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Read original articles written by MANY's staff about Resources, Community, and Exhibits/Collections. Check out the Letters From Erika to learn about what is going on here at MANY!

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  • May 28, 2020 11:14 AM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

    According to our COVID-19 Impact Survey, New York State’s museums social media use has increased by 81% since the pandemic. Museums are creating new virtual experiences to share their educational resources, exhibitions, collections, and behind the scenes content. Going live is a great way to engage your audience. It doesn’t require video editing skills and is quick to produce. Using Facebook to host your live stream is an easy way to increase your online engagement on a platform where you already have an audience. 

    Here are some helpful tips and best practices for going live.


    Equipment

    1. Camera

    Going live on Facebook doesn’t require a professional camera or any kind of editing software (remember this is live). You can use your phone or computer. Your phone camera is best if you plan on walking through an exhibit. If you plan to use your phone make sure that you use your “Do Not Disturb” setting. This will block any calls, texts, or other alerts that could interrupt your live broadcast. 


    2. Tripod

    Use a tripod if possible to avoid shaky video. If you use your computer, you can place it on a table, chair, or any flat, steady object you may find in a museum... like a pedestal!. Test your camera angle and adjust accordingly before you go live to ensure that everything you want in frame is visible on camera. 

    If you plan to use your phone, there are relatively inexpensive tripods—like this one—you can use to help stabilize your video. If you plan on moving through a collection or exhibition, this DJI Osmo Mobile Gimbal for an iPhone will give you the best stabilization. It is more expensive, but worth the investment depending on the content you want to produce. 


    3. Audio


    If it's just one person going live using their phone, using the headphones that came with your iPhone with its built in microphone will work just fine. These lapel microphones also work great to capture audio, especially if the room has an echo. You can also go without, but make sure that your speaker never turns their back to the camera and can project their voice.


    4. Lighting

    Lighting is everything and natural light is best. However for behind-the-scenes tours into collections storage, or exhibitions where natural light is the enemy of the art work on the walls, you will want to test the lighting before you go live. Often the overhead lights will suffice, but also think about bringing in and using a floor lamp. The location of your  lightg source will dictate where you set up your camera so always test beforehand.


    Set-Up

    Write the title and description of your livestream before you go live. You can have this pre-written d on a word doc or use the notes section on your phone so you can copy and paste right to Facebook. To increase engagement, use relevant hashtags, tag your location, and create a call to action such as where to find more information, how to join, or where to donate. 


    NYS Museum creates Facebook events in advance telling their audience when they will be live.

    Create an event on your Facebook page letting your followers know when you plan on going live. Once your live stream starts, Facebook will notify your followers. To give your followers time to join, you’ll want to aim for a video that will be around fifteen minutes in length, and wait a couple of minutes before starting. Creating a Facebook Event will reach more of your audience in advance. 


    Remember to practice

    Preparing and practicing before going live will help with any on-camera nerves. It is important to test your camera, audio, and your internet connection. Try recording your live stream before going live. You can then play it back and watch to see how it will look on camera to your audience and make any needed adjustments. 


    Going Live

    It is helpful to have a second person who can monitor comments during the livestream. It is best to allow time at the end of your video for a brief Q & A. This person can also monitor if there are any comments about audio or visual issues so you can respond and adjust. Having someone else monitor the comments on the livestream will allow the speaker to focus on the content and not get distracted. 

    Remember that not all content will work when going live. Focus on unique, easily visible items from your collection or share stories that are normally not shared on a tour. Give your audience experiences that might not be possible on a traditional in person visit such as a behind the scenes tour to  show collections storage or how an object is undergoing conservation. dBoth.  Lastly, reach out and ask your audience what they want to see. This feedback can help determine what type of content that your online audience will engage with and help determine future social media posts. 


    Get Inspired

    Here are just a few NYS museums who are going live! 

    NYS Museum

    Erie Canal Museum

    Fulton County Museum

    Rochester Museum and Science Center

    The Wild Center

    New-York Historical Society

    Click here to see our Facebook Live session at the Hart Cluett Museum


  • May 28, 2020 11:04 AM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

    New York State has started to reopen. Museums are included in Phase 4, but conversations about reopening have circulated since the COVID-19 pandemic forced closures. What will reopening plans and protocols for museums look like? How can we ensure staff and visitor safety? What will visitor experience look like? At a recent MANY Virtual Meet-Up, museum leaders shared what these conversations have been like at their institutions.

    Brooklyn Museum closed to the public on March 13


    Reopening Plans and Protocol

    “Reopening plans and protocol is very much in progress,” said Sara Devine, Director of Visitor Experience & Engagement at the Brooklyn Museum.  “We are watching closely at what is happening in both in this country where places are beginning to reopen and abroad for what their protocols are. We’re spending a lot of time talking about plans and protocols for reopening.” The Brooklyn Museum has created different task forces that include different museum staff members. “One is about reopening in terms of safety for staff, building cleaning protocols, and safety for the public which includes myself, our head of building security, our head of collections, conservation, our head of HR, and our budget and finance director. It also includes someone who represents exhibitions and public programming and special events.” The Brooklyn Museum’s task forces ensure that both public facing and internal museum staff are represented and contribute to the conversations on reopening. “At this point [early May] we’re meeting weekly. We have started by focusing on bringing staff back to work because for us that seemed like an obvious place to start. So until we are ready to open our doors we know that certain staff need to be in the building.” 

    The Brooklyn Museum conducted an internal survey administered to the department heads about what their return to work plans would look like which included information on which staff people would actually need to be in the building, for how long, and why. It also established staff safety protocols such as wearing masks, temperature checks before entering the building, altering staff shifts, and creating social distancing spaces. “We’re starting with staff safety and then we’ll move on to public safety when we think about reopening. We have a task force that is bringing in members of our community who can share their needs for what we can do for our neighborhood.” Devine is also part of a NYC wide group cultural institutions visitor services group that meets bi-weekly that is brainstorming all of these concerns surrounding reopening. There is also a NYC museum round table task force developed by the Whitney Museum. This task force includes museum CEOs and a few other museum representatives from some of the larger institutions in the city to talk about what the phased reopenings will look like. Its goal is to bring NYC organizations together to create similar protocols for reopening. Similar protocols across NYC’s museums will create a cohesive reopening plan that for anyone coming to NYC to visit a museum will be met with the same protocol. “We are also coming together so that we can better advocate for what that reopening looks like, what the timing is, what is appropriate, and on sharing resources.” 

