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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. 

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


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  • November 01, 2018 3:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The New York State Archives is pleased to announce the availability of the guidelines and application for the 2019-2020 Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) grants.  DHP grants support improved access to historical records in New York State by funding arrangement and description projects and documentation projects. Detailed information about these projects and the DHP Grants is available online at:

     Applicants are encouraged to contact the DHP office to discuss their projects and file a notice of intent to apply. 

  • October 22, 2018 11:46 AM | K. Michelle Arthur

    Brookside Museum/Saratoga County Historical Society is pleased to announce the public launch of our "Digital Docent."  The "Docent," found on our website (, is a computer algorithm that directs on line visitors through the Brookside Museum/SCHS collection by providing them with suggestions of objects to view that are related to what they have previously clicked on in our collection.  

    The software was created by the partnership of Trajectory Sports and Datanomers and utilizes "Intelligent Machine/Artificial Inteligence" infrastructure.

  • October 12, 2018 10:12 AM | Anonymous


    “There’s a museum about that?” is a question we sometimes get when telling people about the Museum of disAbility History, on line at http:// museum of and in our building at 3826 Main Street in Amherst, New York. A twenty year old project of People Inc., the largest disability service provider in Western New York, the museum was founded to spread understanding of disabilities and the lives of people who possess them. It is the only brick and mortar museum dedicated to the history of disability in the United States.

    Disability has a long, complicated history, and it has been our task to interpret the wide, frequently changing variety of understandings over time in Western societies of what is regarded as the normal body and mind.  The peculiar spelling of “disAbility” in our title projects these hopes: it is intended to suggest what society has come increasingly to understand: given the opportunity to participate and be self-determining, people with disabilities bring many abilities that are socially useful. All museums have purposes. Ours also has this mission.

    The museum occupies much of the ground floor of a building dedicated to People Inc.’s training program, and has exhibits largely consisting of tall panels with explanatory texts and illustrations and of material artifacts. We also have an expanding archive and a reference library in the basement of our facility, which have been of use to academic researchers. Our catalog records reveal over 8,000 entries, some of them conglomerate collections, compromised of documents, public records and clippings, published books, photographs, and physical objects.  Members of the general public have consulted these collections, which proven especially useful in tracking family and friends who were once institutionalized in now closed state institutions and perhaps buried in unmarked graves on the site of those facilities.

    The range of artifacts that a museum dedicated to disability can be a surprise on first reflection. Viewers expect perhaps artificial arms and legs, cereal boxes with photos of disabled athletes, and television and movie promotions featuring cast member with disabilities. But a recent acquisition may be more of a surprise. It tells complex and engaging stories.

    The New York State Museum mounted an exhibit, The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from A State Hospital in 2004 based on the unique artifacts found at Willard State Hospital, a New York State institution for those diagnosed with psychological illnesses. After Willard closed in 1995, 500 suitcases belonging to those who were resident were found in the vast, long sealed attic. The contents of these suitcases tell poignant personal stories, and illuminate the random processes by which people ended up in such institutions. With support from the van Ameringen and the Nathan Cummings foundations, a 1500 square foot travelling suitcase exhibit was created in 2004, and it toured the country, going to 30 venues in 11 different states, before it came to reside at the Museum of disAbility History, with the assistance of the Community Consortium.

    “Where are the suitcases?’ we were frequently asked by visitors, who have the craving for authenticity familiar to those who work in museums, They have been in the possession of the New York State Museum, which wasn’t going to further display them, but felt legally bound to keep them from further display, because of questions about legal ownership and in connection with that, concerns about protecting the identities of their owners. The New York State Museum is now attempting to locate descendants or more distant relatives of the suitcase owners, and return these possessions to them.

