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Share what's happening in your museum or cultural institution.

MANY members are invited to submit news and short articles from their museums or cultural institutions in New York State. News posts are welcomed at any time and are posted right away. All members are encouraged to share their stories and update the MANY community on any exciting developments occurring in their organizations. 

What to share:

  • Updates from your institution like new exhibitions, approved grant funding, etc.
  • Lessons learned from recent or ongoing projects
  • Organization milestones
  • Reflections on the museum field and new trends
  • Advice and guidance for museum professionals

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  • August 26, 2020 9:20 AM | Megan Eves (Administrator)


    • Jamestown, NY – August 19, 2020 – The Roger Tory Peterson Institute announces a weekend celebration of Peterson’s 112th birthday.

      RTPI is launching a new tradition – a full weekend of fun to celebrate the birthday of Roger Tory Peterson. Native Son. Father of the Modern Field Guide. Artist, bird lover and international ambassador for nature – all rolled into one.

      Officially, Roger’s birthday is Friday, August 28. RTPI’s party will kick off on Saturday morning, August 29 at 9 am, with Yoga with the Birds. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert at the crane pose, yoga led by Kara Bemis outdoors on RTPI’s back patio is the perfect way to start any weekend.

      Speaking of birds, at 10 am, Twan Leenders – RTPI’s Director of Science and Conservation – will host a bird banding demonstration in RTPI’s nature preserve. If you’ve never seen a live warbler or flicker up close, now’s your chance to be amazed and inspired.

      At 11 am, the outdoor party really gets rocking with live music on the back patio and great food outside our front door. What better singer-songwriter could RTPI choose than Rebecca McIlvain, whose debut album is entitled, “Cardinal Call.” What better way to spice up the day than with the Cajun cooking of Kev’s Kitchen food truck. And what better way to cool your tongue than with a taste of the grape from Bag & String or a cool brew from Big Inlet.

      Of course, it’s not a birthday party without cake – or, at least cupcakes, baked special for RTPI by Ecklof’s. RTPI will have enough single serving cupcakes on hand to mark Roger’s 112th birthday.

      For those who haven’t yet seen RTPI’s newest exhibition – Stefan Savides: Birds in Bronze – they’re in for a real treat. More than 30 exquisite bird sculptures grace the galleries alongside a curated selection of Roger’s original paintings. Special guided tours at 11am and 2pm.

      Also on display in the library – for one weekend only – will be hidden treasures from the Peterson Collection. RTPI harbors the largest collection of Roger’s artwork, films, slides and related materials. “There are so many intriguing items in the Peterson Collection,” says Jane Johnson, RTPI’s Director of Museum Operations. “I can’t wait to share some of my favorites – seldom if ever on display any other time of the year.”

      RTPI’s birthday gift to the community will be to offer a $2 discount on museum admission and a 20% discount on Peterson Guides purchased from our Snowy Owl Museum Store. The cupcakes, music, and wine and beer tasting are free to all museum visitors. Food may be purchased directly from vendor.

      In addition to the food and fun, everyone’s health and safety will be – as always – our number one concern. Guided by the CDC and other agencies, our plan calls for:

    • 1.     Most activities to be held outdoors to ensure plenty of room for social distancing,
    • 2.     Limiting the number of visitors for indoor programs to one-third our capacity, and
    • 3.     Requiring all indoor visitors to wear masks “right” and maintain "an eagle wingspan" apart.

    *          *          *

    The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History was founded in Peterson’s hometown of Jamestown, New York to preserve his lifetime body of work. Peterson, the only artist-naturalist to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is best known for his field guides. The first – A Field Guide to the Birds – published in 1934, sparked a worldwide movement to connect people with nature as never before. Peterson authored and illustrated dozens of guides – for birds, plants, insects and other natural flora and fauna – selling millions of copies and becoming an international ambassador for protecting our natural resources.

    Today, the Peterson Collection anchors a robust exhibition schedule that also features the artwork or some of the world’s most revered nature artists. The collection is available to artists, researchers and scholars, and is used to anchor an array of education and research programs – all geared toward inspiring appreciation and protection of our natural world.