    The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Considerations for Museum Reopenings also recommends coordinating with other museums in your community to create consistency and even to share supplies. AAM also recommends coordinating with state and local authorities on your reopening plans. “Look for city, county, state, and federal officials to lift closure orders and the CDC and local public health departments to provide clearance.”

    The Oklahoma Museums Association created a “Museum ‘Open to the Public’ Guideline Considerations” a cohesive template for museums to adapt for reopening. While not every guideline is applicable or possible at every institution, guidelines like these will help to establish reopening protocols that can become the standard at each museum. This guideline includes protocols for the museum building, exhibit areas, staff, visitor services, store and cafe, and collections. 


    Staff and Visitor Safety

    “Staff responsibilities are changing and safety protocols are changing and will likely continue to change moving forward,” said Jeanmarie Walsh, Associate Director of Education at the Long Island Children’s Museum. “This is not just for our staff to function safely in our space but for our visitors when they are allowed in. We will need to make sure that everyone is fully aware of what roles and protocols we need to follow to ensure the safety of our staff and visitors that adhere to what the state and county guidelines are. We are developing that now within our own task force to figure out what the needs are.” The Long Island Children’s Museum also plans on cross training as staff responsibilities shift. “It will include basic things like knowing where radios are to help everyone communicate who is on the museum floor. Our floor supervisors will be doing virtual training for all staff members who are returning so that everyone of us can be on the floor and follow the appropriate protocols.” The Museum is also undergoing Wakanheza training which is aimed at handling and de-escalating stressful situations. “We’re looking at our visitors and our staff coming back that have been through quite a lot and may have experienced trauma through this pandemic and might be more emotional so learning how to de-escalate through finding judgement free and empathetic interactions that our staff can use.”


    “We are making sure to communicate on our website to the public everything that the museum plans on doing to ensure safety,” said Bill Gilbert, Senior Manager of Environment, Health and Safety at the Corning Museum of Glass. “It’s a comfort level for our staff that we communicate these safety measures. One of my concerns is that we open too soon so the more precautions that we can take that allow us to open and increase the confidence that we’re protecting our staff to the greatest extent possible gives us a new normal.”

    Corning Museum of Glass website, visit.cmog.org/COVID19 sharing resources and ways to enjoy the museum from home

    AAM recommends the importance of assessing your staff resources and the availability of equipment and supplies. According to the MANY COVID-19 Impact Report, 49% of museums in NYS have reduced staff hours and 32% have laid staff off. Assessing staffing ahead of reopening will help museums “recruit, hire, orient, and properly train or retrain staff at all levels in operating, safety, and enhanced cleaning procedures.” AAM also recommends that before reopening “ensure that you have adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors for staff and visitors, to provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and to properly clean/disinfect your facilities.”

    “Staff safety is paramount, both as we let our staff back in and the role we take in terms of reopening,” said Sara Devine at the Brooklyn Museum. “My concern as someone who is responsible for our admissions team is not only making sure that our staff is healthy but that they also feel comfortable and supported in all of this.”


    Re-thinking the Visitor Experience

    As museums prepare to reopen, museums are working to communicate to the public about what their visitor experience will look like. The International Council of Museums published a list for museums at the end of lockdown to help museums ensure the safety of the public and their staff. ICOM recommends changing public access points by adapting the flow of visitors to maintain social distancing. This includes avoiding lines, using ground markings to help ensure the recommended social distancing, installing protective screens and barriers between staff and visitors, closing any cloakrooms, creating a seperate entrance and exit to help with the flow of visitors, creating specific guided tour times and limit the size, and strengthening health measures at your institutions. 

    “One of the things that we’re thinking of especially in the visitor communications area is how we’re conveying not only to visitors and the community about what has changed, what may be changing in the building while remaining true to our mission but also communicating what the expectation is to our visitors,” said Maureen Mangan, Director of Communications & Marketing at the Long Island Children’s Museum.  The museum has made changes to provide a safe and comfortable environment for guests and staff. “It is equally important to let visitors know that there have been changes in expectations from them to protect their fellow guests and our staff,” said Mangan. 

    According to an article by Colleen Dilenscheider, “Meeting Visitor Needs” evolving to make people feel safe is an expectation that visitors have of museums. Colleen writes, “While we see that people intend to visit cultural organizations again in the relative near term, we also observe that a sizable percentage of visitors do not feel comfortable doing so without first observing significant operational changes.” 

    The Long Island Children’s Museum anticipates a month long communications campaign about the new visitor experience and expectations from visitors ahead of reopening. “It is important for these communications to be a shared message to say that this is what our staff is doing for you and this is how you can help us.”

    Visitor experience is going to change. AAM recommends that museums need to consider how to “limit person-to-person contact, monitor the number of visitors, and restrict or prohibit access to certain areas of the museum.” This could include online ticket sales, digital guides to visitors, regulating interactives, capacity restrictions, no or limited access to certain spaces, canceling or restricting group visits, guided tours, public programs, new signage and barriers to enforce social distancing, changing the flow through your museum, and more. 

    Hillary Olson, the President & CEO of the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC), has used this time to try new visitor experiences. “I’m saying yes a lot […] saying yes to possibilities. We’ve had amazing results for online forest school and our online planetarium programs that I want to continue in the future.”  


    Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Virtual Classroom

    As visitor experience changes and increased safety measures for staff and visitors continues, museums are encouraged to continue to offer digital experiences. In a Cueseum article, “Tips & Strategies for Reopening Museums After CVOID-19 Closures” museums who have increased their digital engagement efforts through new programs, events, tours, etc. will “be of continued importance, even as organizations welcome a portion of their visitors back to their physical sites.” Museums like the RMSC who have created new online programs to provide opportunities for students to learn online have seen success and are reaching new audiences. Continuing online programming is also a consideration for the health and safety of high risk visitors. According to Cueseum’s article, “many museum patrons, including high-level members and donors, may be older than sixty-five, putting them in a high-risk category. They may need to continue to be socially distant for months to come. For these older audiences, it is essential to continue digital offerings to make them feel included.”


    Future Casting—Finding Solutions

    Finding new solutions and trying new ideas has been key for many institutions. “I think that there is something about partnering and doing these things together and working together as much as possible,” said Olson. “If there’s a gap being left then the bigger organizations need to fill that or help our smaller organizations by partnering with them.”