    After long negotiations, involving legal issues touching on these privacy and ownership questions, the Museum of disAbility History has managed with the needed permission of a surviving relative of one of the suitcase owners and the cooperation of the New York State Museum, to take possession on-loan of the suitcase of a former resident of Willard. Lawrence Mocha, an immigrant from Austria-Hungary, was born in 1878 and committed to Willard in 1916, where he resided until his death in 1968, He may have suffered a traumatic brain injury before immigrating, but he was symptom free sufficiently to have been admitted into the United States by immigration officers in 1907. Mocha defies the usual stereotypes about those institutionalized for mental illness. Whatever problems ultimately led him at a certain point in his life to go to Willard, while resident there he carved out an almost independent life for himself as the institution’s much needed cemetery-keeper. He lived on his own in a small house on the grounds, going to meals in the kitchen when he pleased. He was eccentric, but hardly detached from reality, or difficult to get along with.

    Mocha’s life after coming to Willard was not that different than many other of its institutionalized people. He got used to living there, and his needs were provided for as they were not reliably on the outside. Like many immigrants – and the foreign-born constituted a disproportionate percentage of the institutionalized population – his networks of personal support may well have been fragile or nonexistent. While New York State provided a solution to the problems he had in living independently, like other residents his dignity was preserved to the extent he worked on the grounds, assisting in the maintenance of the complex community that Willard supported. After being there many years, Mocha petitioned to leave, but was denied, perhaps on the basis of doubts that he could live on his own after being provided for so long. It is also said that the authorities recognized that his labor in maintaining the cemetery was needed.

    The stories of Mocha and nine other individuals who were the basis of the suitcases exhibit are found in Darby Penney and Peter Stastny, The Lives They Left Behind (2008). Stories of this sort are ones that the Museum of disAbility History is dedicated to telling. Stop in; you’ll be surprised.

    The rollout for the exhibit of Mr. Mocha’s suitcase will occur at the Museum of disAbility History on 18 October 2018.  We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the Community Consortium and of the New York State Museum.

    David Gerber, Chair, Board of Trustees, Museum of disAbility History




  • September 21, 2018 11:34 AM | Becky Wehle

    Ten groups in Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe and Ontario Counties have secured grants totaling more than $71,000 from Preserve New York, including Genesee Country Village & Museum. The museum was given a grant of $7,560 to have an intensive-level Cultural Resource Survey of our site conducted by Blake Held, A.I.A. He will be photographing many of the buildings in the Historic Village, sifting through our archives, and ultimately creating a report based on National Park Service standards that we will hopefully use as the basis for a future nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

     Preserve New York is a signature grant program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the Preservation League of New York State, and is made possible with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

  • August 21, 2018 9:06 AM | Kathryn Kosto

    The Creative Licence Theater Collective is partnering with the Albany County Historical Association to produce “Tales of Old Albany” - a new podcast that will engage audiences with true, historical tales from around Albany County, with the stories brought to audible life by a cast of some of the region’s top acting talent.

    The program, researched and written by former ACHA intern and current Schuyler Mansion interpreter Jessie Serfilippi, will focus on the lives and friendship of two of Albany’s most important citizens, Brig. General Abraham Ten Broeck and Major General Philip Schuyler. The first of the four part series, titled “My Now Departed Friend,” will reveal the deep loss felt by both the Schuylers and the Ten Broecks following the death of Schuyler’s son-in-law Alexander Hamilton, as well as a look at how the Founding Father’s shocking death was felt throughout the city of Albany.

    “It all started with a letter,” says Creative License co-founder and producer Aaron Holbritter., “written by Dirck Ten Broeck, son of Abraham Ten Broeck, to his father, describing in detail the circumstances surrounding Hamilton’s death.” As it happens, Dirck, who had served as a law clerk for Hamilton before starting his own practice, had a meeting scheduled with Hamilton at his office on what would be the day of the duel. Ten Broeck was en route to that meeting when he was stopped in the street and told that Hamilton had been shot. He rushed to the Bayard’s home, where Hamilton had been taken,and was there when he succumbed to his injuries the next day. “It’s this incredibly heartbreaking letter that you can just tell was written in the throes of grief,” explains Holbritter, “and the actor/director in me immediately thought, ‘This should be performed somehow!’”

    After consulting with Serfilippi and discovering the close relationship between the Schuyler and Ten Broeck families through the letters they shared, the idea for the podcast began to take shape. “We try to take these letters and look at them in the broader historical context, but hearing them speak in their own words makes them feel very real.”

    Serfilippi and Holbritter have also crafted dramatic scenes between characters to help create a dynamic experience for the listener. “The letters are tremendous, but we wanted to create a dramatic way to connect these people and stories and for that to work, you need some really strong actors. So we went for the big guns.” Local theater stalwarts Chris Foster and Patrick White will bring to life Abraham Ten Broeck and Philip Schuyler, respectively. They’ll be joined by Creative License mainstays Ian LaChance (Dirck Ten Broeck) and Isaac Newberry (Alexander Hamilton), as well as Krysta Dennis (Angelica Schuyler Church) and Angela Potrikus (Elizabeth Van Rensselaer Ten Broeck), among others. Holbritter and Creative License co-founder Casey Polomaine will act as the story’s narrators.

    Episode one of the series will be released on September 1st on iTunes. People will be able to find links for the podcast at the ACHA’s website as well as Creative License’s. Subsequent episodes in the first series will look at the long friendship of Ten Broeck and Schuyler, their roles in the all-important Battle of Saratoga, and the lives of some of their offspring, including the couple that brought the family together officially, Philip’s son, Rensselaer Schuyler, and Abraham’s daughter, Elizabeth Ten Broeck. Those episodes are scheduled to drop every two weeks through October.

  • August 17, 2018 11:21 AM | K. Michelle Arthur


    BALLSTON SPA, NY, August 13, 2018–Saratoga County Historical Society (SCHS) announces the appointment of K. Michelle Arthur, Ph.D., as executive director.

    “We are thrilled to welcome Michelle to the organization. She has dedicated her career to engaging, educating and inspiring others to better understand how the past influences our lives today in an increasingly global landscape,” said Ervin Murray, President of the SCHS Board of Trustees. “She brings an abundance of hands-on knowledge and demonstrated successes in exhibit curating, program and curriculum development, grant writing and fundraising, marketing, and community outreach.”

    As executive director, Dr. Arthur is charged with fulfilling the vision of Saratoga County Historical Society: to lead Saratoga County in the preservation of its history and inspire the community to keep history alive for all to explore. She is responsible for the strategic planning and successful execution of all SCHS’s departments and teams.

    “Saratoga County Historical Society is a vital resource of information, educational programs for all ages, art, culture, and, of course, history. I have made it my priority to share all that this organization has to offer through out the Capital Region,” said K. Michelle Arthur, Ph.D. “I look forward to connecting with and forging strong relationships and partnerships with Capital Region leaders and organizations.  The Brookside Museum stands as a center of community in the region, and I am committed to exciting, engaging, and welcoming all of the members of our community.”

    Dr. Arthur is an educator who employs a multitude of innovative approaches to engage her audiences, from interactive simulations to visual thinking strategies. She most recently was the education coordinator at Shaker Heritage Society and an educator at MiSci in Schenectady. She has been a curator at the Yager Museum of Art and Culture at Hartwick College, as well as at The Morgan Library and Museum, in the Department of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts.  Additionally she lectured for thirteen years at The Cloisters, which is the Medieval branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art besides teaching at The Brooklyn Museum, S.U.N.Y. New Paltz, S.U.N.Y Oneota, and Hartwick College.

    True to her profession, Dr. Arthur is affiliated with numerous professional organizations including the Association of Art Museum Curators and the New York Council of Nonprofits. She has compiled an impressive list of published articles on a variety of topics, as well has having presented papers at national and international conferences.

    Dr. Arthur is proficient in French, Middle French, German, Italian, and Latin. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from Binghamton University, a master’s degree in art history from Hunter College, and a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Brandeis University.

    For more information on SCHS, visit


    Saratoga County Historical Society’s mission is to keep history alive through interactive educational programs and innovative exhibits that engage Capital Region communities with the exciting stories of

    Saratoga’s past, instill a deeper understanding of how the past and present connect, and inspire all about how this knowledge impacts the future. As a non-profit organization, programs and services are made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information, please visit or call 518.885.4000.

  • August 03, 2018 8:52 AM | Wade Lawrence

    BETHEL, NY (August 01, 2018) – Today The Museum at Bethel Woods, located at the National Register Historic Site of the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair in Bethel, NY launched an online archive of Woodstock photography and video from its collection; making rare archival images available to the public for the first time on the eve of the festival’s 49th Anniversary.

    Part of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a 501c3 nonprofit cultural center located 90 miles from New York City, The Museum immerses visitors of all ages in the story of the societal evolution of the 1960s. Through engaging exhibits, artifacts, and programs guests are connected to the roots of today’s freedom of expression and resurgent human spirit that defined the politics, music, art and societal issues of that remarkable and challenging decade which culminated in the Woodstock festival. The 800-acre campus also includes an outdoor amphitheater with a capacity of 15,000, an indoor performance space, festivals and creative learning programs for all ages.

    The archive features iconic photos and video from almost 30 contributors including aerial photography of the massive crowd of 500,000 gathered on Max Yasgur’s farm, the iconic field and festival stage, infamous traffic, and festival attendees who gathered for three days and showed the world the power of peace, love, and music. It serves as a lens to explore the historic festival and is available for license and download for commercial, media, tourism, educational, and personal use providing a never-before available resource for the press, students, historians, documentarians, designers and advertisers in advance of the festival’s 50th Anniversary in 2019. The Museum also invites the public to contribute to its permanent collection and help to preserve this important moment in history by sharing their photos, videos, and artifacts. To learn more or view the collection visit

    The public can also support Bethel Woods’ preservation efforts and leave their mark on history by purchasing an Anniversary Paver.  Each 4″x8″ commemorative brick is etched with a personal message, stamped with an exclusive 50th anniversary insignia, and incorporated into the classic design of the center’s pathway. Individually, the pavers are a unique way to celebrate a loved one; together, they exemplify the arts’ ability to unify the masses. To learn more visit

  • July 20, 2018 9:50 AM | Alexandra Drakakis

    Recently, I found myself outside a jam-packed bar chanting “Ospina! Ospina!” – the last name of the Colombian national soccer team’s goalkeeper – joining an emphatic chorus of World Cup fans. I was on my way home after work, delayed when I became swept up in the dramatic final moments of the “knockout round” match. The mood on the street was powerful, combining a celebration of athleticism with a celebration of cultural pride. It was impossible to walk past without feeling the magnetism of hopeful, positive energy generated by this vast cross-section of people.

    The emotional effects of sports are multi-pronged. They course through every society and country, and can be unifying, particularly in times of crisis and upheaval. As ESPN staff writer Tommy Tomlinson observed, “This is the blessing of sports. They help you remember when you want to remember, and they help you forget when you need to forget. They heal us an inning at a time, quarter after quarter, play by play.”

    In the aftermath of 9/11, sports helped to shape a national response to the terrorist attacks extending far beyond America’s stadiums and playing fields. That phenomenon is explored in “Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11,” a new special exhibition at the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

    Included near the exhibition’s start is a roster for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team match, scheduled to take place on the evening of 9/11 in Columbus, Ohio. Set to face Japan in the Nike U.S. Women’s Cup, the roster had been prepared for distribution to the media. It included names familiar to American fans such as Heather Mitts, Abby Wombach and then-captain Julie Foudy. Fate intervened, however, and the match was canceled that afternoon, along with the rest of the tournament, mirroring the shock that gripped the nation.

    Recalling the decision to suspend play that evening, Foudy said, “We felt it wouldn’t be right. Even being the National Team, we felt that the focus should be on getting with family and starting the rebuilding, mentally and emotionally. It was that raw.”

