2012 Museums in Conversation Conference: How Do We (Re)Vision Our Museums? April 22-24, 2012 Albany Marriott

Sunday, April 22

10am – 4pm Conference RegistrationAlbany Marriott

Special thanks to our name badge sponsor Oberg Research!

1pm – 4pm Pre-Conference Workshops
Pre-Registration required for all half-day workshops. Workshop fees are an additional $40 for members and $55 for nonmembers.

Advocating with Passion and Intelligence
Rensselaer County Historical Society, 57 Second Street, Troy, NY

Budget cutbacks at all levels of government driven by the collapse of the national economy have fallen heavily on museums and heritage organizations across the state. It is vital that we speak up forcefully to make an intelligent and passionate case for the ongoing survival of our institution.
Workshop Leader: Sheila Healy, Government Relations Counsel, Public Strategies, LLC

Developing Heritage Attractions into Exciting Touring Opportunities
Waterford Historical Museum, 2 Museum Lane, Waterford, NY

This entertaining workshop involves heritage participants from museum board presidents and their staff to volunteers and museum coordinators. This includes any person whose responsibilities in any way touch the general public who might enter their front door. Enjoy a hands-on program that prepares your museum team for today's public and what they are looking for, hoping for and will not settle for as they consider visiting your facility.
Workshop Leader:  Spike Herzig, New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network

Freeze It or Forget It: How to save wet collections
NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Peebles Island Resource Center, Waterford, NY

No matter how big or small, water can create havoc to any organization. Learn the ins and outs of freezing wet materials, either done by your self or by a vendor in this hands-on practical workshop. How should collections be packed by you or the vendor? Questions to ask a vendor? What organizations and groups can assist?  How to handle mold?
Presented will be information that was learned from the recent storms of Irene and Lee, so we can be better prepared for the future.  Great resources will be provided.
Workshop Leaders: Gwen Spicer, Principle Conservator, Spicer Art Conservation, LLC; Michele Phillips, Conservator, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

5pm – 7pm Opening Reception and Museumwise Award of Merit Presentation
The Children's Museum of Science and Technology, 250 Jordan Road (in Rensselaer Technology Park)
Troy, New York 12180

Sponsored by the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor
Join us at The Children's Museum of Science and Technology ask we honor this year’s Museumwise Award of Merit winners.  Awards will be presented at 6pm. Light hors d’oeu
vres and beverages will be served.
7pm – 9pm A Taste of Sagamore Dinner
Dinosaur Barbeque, 377 River Street, Troy, New York, 12180
Pre-registration is required, cost for dinner is $45.

Have you been curious about the Museumwise Museum Institute at Sagamore? Are you a Sagamore alum, looking to reconnect with friends from the Institute?  Join us as we reminisce about our adventures in the Adirondacks and plan ahead for the 2012 Institute. The cost to attend this event is only $45. All proceeds go to support Museumwise’s Museum Institute at Sagamore.

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Monday, April 23
All events listed below will take place at the Albany Marriott unless otherwise noted

7:00am – 5:30pm Conference RegistrationAlbany Marriott
7:30am – 4:00pm Conference Sponsor Exhibit Area

Don't miss out on your chance to network at the largest gathering of museum professionals in New York State!

Attendees will have the opportunity throughout the day to view tabletop displays and speak with exhibitor representatives.

Our 2012 Sponsors include:

8am – 3:30pm Museumwise Silent Auction
Don’t miss out on your chance to win unique and interesting items donated by attendees and other supporters.  All proceeds benefit Museumwise and help us continue to provide a myriad of services to our constituents.
7:45am – 9:30am Keynote Breakfast and Museumwise and MANY Business Meetings
Sponsored by the New York State Historical Association and
The Farmers' Museum

Join us as Ron Chew of Chew Communications will deliver the 2012 Museums in Conversation opening keynote, "The Five Museum Essentials"
Ron will be sharing the key lessons he learned from the work of transforming his institution, the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, Washington from a tiny, struggling historical society into a leading national museum that now serves as an anchor for dialogue and story-based exhibitions and programs that resonate across generations and far beyond the neighborhood in which the institution was born.