    “In times like this where things are changing and things are changing quickly, it is also critical to look outside your industry,” said Peter Hyde, Owner at Peter Hyde Design and MANY Board Member. “A lot of these questions have come up before in various ways in other industries.” Looking at how exhibitions are designed in spaces that need to be easily cleaned on a daily basis, like hospitals, or examining visitor traffic flow through theme parks, etc. “It’s important not to be too insular and we should make sure that we are looking out to find solutions.”


    Looking Ahead

    As we move towards reopening, running scenarios for what a new normal might look like for your institution is critically important. These should  include contingency plans for when capacity is reduced, reduced capacity in-person program delivery and when events are canceled how they can be moved to a digital platform. 

    “We are modeling a whole range of scenarios in terms of visitation, revenue...well into 2021 and we are heading towards a new operating plan that is sustainable for the future,” said Ann Campbell, Marketing Communications Manager at Corning Museum of Glass. “We recognize that the museum that closed on March 16 is not going to be the same museum when we reopen. Nothing is off the table. Every program needs to be examined, every assumption needs to be examined and this will look different if we are able to reopen in July versus reopening at the end of the summer. Every one of these modeling scenarios is different and we need to understand the implications of each of these scenarios including a potential second or third wave that closes us down again after we’ve reopened.” 

    “The biggest mental shift for me has been to just switch to talk about reopening itself, even though we don’t have a date,” said Sara Devine, Brooklyn Museum. “it’s wonderful to start to think about what role we are playing and play in the future to help our communities and bring people together and that feels really good to talk about those things.”

    Click here to listen to the full Virtual Meet-Up “Looking Ahead to Re-Opening Our Museums.”


    Further Reading / Resources

    Governor Cuomo's Additional Guidelines for Phased Plan to Re-open New York

    AAM Resource Guide for Reopening

    Reopening Information: Ecotarium

    Letter From Vienna: Kunsthistorisches Director Sabine Haag on How to Reopen Museums With Safety Rules That Are Smart, Not Draconian

    MUSEUMS AND THE END OF LOCKDOWN: ENSURING THE SAFETY OF THE PUBLIC AND STAFF

    What do Post-Coronavirus Events Look Like?

    Performance vs. Exhibit-Based Experiences: What Will Make People Feel Safe Visiting Again?

    Meeting Visitor Needs: What Will Make People Feel Safe by Age & Income (DATA)

    Museums and COVID-19: 8 steps to support community resilience

    Museum "Open to the Public" Guideline Considerations

    Tips & Strategies for Reopening Museums After COVID-19

    COVID-19 Reopening Guidance: Considerations for the Global Attractions Industry

    How Might Museums Look Different When They Reopen After Coronavirus

    OSHA—Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

    Recovery Readiness: A How-To Guide for Reopening Your Workplace

    Kroger's Blueprint for Businesses (COVID-19 signage templates)



  • May 13, 2020 4:26 PM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

    William G. Pomeroy Foundation, Museum Association of New York Announce Grantees

    Troy, N.Y. — The Pomeroy Fund for NYS History has awarded $50,808 in grant funding to assist history-related organizations across New York State that have been forced to close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Launched in partnership between the William G. Pomeroy Foundation and the Museum Association of New York, the Pomeroy Fund for NYS History is providing assistance grants that will be used to support the purchase of computer hardware or software, gain internet access or expand bandwidth, pay for utilities and secure facilities and collections. Grants range between $1,000 and $2,000. Qualifying organizations have operating budgets of $100,000 or less.

    “History organizations help to enrich our communities,” said Bill Pomeroy, Founder and Trustee of the Pomeroy Foundation. “The Pomeroy Fund for NYS History was established to provide much needed assistance during these challenging times. This was a very competitive grant program and our hope is that the funding that’s been awarded will make a meaningful difference in the time ahead.”

    “We reviewed more than 170 grant applications totaling almost $300,000 in requests,” said Erika Sanger, Executive Director for the Museum Association of New York. “This incredible response demonstrates how deeply our museums have been hit by this crisis and how much support it will take to get New York’s museums open and functioning again. We are grateful for the Pomeroy Foundation for being a leader in our state’s philanthropic community and reaching out to help history organizations in these uncertain times.”

    “As a member of the MANY Board of Directors, I am pleased that the Pomeroy Foundation stepped up and made the funds available and that MANY was able to work with them in partnership to help museums in this challenging time,” said Bruce Whitmarsh, MANY Board Member and Executive Director for the Chemung County Historical Society.

    POMEROY FUND GRANTEES (listed alphabetically)

    Anderson Falls Heritage Society

    Black Rock Historical Society

    Brentwood Historical Society

    Broome County Historical Society

    Clinton County Historical Association

    Darwin R. Barker Library and Museum Association

    Fulton County Historical Society

    Gates Historical Society

    Hasting Historical Society

    Historic Red Hook

    Historical Society of the Tonawandas, Inc.

    Historical Society of Woodstock

    Howland Stone Store Museum

    Interlaken Historical Society

    Java Historical Society

    Lodi Historical Society

    Macedon Historical Society

    Mastic Peninsula Historical Society

    Montgomery County Historical Society

    National Bottle Museum

    Nunda Historical Society

    Oswego County Historical Society

    Peekskill Museum, Inc.

    Preservation Association of the Southern Tier

    Schoharie Colonial Heritage Association

    The Warsaw Historical Society and Gates House Museum

    Town of Madison Historical Society

    Town of New Scotland Historical Association

    Town of West Bloomfield Historical Society/West Bloomfield Historical Society

    Wappingers Historical Society, Inc.

    Yaphank Historical Society

    The Pomeroy Foundation and MANY are pleased to announce plans for a second grant round. The two organizations will partner to distribute an additional $50,000 for general operating support. Details and criteria for this new round of funding will be made available in the week ahead.

    #  #  #

    About the Pomeroy Foundation

    The William G. Pomeroy Foundation is a private, grant-making foundation established in 2005. The Foundation is committed to supporting the celebration and preservation of community history; and to raising awareness, supporting research and improving the quality of care for patients and their families who are facing a blood cancer diagnosis. To date, the Foundation has awarded over 1,000 roadside markers and plaques nationwide. Visit: https://www.wgpfoundation.org/

    Twitter: @wgpfoundation

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WGPFoundation

    YouTube: William G. Pomeroy Foundation

    About MANY

    The Museum Association of New York inspires, connects, and strengthens New York’s cultural community statewide by advocating, educating, collaborating, and supporting professional standards and organizational development. MANY ensures that New York State museums operate at their full potential as economic drivers and essential components of their communities. Visit https://www.nysmuseums.org

    Twitter: @nysmuseums

    Instagram: @nysmuseums

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/nysmuseums

    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/museum-association-of-new-york  


  • April 28, 2020 2:38 PM | Megan Eves (Administrator)


    MANY: Now that we’re all working from home, and our home offices are our windows onto the world, what do you see when you look out your home office window?