  • August 26, 2020 9:18 AM | Megan Eves (Administrator)


    NORWICH, N.Y. – The Chenango County Historical Society (CCHS) recently honored the individuals and organizations who supported school field trips during the 2019-2020 academic year.

    Thanks to a grant from the Chenango County Youth Philanthropy Council, second graders from all Chenango County public school districts had the opportunity to be immersed in programs designed to enhance school curricula with hands-on activities. Interactive sessions featured pre-history, Native American culture, pioneer living and westward expansion, Victorian influences, the discovery of electricity and its impact, a lesson in the Ross Schoolhouse, the role of the Chenango Canal, and the influence of local agriculture including a tour of the Loomis Barn exhibits.

    To celebrate a successful season, each member of the Field Trip Experience team was recently presented with a commemorative CCHS sun catcher crafted by the oldest glassworks in America, Pairpoint. Every piece was individually crafted in the glasswork’s Cape Code facility. Examples of Pairpoint Glasswork’s timeless designs can be found in museums across the country, including the decorative arts collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Members of the Field Trip Experience team include: Gail Merian (team leader), Lane Anderson, Joyce Bliss, Diane Bootie, Laura Carey (posthumous honors), Dave Moyer, Pat O’Donnell, Betty Sherrod, Rebekah Thompson, Jeanne Urie and Judie Wright. The team was supported significantly by the American Legion Auxiliary (Norwich Post 189 - Lt. Warren E. Eaton, DSC), Birchwood Archeology, and the Daughters of the American Revolution (James Madison Chapter).

    The Field Trip Experience team is currently developing virtual offerings for the 2020-2021 academic year, and the group is continuously recruiting volunteers. Visit www.chenangohistorical.org/get-involved for additional details.

    The primary organization dedicated to actively and comprehensively preserving the history of Chenango County, CCHS celebrates local culture – unique traditions, noteworthy residents, and unusual stories. First established in 1939, CCHS received an absolute charter in 1956. Ward School No. 2 was acquired in 1958 with renovations beginning immediately. Since reopening as a museum in 1962, Ward School No. 2 has been the home of the CCHS for more than five decades.

    ###

    Caption: The Field Trip Experience team and representatives of the American Legion Auxiliary (Norwich Post 189 - Lt. Warren E. Eaton, DSC) were recently recognized by the Chenango County Historical Society (CCHS) for supporting school field trips during the 2019-2020 academic year.

    About CCHS: The mission of the Chenango County Historical Society and Museum is to lead and support the advancement of research, education, and enjoyment of Chenango County history.


  • August 26, 2020 9:17 AM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

    RALEIGH, N.C. — From Nina Simone and Julius Chambers to Ella Baker and the Greensboro Four, North Carolina voices have swelled in the national struggle for equality. With the launch of the N.C. Civil Rights Trail, the epic journey will be preserved and amplified from places where leaders and followers lived, learned and took a stand for social justice.

    The N.C. African American Heritage Commission is leading the initiative with funding from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, and with support from the International Civil Rights Center & Museum,  Visit North Carolina, and the North Carolina Office of Archives & History. The commission will work with communities across the state to designate up to 50 sites where trail markers will be placed, starting in early 2021. An interactive web portal will highlight these places and others to guide people to history and experiences from the past.

    “The national reckoning over systemic injustice heightens the relevance of our effort to develop the N.C. Civil Rights Trail,” said Angela Thorpe, director of the African American Heritage Commission, which is part of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “Understanding what has come before will inspire and fuel the work ahead. We need to hear the voices and proclaim the victories that have brought us this far.”

    With a target completion date of January 2023, the state’s trail follows the 2018 rollout of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail by Travel South USA, a tourism marketing organization with 15 member states. The national trail includes five North Carolina sites, including the F.W. Woolworth’s building in Greensboro, where four N.C. A&T University freshmen powered up the sit-in movement, and Estey Hall on the Shaw University campus in Raleigh, where alumna Ella Baker started the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

    “Those sites underscore North Carolina’s role in channeling student energy into the movement,” said Visit NC Director Wit Tuttell. “Given the interest generated by the national trail, we’re excited about providing a more comprehensive look at what has unfolded across the state and give residents and visitors an opportunity to share the experience.”

