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How are museums growing institutional resources? How are museums working with their communities? How are museums using their exhibitions and collections in new ways? Explore original articles by MANY staff about NYS museums. 

What's happening at your museum? Submit your museum news and we might feature you in our next This Month in NYS Museums newsletter!


  • April 18, 2018 9:36 AM | Anonymous


    The National Endowment for the Humanities’ Division of Preservation and Access has offered Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions since 2000. These grants help smaller and mid-sized cultural heritage institutions such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections.

    Awards of up to $6,000 support preservation-related collection assessments, consultations, purchase of preservation supplies and equipment, training and workshops, and institutional and collaborative disaster and emergency planning. (Applicants may request up to $7,000 if the project would support emerging professionals, as discussed below.) Preservation Assistance Grants also support assessments of digital collections, education and training in standards and best practices for digital preservation, and the care and handling of collections during digitization. NEH does not fund digitization or the development of digital programs in this grant category.  

    All applications to NEH must be submitted through; see the application guidelines for details. The 2018 guidelines for Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions are available at You will also find sample project descriptions, sample narratives, and a list of frequently asked questions. The deadline for applications is May 1, 2018.

    Smaller and mid-sized institutions that have never received an NEH grant are encouraged to apply. We also have a special encouragement for applications from Hispanic-serving institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities, and from Native American tribes and Native Hawaiian and Native Alaskan organizations with significant humanities collections. 

    Mindful of the importance of preserving cultural heritage in regions affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as wildfires and mudslides in California, the program is offering special assistance of up to $10,000 to applicants in federally declared disaster areas.  In addition to the regular activities supported by Preservation Assistance Grants, applicants in these areas are encouraged to seek additional support for disaster planning, response, recovery, and mitigation; preservation assessments; conservation treatments; the temporary relocation and storage of collections; the purchase of supplies; education and training related to disaster planning and response; and the reformatting of collections as a preservation methodology.

    NEH is also offering encouragements to address issues facing smaller institutions and the preservation field. To provide practical experience to emerging preservation professionals, we encourage consultants to work as mentors with advanced students or recent graduates from preservation programs who may assist in conducting preservation assessments, addressing specific preservation issues, and/or training staff at the applicant institution. Applicants may request up to an additional $1,000 if the consultant is working with emerging professionals.  To address the risk to cultural heritage materials from natural disasters, theft, and other types of destruction, NEH encourages all applicants to develop disaster plans and to work collaboratively with local institutions for training in disaster preparedness and emergency response.

    See our Web series, 50 States of Preservation, about PAG awardees across the country, on our Web site:

    For more information, contact the staff of NEH’s Division of Preservation and Access at 202-606-8570 or

  • April 17, 2018 11:08 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Museum Directors:

    Greetings from Washington, DC! I write you today to invite your museum to participate this year in the Blue Star Museums program. For the past eight years, the National Endowment for the Arts has collaborated with Blue Star Families and the U.S. Department of Defense on Blue Star Museums, a program which provides free museum admission to active duty military and their families all summer long. Each year, more than 2,000 museums participate, reaching on average more than 856,000 military members and their families.

    To become a Blue Star museum, the process is simple: just follow this link to sign up on-line. Even if you have participated in the past, you must sign up again to participate in 2018. If your institution is already offering a similar program or already offers free admission to all, registering as a Blue Star Museum provides a national platform to showcase your museum to the military community.

    After registration, you will receive a welcome email with a link to the Blue Star Museums webpage where you will find information on admissions eligibility and promotional resources to help you share news about this summer program. We would be deeply appreciative if you would join Blue Star Museums 2018. The Blue Star Museums program sends our nation’s military families a clear signal, that the museums of the nation recognize and honor their contributions by opening their doors to share the treasures of the nation with those who have been serving so long and so faithfully. If you have any questions please email or call Laska Hurley at 202-682-5451.