    Congresswoman Maloney: The best part of my day is always looking out of my window and joining my neighbors to cheer on our essential workers. It is so beautiful to see New Yorkers come together to recognize the people on the front lines of this crisis and say thank you for their service and sacrifice. Every day, I am amazed by the resilience and strength New Yorkers continue to display and I could not ask for a better view. 

     

    What was the last museum you visited before Governor Cuomo's Executive PAUSE Order?

    The last museum I visited was the Museum of Jewish Heritage, one of my favorites in New York City. I toured an incredibly powerful exhibit entitled “Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not Far Away” just before the House passed my Never Again Education Act. I believe witnessing articles from the Holocaust and learning of these horrors is crucial to understanding the consequences of hate and intolerance. Museums, like the Museum of Jewish Heritage, play an important role in educating the public and preserving this important history. 

     

    Having represented NY-12 in Congress since 1992 what legislation are you most proud of? 

    I’m proud of a lot of the legislation that I have passed over the years, but it was the honor of my life to finally secure health care and compensation for our 9/11 heroes. For over 18 years, I advocated alongside inspiring 9/11 first responders, survivors, and families to make permanent the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. These brave men and women were there for us during one of our nation’s darkest hours, and I did not rest until every single one of them could get the critical care and compensation they deserve.  


    How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you and your work as a Congressional representative?

    On March 11th, I chaired a Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing to examine our nation’s preparedness for and response to COVID-19. It was the first time the American public heard directly from medical experts like Dr. Fauci, and it was the day that everything changed. Shortly after the hearing, my staff and I began working from home to continue this important work safely. While all of my meetings are taking place virtually, I am still working hard for our nation and the great people of NY-12. Every day I am fighting to secure necessary supplies for our communities, hold the Trump Administration accountable, protect the American people, save the US Postal Service, and so much more.

     

    What lessons were learned in the aftermath of 9/11 that might be applicable to our current crisis as we think of the future of our state?

    Thousands of 9/11 responders and survivors have become ill and many have lost their lives from exposure to a toxic cocktail of burning chemicals present at Ground Zero. Just like our 9/11 heroes, those on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis bear the physical and mental scars of their heroic work long after the immediate crisis is over, and our government must protect and support them. The nearly 20 year battle to secure proper health care and compensation, shows the importance of protecting our essential workers NOW. 


    Museums in NYS thank you for leading the effort in asking $4B in support to museums and cultural institutions in the CARES Act. What can museums do to help achieve this goal?

    Reaching out to your Member of Congress is always a great start! A healthy channel of communication is important so that your representatives in Congress know exactly what you’re dealing with and what you need, so they can be as effective as possible in shaping policy that will help you. My staff and I are always here to listen and help, and we want to hear from you.


    What information should museums share with their legislative representative to help advocate their cause? 

    The economic implications of this crisis are devastating, and smaller museums and cultural institutions in particular are very vulnerable. Your representatives know that, but they don’t see it the way you do; hearing about the human impact directly from you is deeply powerful. Please share how your employees are doing, what you need from your representatives to ensure that you can keep your employees, any adaptations you’ve made, and the difficult measures you’ve had to undertake, or are contemplating, to stay afloat. Additionally, if you apply for funding from NEH, NEA, or IMLS, please let your representative know so they can endorse your application. 

     

    We know from your work serving on the House Financial Services Committee and serving as Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that you have great financial expertise. Museums contribute $5.4B to New York State’s economy annually. With your financial experience and the threat to the museum field from closures due to COVID-19 why do you see this advocacy as critical to the future of New York’s economy? How do you museums fit into your overall legislative priorities? 

    There is no question that our nation and New York are strengthened by our artistic and cultural institutions.  New York is uniquely defined by its world-class arts and cultural institutions. This industry is a massive economic driver in our state – museums in New York support 61,000 jobs - in addition to being a point of pride for all New Yorkers. For New York to survive this economic crisis, we must support its museums.. I am committed to protecting the hardworking Americans whose livelihoods depend on the survival of nonprofit museums, and I will continue to fight for funding to help our state and our nation navigate this economic crisis.  


    Your career has been a series of firsts...the first woman to represent New York’s 12th Congressional District, the first woman to represent New York City’s 7th City Council district, and the first woman to Chair the Joint Economic Committee. Museums have recently been called a pink collar profession with a workplace that is close to being majority female, but with men still being paid more and holding the highest paying positions. As someone who has broken economic and social barriers in the workplace what steps would you advise women leaders in museums to take during this time to strengthen advocacy for their institutions?

    I would encourage women in leadership positions museums to conduct equity audits of salaries and benefits, make plans to correct gaps, and present this information. Diversity and gender equality within leadership not only makes moral and common sense, but also makes financial sense. Studies have shown that organizations with more women and more diversity are better positioned to succeed. Connecting disparities and the about the lack of women in leadership positions and highlighting that gender inequality does a disservice to the institution, can help address the problem. 


    If the public believes that the museum workforce is overwhelmingly female, how does that influence the public support and private funding of our museums and institutions?

    Gender bias a factor that can never be ignored, but without significant research it will not be clear whether gender bias has profoundly influenced private funding for museums and institutions. The majority of the essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis are women, and every day they demonstrate that women are necessary to the strength of our nation. I hope that after this crisis, we will continue to recognize the invaluable contributions that women make in all areas and sectors of our economy. 


    What is your hope for museums by this time next year? 

    I hope museums, and our nation, have recovered from the COVID-19 crisis by next year. The nonprofit museum community is an integral part of New York, and making sure that these museums can reopen and bring back their staff is my top priority. I am doing everything I can to help us get there and ensure that museums can continue playing an invaluable role in preserving American art, history, and culture.


    Find your NYS Congressional Representative here

    Check out our NYS Congressional District Sheets


  • April 28, 2020 12:48 PM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

    Novi Belgii map, 1685, Library of Congress

    Dear Members of MANY's Museum Community,

    As we enter the eighth week of “NY on Pause,” I want to start this letter by acknowledging that some of us are grieving and that we are all unsure of what the future may bring. 