    Deryn Pomeroy, William G. Pomeroy Foundation’s director of strategic initiatives, is particularly excited about the program.  “It is a wonderful way for communities to become engaged in their own history and share the stories that need to be highlighted.” The program invites communities from around the state to apply for markers which will then be reviewed by a selection committee of North Carolina historians.  Selections will be based on a series of criteria, including sites’ significance to the national Civil Rights Movement and civil rights efforts in North Carolina.

    Thorpe expects the trail to include a wide array of locations including established historic sites as well those that may only be known more locally.  One example is the YMI Cultural Center in Asheville, which was commissioned in 1892 for Black construction workers employed to build and furnish the Biltmore estate. Funded by the Vanderbilts, the Young Men’s Institute became a center of civil, cultural and business life in the neighborhood known as The Block. Featuring a gym, bathing facilities and a library, the building was used by churches, schools and civic organizations for classes, gatherings and office space. After urban renewal led to the neighborhood’s mid-century decline, the YMI Cultural Center reclaimed its place in the 1980s and is poised as a neighborhood focal point amid new energy in preservation, restoration and advancement throughout The Block.

    Other candidates include the Montford Point Marines Museum, which tells the story of the first African Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps (1942-49), and the Montford Point Marines Memorial in Jacksonville; the Pauli Murray Center in Durham, where the influential lawyer, Episcopal priest, and activist for civil and women’s rights grew up; and the Historic Magnolia House in Greensboro, a Green Book site that hosted Black entertainers, icons,  and civil rights leaders.

    On the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, the International Civil Rights Center & Museum and nearby February One monument at N.C. A&T University invoke a towering victory, and the whites-only Woolworth’s counter where the four students sat prevails as a powerful symbol.

    “We celebrate the place where the sit-in movement took hold,” said John Swaine, director of the museum, which is housed in the former Woolworth’s building. “But it’s important to understand the full story, that the struggle began centuries before the sit-in on Feb. 1, 1960, and that it has endured over the decades since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The N.C. Civil Rights Trail will lead people to a deeper comprehension of what has been achieved and the effort that lies ahead.”

    To learn more about the project or to apply for a marker, please visit: ­­­­­­­­­https://aahc.nc.gov/programs/civil-rights-trail

    About the N.C. Civil Rights Trail:
    An initiative of the N.C. African American Heritage Commission with support from Visit North Carolina and the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, the N.C. Civil Rights Trail will be developed with community involvement across the state. Forty to 50 sites will be designated with at least 10 in Tier I and 2 rural North Carolina counties in alignment with Gov. Roy Cooper’s
    Hometown Strong initiative. Completion of the program is targeted for January 2023 at a cost of $173,500 to cover a full-time program coordinator; development of a digital GIS map; development of an interactive web portal, featuring at least 150 sites; and up to 50 physical community-based markers.

    About the N.C. African American Commission:
    Created in 2008, the African American Heritage Commission is a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The commission works across the department to preserve, protect and promote the state’s African American history, art and culture for all people. Its endeavors include the identification of heritage sites, compiling resources for educators, extending the work of national programs such as the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom Underground Railroad, and independent initiatives including Oasis Spaces: Green Book Project. aahc.nc.gov

    About the William G. Pomeroy Foundation:

    The William G. Pomeroy Foundation is committed to supporting the celebration and preservation of community history; and to raising awareness, supporting research and improving the quality of care for patients and their families who are facing a blood cancer diagnosis. One of their initiative’s is helping people to celebrate their community’s history. They meet this by providing grants to obtain signage in the form of roadside markers and plaques. Since 2006, they have funded over 1,100 signs across New York State and across the United States, all the way to Alaska. Wgpfoundation.org

    About Visit North Carolina:
    Visit NC is part of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that oversees the state's efforts in business and job recruitment and retention, international trade, and tourism, film and sports development. Visit NC’s mission is to unify and lead the state in developing North Carolina as a major destination for leisure travel, group tours, meetings and conventions, sports events and film production. One of the state’s most vital industries, tourism generates economic activity and employment in each of the state’s 100 counties. In 2019, domestic travelers to North Carolina spent $26.7 billion and accounted for 235,703 jobs.
    VisitNC.com

    About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources:

    The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

     

    NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please visit www.ncdcr.gov.