    Jane Chu, Chairman
    National Endowment for the Arts

  • March 29, 2018 9:00 AM | Anonymous


    In 2017, the Coby Foundation awarded $556,000 in grants, the highest amount in its 16-year history, supporting projects throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. The Foundation, the only one in the United States to focus its funding on the fashion and textile field, supported twenty projects that ranged from artist installations to ethnographic fashion to an exhibition examining shopping for clothing.

    The largest grant went to the Penn Museum, the esteemed archaeology and anthropology institution at the University of Pennsylvania. Coby funds will allow for the display of textiles in newly renovated galleries. Featured will be luxury items, Persian silks from the 16th and 17th centuries that tell the story of global trade and also works collected from the Turkmen people of Central Asia ($100,000).

    From Penn Museum New Textile Gallery: Hand-embroidered women's coat of natural dyed silk and cotton; Turkmenistan, Central Asia, ca. 1890, # 99-24-1.

    The Fabric Workshop and Museum, also in Philadelphia, received the second largest grant for Process and Practice: 40 Years of Experimentation, which celebrates its 40thanniversary by pairing evocative items taken from almost 60 boxes containing process materials from its artists residencies with the finished works that were produced in FWM’s Workshop. Tom Hine wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer that “The opening of its boxes is a gift to Philadelphians” ($90,000).

    Other grants for contemporary projects went to the Everson Museum of Syracuse for Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism ($44,000); the Mattatuck Museum (CT) for Ùtútù, an installation by Nnenna Okore, who used textiles to commemorate the colors and landscapes of her childhood home in Nigeria (5,000); and the Philadelphia Museum of Art for an installation by Korean-American artist Jean Shin, widely acclaimed for her practice of dramatically transforming everyday objects into monumental installations ($30,000). The Parrish Art Museum created a special installation of works by the late Alan Shields, including a publication by curator Alicia Longwell ($45,000): and the Addison Gallery of American Art (MA) mounted Invisible Citings, a collaborative project joining embroidery by Elaine Reichek with sculpture by Jeanne Silverthorne ($20,000). And the Hunterdon Museum of Art (NJ) mounted a group exhibition entitled Intimate Lines: Drawing with Thread that dealt with relationships, gender and identity ($16,000).

    From Parrish Art Museum’s “Alan Shields: Common Threads”: Devil, Devil, Love, 1970, Cotton belting, acrylic, beads, thread, and wood, 96 x 194 in., Museum Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Carney Fund, 2007.15.

    From Hunterdon Art Museum’s “Intimate Lines”: Daniel Kornrumpf, No Mold Gold Teeth, 2013, Hand embroidery on linen, 42 x 36 in. (detail).

    The Coby Foundation supported an unusual variety of fashion-related exhibitions, ranging from a James Galanos retrospective at Drexel University’s Fox Historic Costume Collection in Philadelphia ($40,000) to Fashioning the Women of Weeksville at the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn ($15,000) to the Jewish Museum’s Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of The Israel Museum, an array of apparel from over 20 countries on four continents ($50,000). The Foundation is also supporting an ambitious exhibition, The Fashions of Fiction from Pamela to Gatsby at the Fashion Archives & Museum of Shippensburg University (PA) ($40,000) and the conservation and exhibition of a contemporary African gown, called Esther, by Nigerian designer Patience Torlowei at the National Museum of African Art ($12,000). Another project consisting of conservation and subsequent exhibition is the textile collection belonging to artist Marsden Hartley at the Bates College Museum (ME) ($19,000).

    The Concord Museum’s Fresh Goods: Shopping for Clothing in a New England Town, 1750–1900 considers the shopping habits of Concordians in the 18th and 19th centuries. Visitors will be encouraged to compare their own conventions for consuming clothing to people’s practices in the past ($25,000), while Historic New England’s Head to Toe: Hat and Shoe Fashions showcases 46 hats and pairs of shoes worn in New England from the 1750s to the present, exhibited at the Eustis Estate Museum and Study Center in Milton, MA ($24,000). Both are part of the statewide MASS Fashion collaborative project.