    I believe New York’s museums are in an existential crisis. Not the textbook definition of an existential crisis, but a definition that encompasses how New York’s museums will never exist again the way we did at the start of 2020. 

    Museum people are planners. We love our calendars and our schedules. But we are now in uncharted territory and our highly developed planning skills may not be the tool we need to plot a course beyond the next two weeks. We have lost revenue and years of exhibition planning. Furloughs and lay-offs of half of our workforce - primarily staff in education and visitor service positions - are an incalculable loss of potential for change in our field promised by the most diverse cohort to have entered our workforce.

    We have been deeply hurt by this crisis, but my faith in our ability to come through better than before is grounded in knowing that museum professionals are the most creative, inspiring, and generous people I know. We are visual thinkers who now need to reshape our galleries, facilities, and audience engagement strategies to fit the new world in which we live. This evolution might be painful as we abandon comfortable assumptions and well-used funding formulas to steer a new course for how we share our resources and collections while keeping the safety of our visitors at the center of our sights. 

    When I began work on virtual interactives and distance learning platforms more than 20 years ago, the mantra I used to try to recruit museum leadership to my cause was “many more people will never walk through your museum's doors than will ever walk through your doors.” Sadly, it has taken a pandemic to bring us to this point where our virtual audience has grown beyond many of our imaginations. I hope that this rapid iteration of our digital presence will help us re-imagine the way we work with our communities both virtually and in our facilities. We have a chance to contribute positive actions to reduce climate change, balance social equity, and increase education accessibility. 

    When our state begins to open, when enough of us are well, and we have not only flattened the curve, but are on the down slope, our visitors will return. We are all eager to get a glimpse past the horizon, beyond what is knowable and reliable, into the terra incognita. The travel ahead may be rough as we encounter new realities, but it is our goal to be here to help our community stay connected as we all shape the new museum world.  

    MANY's state and federal advocacy efforts use data to prove how NY's museums are truly essential economic and social components of their communities. We have collected data on the COVID-19 impact from 145 museums since April 9 using a survey developed by the Network of European Museum Organizations (NEMO). The survey will remain open until 5 PM on May 1. If you have not yet taken the survey, please add your voice to our advocacy efforts to let our legislative representatives know the difficult straits our museums are navigating.  

    On Friday, May 1 at noon, MANY's Virtual Meet Up will explore what opening our museums may look like. We are grateful that Dyer Arts Center at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, RIT will provide closed captioning. If you know someone who needs closed captioning, please let them know. We have welcomed over 850 people to our Virtual Meet Ups since they began on March 20th - more than twice the number of people that attended our 2019 Fall Meet Ups in person. I hope you can join us and share your ideas and expertise with our museum community. Click here to register.  


    With hope and thanks,  



    Erika Sanger, Executive Director


  • April 28, 2020 12:43 PM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

    Museums across New York State closed their doors to the public more than a month ago. Since then, many museums have adjusted their public engagement strategies, fundraising campaigns, and how they understand their unique roles in their communities. We reached out to three of our MANY Board Members about new strategies for their museums during the COVID-19 pandemic.


    The Rockwell Museum

    “When we made the decision to close The Rockwell Museum in advance of the directive from the State, the first thing I wondered was how we would continue to be a museum and move our work forward?” said Brian Lee Whisenhunt, Executive Director. “Quickly followed by - how do I empower the team to do what they need to do in the face of what is happening in our community? So I went back to our root, our mission, and reworked it to be what I would consider our ‘war time’ mission: Through compelling online engagement and imaginative use of its collection and resources, The Rockwell Museum provokes curiosity and reflection about art and the American experience. Even while closed.

    Screenshot of rockwellmuseum.org where the museum lets visitors know where they can find and engage with the museum’s educational resources and collections digitally.

    The Rockwell Museum team looked at what makes their institution unique and focused on their strengths. The Museum launched its online collection last year and was able to shift already scheduled Spring  programming  to an online format. “We were able to move one of our lectures from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History to an online presentation, continue our Art Explorer Story House in an online format and even present a student exhibition virtually,” said Whisenhunt. The Museum has reinforced its continued dedication to fulfilling their mission digitally across their website. Under “KIDS ROCKWELL” there is a dedicated “Museum From Home” page that features easy, at home art projects, activities sheets, art inspired writing challenges, digital art hunts, and more. “Our education department converted activities planning for the KIDS ROCKWELL Art Lab to an at-home format parents and kids can do together; crafted digital art hunts that are fun, but still engage the mind with active looking; and also created at-home activity sheets as supplemental materials to curriculum,” said Whisenhunt.

    Across The Rockwell Museum’s website, text  reinforces the museum’s mission and its dedication to continue it digitally.

    The Museum’s education team continued to work with their teaching artists to reimagine “The Great Circle,” a unique Artists-in-Residence collaboration between The Rockwell and the Elmira City and Bath Central School Districts to go virtual which will allow this program to go to children beyond the original participating school districts.

    “The Rockwell Museum has a talented and creative team and it felt like the directive of the ‘war-time’ mission emboldened everyone to manifest that same creativity and energy, but through a new challenge and in a different manner,” Whisenhunt said. “I believe it has been helpful to all of us in this situation to know we are still doing the work we set out to and continue to support the educational and artistic needs of our community. Even while closed.”


    The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

    The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum sees over quarter of a million visitors every year. Since the museum closed its doors, it launched a “Safe at Home” strategy that promotes its digital collection, virtual programming, and online exhibits. The Museum’s development and fundraising strategy also shifted. Focusing on engaging members and donors, the development team created the #CooperstownMemories initiative. This initiative asks members and donors to help continue to preserve baseball's greatest stories while sharing their own baseball memories.


    Utilizing the “Memories & Dreams” magazine, the Museum is sharing memories from their visitors and members. This #CooperstownMemories initiative has been added to their regular “Our Museum in Action” feature in which promotes donations for specific conservation and digitization projects. 

    “The response has been outstanding,” said Ken Meifert, VP of Sponsorship and Development. “...the stories continue to flow in. We are in the process of building a new website page to feature more stories, we will be sending another email sharing some [of the stories] and asking for more and promoting via our social media channels.” Meifert responds to each email that comes in. “Literally hundreds of them. I think this is critically important, as it creates a real connection to our supporters with authentic two-way communication.” 