Ron Chew's Five Museum Essentials presentation

9:30am – 9:45am Break
Take this time to visit our sponsor exhibit booths and the Museumwise Silent Auction
9:45am – 11am Concurrent Sessions

Bringing New Art, New Ideas, and New Audiences to Historic Sites
What happens when you mix history and contemporary art? Participants will share their experiences working across disciplines to reinvigorate interpretation and bring in new ideas and audiences
Discussion Leaders: Cate Conmy, Exhibition Coordinator, National September 11 Memorial & Museum; Franklin Vagnone, Executive Director, Historic House Trust; Sarah Pharaon, Program Director for U.S. Initiatives, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience; Ulysses Grant Dietz, Senior Curator and Curator of Decorative Arts, Newark Museum
Bringing New Art, Ideas, Audiences to Historic Sites Presentation
Bringing New Art, Ideas, Audiences to Historic Sites Handout

Civic Engagement & Social Activism -- Setting your museum as a stage for community dialogue
History isn't solely lessons from the past, it's continually evolving. Join us in discussing our museums role in fostering our community's discovery/creation of this evolution

Discussion Leaders: Jane McNamara, Director of Grants and Programs, New York Council for the Humanities; Tara Lyons, Museum Educator, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society; Sally Roesch Wagner, Executive Director, The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation; Prerana Reddy, Director of Public Events, Queens Museum of Art

Focusing on Museum Value: An Update
The findings of the MANY-Museumwise white paper, The Challenge of Value: Engaging Communities in Why Museums Exist, will be the starting point for this follow-up conversation that began at the 2011 conference. What have we learned about value since last year? How have you or your organization changed or expanded your thinking about institutional value? What's needed now to meet the challenge of value?
Discussion Leader: Bob Beatty, Vice President of Programs, American Association for State and Local History
Bob Beatty's Powerpoint presentation:
Excellence in Equity

 

Too Many Objects? A Modest Proposal Regarding Collections in Smaller History Museums
"New York State's smaller history museums would be better off if they radically reduced the size of their collections." Agree or disagree? Two senior museum professional will introduce and referee the conversation.
Discussion Leaders: Christopher S. Clarke, Exhibition Developer, Consulting Historian; Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, Director, Cooperstown Graduate Program

11am – 11:15am Break
Visit our sponsors in the Exhibitor's Hall
11:15am – 12:30pm Concurrent Sessions

Beyond the Disaster Plan: How Museums Can Prepare for, Survive, and Thrive After a Major Disaster
This session will give insight into the need and importance for an organizational disaster plan as well as advice from professionals and conservators about what to expect in an emergency and what to expect beyond the disaster plan.
Discussion Leaders: Kathryn Weller, Executive Director, Slate Valley Museum; Carolyn Frisa, Owner and Head Conservator “Works on Paper;” Erin Richardson, Director of Collections; Elizabeth Callahan, Executive Director, Hanford Mills Museum; Gwen Spicer, Owner and Head Conservator, Spicer Art Conservation

 

 

Getting Smaller Smarter
With declining resources, we must make difficult decisions concerning how our activities will be affected and how to promote ourselves positively while capacity shrinks. But how do we get smaller smarter?
Discussion Leaders: Kenneth Shefsiek, Executive Director, Geneva Historical Society; Cindy Boyer, Director of Museums, Landmark Society of Western New York; Melissa Brown, Director, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society

 

 

Have you read this?
Join us for an engaging discussion, springing forth from a selection of "must reads". Drawing upon this year’s conference theme we will focus upon provocative ideas and strategies for how museum work can be re-visioned to meet the challenge of audience relevancy and engagement.
Discussion Leaders: Leslie Bedford, Director, Leadership in Museum Education Bank Street College; Katherine Crum, President, The Art Museum Partnership; Jane McNamara, Director of Grants and Programs, New York Council for the Humanities
Readings for this session will include: "The Hard Work of True Listening," Margaret Kadoyama and Doing Identity Work in Museums," Jay Rounds

