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Letter from Erika: Remember Going Places with People?

June 29, 2021 2:28 PM | Megan Eves (Administrator)

MANY Staff at Fort Ticonderoga, June 24, 2021

Dear Members, Friends, and Supporters,

On June 23rd, MANY’s board of directors met at the Hart-Cluett Museum in Troy. During a break, we toured the Hart-Cluett’s exhibition galleries and the historic “Marble House” at 59 Second Street. The next day, MANY staff visited Fort Ticonderoga where we saw their new virtual program delivery studio and gained a deeper understanding of how the Fort, located between Lakes George and Champlain, played a pivotal role in history. Today, an image of the Everson Museum of Art from June 2019 popped up in my Facebook “memories.” We were in Syracuse to launch the New York tour of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street Water/Ways exhibition at the Erie Canal Museum

For most of the past 16 months, what I used to think of as simple – make plans, travel to see a museum with people you know, meet other people you know, meet new people, share a meal, talk about what you saw at the museum – was impossible. I honestly didn’t know how much I missed traveling and seeing museums until last week when the energy generated by gathering, sharing a laugh, and the sonic boom of a demonstration canon shot renewed my spirit in a way I had forgotten. The MANY travel life rhythm emerged and we celebrated. 

Yes, it can still be complicated and perhaps risky to travel and many museum professionals remain anxious about welcoming visitors without occupancy restrictions and maintaining mask requirements to protect the unvaccinated. It is not quite time to let down all of our guard rails. We have years of work ahead of us to heal the racist harms woven into the fabric of our nation. But as you make summer plans, I urge you to visit a nearby museum - perhaps one you haven’t visited before, say hello to your colleagues, and experience the renewed energy of doing one of the things I know you love. Need some inspiration? Check out the Places to Go in New York State pages on the I Love NY website. 

Starting in September, MANY will be offering workshops in museums in every region of New York State. Working with the presenters and selecting the locations got us excited, and then the travel plans! I swoon contemplating the views from I-90. Looking for new ways to engage with your community? The Museum and Folk Art Forum will be an exciting way to explore the possibilities of working with traditional artists. Only four spaces remain open to attend the 2021 Museum Institute “Leadership, Partnership, Mentorship” and many of the grant writing workshops are already at half capacity. The Partnership Forum in your region doesn’t fit your professional development needs? Travel to one in a nearby region! We can arrange for you to get a discount at a local hotel and you can hang out with MANY staff after the program. You can follow our travels on our Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn with the hashtags #manyonthemove and #nysmuseums. I so look forward to seeing you and hearing about all that you have been working on in your museums.

With thanks for your support,

Erika Sanger

Images from Fort Ticonderoga

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