    #CooperstownMemories states that “together we will continue to preserve the game’s greatest stories—and our own baseball memories.” While the Museum’s physical doors are closed, this campaign emphasizes togetherness during this pandemic. It encourages a shared ownership over the collection through this shared memories project. “As baseball fans we all have stories,” Meifert wrote in his email to members asking them to share their Cooperstown memories. “...our first trip to Cooperstown, meeting a Hall of Famer during Hall of Fame Weekend, seeing an exhibit that brings our memories flooding back, stepping into the plaque Gallery and feeling the connection to the game’s all-time greats—the memories are countless.”


    Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum

    When schools in and around Poughkeepsie closed in mid-March, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum was losing most of its earned revenue. “The immediate concern was knowing that we are a small museum and don’t have a large cash reserve,” said Lara Litchfield-Kimber, Executive Director. “I had to focus on one of our guiding principles during that early phase: how do I preserve our cash and how do I take care of my team?” Before any federal aid was announced she decided to do an emergency fundraising campaign. By Friday, March 13, that campaign was sent to the top twenty five donors to the Museum. “I realized that I could tell the story to these donors about the reality of how much money we last just last night and that we are fighting for survival,” Litchfield-Kimber said. Utilizing the sense of urgency created by the museum’s closure, the messaging was transparent. “I shared the details, not what I would lead with publically at that time but it’s kind of like bringing your insiders close and keeping them close.” The Museum received $7,000 in donations within that first week. Once the Emergency PAUSE order went out and other businesses and nonprofits began to close, fundraising stopped and Litchfield-Kimber applied for SBA, PPP, and other relief funds. The pandemic also forced the museum to step back and assess its role in the community during this uncertain time.

    “Every museum has something that makes them necessary for their community,” said Litchfield-Kimber. “Right now we’re thinking where can we [the museum] be necessary...one of the things I can do is share the work of our partner organizations.” On their social media channels, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum has shared educational resources from other children’s museums from across the country like the Chicago Children’s Museum and their Parenting Playbook. “The narrative of us being in this together is important and it’s not too doom and gloom...we are celebrating our partners.”


    The Museum also realized that Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market, one of the Museum’s core programs, was an essential business defined by Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order. The Museum opened the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market in the summer of 2017 to connect residents and families with fresh, affordable and locally-produced food. It was the first children’s museum in the country to open and operate a public farmers market as a strategy for fighting urban food insecurity and advancing community health. “For us, the point wasn’t so much about the Farmer’s Market but the inner city of Poughkeepsie has no grocery store and the public transportation system has been drastically cut. We still have restaurants and school lunches are still provided because we are a 100% funded school lunch district, but access to fresh food is really challenging,” Litchfield-Kimber said. “When we realized that this [Farmer’s Market] was essential and was necessary, we had to do it.” 

    Litchfield-Kimber reflected that it’s important to take this time to step back in order to think about what makes your museum unique and to ask what role does your museum play in your community. “If you can’t lean into your community, sit to the side and hang tight,” Litchfield-Kimber said. “If the time is for you to hibernate and get your ducks in a row behind the scenes that’s okay because right now we’re all trying to figure this out. Know what your lane is and if you're going to leave it—like us for the market—know that it is a lane that you should be in. Don’t just do it because everyone is doing it. Figure out where your work is essential.”



    Further Reading / Resources

    Performance vs. Exhibit-Based Experiences: What Will Make People Feel Safe Visiting Again? 

    Sustainability to Survivability: 5 Nonprofit Finance Must-Do's in the Time of COVID-19

    National Coronavirus Response: A Road Map To Reopening

    Three New Scenarios for Financial Survival in 2020

    Using Scenarios to Plan Your Museum's COVID-19 Response

    COVID-19: What Nonprofits Should do Right Now

    Arts groups look to Great recession for clues to an unknown coronavirus future

    Financial Assistance for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 (NYC)

    How COVID-19 is Impacting Intentions to Visit Cultural Entities

  • April 28, 2020 12:38 PM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

    Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced museums to close their doors, museum staff have felt an increased pressure to  have an active and engaging social media presence. As museums seek innovative ways to reach the public, share their collections, and implement alternative revenue sources, digital platforms will play an important role. However, understanding staff capacity, knowing your audience, and the ability to shape the museum mission to fit in  the digital arena will be  some key success factors.


    Mission Drives Everything

    Andrea Rogers, Vice President for Public Relations and External Affairs at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago shared during a Dexibit webinar (“Engaging Visitors While Closed”) that an institution's mission should drive everything. An institution's mission should pour into digital. Social media content, website, emails to donors and members should all emulate the mission. 

    Considering your institution’s branding, tone, and voice is important to maintaining your mission on social media. This will help with content planning and strategy moving forward. Not only will keeping your mission in mind help save time thinking about what kind of content to produce, but it will reinforce what makes your institution unique. 


    Understanding Your Institution’s Strengths

    To help develop a strong social media strategy, it is important to understand your institution’s strengths. Take a look at popular programs or exhibitions to see how you could replicate them digitally.


    Fort Ticonderoga is a historic site and museum that does living history really well. They’ve taken this strength and replicated it on their Instagram channel.sharing  how staff recreate history from the collections as they  work from home. Staff also use video for a weekly #NameThatTuneTuesday. 


    Staff promoting their “A Soldier’s Life” program on the @fort_ticonderoga Instagram account


    The Museum of the Earth relies on its STEM education mission to create interactive Instagram posts. The Museum uses its mascot, Cecil the Dinosaur, to share interesting facts and engaging activities leading followers on a “colossal journey through time.” This format, Cecil’s unique voice and a consistent post schedule, builds anticipation for return followers to interact with their account.

    “Stay Home, Make Art” by the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art is a virtual exhibition series that addresses how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted creative practice, shares local artwork made during quarantine, and promotes safe social distancing. The artworks are shared on their main Instagram account, and on a standalone account that exclusively features this content and connects to a Facebook page. The goal is to help artists remain visible during the pandemic. Hudson Valley-based artists can submit their work to the museum’s curator and exhibitions manager.

    Stay Home, Make Art submission by artist Tracy Kerman, “What You Wanted” 2020, oil on canvas, shared on the @dorskymuseum Instagram account

    Although my experience with quarantine has been obviously isolating and difficult, painting has allowed me to connect with others and to become lost in my work. The severity of our situation has also allowed me to let go of previous hang-ups or concerns about painting and to try new things in my work."