    About the International Civil Rights Center & Museum:
    Opening 50 years to the day after four N.C. A&T University students took a seat at the whites-only lunch counter at F.W. Woolworth’s in Greensboro, the center memorializes the courageous stand they made on Feb. 1, 1960. Focusing on their actions and those of thousands of students around the country who joined the sit-in movement, the center exists as a testimony to courage and the potential of unified people on the right side of history to make change. The ICRCM seeks to preserve the legacy and significance of that event and demonstrate why institutionalized oppression has no place in the human race. www.sitinmovement.org

    ###

    CONTACT:

    Michele Walker
    919-814-6660
    Michele.walker@ncdcr.gov


  • June 10, 2020 9:58 AM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

    Fort Hunter, NY Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site is offering online programs this month that will include a presentation by Derrick Pratt of the Erie Canal Museum.  As part of a double-header of online presentations at the end of June, Pratt will provide the program through Webex that will discuss the Erie Canal’s many connections to the earliest days of professional baseball.  Using stories from some of the game’s biggest stars and others long forgotten, discover the connection that the canal has to our national past-time.    

    This program is scheduled for Wednesday, June 24th at 6:30pm.  A link to the Webex meeting can be found on the Schoharie Crossing Facebook page or you can contact us for the link by emailing SchoharieCrossing@parks.ny.gov.  

    The first part of the doubleheader will be on Tuesday, June 23rd at 6:30pm as the site will provide and online program titled, “Dam that Creek!”  This program will discuss the first dam across the Schoharie Creek for the Erie Canal and how it provided a means for barges to navigate through its waters. 

    Schoharie Crossing is offering this slate of online programs while the Visitor Center is closed during the COVID-19 crisis.  During NY on PAUSE, the Erie Canal historic site will provide programs through Webex as well as other online programs and social media such as Facebook Live.  Additional programs will be scheduled, so please keep in touch with us by joining our mailing list or following online. The site grounds will remain open for appropriate socially distant recreational use from dawn until dusk daily.  Please observe NYS Guidelines while visiting Schoharie Crossing.

    For information about these programs, please find us on Facebook or you can call or email the Visitor Center at (518) 829-7516, SchoharieCrossing@parks.ny.gov.

    The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual state parks, historic sites, golf courses, boat launches and recreational trails, which are visited by 71 million people annually.  For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter. 


  • May 26, 2020 8:51 AM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

    https://preservationlongisland.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Picture1.jpg

    Image caption: Preserving the Present – Collecting in the Time of COVID-19Preservation Long Island

    Cold Spring Harbor—

    • As history unfolds around us, museums, archives, and historical societies across the state, country, and world are collecting stories and objects that define our lives during this global crisis. As a regional organization dedicated to preserving Long Island’s diverse cultural heritage, Preservation Long Island has launched Preserving the Present – Collecting in the Time of COVID-19, an initiative to build a collection around the art, objects, and stories that uniquely reflect this historic moment, from the experience of Long Island’s healthcare professionals and other essential workers, to COVID-19's impact on local businesses, workers, and those isolating and creating at home.

      Collecting art and artifacts pertaining to Long Island history since its founding in 1948, Preservation Long Island is home to what is recognized as one of the most robust and significant regional assemblages of material culture in New York State. Both diverse and comprehensive, Preservation Long Island’s collections comprise approximately 3,000 objects and 185 cubic feet of archival materials. Ranging from artistic and technological masterworks, to documentary imagery and everyday artifacts, Preservation Long Island’s collections reveal four centuries of life on Long Island.

      Long Islanders can participate in Preserving the Present in the following ways:

       

    • Share their stories, images, and objects on social media. Submissions must include an image and a brief description and tag @presevationlongisland. Please use the hashtag #PreserveLInow.
    •  

    • Participants may also submit images and stories online at preservationlongisland.org/preserving-the-present/ by filling out the Preserving the Present  form.
    •  

      Preservation Long Island will share selected items on their BlogFacebookTwitter, or Instagram pages.

       

      Participant submissions such as objects and artifacts may be selected to be part of Preservation Long Island’s Historic Collections Archive. Owners of selected submissions who wish to have their item included in the archive will be contacted to arrange a time to collect the item(s) when it is safe to do so. 

    If you have any questions about this initiative, please contact: collections@preservationlongisland.org

     

    If you are interested in learning more about donating objects to Preservation Long Island’s collections, visit the Donating Objects to Preservation Long Island page.


    About Preservation Long Island

    Preservation Long Island is a not-for-profit organization that works with Long Islanders to raise awareness, appreciation, and support for the protection of our shared past through advocacy, education, and the stewardship of historic sites and collections.

    http://preservationlongisland.org

    Preservation Long Island maintains and interprets historic sites and collections that embody various aspects of Long Island’s history including:

    Joseph Lloyd Manor, Lloyd Harbor http://preservationlongisland.org/joseph-lloyd-manor/

    Custom House, Sag Harbor http://preservationlongisland.org/custom-house/

    Sherwood-Jayne Farm, Setauket http://preservationlongisland.org/sherwood-jayne-farm

    Old Methodist Church and Exhibition Gallery http://preservationlongisland.org/methodist-church/


  • April 29, 2020 3:24 PM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

    William G. Pomeroy Foundation Opens New Grant Round for NYS Marker Program

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The next grant round of the William G. Pomeroy Foundation’s New York State Historic Marker Grant Program is currently open.

    This grant round covers the following counties: Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond (Region 1); Nassau and Suffolk (Region 2); Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester (Region 3).

    The program commemorates historic people, places, things or events in New York State within the time frame of 1740-1920. Grants cover the entire cost of a cast aluminum marker, pole and shipping.

    Those interested in applying for a marker grant should submit an online Letter of Intent to verify primary sources by Monday, June 8, 2020. Primary source documentation is necessary to support the text on a marker. The final application deadline is Monday, July 6, 2020. To apply for a grant or review application guidelines, visit the Foundation’s NYS marker program page: https://www.wgpfoundation.org/history/nys-historic-markers/

    The Pomeroy Foundation has made adjustments to the marker grant application process to assist those who are presently unable to access primary source documentation. Details about submitting substitute documentation are available on our website. A complete grant schedule by region is also on the site.

    The NYS Historic Marker Grant Program is open to local, state and federal government entities, nonprofit academic institutions and 501(c)(3) organizations in New York State. Often, municipal historians or local historical organizations (or related nonprofits) will apply for a marker on behalf of a property owner.

    Additional Pomeroy Foundation marker programs include the Legends & Lore® Marker Grant Program, Historic Transportation Canals Marker Grant Program, National Register Signage Grant Program and National Women’s Suffrage Marker Program. The Foundation’s website also features an interactive marker map with listings of current markers and plaques.

    About the William G. Pomeroy Foundation

    The William G. Pomeroy Foundation® is a private, grant-making foundation established in 2005. The Foundation is committed to supporting the celebration and preservation of community history; and to raising awareness, supporting research and improving the quality of care for patients and their families who are facing a blood cancer diagnosis. Since 2006, the Foundation has funded more than 1,000 historic roadside markers and plaques nationwide. Grants cover the cost of a marker, pole and shipping. Visit: www.wgpfoundation.org

    # # #

    Contact

    Steve Bodnar, Communications Manager

    William G. Pomeroy Foundation

    steve@wgpfoundation.org

    315-913-4068


  • April 02, 2020 2:30 PM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

    Explore the HRM with New Videos, Art & Science Activities, Online Resources, and Live-Streamed Programs

