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Expanding the Museum's Reach –Folk Culture's role in Presenting a Community's Story

75-minute session

Location: Hilton Albany, Kelsey

Day/Time: Monday, April 8 // 11 AM - 12:15 PM

About: Folk and traditional arts and culture provide opportunities for museums to engage with communities in unique ways. Successful programs have used several strategies, including making contextual connections with museum collections, engaging with local folk and traditional artists to provide live programming, and working with area schools to provide successful museum education programs that highlight the cultural groups found within a region. This presentation by the Hudson River Maritime Museum (Kingston), the Rockwell Museum (Corning), Mira Johnson of New York Folklore and Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts Education, and Ellen McHale of New York Folklore highlights the role of folk and traditional arts in giving "voice" to under-served communities. 


Mira Johnson, New York Network Coordinator, Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education

Mira Johnson, D. Ed., is the New York Folklore and Education Network Coordinator–a joint position of Local Learning and New York Folklore. She is also an adjunct assistant professor at Bronx Community College in the English Department and the First Year Seminar Program. She holds a doctorate in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning from Penn State University and an M.A. in folklore from the University of Oregon.

Kerri Gallagher, Director of Education, Hudson River Maritime Museum

Kerry Gallagher is the Director of Education for the Hudson River Maritime Museum. She holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Miami University, with a degree also in Conservation Biology.

Amy Ruza, Youth and Family's Program Educator, The Rockwell Museum

Amy Ruza takes her inspiration from the natural world for her art forms. She studied at New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. At the Rockwell Museum, she develops and manages creative arts programs, positioning The Rockwell Museum as an important educational resource for families, youth and adults in the community. Collaborates with cultural organizations, artists and regional school districts on implementing arts education programming for students (Pre-K – college), adults and teachers in the community.

Hayden Haynes, Seneca bone and antler carver

Hayden Haynes (Seneca, Deer clan) is an artist from the Seneca Nation. His work is about healing-- an expression of Hodinöhsö:ni’ life today, showing where we come from, where we are today, and where we are going.

Wayne Ford, Boat Builder, Hudson River Maritime Museum

Wayne Ford is a master woodworker and shipwright with extensive timber framing experience. His decades of boat building experience includes participating in the restoration of the sloop Woody Guthrie and the sloop Clearwater. He teaches a wide range of woodworking classes, youth boat building, timber framing, and special project classes at the Wooden Boat School.

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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