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Sing Sing Prison Museum: Unlocking Conscience

75-minute session

Location: Hilton Albany, Governor C

Day/Time: Tuesday, April 9 // 10:45 AM - Noon

About: To start a museum in the post-pandemic, post-George Floyd, post-museum “awakening” is a remarkable challenge in innovation, one embraced by the Sing Sing Prison Museum. The SSPM is charged with telling the stories of crime, punishment, and rehabilitation at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. To elevate the conversation about the 200-year history of this still operating facility, as well as address a web of social, cultural, and economic factors as they impact individuals, all while telling dark and hard histories, we went searching for best practice. We also landed on the central theme of designing to promote empathy and raise consciousness about injustice and justice. Hufnagel and Hamilton will present examples of consciousness building at SSPM and share worksheet tools (from across the globe) to illustrate how change gets built. The four examples will illustrate how we: 1) create opportunities to support democracy, 2) share the relevance and importance of collections, 3) nurture human resources to build equity and inclusion, and 4) adapt programming to meet audience needs. We will then pose two essential questions with attendees: How do memory, truth, and justice interlink? How do you communicate memory, truth, and justice to the public?


Amy Hufnagel, Assistant Director, Sing Sing Prison Museum

Amy Hufnagel (she/her/we) is the Assistant Director of the Sing Sing Prison Museum. Previously she served as the Director of Programs & Visitor Experience at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford, CT and the Vice President of Interpretation & Engagement at OLANA in Hudson, NY. She was the Executive Director of The Alice Austen House Museum within the New York City Parks Department and the NYC Historic House Trust, and the Director of Programs and Education for the New York State Alliance for Arts Education and headed up the Education Department at the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her work for the last two decades has centered on expanding historic narratives to share authority with audiences rooted in primary sources and artifacts.

Nicole Hamilton, Collections & Programs Manager, Sing Sing Prison Museum

Nicole Hamilton is the Collections and Program Manager for the Sing Sing Prison Museum. Nicole thinks deeply about how collections work can better serve communities, including developing more inclusive policies that account for the unique needs of marginalized groups. She has presented on prison museums and collections concerns at AASLH, MAAM, and MANY conferences. She currently serves on the leadership team for the Association of Carceral Sites and Museums. Nicole holds an undergraduate degree in history from Carleton College and a masters in Museum Studies from the George Washington University.

Conference Cancellation Policy

If for any reason, MANY cancels the conference, we will issue you a full refund. 

If you cancel your registration before Monday April 1, that request must be made in writing via email to We will refund you the full amount of your registration, minus a $45 administrative fee. 

Refunds requested after April 1 will not be granted, including requests made based on absence due to illness, late arrival and/or weather conditions. No refunds will be issued on special event tickets at any point due to restaurants and caterers requiring payment in advance.

Special event ticket purchases are non-refundable; restaurants and caterers require payment in advance. you are welcome to give or sell them to a colleague attending the conference. Please notify MANY staff in advance of the conference regarding any transfer of special event tickets. 

Please see your hotel confirmation email for your individual hotel reservation cancellation policy. 

Video/Photography Policy

By registering for and attending our Annual Conference "Giving Voice to Value" you grant the Museum Association of New York (MANY) and its authorized representatives permission to film, photograph, or otherwise record your participation in the conference and associated special events.

You further agree that such images, photographs, and recordings may be used by MANY without your prior approval in any form and for any lawful purpose including, without limitation, promoting MANY. Such use will not entitle you to any credit or compensation.

You release MANY, its officers, and employees from any liability connected with the use of any image, photograph, or recording taken during MANY's Annual Conference and associated special events.

Conference Code of Conduct

The Museum Association of New York (MANY) is dedicated to providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming conference experience for all participants. All attendees are expected to follow this Code of Conduct, which applies to all pre-conference workshops, concurrent sessions, special events, and capstone experiences.

Compliance with the Code of Conduct is expected from all conference participants; including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, staff, organizers, contractors, volunteers, exhibitors, and sponsors. Read more.

The Museum Association of New York helps shape a better future for museums and museum professionals by uplifting best practices and building organizational capacity through advocacy, training, and networking opportunities.

Museum Association of New York is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. 

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