a portrait. The collection explores Francisco Rodón's monumental portrait of Luis Muñoz Marín, the first democratically elected governor of Puerto Rico, known as “the Father of Modern Puerto Rico.” Although the portrait and supporting video with National Portrait Gallery curator Taína Caragol were created before Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September 2017, a close examination of the portrait itself lends a deeper understanding not only of Francisco Rodón, but of the history of Puerto Rico itself, both pre- and post-Hurricane Maria.</p> <p>Included here are the portrait from the National Portrait Gallery, a video with the curator, two suggested Global Thinking Routines - "See, Think, Wonder" and "The 3 Y's" - from Harvard's Project Zero materials, a lesson plan from PBS Media on Puerto Rican Perspectives, and three news articles (from Vox and the New York Times) about Hurricane Maria, at the time in 2017 and almost one year later.</p> <p>For use in Social Studies, Spanish, English, American History, Art History classes</p> <p>#LatinoHAC, #EthnicStudies </p> <p>This collection supports Unit 3: Critical Geography and Current Issues, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part A course ("In this unit, students will identify historical patterns to understand how past events influence current policies, ideas and practices.") and Unit 1: Intersectionality of Economics, Politics, and Policy, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part B course ("How do government policies and the judicial system in a democratic society impact diverse groups and communities?").</p> <p><em>This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. </em></p>
Philippa Rappoport
12
 

Zozobra in Santa Fe: A Contemporary Reckoning of a Local Tradition

<p>This teaching collection encourages students to think about all sides of an issue - in this case a cultural event - and then make connections to related issues of identity and nationalism locally, nationally, and internationally. The collection uses an article by Eduardo Díaz, director of the Smithsonian Latino Center, and Kevin Gover (Pawnee), director of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, as a jumping off point to explore changes to Santa Fe's annual Fiesta de Santa Fe, described by organizers as “the oldest, most colorful community celebration in the nation,” as part of an ongoing conversation across the country about how we choose to honor our "history, multicultural legacies and unique blend of traditions."</p> <p>The exercise is scaffolded with global competence strategies to help students explore the Fiesta in successive detail, consider the various perspectives of the communities involved, and make connections to similar conversations happening across the US today. Students can share ideas in groups or through writing assignments, adding in outside research  if desired. </p> <p>Keywords: American Indian, Native American, Pueblo Indians, Hispanic, Latino, Entrada<br /></p> <p>#LatinoHAC, #EthnicStudies </p> <p>This collection supports Unit 3: Critical Geography and Current Issues, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part A course. "How do diverse groups of people become interconnected and aligned with different places and communities? What is the relationship between geographic space and different communities, and how does this interaction shape our society How does regional politics, economics, culture, and geography influence issues and events?"</p> <p><em>This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. </em></p> <p><br /></p>
Philippa Rappoport
6
 

Irish Music

<p>This collection includes a wide range of Irish contemporary and traditional music in the Smithsonian collections, with two lesson plans for grades 3-5 from the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.</p><p>#SmithsonianMusic<br /></p>
Philippa Rappoport
15
 

Curating Digital Museum Resources for the Classroom (Texas ASCD Ignite 19 Conference Session)

<p>This collection includes digital museum resources and replicable activities that will serve as a springboard for discussion during the presentation. The collection models how digital museum resources can be leveraged to support critical thinking and deeper learning for high school Ethnic Studies curricula. The collection can be copied and adapted for use in your own classroom. </p><hr /><p><a href="https://ignite19.sched.com/event/Oscu/curating-digital-museum-resources-for-the-classroom" target="_blank">Curating Digital Museum Resources for the Classroom</a>  </p> <p>Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Ignite 19 Conference: Transforming Curriculum with Technology (June 2019)</p><p><em>Smithsonian educators are initiating a collaborative education program with Texas curriculum developers and local museums to develop instructional materials relevant to K-12 Humanities and Ethnic Studies. The Smithsonian Learning Lab platform allows users to create and share locally relevant digital resources both in classrooms and with a growing network of educators across the country. Learn more about how you can leverage digital resources from the Smithsonian and your local museums for increased access and impact.</em></p><hr /><p>This collection was co-created with <a href="https://learninglab.si.edu/profile/8" target="_blank">Ashley Naranjo</a>.  This program received Federal support from the Latino and Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pools, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.<br /></p><p>#EthnicStudies</p> <p><a href="https://ignite19.sched.com/event/Oscu/curating-digital-museum-resources-for-the-classroom" target="_blank"></a><br /></p> <p><a href="https://ignite19.sched.com/event/Oscu/curating-digital-museum-resources-for-the-classroom" target="_blank"></a></p>
Philippa Rappoport
18
 

