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Access & Identity
C
all for Proposals

Museum Association of New York 

Annual Conference 

Cooperstown, April 7-9, 2019



What does it mean to be a New Yorker? What does it mean to be a New York museum? These were the first questions we asked ourselves when we started planning for the 2019 Annual Conference, Access & Identity. As our conversations progressed, the idea of identity led to the issue of access, and how the two go hand in hand.

For over two hundred years, New York’s rich cultural and historical identity has been preserved and collected by our state’s museums and cultural organizations. With missions focused on preservation, conservation, and education, museums are uniquely positioned to create opportunities for both New Yorkers and tourists alike to participate and experience our state’s culture and history. As museum professionals seeking to develop, grow, and enhance our institutions, it should be our first priority to create access to our state’s culture and history by leveraging the unique assets we already have - collections. By making our collections - both living and otherwise - available to the public and opening access to New York’s stories we can build our states social infrastructure and grow as economic engines. New strides in technology are bringing access to our institutions. How can we leverage this increased capacity to shape our identities as organizations, and, more broadly, as New Yorkers?

By creating access to our state’s heritage and culture, we help to shape the identity of our museums, our communities, and our state as we move forward through the next decades.

As you consider what you want to bring to the table in Cooperstown, ask yourself: What should our role as community anchors and preservers of our cultural heritage be in shaping the identities of our communities? If we believe in our missions of creating access for all, we in turn foster environments for intellectual growth and cultural exploration. During a time in which identities are being used to create separation and difference, we are in a uniquely powerful position to use our passion for cultural heritage to create inclusive environments where individuals of all identities can come together and explore the wonderful culture and history of New York. 

Download the Annual Conference 2018 Session Proposal Form here.


Questions to Ask Yourself While You Brainstorm Session Ideas:

What makes your museum a New York museum?

What does it mean to be a museum in New York? 

What is the “New York identity”?

How do you provide access to people of all identities? 

Are you a woman or minority that has recently entered the museum field? How have you navigated it so far? 

Has your institution “changed the game” when it comes to providing access to your collections? How? 

What professional development resources do you offer to your staff? 

How are you:

Presenting your collections in ways that change perceptions?

Building a work environment that embraces change and diversity?

Opening your own mind to new ideas and differences?

Inspiring audiences and communities?

Challenging your community to embrace everyone who has, and will, define themselves as New Yorker’s?

Engaging stakeholders, raising funds and building earned income in new ways? 



Submit a Proposal Today!

Share how your museum is changing, or has changed, the ways in which it approaches issues of access and identity to support your mission. Presentations by individuals from institutions of all sizes, all stages of their careers, and from all disciplines are welcome to submit a proposal - inspiration and education can come from any and all voices!

Doing lunch differently: On Monday, April 8, conference attendees can sit at lunch tables organized by discussion topic. We are calling for topic proposals and discussion leaders for each lunchtime session. Topic proposals should follow the conference theme of “Access & Identity.” Open tables will also be available for conversations to evolve organically.

We are also calling for proposals from emerging museum professionals and students for our “10x10” sessions. We invite you to share your vision for the museum field of the future through 10 PowerPoint slides in 10 minutes.

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of MANY board members and cultural institution professionals from the Cooperstown area. Accepted proposals will address the theme of “Access & Identity”. The deadline for proposal submission is October 24, 2018. The review committee will meet and those accepted will be notified in December.

Download the Annual Conference 2018 Session Proposal Form here.

Email your session proposal as a Word Document to conference@nysmusems.org.



Special Transportation Announcement

MANY is excited to announce that we will be offering round trip transportation to Cooperstown. We will charter a bus that will pick up in Garden City, Manhattan, New Paltz and Albany. More information will be shared in the coming months; current quotes indicate this bus will be available for $225 RT.


The Museum Association of New York strengthens the capacity of New York State’s cultural community by supporting professional standards and organizational development. We provide advocacy, training, and networking opportunities so that museums and museum professionals may better serve their missions and communities.

Museum Association of New York is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. 

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