    Other 2017 Coby Foundation grants went to the Peabody Essex Museum (MA) for The Last Empresses of China ($40,000), the Textile Museum at George Washington University (DC) for A Nomad's Art: Kilims of Anatolia ($25,000), The New England Quilt Museum in Lowell (MA) for planning the exhibition Quilting the Dark Side($10,000); and Esopus Magazine’s Ernest B. Haight: Sewing and Reaping, which examines Haight’s production of 400 quilts ($6,500).

    Founded by Irene Zambelli Silverman in 1994, The Coby Foundation received its major assets after Mrs. Silverman’s death in 1998. The Foundation is interested in projects that combine excellent scholarship and effective interpretation. Projects may be in the arts or humanities, contemporary or historical, but all must have a public benefit. The Executive Director of The Coby Foundation is Ward L.E. Mintz. The Foundation welcomes inquiries for proposals. Consult the Foundation’s website at or write to Mr. Mintz at the following address:

    The Coby Foundation, Ltd.
    511 Avenue of the Americas, #387
    New York, NY  10011

  • March 05, 2018 7:00 AM | Anonymous

    NY Museum Professionals in the Washington, DC office of New York Senator Charles Schumer

    March 5, 2018

    Dear Members, Friends, and Colleagues,

    Today we are on our way to Rochester to plan for Visioning Change, MANY’s annual conference. The conference is just one month away and the Hyatt Regency Rochester discount is good through this Wednesday, March 7. Today would be a great time to register and book your hotel room. Our new website  makes registration fast and easy.

    Last week we were in Washington, D.C. for Museums Advocacy Day sponsored by the American Alliance for Museums. We learned some important things about New York’s Museums that made us proud to speak up for our sector. Oxford Economics’ 2017 national report “Museums as Economic Engines”  found that the total annual economic impact of Museums in New York State is $ 5.4 billion dollars -- equal to that of the state’s Agricultural Industries and second only to California in contributions to our nation’s economy.

     This week we need you to take action by reaching out to your legislators in Albany in support of the Museum Education Act. With 33,000 people directly employed by Museums in New York, our significant economic impact, and new data about our service to the education field we are well positioned, but the MEA won’t get passed because we think it is the right thing to do. It will get passed when you activate your networks, speak up, and tell your legislators how we impact learning in New York State. MANY’s January 2018 Survey of Education Programs in New York State Museums brought to light important information that we would like you to share with your representatives in Albany. The report is available on our website. Our findings include:

    • 99% of New York museums and 100% of those with annual budgets under $100,000 serve school children at their museums.

    •  75% of New York museums serve school children at another site in their communities.

    • 65% of museums of all budget sizes and 100% of museums with budget sizes between $2,500,000-$5,000,000 develop learning materials for teachers to use in their classrooms; 35% make those materials available on their websites.

    • 100% of those museums with annual budgets between $25,000-$49,999 and 89% of those museums with annual budgets between $1,000,000 and $2,500,000 partner with community service organizations.

    We need the support of every legislator to create a funding stream that will allow us to serve our mandate as organizations chartered by the New York State Department of Education.

    Museums could substantially increase the number of students and adult learners we serve if funding was available to support reduced admission fees, bus transportation, web-based curricula, and teacher training. The Museum Education Act would provide funds for these activities.

    Personalize and localize the message to your representatives. Let them know the difference that museum funding could make in their communities. Not sure who your representatives are? You can use the MANY member map to help find them.

    I know that museum professionals can act with passion, urgency, and shared purpose.

    Tell your legislators that you want the Museum Education Act, S.1676-A sponsored by State Senator Betty Little and A. 3892 sponsored by Assembly Member Matthew J. Titone with pilot funding of $5 Million included in the one-house bills that will come to the floor on March 14th. Our strength together can make this happen for all of our museums.

    Erika Sanger
    Executive Director

    265 River St. Troy, NY 12180 | | 518-273-3400

  • February 11, 2018 12:35 PM | Anonymous

    Members of the MANY now have access to a variety of exclusive features!
    Log-in to your MANY Profile here or join us today.

