The Mayborn Museum Complex, located on the campus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, has become the first Smithsonian Affiliate in Central Texas. This new affiliation adds the Mayborn to a prestigious network of more than 200 Smithsonian Affiliates in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Panama. Smithsonian Affiliates represent a diverse group of museums in terms of size, location, and subject matter.
As a Smithsonian Affiliate, the Mayborn will have the opportunity to collaborate on unique public programs, professional development opportunities, co-develop youth programs, host traveling exhibitions, borrow artifacts, and co-host public lectures by Smithsonian scholars. The Mayborn’s new status also allows greater access to the rich history and culture of Central Texas, which will help tell a fuller story of the region.
In the first phase of collaboration, the Mayborn will be bringing the Smithsonian’s Earth Optimism Youth Action and Leadership Program to Waco. This initiative aims to empower young people to act on environmental issues and develop their leadership skills. The goal is to inspire climate-literate leaders in Central Texas. The program is funded in part by a Jeff Bezos gift to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.
Mayborn Executive Director Charlie Walter expressed excitement about the opportunity to inspire a deeper understanding of the world and how it can be changed for the better. The Mayborn Museum Complex is a 143,000-square-foot building that celebrates the natural science and cultural history of Central Texas.
Smithsonian Affiliations establishes and maintains the Smithsonian’s long-term relationships with museums, educational organizations, and cultural institutions in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Panama. Through Smithsonian Affiliates, millions of people experience the Smithsonian in their communities and have access to the Smithsonian’s educational programs, exhibitions, scholarship, and collections.
Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The university provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship.