2010 Museums in Conversation Conference: What Inspires You? April 11-13, 2010 Albany Marriott

Sunday, April 11

8am – 4pm Conference RegistrationAlbany Marriott
12pm – 4pm Pre-Conference Workshops
Pre-Registration required for all workshops. Workshop fees are an additional $40 for members and $55 for nonmembers.

Beyond Branding: Re-Igniting Inspiration by Connecting to Your Core DNA
Albany Institute of History and Art, 125 Washington Avenue, Albany
This interactive workshop, facilitated by key players in UHA's identity re-alignment process, will combine case study with engaging exercises that anyone in any type of museum, cultural or arts organization can use to get to the core of their own institution's DNA.
Chair: Elizabeth Trever Buchinger, Co-Founder and Chief Idealist, Paperkite Creative Communications

Talking and Working with Donors in Challenging Times
New York State Museum, 222 Madison Avenue, Albany
Are you struggling to raise funds during these challenging times? Come 
to this workshop and learn about sustainable fundraising and current donor trends.
Chair: Christine Graham, President CPG Enterprises, Inc.

Merging the Muses: Effective Collaborations between Arts and Humanities
Shaker Heritage Society, 25 Meeting House Road, Albany
Are you seeking new avenues for expanding audiences, broadening your institutional perspective or enhancing your visitor experience? Join us for this working session focused on developing successful collaborations involving artists and humanities scholars. Participants will be given an opportunity to brainstorm ways to include creative collaborations in their planning and interpretation projects and will take home specific tips to guide their efforts.
Chairs: Starlyn D'Angelo, Executive Director, Shaker Heritage Society; Sharon Bates, Director, Albany International Airport Art and Culture Program and Perry Price, Assistant Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, Fuller Craft Museum

5pm – 7:30pm     


Opening Reception and UHA Award of Merit Presentation
Albany International Airport Gallery, 737 Albany-Shaker Road, Albany

Our conference kick-off reception takes place at the Albany International Airport Gallery, a dedicated 2500 square foot space that has become a destination for more than 150,000 visitors annually. Join us to honor this year's Upstate History Alliance Award of Merit winners.  Awards will be presented at 6pm.  Light hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served.

Sponsored by Gaylord Brothers and Spicer Art Conservation, LLC

8pm – 10pm Museum Institute at Sagamore Alumni Dinner
Pre-registration is required. Payment made directly to restaurant

Olde Shaker Inn Restaurant, 1171 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham                                                                  

Alumni of the Upstate History Alliance Museum Institute at Sagamore and those interested in learning about this unique professional development opportunity are invited to an informal dinner.  Join us fireside at the Olde Shaker Inn as we reminisce about our adventures in the Adirondacks and plan ahead for the 2010 Institute, which will focus upon the theme of "Vision, Mission, Money"

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Monday, April 12

7:30am – 5:30pm Conference RegistrationAlbany Marriott
7:30am – 4pm Conference Sponsor Exhibit Area
Thank you to our 2010 Conference Sponsors!
Attendees will have the opportunity throughout the day to view tabletop displays and speak with exhibitor representatives from the following companies:                                            

American Association of Museums
Archives Partnership Trust
Corinthian Data Capture, LLC
Donning Publishers
Government Technology Solutions, LLC
Hadley Exhibits
Hollinger Metal Edge, Inc.
Hudson Microimaging
MBL Benefits Consulting
National Book Auctions
New York Council of Nonprofits
New York State Historical Association
Oncell Systems
Paperkite Creative Communications
Smithfield Community Association/Heritage Peterboro
Spicer Art Conservation, LLC
State University of New York Press
The Farmers' Museum
Thistle Hill Weavers
University Products 
West Lake Conservators

8am – 3:30pm UHA Silent Auction
Don’t miss out on your chance to win unique and interesting items donated by attendees and other supporters.  All proceeds benefit UHA and help us continue to provide a myriad of services to our constituents.
7:45am – 9:30am Keynote Breakfast and UHA and MANY Business Meetings
Keynote Speaker Georgina Ngozi is President and CEO of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the world’s first museum created expressly for children.

Sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities

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

How Can Schools and Museums Inspire Each Other?
While museums and schools often share similar goals for student learning, their institutional cultures can be very different. Let's talk about how to work around these differences and improve collaboration.
Discussion leaders: Debi Duke, Teaching the Hudson Valley and Stephen Mucher, Bard College

Staying Connected: Seasonal Museums with Annual Presence
Online tools make it possible for museums restricted by location, funding and/or seasonal hours to engage and stay constantly connected to their audience.  Learn how to translate your institution's identity onto the virtual world.
Discussion leaders: Jessica Rubin, Assistant Educator, Adirondack Museum; Kate Moore, Marketing Associate, Adirondack Museum

Inspiration! Let's Keep it Alive!
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” - John Quincy Adams
What is it that inspires us to work in museums and what can administrators do to keep that drive for their staff members? How can we avoid burnout? Join the discussion about what inspires museum professionals to enter the field and how to keep that inspiration alive.
Discussion leaders: Dana Krueger, Registrar, Emerson Gallery; Pam McLaughlin, Curator of Education, Everson Museum of Art; Sally Treanor, Senior Director, Administration and Operations, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society

 Inspiration Fueled by Perspiration
Do you need to inspire funders, visitors and your staff? By setting out a clear vision and plan, you can inspire all of them. We'll look at strategic planning...What is it and what are the components? During this session, you will be able to answer questions like: Am I Ready?, How do I create a plan?, and What do I do when I complete it?
Discussion leaders: Mark Mortenson, President and CEO, Buffalo Museum of Science; Barbara Park Leggett, Director, Explore and More Children's Museum

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

How Can Schools and Museums Inspire Each Other?
While museums and schools often share similar goals for student learning, their institutional cultures can be very different. Let's talk about how to work around these differences and improve collaboration.
Discussion leaders: Debi Duke, Teaching the Hudson Valley and Stephen Mucher, Bard College

Marketing Your Small Museum/Historical Organization in the 21st Century
Marketing means more than advertising and promotion-- it means finding the connections between your audience and your Mission through the programs and exhibits you create.  Essential components for marketing your institution will be presented, and case studies of their effective application will be presented.  Opportunity for individual consultations will be provided to participants
Discussion leader: Thomas Costello, Consultant, Cultural Resources Management Group; Elizabeth Jacks, Executive Director, Thomas Cole National Historic Site; Stephanie Ratcliffe, Executive Director, The Wild Center

What's Your Biggest Problem? Re-discover the inspiration you derive from your collections by getting a handle on their care
The maintenance activities our collections require can be overwhelming. Bring your most pressing collections care issues to a panel of conservators and problem solve along with your peers.
Discussion leaders: NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Preservation conservators: Michele Phillips (paper), David Bayne (furniture) and Deborah Trupin (textiles and upholstery).

30 Ideas to Not be a Stranger in Your Own Backyard
Being a stranger in your own hometown is an analogy too many museums and cultural organizations are familiar with.  Rob Cassetti and John Buchinger will explore techniques they have used to energize their local relationships with the results of bringing in a greater audience.
Discussion leaders: John Buchinger, Associate Director of Education, New York State Historical Association; Rob Cassetti, Senior Director, Creative Services & Marketing, The Corning Museum of Glass

12:30pm – 2pm Luncheon                                                                   

MANY Drawing during Luncheon - Stake your claim on several prizes as we raise funds for advocacy!

Luncheon activities will include addresses by Regent James Dawson, Chairman of the Cultural Education Committee and by NYS Assemblyman Steve Englebright

Sponsored by the Archives Partnership Trust

2pm – 3:15pm Concurrent Sessions                                                                   

Bringing the Sizzle of European Heritage Weekends to New York
Millions of Europeans celebrate an annual "Heritage Weekend" where public buildings, historic sites, museums and parks are open and free. Can this stunning success be replicated in New York, helping to reverse troubling trends in museum and historic site visitation?