    Member Discussion Forum
    Subscribe to this member-only forum and receive notifications when your colleagues or MANY share discussion topics and information. 

    Exhibition & Events Forum
    Use this forum to share information about your upcoming events, programs, and exhibits. Although the public can see what is posted from a link on our homepage, only MANY members can share their content.  Help us spread the word about all the exciting things happening in New York State museums. 

    Museum Marketplace 
    Search the marketplace to find consultants and industry partners to help with your advertising, exhibit design, website/social media channels, collections storage, shipping, event management, conservation, and more!

    Updates from the desk of our Executive Director.

    Check our event pages for updates on Meet Ups and workshops as we gather members across the state and in your region. 

  • February 09, 2018 9:54 AM | Anonymous

    One Week Left for Early Bird Registration!

    Dear Members, Friends, and Colleagues,

    Take a look at your appointment calendar for next week. Don’t see time set aside to register for MANY’s annual conference? Squeeze 15 minutes between meetings and don’t miss out!

    There is just one week left for you to take advantage of our early bird registration rate. Come to Rochester, April 8-10 to join the conversation about “Visioning Change” for the future of New York museums and cultural institutions.

    Click here to register today!

    See you in Rochester!

    Erika Sanger
    Executive Director

  • February 07, 2018 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    February 7, 2018

    Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Members,

    Yesterday Sheila Healy, MANY’s government relations consultant, and I had the opportunity to attend the Assembly’s Education Committee meeting chaired by Assembly member Catherine Nolan. Guest speaker MaryEllen Elia, Commissioner of Education, shared her 2018 budget priorities and fielded member questions. We then met with Museum Education Act (A.3892A/S.1676A) sponsors, Assembly Member Matt Titone and Senator Betty Little.

    The MEA is in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee and will be on the agenda for vote next week in the Senate’s Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Committee. If your Legislative representative is on the Senate’s Cultural Affairs Committee or the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee, it would significantly help our efforts to pass the MEA if you could take a moment before the end of this week to ask them to support the MEA by co-sponsoring the bill and signing on to Assembly member Titone’s budget letter.

    Not sure you know your representatives? Use MANY’s member map to check.

    We will soon be adding new advocacy tools to our website, including the data from 96 museums and an executive summary from our museum education program survey. Even if your legislator is not on the above-mentioned committees, we need you to speak out on behalf of the MEA.

    The message is simple:

    • New York State’s museums provide community learning opportunities that share our state’s history, art, and culture.
    • 90% of museums in New York State dedicate at least 10% of their operating budgets to education programs but limited resources are a significant obstacle to growth.
    • Museums would substantially increase the number of students served if funding was available to support reduced admission fees, bus transportation, web-based curricula, and teacher training.
    • The Museum Education Act would provide funds for these activities as well as partnerships with community-based organizations and higher educationinstitutions.

    Please be sure to tell your legislators what you do in your museums to work with your communities and your schools. It is important that we help them understand the critical role museums play as community anchors.

    Thank you in advance for taking time to help us advance the MEA!

  • December 22, 2017 3:26 PM | Anonymous

    December 22, 2017

    Dear Members, Friends, and Colleagues, 

    As we prepare to pause in our busy lives to celebrate the holidays and the coming New Year, I'd like to thank you for your support in 2017. New members, new grant awards, new advocacy advances, a new strategic plan, and new partnerships are helping to launch MANY into 2018 with a greater capacity to serve museums in New York.

    With the workforce development grant and project grant award from NYSCA's museum program, we will soon be a staff of three! Our board of trustees stepped up for you with everyone making a donation to our annual appeal. In 2018, we will launch a campaign to raise funds in support of scholarships to attend our annual conference and we hope you will help us help those museum professionals who would otherwise be unable to attend.

    Together, our voices are stronger than ever before, with a 30% increase in the numbers of members, including 72 new members and 97 organizations who re-joined MANY in 2017.  


    MANY speaks for every museum equally, regardless of budget size, location, or content area. Many of our members represent New York's history community, almost a third are art museums, and others represent science and wildlife centers, zoos, and gardens. A selection of our members are on the list below; two from each of the ten REDC regions.

