Welcome to the September issue of This Month in NYS Museums. We are publishing this issue from The Museum Institute at Great Camp Sagamore where our conversations are exploring how we can advance the field and our personal practice through inclusive leadership. This month, the article on the The Brooklyn Museum’s ASK app is a great illustration of how technology can be leveraged to engage visitors in new ways. Gwen Spicer’s article on magnetic mounting systems went a long way toward educating me about new applications for ancient technology. I hope that the article about how Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum, the smallest Whaling Museum in our nation, scored big with an IMLS grant through their new Inspire! funding program will inspire other small museums to consider applying for the November 15 deadline. In addition to my letter, we have included an exciting new report from the NYS Department of Labor on museums in our state. I hope you enjoy the reading as much as we enjoyed putting this issue together for you.
Inspiring Funding for Small Museums
The IMLS’s The Inspire! grant program for small museums grew out of a special initiative from their Museums for America program and was first offered in 2018 for grants to be implemented in 2019. Inspire! grants help applicants build capacity without concern for matching funds. Although both Inspire! and the Museums for America grant programs fund similar projects, the difference is the funding available and cost-share required. The program goal for Inspire! is to support small museums in addressing priorities identified in their strategic plans. READ MORE
ASK! Cultivating a Better Visitor Experience With Technology at The Brooklyn Museum
More museums are using data to drive decision making. This data can influence marketing decisions, membership development, and shaping visitor experiences. The app invites you to ask questions by texting with one of the Brooklyn Museum's staff. The goal? To make the museum a more dynamic and responsive institution. But it also helps the museum answer the question, "what are visitors looking for from the museum?" READ MORE
EXHIBITIONS & COLLECTIONS
An Introduction to Magnetic Mounting Systems
At Spicer Art Conservation, we are passionate about magnets and the amazing possibilities of their use in museums and cultural institutions. Their use is especially beneficial where standard stitching techniques are not possible. However the use of magnets is not “magic,” there is actual science behind how a magnetic system functions, incorporating three key factors that must be considered. READ MORE
Editor’s note: Magnetic Mounting Systems for Museums and Cultural Institutions won the 2019 Greater Hudson Heritage Network publication award.
NYS Museums Fill Many Roles: Economic Engine, Community Anchor and Educational Partner
Did you know that New York State is home to more than 1,800 museums? It's a fact! The Empire State ranks #2 in the nation for number of museums, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, an independent federal agency. READ MORE
LETTER FROM ERIKA
But What do you Mean by Partnership?
Guastavino vaulted ceiling at the former NYS Library at the State Education building
Last week we announced the Call for Proposals for our 2020 annual conference that will be held in Albany March 29 -31. Pre-conference events on March 28 will include hands-on workshops, special architectural and behind the scenes tours and a day-long museums and folklore forum. READ MORE
RIT and Genesee County Village & Museum seal partnership with $1.3 million gift
(left to right) RIT Liberal Arts Dean James Winebrake, Genesee Country Village & Museum President and CEO Becky Wehle, and Anne and Phil Wehrheim meet at the museum. Credit: A. Sue Weisler/RIT.
Rochester Institute of Technology has received a $1.3 million gift to endow its partnership between the university and Genesee Country Village & Museum.
The gift comes from RIT alumnus Philip Wehrheim and his wife, Anne. The gift marries Wehrheim’s interest in both RIT and the museum. “For me to be able to do this for the museum and also for my alma mater is a perfect fit,” he said.
James Winebrake, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said that while his college will manage the gift, the fund will support projects involving all colleges at RIT. READ MORE
Tainted Money: Where Do You Stand?
Museums are wrestling with the ethical implications of accepting donations from people who make their money or espouse beliefs that are antithetical with the values of the institution or its audience. We want your opinion to benchmark our field’s attitudes and practices surrounding this important topic. Our colleagues at the New England Museum Association have created a short survey to collect nationwide data, so please take a few minutes to respond: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SCL5TLW. Your answers will be anonymous and will help inform the field’s thought leadership on the issue.
Grants Available Nationwide for Historic Markers Celebration Transportation Canal History
The William G. Pomeroy Foundation has officially opened a new grant round of its Historic Transportation Canals Marker Grant Program. This historic marker program commemorates the history of these important canals across the U.S. Grants cover the entire cost of a marker, pole and shipping.
Mid-Hudson Children's Museum Receives International Award for its Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market
The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum has been recognized by the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) with the 2019 Leading Edge Award for Business Practice for its creation and operation of the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market. READ MORE
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MANY on the Move
Thursday, October 10
Water/Ways Exhibition Grand Opening at Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village The third stop of the New York Water Tour, this traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street Program explores water as an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically.
Tuesday, October 15
Central Region Meet-Up in Auburn, NY with tours of the Harriet Tubman House, Seward House Museum, and reception at NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center
Wednesday, October 23
Southern Tier Workshop in Ithaca, NY at The History Center of Tompkins County with presentation on: Collaborative Projects in Recording Neighborhood History, Our Museum in Action: Engaging Hard to Reach Donors in Small Projects, and Finding Your Roots: Genealogy Tours and Tourism
Meet up follow workshop at 4:30 PM
Thursday, October 24
Capital Region Workshop at Mabee Farm with Exclusive and Inclusive: Behind the Scenes Collections Tours for the 21st Century, Humanities NY Workshop, and Expanding Visitor Experiences: Engaging Tour Ideas for Historic Sites.
Meet up follow workshop at 4:30 PM
Find out where your nearest workshop and meet-up will be this fall!