Discussion leaders: Sara Johns Griffen, President, The Olana Partnership; Alexia Lalli, Consultant; Mark Castiglione, Acting Director, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area; Mary Kay Vrba, Director, Dutchess County Tourism

Seasoned and New Museum Leaders: An Intergenerational Conversation
The session will be a facilitated conversation amongst seasoned and new museum leaders, emerging leaders and museum staff to explore shared and divergent views on museum leadership, lessons learned, and new demands on museum leaders on the new decade.
Discussion Leader: Dorothy Chen-Courtin, President, Marketing & Management Associates for Nonprofits; Kent der Russell, CEO and Curator, Museum of Russian Icons; Ken Shefsiek, Executive Director, Geneva Historical Society; Christine Miles, Director, Albany Institute of History and Art
This session sponsored by Riverhill Partners 

Talk Among Yourselves: Using Discussion to Engage Audiences
Museums have a long tradition of talking to their audiences through tours, lectures, and panels. Recently, however, there has been a growing movement to turn-the-tables by engaging visitors in discussion and debate about the issues and ideas that are central to our cultural institutions. This session will explore various approaches for dialogue-based programming and offer tips for starting your own museum conversation.
Discussion Leaders: Anna Links, Program Officer, New York Council for the Humanities; Mary Foltz, Assistant Professor, Lehigh University; Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem; Hildegard Hoeller, Educator, The Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Why Do People Visit Museums?
It’s a basic question, why do people visit museums? Join us as we examine this question and discuss how to use this information to enhance visitors’ experiences at our institutions.
Discussion Leader: Kerry Lippincott, Education Coordinator, Chemung County Historical Society

3:15pm – 3:45pm Break
Take this time to visit our sponsor exhibit booths and the UHA Silent Auction
3:30pm UHA Silent Auction Bidding ends                                                                   

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.

3:45pm – 5pm Concurrent Sessions                                                                  

Expanding Audiences with Film & Video
Expanding audiences is essential for museums.  Film and video programs are an excellent vehicle.  This session will offer examples of interesting film/video public programs targeting diverse audiences.
Discussion Leaders: Wanda Bershen, President, WB Arts Consulting; Christopher Allen, Executive Director, Union Docs; Samuel Jamier, Senior Film Program Officer, Japan Society

Inspiring a Sense of Place
Explore the idea of place-based identity through discussion, creative writing, and drawing.  Two innovative school-museum-community programs aimed at helping students develop a sense of place will start the discussion.
Discussion Leader: Ashley Hopkins-Benton, Museum Educator, Columbia County Historical Society; Carri Manchester, Education Director, Olana State Historic Site; Carl Carrozza, Science Educator, Catskill Middle School; Ed Synan, English Language Arts Educator, Catskill High School; Lorraine Ferrara, English Language Arts Educator, Catskill High School; Marilee Hobbs, English and Humanities Educator, Hudson High School

I know accession numbers aren't considered historic surface treatments, but is it OK to paint one on a museum building?
The structures utilized by museums are many and varied, as is the relationship between movable collections and such structures. But should museum structures ever be considered collection objects, or should they just be envelopes that contain collections? This question is currently before the New York Regents who have allowed structures to be accessioned in the past but who currently have declared a moratorium on doing so. Join us for a lively discussion in which we will ask the question whether, when and how a structure can or should be considered a collections item. The resulting potential impact of accessioning of structures on the stewardship of our cultural patrimony will also be explored.
Discussion leaders: Kenneth Shefsiek, Executive Director, Geneva Historical Society; Anne Ackerson, Director, Museum Association of New York; David Palmquist, Program Manager, NYS Charting Program; Peter Arnold, President & CEO, Genesee Country Village 