    Engage Your Community: Followers and Museums Alike

    “Social media is not a megaphone, but (when it’s working) a telephone,” Katharine Uhrich, Social Media Manager for the Field Museum said during a Dexibit webinar on “Engaging Visitors While Closed.” 

    Museums are reaching out to collaborate with the museum community. These call to action social media initiatives are what some Social Media Managers refer to as “light lifts” where a wide variety of museums can participate in. 

    Emily Haight, Social Media Manager for the New-York Historical Society worked with Hillary-Morgan Watt, Digital Strategist at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. created a Google Form for the #MuseumSunshine campaign. It listed the date, starting time, the hashtag, the priority platform (although museums could share across platforms), and provided details on the type of content. The campaign called for images of bright, yellow artworks, plein-air sunrises, light-up or glowing works, and generally, anything that feels sunny.  Social media campaigns like this create easy interactive challenges for museums to find theme related items in a collection and share them with their audiences. 


    Strive for an Active Audience

    Asking followers about what they would like to see is a great way to transform a passive audience into a more engaging one. Using hashtags relevant to your organization or to a certain campaign makes it easy for audiences to follow and engage in the conversation as well as for museums to re-share user generated content. 

    The Hart Cluett Museum used their Instagram to directly ask their followers about the type of posts that they want to see. Their followers responded with requests of games like guess the collection item and trivia about the family that lived there. The museum responded to these requests by immediately incorporating them into their Instagram strategy. #CuratorialCuriosities was created to highlight items from their permanent collection and engaged their followers with questions like “Do you have any items that were passed down through family?” The conversation continues in their comment section and through tagged posts. 



    Best Practices

    Where to start? Take an audit of your current social media accounts. Many platforms offer their own analytic tools. These insights can tell you information about your audience, popular times to post, and which posts are getting the most engagement. As you review your social media ask yourself: Are your bios or descriptions consistent? Are you using the correct logo or profile image? Are you posting consistently? Take the time to review your different social media channels to see what is working. If the last time you tweeted was in 2013, look to see if you could have an active audience or the time to devote meaningful content. If you answer no to either, leave it be. 

    If anything, update your social media profiles to provide your followers the most recent information about your institution and where they can find out more about you. Pin a post or tweet that directs your followers to your website, online resources, or a recent fundraising campaign.

    Having a digital presence has never been more critical, even if it is just on one platform. While your physical doors are closed, use the time to assess your digital presence and outline a social media strategy that best fits your organization. 



    Further Reading / Resources

    Online Audience Toolkit

    How Your Museum Can Use Social Media During COVID-19

    Twitter Publishes New Research on what Consumers Want to See from Brands During COVID-19

    4 Ways Museums Can Successfully Leverage Digital Content and Channels during Coronavirus

    THE ULTIMATE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MUSEUMS GUIDE

    Social Media 101 for Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations

    How Do Museum Professionals Harness Social Media Marketing?

    Social Media Management in Times of Crisis

    Social Media Video Tips & Strategies

    How Museums are Using Facebook Live


  • April 28, 2020 12:34 PM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

    Like many of you, the MANY staff have been working remotely since mid-March. Each Friday at noon we invite our museum community into our homes for our virtual meet-ups. Cue the sometimes frantic quick tidy up just before these virtual meetings in order to have a clean background. But a few New York State museums are offering free backgrounds for Zoom meetings. These downloadable backgrounds feature high resolution of iconic and favorite collection items, or put you virtually within the museum itself. 


    Cooper Hewitt

    Tigers and lions (not to mention monkeys) peep through the foliage in this wallpaper, released by Karl Mann Associates in 1963, which will transform your video conference call into a miniature safari.

    Now that we’ve moved happy hours, birthday parties, and celebrations of all kinds into the digital realm, we’re sharing designs drawn from Cooper Hewitt’s astonishing collection of wallcoverings—among the world’s largest—for you to use as backgrounds on your video conference calls. Think of it as an Immersion Room experience for your home.”


    Explore these 7 funky backgrounds from Cooper Hewitt


    Roberson Museum and Science Center

    These critters have the most dexterous hands making them quite the night-time burglars–no garbage can lid can stop these opposable thumbs!

    “Call into your next video meeting in style from Alonzo Roberson’s study–or perhaps you’d like to like to showcase your enthusiasm for model trains. Download one or all of these free digital backgrounds and enhance your next video chat.”

    Choose your background from the Roberson (we like the taxidermied racoons)


    The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    If you've somehow managed to keep everything under control, introduce some chaos to your next meeting or cocktail hour with The Dissolute Household. Jan Steen packs his canvas—part "I Spy," part prophecy of misfortune for this family—with clues signaling an ominous fate awaiting the characters in this painting

    “If you're stuck at home, you may be looking to shake up your work-from-home routine right about now. Spruce up your next staff meeting with one of The Met's iconic interiors or elegant artworks and be the envy of your colleagues. We've hand-picked ten of our favorites from throughout the Museum to get you started.”

    Choose your stylish background from The Met (The Dissolute Household looks like fun)


    Buffalo Museum of Science

    The Kellogg Observatory has been a part of the Museum’s history for almost 90 years. Named for Jane and Spencer Kellogg, the Kellogg Observatory opened to the public in 1930 and was equipped with an 8-inch f/15 refractor designed by Roland W. Sellew with a Lundin objective.

    Want to Zoom from the Kellogg Observatory? Now you can! The fully restored Lundin Telescope, dedicated as the E. E. Both Memorial Telescope in September 2018, sits under a new durable, aluminized steel dome and is powered by state-of-the-art mapping technology...and now backdrop to your next virtual meeting.

    Download the Kellogg Observatory background from the Buffalo Museum of Science


    Tifft Nature Preserve

    Tifft Nature Preserve offers 264 acres of restored habitat with five miles of trails and boardwalks.

    Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by Buffalo’s urban sanctuary? Bring a little calm and serenity to your next virtual call with this background that let’s you pretend you’re nestled in the middle of this 264 acre nature preserve. Can you hear the birds chirp? Almost.

    Wrap yourself up in nature from the Tifft Nature Preserve


    American Museum of Natural History

    This 100-foot-long exhibit is packed with organisms of all shapes and sizes, representing 1,500 living things—and the great diversity of life on Earth. One no-show? A species with an outsized impact on our planet: humans.

    “Call into your video meeting from the Grand Canyon—or from the jaws of an Allosaurus. Download a free digital background from the American Museum of Natural History and start your video call adventures today.”