Reframing the Role of the Docent for a Modern Museum
A quality museum recognizes the value of its docents and regards this community of unpaid professionals as gifts to the museum. Through this workshop, we will provide a fresh perspective to help museums see their docents as partners, resources and collaborators in the development of educational programs. The workshop will help participants through the process of recruiting, preparing and retaining high quality docents while guiding museum staff to a new approach that treats docents holistically, capitalizing on their enthusiasm and passion for teaching and drawing on their strengths, skills and expertise.
Discussion Leaders: Mary Marino Kozub, Docent Coordinator, Burchfield Penney Art Center; Joseph Lonzi, Docent, Burchfield Penney Art Center

12:30pm – 2:00pm Luncheon
Sponsored by the New York State Archives Partnership Trust
  • MANY Drawing during Luncheon - Stake your claim on several prizes as we raise funds for advocacy!

The 2012 Luncheon will feature an address from American Association of Museums' President, Ford Bell!

The Challenges Facing Us -- And How to Beat Them
AAM president, Ford W. Bell, provides a 30,000-foot overview of the many challenges confronting America's museums -- from art to zoos and everything in between. While the specifics may change depending upon the museum type, the key to overcoming these obstacles is common to the entire field. Namely, unity, and speaking with one voice.

2:00pm – 3:15pm Concurrent Sessions

Muse-morphosis: Adapting to the Needs of Your Community
Hear how three urban historic sites are connecting with their communities to be more relevant through alternative programming. Share your experiences and join a network of colleagues to strategize tackling this challenging issue.
Discussion Leaders: Elyse B. Goldberg, Historic Site Manager, Washington’s Headquarter’s State Historic Site; Kimberly Flook, Historic Site Manager, Olana State Historic Site; Pamela Green, Executive Director, Weeksville Heritage Center

 

(Re)Visioning Your Historic Museum Buildings for New and Diverse Audiences
Historic headache or historic asset? How to look at, plan and find funding for your collection's largest and most valuable artifact, your historic building, to better serve your Museum's mission
Discussion Leaders: Jill Nowicki, Historic Preservation Specialist, Clinton Brown Company Architecture; Ilene Frank, Executive Director, Rensselaer County Historical Society and Museum.

Virtual Visitors: using technology to attract and educate new audiences  PART I
This session focuses on the use of new technology to enhance interpretation, and access to collections and to cultivate support.  Projects range from the digital reconstruction of a historic site to an on-line collecting initiative and testing of QR codes and website development.
Discussion Leaders: Starlyn D’Angelo, Executive Director, Shaker Heritage Society; Jose Kozan, Architect/CEO, Virtual Grounds LLC; Cindy Boyer, Director of Museums, Landmark Society of Western New York; Erika Sanger, Director of Education, Albany Institute of History and Art; Erin Richardson, Director of Collections, The Fenimore Art Museums, NYSHA and The Farmers’ Museum
Click here to see the Virtual Watervliet Presentation
Click here to see Erika Sanger's Powerpoint Presentation

What is my vision for my work?
Are you thinking about professional and/or personal transformations and how you might redefine your career?  This energizing and worthwhile session will inspire you to develop a personal strategic plan.
Discussion Leaders: Anne Ackerson, Director, Museum Association of New York; Linda Norris, Managing Partner, Riverhill; Gwen Spicer; Conservator and Principal of Spicer Art Conservation; Christopher Clarke, Historian and Exhibit Developer

3:15pm – 3:45pm Break
Take this time to visit our sponsor exhibit booths and the Museumwise Silent Auction

Resume Review Center
What are the skills and experiences that potential employers are looking for? Bring your resume and review it with the leaders in the museum field at the Resume Review Center.  Sign up for your appointment at the Conference Registration Table.

NYSCA Office Hours
Have questions specific to your museum regarding an upcoming application for the Museum Program, Architecture + Design, Facilities or Electronic Media and Film?  Sign up for NYSCA Office Hours at the Conference Registration Table.

