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Letters from Erika: Collective Intelligence

September 25, 2018 4:15 PM | Anonymous

Dear Members, Friends, and Colleagues,


A couple of weeks ago we sent out the call for proposals for our 2019 Annual Conference. In case you missed it, you can find the call and the proposal form here.


I hope you will take a few minutes to read the call and think about the ways in which your experience and your voice can help strengthen us all as museum professionals. We selected Cooperstown, the historic Otesaga Resort and Hotel, and Mohawk Valley cultural institutions for our conference because of their deep roots in American history and the arts. There will be great food and drink, a phenomenal lakefront view, and 400 museum professionals - who could ask for more?


We received hundreds of pages of comments about last year’s conference, including that 90% of Rochester attendees were likely to come to Cooperstown. People attend the MANY conference because it is aspirational and inspirational. It helps people connect with colleagues and learn about new approaches they can bring back to their organizations. We look to include sessions that give useful, practical guidance, build skills in content areas, explore new philosophies, and shift ways of interpreting collections.

I’ve been thinking about Access and Identity - the 2019 Conference theme - as an important exercise in collective intelligence. I like to think about the conference in this context, because we crowdsource content, assess with peer review, leverage our social capital to create fabulous special events, ask you to help us share through social media, and lastly, assess with a polling system. A strong sense of who we are and who we want to be as New Yorkers and New York museums can emerge in a conference like ours, where we can create a space to discuss and perhaps even safely disagree about our future as a field and make room for the broadest definitions of identity as museum professionals and as institutions.


Proposals for Access & Identity are due October 24, 2018. You can download the call for proposals here and the proposal form here.


Feel free to pick up the phone and call us to talk about a proposal or the conference. We love to hear from you!


See you on the road!



Erika Sanger

Executive Director, MANY

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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