    Capital Region


    Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region

    Historic Huguenot Street 

    Olana State Historic Site

    FDR Presidential Library & Museum

    Central New York

    Mohawk Valley

    Erie Canal Museum

    Fenimore Art Museum

    Everson Museum of Art

    Utica Zoo

    Finger Lakes

    New York City

    Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion

    Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Rochester Museum & Science Center

    Brooklyn Botanic Garden

    Long Island 

    Southern Tier

    Pollock-Krasner House & 
    Study Center

    Rockwell Museum of American Art 

    Oyster Bay Historical Society

    Finger Lakes Boating Museum

    North Country

    Western New York 

    Akwesasne Museum

    Burchfield Penny Art Center

    Adirondack Experience, 
    The Museums at Blue Mountain Lake

    Aquarium of Niagara

    Registration for Visioning Change, our 2018 annual conference, will open on January 16. When you click to register, you will find a new website with an intuitive interface and faster navigation. The key to the new site will be your personal or organizational "log in" that you will create the first time you visit. We are excited by all of the new features our members will be able to access. 


    There are two potential funding sources that might be able to support conference attendance; we will share more that may follow as we learn about the: NYSCA professional development grants and grants from the The Pomeroy Foundation

    There is still time before the end of the year to donate to MANY. Every dollar you donate amplifies our ability to help you succeed.

    Wishing you a wonderful New Year!

    Erika Sanger

    Executive Director

    Museum Association of New York

      Questions about the conference or want a chance to sponsor/exhibit? 

    email us  at or visit our website

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  • December 13, 2017 3:37 PM | Anonymous
    MANY Receives REDC Grant for Administrative Workforce Expansion

    MANY is thrilled to announce that we received our first Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) grant for Administrative Workforce Expansion! We would like to thank Governor Cuomo and the members of the Capital Region Economic Development Council for their support of the Museum Association of New York and the New York State museum field.  


    The grant will allow MANY to hire a Marketing and Social Media Coordinator to manage digital marketing and communications, enrich our service to the field, promote professional development programs, share funding opportunities, and improve economic stability in New York's cultural sector.

    Thanks to everyone who signed our letter of support and congratulations to all the organizations who received support. You can find the full list of grant awards here

    Erika Sanger

    Executive Director 

  • December 12, 2017 3:00 PM | Anonymous

    The Museum Education Act is seen as an integral part of equity

    in education statewide. 

    Dear Friends, Colleagues, and MANY Members,

    On Tuesday, the New York State Board of Regents unanimously endorsed the $1.6 billion state aid proposal along with their 2018 budget and legislative priorities. We are thrilled to report that for the first time ever the Regents designated the Museum Education Act as a budget priority and proposed $5 million to fund it.


    Under their state budget priorities, the Regents describe this new program as:


    Expanding Access to Education Programs through Cultural Institutions - Support the Museum Education Act and establish competitive grants to support cultural institutions that seek to establish or improve museum education programs designed to improve and support student learning opportunities, including supporting the development of local curricular aids.


    And if this action was not sufficiently awesome on its own, the State Education Department released a video on today of Commissioner MaryEllen Elia's statement about how increasing equity has been the driving force behind everything SED does. In talking about equity, the Commissioner specifically mentions passing the Museum Education Act and linking museum education programs with pre k -12 schools to enable students to learn from the museums' "incredible collections".


    We are grateful to Chancellor Betty Rosa, Regent Roger Tilles, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, Executive Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin and Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Education Mark Schaming for their support of museums in New York. 

    But, we're not quite home yet. To get these bills passed in the upcoming legislative session will require your help.  We will soon be sending out new tools to help you call and meet with your legislators. We will also be selecting dates for you to join us in Albany to advocate for passage of the Museum Education Act.  

    Erika Sanger

    Executive Director 

    Museum Association of New York

    Sheila Healy

    Government Relations Consultant


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. 

265 River Street
Troy, NY 12180 USA

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