3:30pm Museumwise Silent Auction Bidding ends
3:45pm – 5:00pm Concurrent Sessions

An Anarchists Guide to Historic House Museums
The Anarchists Guide to Historic House Museums - is a visual & conceptual manifesto derived from decades of experiences relating to historic sites & specifically historic house museums.  In this provocative discussion Franklin Vagnone will present topics from his manuscript: The Flattening of History. As both a non -profit Administrator, lecturer,  as well as a professor of architecture and design, Franklin teases out the complexities of the visitor experience and makes solid, tangible (and at times – unspeakable!) suggestions for ways in which historic sites can transform themselves from a “typewriter to a computer”.
Discussion Leader: Franklin Vagnone, Executive Director, Historic House Trust; Deborah Ryan, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, UNC Charlotte

Salt Water? Fresh Ideas: Creative Takes to (Re)Vision Your Programs
Explore how a small whaling museum with big dreams transformed itself into an exciting historical and underwater adventure for children and families. Get inspired with a stream of innovative educational programs
Discussion Leader: Nomi Dayan, Director of Education, Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum

Virtual Visitors: using technology to attract and educate new audiences  PART II
This session focuses on the use of new technology to enhance interpretation, and access to collections and to cultivate support.  Projects range from the digital reconstruction of a historic site to an on-line collecting initiative and testing of QR codes and website development.
Discussion Leaders: Starlyn D’Angelo, Executive Director, Shaker Heritage Society; Jose Kozan, Architect/CEO, Virtual Grounds LLC; Cindy Boyer, Director of Museums, Landmark Society of Western New York; Erika Sanger, Director of Education, Albany Institute of History and Art; Erin Richardson, Director of Collections, The Fenimore Art Museums, NYSHA and The Farmers’ Museum

Visitors in Conversation: Let's Ask Our Visitors What they Want!
Museums always want to know what their audiences think about their site. Here is your chance to ask pointed questions of a panel made up from a significant population-- baby boomers.
Discussion Leaders: Christine Campeau, School Programs Manager/Educator, Adirondack Museum; Maurice OConnell, Museum Representative, Adirondack Studios; Carrie Bernadi, Associate Museum Exhibit Planner, New York State Museum

6pm – 8pm Networking Reception
Opalka Gallery, The Sage Colleges, 140 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208
Welcome first time attendees and catch up with old friends over drinks and light hors d'oeuvres. Join your colleagues from across the state for an evening of information networking.

NYSCA Office Hours
Have questions specific to your museum regarding an upcoming application for the Museum Program, Architecture + Design, Facilities or Electronic Media and Film?  Sign up for NYSCA Office Hours at the Conference Registration Table.

8pm -- 10pm Museumwise Dine & Discuss Dinner
Blu Stone Bistro, 661 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville, New York
Pre-Registration is required, cost for dinner is $45

Keep the conversation flowing at this fun “Friend-raising” event. The Museumwise board invites you to join them for the evening to share your latest news, muse over the day's presentations & catch-up with your colleagues. Blu Stone Bistro is an energetic eatery featuring a contemporary menu. The cost to attend this event is only $45. All proceeds go to support Museumwise.
8pm -- 10pm Unwind and Dine to benefit the Museum Association of New York
Midtown Tap & Tearoom, 289 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY
Pre-Registration is required, cost for dinner is $45
Wind down a busy conference day with friends, new and old alike! Join us for a relaxed dinner buffet of pan-European cuisine at a favorite local bistro around the corner from Opalka Gallery. First drink is on us! All proceeds benefit the Museum Association of New York.