    Yonkers, NY, April 2—The Hudson River Museum has launched an exciting new digital initiative, Museum From Home, for its audiences to virtually experience all the HRM has to offer. Joining other museums across the United States and abroad, the Museum will be featuring new content including engaging videos, hands-on art and science activities, lesson plans for parents and teachers, and new ways to participate and explore our exhibitions and collection. These virtual experiences will be available on the Museum’s website and shared through its social media channels using the hashtag #MuseumFromHome

    There will be a variety of recorded programs and workshops available, with new content being added each week in the categories of: Art ProjectsScience ProjectsAwesome AstronomyStorytimeTeaching Resources, and HRM Collections & Exhibitions. In addition, there will be live-streamed programs including virtual tours with curators, workshops with artists, conversations and Q&A with experts on timely topics, and community-curated exhibitions and playlists.

    For children and families, there will be a wide selection of Art & Science Projects with easy-to-follow printable guides and/or video tutorials on how to create fun projects using materials from around your home. Parents and teachers can download more in-depth lesson plans that enable students in early elementary through high school to explore the themes of exhibitions and works of art in our collection through thoughtful looking, questioning, discussion, and hands-on activities. Our youngest audiences will enjoy HRM Storytime videos—in English and Spanish—featuring books read out loud by our educators. 

    Stargazers of all ages will learn about what's happening in the night sky with weekly Awesome Astronomy videos featuring Marc Taylor, HRM's Manager of Planetarium and Science Programs, with whom you’ll be able to chat live every week, sharing your observations, questions, and at-home projects.

    The HRM Collections & Exhibitions section offers new ways to dive in and discover the Museum’s permanent collection and exhibitions, past and present. Current offerings include Derrick Adams: Buoyant, with work by acclaimed multidisciplinary artist who depicts a world where Black joy, love, leisure play central roles; Frances Hynes: Constellations, an evocative collection of abstract pastel skyscapes, and Self in the City, an exploration of the paradoxes of urban life featuring works by artists including Archibald Motley, Jr., Barbara Morgan, and Jacob Lawrence. 

    Other highlights include a variety of online exhibitions on Google Arts & Culture; a special SC Hudson River Museum app, which allows users to experience ten works from the collection using super high-resolution zoom and unique storytelling features, and other social media initiatives like #HRMStaffFavorites and #ShowUsYourSketches.

    Press contact:
    Jen McCaffery
    jmccaffery@hrm.org
    (914) 963-4550 x240

    --

    The HUDSON RIVER MUSEUM (hrm.org) is a preeminent cultural institution in Westchester County and the New York Metropolitan area. Situated on the banks of the Hudson River in Yonkers, New York, the HRM’s mission is to engage, inspire, and connect diverse communities through the power of the arts, sciences, and history. 

    The Museum offers engaging experiences for every age and interest, with an ever-growing collection of American art; dynamic exhibitions that range from notable 19th-century paintings to contemporary art installations; Glenview, an 1877 house on the National Register of Historic Places; a state-of-the-art Planetarium; an environmental teaching gallery; and an outdoor Amphitheater. The Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting these multidisciplinary offerings, which are complemented by an array of public programs that encourage creative expression, collaboration, and artistic and scientific discovery. 

  • March 27, 2020 3:28 PM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

    Image


    Advocacy Alert - March 27, 2020

    Museums Included in Economic Relief Legislation

     

    Congress has passed a massive COVID-19 economic relief bill that includes important support for museums. Late Wednesday night the Senate unanimously approved the bill, and the House approved it today. The president is expected to sign the bill. This is the third round of legislation providing emergency responses, and by far the largest, at an estimated $2.2 trillion. It very likely won't be the last.

