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Civic Actors: Communities of Practice to Support Civic Engagement

75-minute session

Location: Hilton Albany, Governor D 

Day/Time: Monday, April 8 // 9:15 - 10:30 AM

About: 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.


Bruce Whitmarsh, Director, 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 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 and Museum

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.

Conference Cancellation Policy

If for any reason, MANY cancels the conference, we will issue you a full refund. 

If you cancel your registration before Monday April 1, that request must be made in writing via email to We will refund you the full amount of your registration, minus a $45 administrative fee. 

Refunds requested after April 1 will not be granted, including requests made based on absence due to illness, late arrival and/or weather conditions. No refunds will be issued on special event tickets at any point due to restaurants and caterers requiring payment in advance.

Special event ticket purchases are non-refundable; restaurants and caterers require payment in advance. you are welcome to give or sell them to a colleague attending the conference. Please notify MANY staff in advance of the conference regarding any transfer of special event tickets. 

Please see your hotel confirmation email for your individual hotel reservation cancellation policy. 

Video/Photography Policy

By registering for and attending our Annual Conference "Giving Voice to Value" you grant the Museum Association of New York (MANY) and its authorized representatives permission to film, photograph, or otherwise record your participation in the conference and associated special events.

You further agree that such images, photographs, and recordings may be used by MANY without your prior approval in any form and for any lawful purpose including, without limitation, promoting MANY. Such use will not entitle you to any credit or compensation.

You release MANY, its officers, and employees from any liability connected with the use of any image, photograph, or recording taken during MANY's Annual Conference and associated special events.

Conference Code of Conduct

The Museum Association of New York (MANY) is dedicated to providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming conference experience for all participants. All attendees are expected to follow this Code of Conduct, which applies to all pre-conference workshops, concurrent sessions, special events, and capstone experiences.

Compliance with the Code of Conduct is expected from all conference participants; including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, staff, organizers, contractors, volunteers, exhibitors, and sponsors. Read more.

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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