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Tuesday, April 24

7:30am – 8:30am Breakfast with the Funders
Enjoy light breakfast and refreshments and learn about the funding opportunities available to New York State’s cultural organizations and make connections with the agencies that are eager to support your organization.
  • Documentary Heritage Program
  • Greater Hudson Heritage Network-- Conservation Treatment Grant Program
  • Museumwise-- Grants for Museum Advancement
  • New York State Council on the Arts
  • New York Council for the Humanities
  • New York Folklore Society
  • New York State Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials
  • Preservation League of New York
  • Special opportunity to learn more about the AASLH's StEPs (Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations) Program from Bob Beatty

Student Poster Sessions
Check out the latest research and developmen
ts being uncovered by the museum field’s emerging leaders. Presentations will include:

  • How common core standards can benefit history museums Learn how the new Core Curriculum Standards can help history museums reach out to schools and teach history on a deeper and more engaging level.  Presented by, Sarah Wassberg, Graduate Student, University at Albany
  • Picture this: Our World without Museums... What would happen should they become...Extinct? Museums hold such significant meaning to us and the world, but what would happen if we don't find creative ways to maintain the longevity of them?  Presented by Brieanna Chillious, Graduate Student, SUNY Purchase College
  • Sometimes Interesting, Sometimes Boring: Engaging Teenagers in History Museums Teenagers are the future, but they are disinterested in museums. How can institutions attract this digitally savvy audience? One study found that non-technological, participatory elements are the solution to engagement. Presented by Cassie Mundt, Recent Graduate, Cooperstown Graduate Program
    Sometimes Interesting, Sometimes Boring Survey
  • The Museum as Activist: Cultural Institutions and Social Change Initiatives How will the museum remain relevant to communities amidst our nation's rapidly changing racial and ethnic demographic?  Is it possible for the museum of the future to become a space for community-building and a host for social change, rather than a home for object-based learning?  Presented by Kendra Danowski, student, Smith College
  • Voices Carry: Student-Curated Exhibitions and Outreach at Ithaca Collegechronicles the genesis of "Voices: Truth, Identity, and Art in Africa," an exhibition curated, programmed, and installed by Ithaca College museology students over the course of two semesters.  Presented by Victoria Rice and Kate Calleri, Students, Ithaca College

Resume Review Center
What are the skills and experiences that potential employers are looking for? Bring your resume and review it with the leaders in the museum field at the Resume Review Center.  Sign up for your appointment at the Conference Registration Table.

8:45am – 10am Concurrent Sessions

Change is good, or at least it's inevitable
The world is changing quickly, and museums must change too. But change can be challenging, scary and not always positively approached. Explore new ways to look at and encourage proactive and beneficial change.
Discussion Leaders: Mark Mortenson, CEO, Buffalo Museum of Science; Barbara Park Leggett, Executive Director, Explore & More Children’s Museum

Riding the Wave of Change - Mortenson Leggett PowerPoint presentation
Click here to read "Hand to Hand, Risk Taking Isn't Risky" from the Association of Children's Museums, recommended by Barbara Park Leggett during this session.

More than a scavenger hunt: Re-envisioning a museum's place in the classroom
Ever wonder how your museum could become an integrated part of a school's curriculum? Want to be more than a field trip? This session offers attendees tips and looks to re-envision their education program
Discussion Leader: Kathryn Leacock, Curator of Collections, Buffalo Museum of Science; Dr. Jill Gradwell, Associate Professor, Buffalo State College
More than a scavenger hunt powerpoint presentation

Partnership for Albany Stories -- Making Connections for the Community
Partners for Albany Stories links diverse historical organizations with community to develop a more engaging and complete Albany story. The conversation will focus on the collaborative process and community outreach.
Discussion Leaders: Heidi Hill, Historic Site Manager, Crailo and Schuyler Mansion State Historic Sites; Liselle LaFrance, Director, Historic Cherry Hill; Susan Holland, Director, Historic Albany Foundation; Tony Opalka, Historic Sites Restoration Coordinator, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Albany City Historian

10:15am-11:45am Closing General Session with Ron Chew
Sponsored by the
New York Council for the Humanities

Join us for a closing presentation with Ron Chew as he revisits his Five Museum Essentials and reflects on what he's seen and heard over the course of the conference.

12:00pm-4:00pm Optional opportunities to grab a lunch and visit the area's rich cultural institutions

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