Learning Lab Training Collection on the Theme "The Search for an American Identity"

<p>This collection is designed to help educators bridge the classroom experience to a museum visit. It is intended to demonstrate various ways to use the Learning Lab and its tools, while offering specific, replicable, pre-engagement activities that can simply be copied to a new collection and used to help students engage with museum resources. </p> <p>Included here: </p><ul><li>Section 1: a set of flashcards, a template document so that teachers can create and print their own specific sets, and strategies for their use in their classrooms. </li><li>Section 2: a variety of student activities and resources to explore artist Luis Cruz Azaceta's "Shifting States: Iraq," a metaphorical representation of the unrest taking place in Iraq, and more broadly, an exploration of the human condition during times of crisis.  This section includes an image of the work from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, an explanatory video with curator E. Carmen Ramos, two  Thinking Routines - "See, Think, Wonder" and "The 3 Y's" - from Harvard's Project Zero Visible Thinking and Global Thinking materials, and  an array of prompts and Learning Lab tools to help students think critically and globally.  </li><li>Section 3: a short assignment to get participants started using the Learning Lab.</li><li>Section 4: spacer tile template to serve as chapter headings in longer collections.</li></ul><p>This collection is adapted from a teaching collection on the same theme (Luis Cruz Azaceta's "Shifting States: Iraq" ( <a href="http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/mBWHa8fHUy9vJsE5" style="background-color:rgb(63,63,63);">http://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll...</a>), that includes extension activities. It was created for the 2019 cohort of the Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program on the theme, "The Search for American Identity: Building a Nation Together," - the subject of the Montgomery College - Smithsonian 2019 Fellowship program. </p> <p><br /></p> <p>Keywords: #MCteach</p> <p><br /></p>
Philippa Rappoport
29
 

Culture and Aesthetics Meet Physics: Why Soviet and American Spacesuits Look Different

<p>This collection serves as a preview for the fifth of six seminar sessions in the 2019 Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program. This year's theme is “The Search for an American Identity: Building a Nation Together.”</p> <p>National Air and Space Museum curator Cathleen Lewis will discuss objects from the Space Race gallery, in particular how spacesuits from the USSR and the United States indicate differing cultural and aesthetic answers to similar engineering challenges. </p> <p>Resources included in this collection have been recommended by the presenter for participants to explore before the seminar itself.<br /></p> <p>#MCteach<br /></p>
Philippa Rappoport
16
 

Migrations in American History: The Making of "Many Voices, One Nation"

This collection serves as a preview for the fourth of six seminar sessions in the 2019 Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program. This year's theme is “The Search for an American Identity: Building a Nation Together.”<br /><br /> National Museum of American History colleagues Steve Velasquez and Lauren Safranek will discuss the making of the exhibition, "Many Voices, One Nation," and its accompanying educational website, "Becoming US." Together the exhibition and educational website aim to explore not only how the many voices of people in America have shaped our nation, but also to guide high school teachers and students in learning immigration and migration history in a more accurate and inclusive way.<br /><br /> Resources included in this collection have been chosen by the presenters for participants to explore before the seminar itself.<br /><br /> #MCteach
Philippa Rappoport
7
 

Exploring the Cultural Markers of Identity

<p>This collection serves as a preview for the third of six seminar sessions in the 2019 Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program. This year's theme is “The Search for an American Identity: Building a Nation Together.”<br /><br /><br />The National Museum of African American History and Culture tells American History through an African American lens. Kinshasha Holman Conwill, Elaine Nichols, and Ariana Curtis will engage participants in an exploration of the cultural collections of the museum as markers of identity. A fuller description and presenter bios are included inside the collection.<br /><br /><br />Resources included in this collection have been chosen by the presenters for participants to explore before the seminar itself.<br /><br /><br />#MCteach</p>
Philippa Rappoport
12