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2024 Annual Conference Keynotes

Opening Keynote Discussion: "Slow Cooking: Recipes for Centering Value in Museums"

Sunday, April 7 at 3 PM

Chancellor's Hall, The New York State Education Department Building

Ben Garcia, Executive Director, The American LGBTQ+ Museum

Ben Garcia (he/him) has worked for 20 years to help museums become places of welcome and belonging for all people. He started as a gallery guide and educator, moved on to exhibition development, and then served in middle- and upper-management administrative roles, before joining the American LGBTQ+ Museum as Executive Director. He has presented and published regularly on creating structural equity in museums through transparency, accountability, fair labor practices, and by adding missing voices and perspectives. Ben graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Boston with a B.A. in Art and from Bank Street College of Education with an M.S. Ed. In Museum Leadership.

Jennifer Scott, Executive Director, The Urban Civil Rights Museum

Jennifer Scott joined The Urban Civil Rights Museum in 2022 to develop and lead the museum from vision to actualization. She previously served in senior roles at history and other social justice museums, including the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, one of the earliest and most significant African American History Museums in the country, and Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in Chicago, a feminist and immigrant rights museum and historic landmark. In Chicago, she co-chaired the Chicago Monuments Project–a commission and city-wide initiative created to help rethink the city's monuments and public art collection. Earlier in her museum career in New York, she was the Vice Director and Director of Research at Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn where she helped recover a hidden history, launched the oral history program, and helped build a new $40 million interpretive center.

Closing Keynote: "Reimagining Museums Through Repair"

Tuesday, April 9 at 12 PM

Albany Hilton Downtown

Head and shoulders photograph of a white masculine-of-center person with short blond hair, glasses, and floral shirt, looking at the camera with a pleasant expression.

Margaret Middleton

Margaret Middleton is an independent exhibit designer and museum consultant working at the intersection of design and social justice. Originally from the Finger Lakes, Middleton currently lives and works in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Middleton holds a degree in industrial design from the Rhode Island School of Design and has nearly 20 years of experience in the museum field.

Margaret Middleton developed the popular Family Inclusive Language Chart and consults with museums on implementing inclusive practice with special focus on children, gender minorities, and queer people. They have published chapters in edited volumes including Feminist Designer, Storytelling in Museums, and The Inclusive Museum Leader and peer reviewed articles in journals including Exhibition, the Journal of Museum Education, and Museums & Social Issues.

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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