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  • December 2020

Dear Members of our Museum Community,

Welcome to the December edition of "This Month in NYS Museums." We are pleased to share the news that the latest COVID-19 Emergency Relief Package included direct economic relief for museum contract workers or consultants and $15 billion was allocated for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions (including museums). It is important now more than ever to contact your local, state, and federal representatives to thank them for their work on behalf of our nation's museums. You can find links to contact your legislative representatives on the advocacy page on the MANY website.

While we could not meet in person this year, I want to thank the nearly 4,000 people who joined us for our Virtual Meet-Ups in the spring and fall programs. Join us on Friday, January 22 at noon for our Virtual Meet-Up: Where We Are Now. Click here to register.

In this newsletter, we're sharing our Pomeroy Fund for NYS History Report. In three grant rounds, this fund supported 69 history-related organizations. We are grateful to the William G. Pomeroy Foundation for their rapid response to aid our historical societies and history museums.

We spoke with Klaudio Rodriguez, the new Executive Director at the Bronx Museum of the Arts about why he left Miami for NYC, his favorite day on the job, and some of his initial and long term goals for the museum.

Did you share or scroll the #MuseumFromHome hashtag this year? MANY Executive Director Erika Sanger reviewed the hashtag for the New York History Journal which we have shared in our newsletter. The December "Letter from Erika," reminds us to reflect on 2020 and to look forward with creativity. 

Lastly, we're excited to announce a new member benefit! Beginning in 2021 all Organizational members will have the opportunity to add up to 9 additional contacts in their membership “bundle.” 

Thank you for your support this year and we wish you a Happy New Year!

Megan Eves

Marketing & Communications Associate



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Museum Live Online/Virtual Program Stats 

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Pomeroy Fund for NYS History Report

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the William G. Pomeroy Foundation and the Museum Association of New York formed a new partnership and created the Pomeroy Fund for NYS History to support the state’s smallest history-related organizations. In three grant rounds, the Pomeroy Fund for NYS History funded 69 organizations across New York State $147,808.72.

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Klaudio Rodriguez

Photo by Brendon Cook, BFA

MANY Profile:

Klaudio Rodriguez

Klaudio Rodriguez was named Executive Director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts in November after being its interim director since January. We spoke with Mr. Rodriguez to learn more about his role and how he entered the museum field.

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"I miss visiting museums. In the past four years I have spent time in hundreds of museums, sometimes several in a day–as many as a dozen in a week...The virtual museum experience will never replace my desire to examine original objects and experience a gallery's architectural space, but until with can all travel again, #MuseumFromHome creates a positive balance to doom-scrolling media headlines."

MANY Executive Director Erika Sanger recently wrote a public history review for the New York History Journal examining the #MuseumFromHome hashtag during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Letter from Erika: History will Read Us Loud and Clear

Dear MANY members, friends, and colleagues,

As we prepare to put behind us a year that changed our lives, I am filled with gratitude for our museum community. Your calls, emails, notes in chat boxes, and social media comments gave us the hope and energy to face an unknowable future together with resolve and resilience. 

We will need to find ways to sustain ourselves in the face of insufficient federal aid. I believe our strength as a field lies in our ability to remain creative, flexible, and adaptive. When we finally reach the other side of the pandemic, the need to advance equitable staffing practices, generate sufficient funding, and improve digital communications will still exist. In the face of so much loss, it may be hard to reflect upon and change the ways we add to our collections, develop our programs, and serve our communities, but success will come through rebuilding to fit new circumstances. 

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Get a Jumpstart on 2021 Member Benefits

In a year that has pushed so much of our work and communication into virtual spaces, MANY has added new programs and resources for members on our website and now we are expanding your access to these resources. Beginning in 2021 all Organizational members will have the opportunity to add up to 9 additional contacts in their membership “bundle.” This means more of your staff, volunteers, and board members can benefit from your Organizational Membership with secure, personal access to MANY’s growing number of members-only resources. 

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Guest Article:

Greener Museums in 2021? Q & A with Joyce Lee

Joyce Lee, FAIA, WELL AP, LEED Fellow is the President of IndigoJLP Green + Health, providing green health, planning, benchmarking, and design services with a focus on cultural facilities. We spoke with Joyce about how museums are working towards being greener spaces, some of the challenges they face, and how museums can become more sustainable with green energy.

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Member News

REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM)

As libraries and museums around the country begin to resume operations and reopen to the public, the need for clear information to support the handling of core museum, library, and archival materials has become increasingly urgent. 

OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle are conducting research on how long the COVID-19 virus survives on materials that are prevalent in libraries, archives, and museums. The project will draw upon the research to produce authoritative, science-based information on how—or if— materials can be handled to mitigate exposure to staff and visitors.

The results from the sixth round of testing along with the latest literature review were made available on November 19. Sign up to receive project updates.

REALM has also developed individual toolkits specific to museumslibraries, and archives. You can also view a recording of the December 15 webinar Museums and COVID: How to Use the Latest Research to Your Advantage.

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Historic Preservation and Rural Renewal

This three-part course series, offered in partnership with The Landmark Society of Western New YorkGenesee Country Village & Museum, and the Perry Main Street Association, introduces students to the field of Historic Preservation and Traditional Trades.

Students will learn about the history of the preservation movement in the U.S., how preservation is helping to revitalize rural communities in the Genesee Valley Region and give voice to often overlooked historic contexts (Native American, African American, women, LGBTQ+). Students will learn about the skills and trades that contribute to the field, and can participate in a hands-on window restoration workshop with a national expert in the field. Through class discussions, readings and guest talks, students will engage with real world problems and opportunities in this dynamic and growing field.

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Call For Student Art: 2021 Virutal Exhibition, "Water's Reflection: seeing the Past in the Present!"

Schoharie Crossing is excited to announce a Call For Student Art to be displayed in our 2021 Virtual Exhibition, “Water’s Reflection: Seeing the Past in the Present!” The call is open to students at the primary and secondary education levels within New York State and we encourage artists to think creatively about the theme. 

The Erie Canal is not just a historical footnote, it was and IS a living system of amazing people, engineering, social reforms, and more! The impact of the canal not just on New York State but also America is astonishing. We encourage student artists to explore the canal of today, to delve into the canal of the last two hundred years and create a work of art that represents how they see that shared canal past as being present in their lives now.

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Apply for the Museum Assessment Program by February 1

While the COVID-19 pandemic has created immense challenges for museums this year, it can also serve as an opportunity to improve operations and create new roadmaps for the future. During this time of uncertainty, the Museum Assessment Program (MAP) can help your museum chart that path. For forty years, MAP has helped more than 5,000 small and mid-sized museums of all types strengthen operations, plan for the future, and meet standards.

You can choose from five museum assessment types: Organizational; Community and Audience Engagement; Collections Stewardship; Education and Interpretation; and Board Leadership.

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Slavery in the Colonial North Virtual Workshops, Summer 2021

In July 2021, Historic Hudson Valley is hosting Slavery in the Colonial North, a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History & Culture Workshop. There will be two, one-week virtual workshops that bring together nationally-renowned scholars and include virtual field trips to sites throughout the Hudson River Valley. These workshops are designed for K-12 educators (teachers, media specialists, administrators, etc.), but we have a handful of spots available for museum educators as well. This is a free program and comes with a stipend. We hope you will help spread the word to your networks and/or consider having a colleague from your site apply. For questions, email

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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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