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Civic Actors: Communities of Practice to Support Civic Engagement

Friday, October 11, 2024

12 - 1:30 PM EST

Museums can and should be active in civic learning and engagement, as core parts of their mission and mandate. As trusted “third spaces” in communities, museums have a unique opportunity and obligation to build civic mindsets, knowledge and skills among community members, to present multiple viewpoints on difficult topics, and to cultivate museum spaces as places for honest discussions. Partnering with organizations already doing civic work and participating in capacity-building initiatives like Made By Us and Educating for American Democracy can position museums to be relevant and community-oriented in ways that are mission-aligned.

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Bruce Whitmarsh


Chemung County Historical Society

Bruce Whitmarsh has been Director of the Chemung County Historical Society since 2010. He is interested in developing deeper relationships between the museum and the community. He holds an M. Phil from the George Washington University.

Sarah Jencks

Principal Consultant

Every Museum a Civic Museum

As founder of Every Museum a Civic Museum, Sarah Jencks works with museums to help them find their authentic civic missions. Sarah is co-chair of the Educating for American Democracy Community Learning Partners task force and a volunteer leader with AASLH and AAM. For 15 years, Jencks was Director of Education and Interpretation at Ford’s Theatre, where she oversaw school and teacher programs as well as interpretive strategy and digital and on-site exhibitions.

Lynda Kennedy

VP Education & Evaluation

Intrepid Museum

Dr. Kennedy’s career of over 30 years includes work for the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, The Museum of the Moving Image, the New York Public Library and adjunct faculty appointments to the Masters in Education program of Hunter College and the Masters in Arts program of Exhibition & Experience Design at FIT. She is dedicated to fostering the joy of lifelong learning and access to cultural experiences for all.

Jessica Moquin

Executive Director

Chenango County

Historical Society

Jessica A. Moquin joined the Chenango County Historical Society (CCHS) as Executive Director on January 28, 2019. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the Crane School of Music and a master’s degree from the School of Education, both at SUNY Potsdam. Prior to joining CCHS, Jessica most recently worked in development with Friends of Rogers Environmental Education Center in Sherburne. Throughout her career, she has held positions across the non-profit sector, including health and human services, higher education, and arts organizations.

MANY is committed to making our virtual programs as accessible as possible. All virtual programs will have Closed Captioning and ASL Interpretation provided by InterpretekFor more information, please email or call 518-273-3400.

All virtual programs are recorded and available for MANY members via the Member Resource page within 7 days of the live program. 

Click here to learn more about joining MANY or email to see if you membership is active.

Live out of state? Join MANY Online! With our growing national and international audience in mind, we are pleased to announce a new virtual membership category for individuals who live outside of New York State.

Virtual members can access the library of over 70 programs and receive discounted registration for MANY’s annual conference. Click here to learn more.

Virtual programs are made possible by the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.

The Museum Association of New York helps shape a better future for museums and museum professionals by uplifting best practices and building organizational capacity through advocacy, training, and networking opportunities.

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

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