    Find a digital background for every day of the week from AMNH (the Spectrum of Life is a personal favorite)


    New York Hall of Science

    “While you can’t visit NYSCI in the real world, bring NYSCI to your virtual world with two sets of video conference backgrounds by the New York Hall of Science. Enjoy scenery from our Connected Worlds environments, or some architecture photography of our Great Hall and museum building.”

    Explore Connected Worlds or architecture images from NYSCI


    Everson Museum of Art

    Do you miss the iconic I.M. Pei spiral staircase? Or do you prefer to surround yourself with American pottery from Renegades and Reformers: American Art Pottery Exhibition? You can download these and a lot more from the Everson Museum of Art.

    Spice up your virtual backgrounds from the Everson Museum of Art


    George Eastman Museum

    “When City Newspaper asked Rochesterians what their "fantasy quarantine location in Rochester" was, the overwhelming majority picked the Eastman Museum! Sadly, the museum is still closed, so we can't make this a reality. However, you can now make your friends, family and coworkers think you're here with our George Eastman Museum Zoom backgrounds.

    These images from the Eastman Museum have been taken to make it appear like you're actually sitting in George Eastman's library, or just about to enjoy a film in the Dryden Theatre.”

    Find your place inside or outside at the George Eastman Museum


    I Love NY

    Cave of the Winds takes its name from a natural overhang that created a cave-like structure for visitors to take in the magnificence of Niagara Falls. The "cave" collapsed in 1954, but the name stuck for this favorite New York attraction.

    “With breathtaking waterfalls, pristine lakes, and sandy beaches, New York State features many spectacular, scenic locations. Whether you’re working remotely, learning from home, or enjoying more screen time these days, download your favorite photo from the list below.”

    Find your picturesque New York State setting here


    How to Create Your Own Zoom Background

    You can create your own museum digital background. The ideal dimension is 1280 x 720 px. Add your logo in one of the corners, and include some description information for people to learn more about the space or collection item. 


    How to Add a Virtual Background

    Next time you log into your Zoom account for a virtual meeting, select the video icon on the bottom left hand side of your screen. Select the “choose virtual background” option. Here you can upload one of these images to be your virtual background.

    Click here for more detailed step by step instructions.


  • April 16, 2020 9:04 AM | Megan Eves (Administrator)


    Fund Created to Assist History-Related Organizations in New York State

    Pomeroy Foundation, Museum Association of New York Partner on New Grant Initiative

    Troy, N.Y. — The Pomeroy Fund for NYS History is a new partnership between the William G. Pomeroy Foundation and the Museum Association of New York (MANY). This fund will grant assistance to 501(c)(3) history-related organizations in New York State with budgets under $100,000 that have been forced to close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Pomeroy Fund for NYS History grants will range between $1,000 and $2,000 per organization. A total of $50,000 will be distributed. Applications are being accepted through Monday, April 27 and funds will be disbursed starting May 13.  

    Awarded funds can be used for the following purposes: 

    • to purchase computer hardware or software; 

    • to pay for utilities (e.g. electricity, heat, etc.);

    • to gain internet access or expand bandwidth; 

    • to secure facilities and collections

    “Together, we are all facing unprecedented circumstances,” said Bill Pomeroy, Founder and Trustee of the Pomeroy Foundation. “The present pandemic has caused significant disruption for history organizations. These organizations have been, and continue to be, vital resources in our communities. That’s why we have partnered with MANY to start the Pomeroy Fund for NYS History and provide much needed assistance to critical areas of their operations.”

    “We thank the Pomeroy Foundation for their rapid response to aid our historical societies and history museums,” said Erika Sanger, Executive Director for the Museum Association of New York. “We look forward to working with the Pomeroy Foundation to help support these organizations during this time of crisis.”

    To apply for a grant or for more information, visit: http://nysmuseums.org/Pomeroy-Fund-for-NYS-History

    Grant applications will be reviewed by a panel that will include MANY Board, MANY staff and Pomeroy Foundation staff. Grants are available to all qualified organizations; an organization does not have to be a member of MANY to receive funding, nor will preference be given to MANY members. Funding notifications and assistance grants will be issued in May. 


    #  # #


    About the Pomeroy Foundation 

    The William G. Pomeroy Foundation is a private, grant-making foundation established in 2005. The Foundation is committed to supporting the celebration and preservation of community history; and to raising awareness, supporting research and improving the quality of care for patients and their families who are facing a blood cancer diagnosis. To date, the Foundation has awarded over 1,000 roadside markers and plaques nationwide. Visit: https://www.wgpfoundation.org/

    Twitter: @wgpfoundation

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WGPFoundation

    YouTube: William G. Pomeroy Foundation


    About MANY

    The Museum Association of New York inspires, connects, and strengthens New York’s cultural community statewide by advocating, educating, collaborating, and supporting professional standards and organizational development. MANY ensures that New York State museums operate at their full potential as economic drivers and essential components of their communities. Visit https://www.nysmuseums.org


  • April 06, 2020 2:05 PM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

    We are pleased to share this 2019 Annual Report. By the time you read this in 2020, however, New York’s museums and MANY will look very different than we did at the end of 2019. In these uncertain times, no one knows what challenges our museum community may face in a week, a month, or a year. But we have faith that as New Yorkers with common missions and goals we can support each other, share resources, and make it through together. MANY is stronger and more deeply connected than ever before and we will be here to help our museums survive and thrive. At the end of 2019 we had 642 members from every region, budget size, and discipline and closed the year in a positive financial position. We are proud of the opportunities that we created for museum professionals to gather, to learn, and to grow their professional networks. This annual report details that growth and reach. Our partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museums on Main Street Program brought their Water/Ways exhibition to four New York museums. We signed the contract to bring the exhibition Voices and Votes: Democracy in America to twelve of New York’s smallest museums in 2024 and 2025 and will continue to leverage the resources of our nation’s preeminent museums to increase the capacity of our state’s smallest museums. It was an investment of funds and an expression of our strong belief that New York’s museums will significantly contribute to America 250. We have many people to thank for making 2019 a notable year. MANY’s board of directors volunteered hundreds of hours of their time to strengthen our state’s museums and are increasing the value of what we can offer as an association to individual, organizational, and industry partner members. We welcome four new board members in our class of 2023 who will generously share their perspectives and expertise with our association and our museum community. We thank you for your work as a museum staff member, a trustee, a volunteer, a student, an independent professional, a service provider, an industry partner, or a stakeholder. We couldn’t support museums without you! 

    Click here to download our 2019 Annual Report


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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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