     

    "Due to the tireless work of museum advocates, we were successful in ensuring that museums are included in this critical economic relief package," said Laura L. Lott, President and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums. "We estimate that, collectively, museums are losing at least $33 million per day. With our allies across the field, AAM delivered a powerful joint letter to Congress with an audacious ask-$4 billion-as well as a universal charitable deduction. Museum advocates sent over 33,000 messages to Congress, many of them personalized. And we were heard."

     

    Additionally, we collaborated with others in the nonprofit sector to ensure nonprofit organizations, including museums, are eligible for small business loans (with forgiveness provisions) and that the legislation include charitable giving incentives. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) are slated to receive $200 million collectively ($50 million for IMLS and $75 million for each endowment). All three agencies are authorized to provide direct grants to support museum operations and matching requirements are waived. We will continue to work with these agencies to ensure they understand the needs of the museum community.

     

    Letters like those from Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and House members from New York City supported $1 billion and $4 billion asks for museums. And advocates were able to reach House and Senate leadership with personal calls, to make the case directly. We are proud of the field and this amazing effort amid this crisis. While we have a long way to go, there is already discussion of a fourth economic relief package. The Alliance will remain engaged in this rapidly developing and fluid situation and will continue to inform and activate the museum community. Thank you for your continued advocacy at this critical time.

     

    In the meantime, the Alliance is a member of the National Council of Nonprofits, which has produced an initial overview of provisions that relate to nonprofit organizations. The full bill text is available online, and the U.S. Senate provides a section-by-section overview of key provisions. The Alliance shares the following highlights with museum advocates.

     

    Highlights of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

     

    These are based on an initial analysis of the nearly 900-page bill. Additional details may become apparent through further analysis.

     

    Emergency Small Business Loans (emergency SBA 7(a) loans): Provides funding for special emergency loans of 2.5 times monthly payroll expenses, up to $10 million for eligible nonprofits and small businesses, permitting them to cover costs of payroll, rent, utilities, and debt service, and provides that the loans be forgiven in whole or in part under certain circumstances. (Title I, Section 1102)

     

    • General Eligibility: Available to entities that existed on March 1, 2020, and had paid employees.
    • Nonprofit Eligibility: Available for charitable nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees (counting each individual - full time or part time and not FTEs).
    • Loan Use: Loan funds could be used to make payroll and associated costs, including health insurance premiums, facilities costs, and debt service.
    • Loan Forgiveness: Employers that maintain employment between February 15 and June 30 would be eligible to have their loans forgiven, essentially turning the loan into a grant. The amount of loan forgiveness would be equal to the amount spent by the borrower during an 8-week period after the origination date of the loan. The portion of the loan that can be forgiven would be reduced by an amount related to positions that have been eliminated and wages that have been reduced, unless those positions and wages are restored by June 30, 2020. (Section 1106)
    • Loans will be available through SBA and Treasury approved banks, credit unions, and some nonbank lenders.
       

    Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): Eliminates creditworthiness requirements and appropriates an additional $10 billion to the EIDL program so that eligible nonprofits and other applicants with 500 or fewer employees can get checks for $10,000 within three days. (Section 1110)

     

    Charitable Giving Incentive: Includes a new above-the-line deduction (universal or non-itemizer deduction that applies to all taxpayers) for total charitable contributions of up to $300. The incentive applies to contributions made in 2020 and would be claimed on tax forms next year. (Section 2204) The bill also lifts the existing cap on annual contributions for those who itemize, raising it from 60 percent of adjusted gross income to 100 percent. For corporations, the bill raises the annual limit from 10 percent to 25 percent. Food donations from corporations would be available to 25 percent, up from the current 15 percent cap. (Section 2205) 

     

    Nonprofits that Self-Fund Unemployment: Only reimburses self-funded nonprofits for half of the costs of benefits provided to their laid-off employees, as explained in this recent blog article. (Section 2103)

     

    Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit: Creates a refundable payroll tax credit of up to $5,000 for each employee on the payroll when certain conditions are met. The entity had to be an ongoing concern at the beginning of 2020 and had to have seen a drop in revenue of at least 50 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2019. The availability of the credit would continue each quarter until the organization's revenue exceeds 80 percent of the same quarter in 2019. For tax-exempt organizations, the entity's whole operations must be taken into account when determining the decline in revenues. Notably, employers receiving emergency SBA 7(a) loans would not be eligible for these credits. (Section 2301)

