MAY 2, 2014

Contact: Carla Vigue
(608) 266-0517


MADISON, Wis., (May 2, 2014) – The Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison recently announced its new designation as a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate.  This significant title gives the Museum access to the Smithsonian’s unparalleled collections, scholarship and exhibits. 

Smithsonian Affiliations, established in 1996, is designed to facilitate a two-way relationship among Smithsonian Affiliates and the Smithsonian. The program establishes long-term relationships with museums to facilitate the loan of Smithsonian artifacts and traveling exhibitions, and to develop innovative educational collaborations locally and
nationally. The affiliation was granted after a lengthy review process by the Smithsonian. There are more than 185 Smithsonian Affiliates in the United States, Puerto Rico and Panama.

“We are delighted to welcome the Wisconsin Veterans Museum as our newest Smithsonian Affiliate,” said Harold A. Closter, Director of Smithsonian Affiliations. “The Wisconsin Veterans Museum and the Smithsonian are both committed to telling the story of the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country in order to protect our freedom. Working together—through our collections, educational outreach programs, and research activities—we will be able to share our country’s heritage, both nationally and locally, and preserve the legacy of those who have gone before, while offering
inspiration to a new generation.”

Nearly 33 million people have visited Smithsonian Affiliates and gained exposure to the Smithsonian via exhibitions, programs, performances, events, media recognition and business initiatives, according to the Smithsonian.

“For nearly 70 years, the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs has had the responsibility to preserve and safeguard Wisconsin’s military history through the Wisconsin Veterans Museum,” said WDVA Secretary John A. Scocos. “The museum is more than a building located on the capitol square in Madison, it is an educational package consisting of exhibits, living histories, informational programs and speakers, and much more. The Smithsonian Affiliate designation will help bring this unique experience to life for more people and shine the spotlight on the men and women of Wisconsin who have given and sacrificed so much.”

In addition to the new affiliation, The Wisconsin Veterans Museum today opened a newly renovated exhibit entitled “War on Terror.” The exhibit features a revised audiovisual component and displays new images and artifacts from recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to encompass a broader view of the War on Terror. The exhibit was previously titled “The Persian Gulf War 1990-1993.”

“It is our duty to continually update the museum to reflect a more current state of affairs and bring to life the stories of the Wisconsin veterans who served in these conflicts,” said Wisconsin Veterans Museum Director Michael Telzrow. “We are thrilled to open this exhibit to the public. It is a chapter of our nation’s history that needs to be told, and represents a large number of veterans who deserve to be recognized.”

The exhibit focuses on Wisconsin’s role in the Gulf War and the Global War on Terrorism with supporting materials including uniforms, gear, equipment, photographs and oral histories. The exhibit, as well as the remainder of the museum, is free to the public.

About The Wisconsin Veterans Museum

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is a free public educational activity of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and is located at 30 W. Mifflin St., across the street from the State Capitol.

About Smithsonian Affiliations

Established in 1996, 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. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activity is available at https://affiliations.si.edu/.


201 West Washington Avenue | Madison, Wisconsin 53707
1-800-WIS-VETS | WisVets@dva.wisconsin.gov | WisVets.com