What is Cultural Entrepreneurship, and How Can it Help My Museum?
Are you a cultural entrepreneur? Does your organization practice cultural entrepreneurship? Although we hear this term with increasing frequency, it’s not clear that within the museum field we all agree on what exactly it means. Can a common understanding of this idea help us pursue our missions more effectively and better serve our audiences?
Four of our colleagues, representing a variety of types and sizes of museums, will offer brief sketches of activities, policies, or programs going on now at their institutions that they believe embody some aspect of cultural entrepreneurship. Then, during the session’s 50-minute discussion segment, we will invite the audience to join us in a conversation where we use those examples and our own experiences to work towards defining this concept and understanding how it can do useful work for us.
Discussion Leaders: Christopher Clarke, Historian and Museum Consultant; Mark Mortenson, President and CEO, Buffalo Museum of Science; Jennifer Steverson, Public Programs Curator, Weeksville Heritage Center; Joy Houle, Executive Director, Brookside Museum; Starlyn D'Angelo, Executive Director, Shaker Heritage Society 

6pm – 8pm Networking Reception
Shaker Heritage Society
, 25 Meeting House Road, Albany                                                                   

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 at the Shaker Heritage Society's Meeting House.  During the reception, enjoy the music of Steve Iachetta, aka the Shaker Fiddle and his Historic Tunes on vintage 18th century instruments

8pm -- 10pm UHA Friend-raiser Dinners
Pre-Registration is required, cost for dinner is $45

Brown's Brewing Company, 417 River Street, Troy, NY                                                      

Keep the conversation flowing at this unique “Friend-raising” event which will feature four topical discussions facilitated by UHA’s board members.  Discussion topics will include:
-Will you be my friend? Identifying and fostering strong community partnerships
-You want to do WHAT in the museum?  Re-envisioning the museum experience
-Build your home upon a rock – establishing good governance for your museum
-Ensure the future, preserve the past – caring for your museum’s collections

Continuing upon the theme of engaging inspirational strategies and methods as we shape tomorrow’s museums, we invite you to join us at Brown’s.  There, the proprietors have reclaimed a 150 year-old building, started their own organic hop farm, and are active members in the Capital District Local First organization. Visit their website for more on this inspirational endeavor.

The cost to attend this event is only $45 which includes a choice of entrée, seasonal side, tossed green salad, fresh rolls, soda, coffee & tea. A cash bar will be available to sample Award Winning brews. All proceeds go to support the Upstate History Alliance.

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Tuesday, April 13

8am – 10am Poster Session Presentations - Enjoy light breakfast and refreshments and then visit our three poster session events:                                                                   

Student Poster Sessions
Check out the latest research and developments being uncovered by the museum field’s emerging leaders.  

Funders Poster Sessions
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. The following institutions will have representatives available:

  • New York Council for the Humanities
  • Documentary Heritage Program
  • Greater Hudson Heritage Network
  • New York Folklore Society
  • NYS Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials
  • Upstate History Alliance

Project Poster Sessions
Check out the research and projects of peer institutions and informally discuss specific issues or case studies that have broad applications.  

Don't miss the chance to talk with David Palmquist from the NYS Museum Chartering Office, to learn about the AASLH StePS program from Katie Boardman, and to talk with representative from the following Underground Railroad Heritage Trail Sites:

  • Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc. (Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence)
  • North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association
  • Smithfield Community Association
  • Matilda Joslyn Gage Center
10am – 11am Closing Keynote Address
Keynote speaker Alan Chartock is President and CEO of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, an award winning regional public radio network serving parts of seven northeastern states.                                          

Sponsored by the New York State Historical Association and The Farmers' Museum

11:30am Advocacy Opportunity-- Meet-up in lobby of Wolf Road Marriott                                    

MANY lobbyist, Sheila Healy of Public Strategies, LLC will provide a brief overview of funding atmosphere in Albany (we may have a budget by then) and she'll provide pointers for those needing advice on visiting their legislators. 

If you want to visit your legislator while at the conference, make your appointments before coming to Albany. If you need help making appointments, Sheila will help you. Contact her at: 518-428-0848 or at shealy@publicstrategiesllc.net

From the meet-up, we'll head downtown to the Legislative Office Building/Capitol. Sheila will be available to help you navigate the halls of government, pull members off the floor, and strategize your message. 

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