    Most major sporting events were canceled through the weekend following 9/11, marking the longest period of major league sports stoppage in American history. Instead of playing, athletes dedicated themselves to visiting with first responders, 9/11 survivors and families of victims. Some ventured to Ground Zero to distribute supplies, serve food and do whatever they could to raise the spirits of those working the around-the-clock relief effort.

    When sports resumed, stadiums became communal settings for memorialization and demonstrations of national unity. The resumption of ritual provided comfort and solace for the bereaved, a welcomed distraction for anxious Americans, and the promise of a comeback that we, as a collective society, would make it to the other side of this monumental tragedy.

    Today, we can revisit this unprecedented time in sports history and modern American history, through “Comeback Season,” and find inspiration in the stories within it. As Philadelphia Distance Run Director Mark Stewart wrote in a letter to the parents of a World Trade Center victim registered to participate in the city’s half marathon on Sept. 16, 2001, “We hope that the image of athletes of many races, religious beliefs and nationalities standing together at the start of the Race will make a statement which counters the horror of the week.”

    On the cusp of the 2018 World Cup Final, poised to electrify and unify sports fans around the world, these words maintain relevancy as we reflect on 9/11 and take stock of the violence that has rocked our separate but interconnected communities and global well-being since then. 

    By Alexandra Drakakis, Associate Curator, 9/11 Memorial Museum
  • July 16, 2018 12:41 PM | Anonymous

    The Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie has added SEO with AI to   It’s breathing new life into their digital archives and bolstering sponsorships.

    Visitors like variety and choice, and SEO with AI lets them explore the Barrett’s online collection with a real-time menu of 1-on-1 suggestions tailored to each visitor individually, in addition to the traditional menu at the top of the page.

    “The success of our gallery depends on the bond we make with members, visitors, artists and sponsors,” writes Joanna Frang, Executive Director of the Barrett. “SEO with AI has been a great addition to our website, and we have received very positive feedback.”    

    “The service is breathing new life into our archives, which is great for artists as well as the Barrett,”  reports Frang.

    It is also helping the Barrett retain current sponsors and add new ones, she noted.  For any art, historical or cultural institution, that is big news.  Important news.

    “I like being able to feature Fun House 2018, which is a big biennial event that is very popular with artists and visitors,” she added enthusiastically.

    MANY member Trajectory SMG works closely with the Barrett Art Center and others to identify and maintain innovative solutions for online collection management.

  • July 10, 2018 9:04 AM | Deleted user

    Posted on behalf of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 8, 2018) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will offer a second round of its new Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants, with an application deadline of August 9.

    NEH announced the new grant program, designed to create and sustain humanities infrastructure, in January. Under this program, cultural institutions such as museums, libraries, archives, colleges and universities, scholarly associations, and historic sites are eligible to receive up to $500,000 for projects that build institutional capacity or infrastructure for long-term sustainability.

    These challenge grants, which require a match of nonfederal funds, may be used toward capital expenditures such as construction and renovation projects, purchase of equipment and software, sharing of humanities collections between institutions, documentation of lost or imperiled cultural heritage, sustaining digital scholarly infrastructure, and preservation and conservation of humanities collections.

    NEH’s first Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grant awards will be announced in August. However, in response to marked demand for infrastructure support, the agency will offer the program for a second time in 2018; click the following for application guidelines.

    “For decades, NEH has played a vital role in helping build the humanities infrastructure of the United States,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “These new grants expand that role by leveraging federal dollars to spur increased private investment in our nation’s libraries, museums, and cultural centers to ensure the long-term health and growth of these institutions. The result will be greater access to historical, cultural, and educational resources for all Americans.”

    The grant program includes a special encouragement to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving Institutions, and two-year colleges.  

    The application deadline for the second round of NEH Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants is August 9, 2018. Please direct questions about grant proposals to or 202-606-8309. 

    Media Contact: Paula Wasley at (202) 606-8424 or

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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