     

    Industry Stabilization Fund: Creates a loan and loan guarantee program for industries like airlines to keep them solvent through the crisis. It sets aside $425 billion for "eligible business" which is defined as "a United States business that has not otherwise received economic relief in the form of loans or loan guarantees provided under" the legislation. It is expected, but unclear, whether charitable nonprofits qualify under that definition for industry stabilization loans. Mid-sized businesses, including nonprofits, that have between 500 and 10,000 employees are expressly eligible for loans under this provision. Although there is no loan forgiveness provision in this section, the mid-size business loans would be charged an interest rate of no higher than two percent and would not accrue interest or require repayments for the first six months. Nonprofits accepting the mid-size business loans must retain at least 90 percent of their staff at full compensation. (Section 4003)

     

    Other Significant Provisions

     

    Direct Payments to adults of $1,200 or less and $500 per child ($3,400 for a family of four) to be sent out in weeks. The amount of the payments phases out based on earnings of between $75,000 and $99,000 ($150,000 / $198,000 for couples).

     

    Expanded Unemployment Insurance: Includes coverage for workers who are furloughed, gig workers, and freelancers. Increases payments by $600 per week for four months on top of what state unemployment programs pay.

     

    Amendments to the New Paid Leave Mandates: Lowers the amounts that employers must pay for paid sick and family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act* (enacted March 19) to the amounts covered by the refundable payroll tax credit - i.e., $511 per day for employee sick leave or $200 per day for family leave.

     

    Significant Spending: The bill also calls for large infusions of cash to the following sectors:

    • $150 billion for a state, tribal, and local Coronavirus Relief fund
    • $130 billion for hospitals
    • $30 billion for education
    • $25 billion for transit systems
       

    Legislative Summaries

    *See: Analysis of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.


  • March 27, 2020 9:44 AM | Megan Eves (Administrator)


    The Action Grant application is now open in the grants portal! Action Grants offer up to $5,000 to implement humanities projects that encourage public audiences to reflect on their values, explore new ideas, and engage with others in their community. Proposals related to the Women's Suffrage Centennial are welcome. The deadline is May 1st for projects starting July 1st, 2020, or later. 

    Vision Grants have an April 1st deadline as HNY's budget for these has been expended.  Apply for up to $1,500 in funding to support the planning stage of a humanities project. Vision Grants will reopen in Fall, 2020.

    Quick Grant applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis until that budget is expended.

    To discuss a proposal idea with a staff member, sign up for a phone appointment. 


  • March 12, 2020 11:25 AM | Megan Eves (Administrator)


    How long do we expect collections to last in museums? Ten years? A hundred? A thousand? We tend to assume that once an item is in a museum it will last forever. Sadly, this is often not the case. Objects begin to decay the moment they are made. If a museum's conditions are right and the objects are cared for correctly, we can delay the decay process. If objects are not cared for properly, we witness the deterioration taking place before our eyes via rust, cracks, mold, warping, rips and tearing, fading, flaking, etc.

    The best weapon to delay this process is the proper care and housing of collections. However, collections care and storage can be a challenge in museums based simply on the variety, size, and number of items they contain. When combined with considerations regarding storage space, storage methods, and shelving, the challenges of storing one item among many become complex. Storage and handling methods have a direct impact on the useful life of collections and accessibility of information. Damage can be avoided by preventing overcrowded, careless, or haphazard storage conditions. Chemically unstable and improperly fitting shelving and storage enclosures accelerate the deterioration of materials they are intended to protect.

    Through this training series the longevity of collections can be extended significantly by putting into practice the collections care training and guidelines demonstrated in the workshops.

    Full-day workshops include light breakfast, luncheon, afternoon coffee break, and reference materials.

    Click here to register. You'll be able to register for one, two, or all three sessions in the same transaction. You can also access the registration portal by visiting our website at:


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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