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Uncovering and Celebrating Stories Yet Untold: Digging Into LGBTQIA+ Stories Hiding in Plain Sight in Collections, Historic Sites, and Galleries

Friday, July 26, 2024

12 - 1:30 PM EST

LGBTQIA+ lives are frequently underrepresented in our museum collections and interpretation, as well as in registries of historic sites. Once we have determined to preserve and share more queer stories, where do we start? This webinar will explore diverse examples of stories that have been uncovered, and how we are documenting them and sharing with visitors.

Click here to register


Ashley Hopkins-Benton


Senior Historian and Curator of Social History

New York State Museum

Ashley Hopkins-Benton is a Senior Historian and Curator of Social History at the New York State Museum. Her research and collections focuses include women’s history, LGBTQ+ history, immigration, sculpture, and toys, and she works to build collections representation of underrepresented voices. She co-curated "Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial," a 2017 exhibition and accompanying catalogue, with Jennifer Lemak, and is the author of "Breathing Life Into Stone: The Sculpture of Henry DiSpirito."

Margaret Middleton


Independent Exhibit Designer and Museum Consultant

Margaret Middleton is an American independent exhibit designer and museum consultant currently based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. With a degree in industrial design from the Rhode Island School of Design and nearly 20 years of experience in the museum field, they work at the intersection of design and social justice.

Middleton developed the popular Family Inclusive Language Chart and consults with museums on implementing inclusive practice with special focus on children, gender minorities, and queer people.

Chanel Lopez

LGBTQ Advocate

Chanel Jessica Lopez is a Dominican Afro-Latina born and raised in Spanish Harlem, she is an
advocate & activist for the Transgender / TGNC communities for the past 15+ years, she is a plus size model and has done some acting. She has been featured in documentaries, including “The Death & Life of Marsha P. Johnson", had her own documentary highlighted on the VICE Channel, and has done public speaking telling her story as a survivor of Domestic and Sexual Violence. She has received numerous awards for her government and community work. Lopez is the former Transgender Community Liaison for the NYC Commission on Human Rights, and is currently the First Transwoman to be an Appointee for the NY State Governor as the NYS Deputy Director of LGBTQ Affairs. Chanel’s aspirations are to some day run for office and have her own talk show.

Lauraberth Lima


Professor of Museum Studies,

Cultural Consultant

New York University

Lauraberth (they/she) is a Professor of Museum Studies at New York University. Lima is also an established Cultural Consultant with 15 years of experience in education, community engagement, curatorial practice, and cultural competence building in cultural institutions. Lauraberth brings a social justice lens to consulting through interdisciplinary expertise in intergenerational engagement, BIPOC representation in the arts, health equity, museum and art education, youth development, early childhood education, as well as programming for LGBTQ2SIA+/gender expansive communities.

Kit Thomas

(they/them, she/her)


Kit Thomas (they/ she) is a Two Spirit Haudenosaunee artist from the St. Regis Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne. Kit draws inspiration from their Indigenous heritage and incorporates traditional motifs and symbols into their work. Through their art, Kit aims to challenge stereotypes and promote greater understanding and acceptance of two-spirit people. Their work is deeply rooted in their culture and identity, exploring the intersections of gender, sexuality, and spirituality.

MANY is committed to making our virtual programs as accessible as possible. All virtual programs will have Closed Captioning and ASL Interpretation provided by InterpretekFor more information, please email or call 518-273-3400.

All virtual programs are recorded and available for MANY members via the Member Resource page within 7 days of the live program. 

Click here to learn more about joining MANY or email to see if you membership is active.

Live out of state? Join MANY Online! With our growing national and international audience in mind, we are pleased to announce a new virtual membership category for individuals who live outside of New York State.

Virtual members can access the library of over 70 programs and receive discounted registration for MANY’s annual conference. Click here to learn more.

Virtual programs are made possible by the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.

The Museum Association of New York helps shape a better future for museums and museum professionals by uplifting best practices and building organizational capacity through advocacy, training, and networking opportunities.

Museum Association of New York is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. 

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