2011 Museums in Conversation Conference: How Do We Prove the Value of Museums? April 3-5, 2011 Hyatt Regency Buffalo

Sunday, April 3

10am – 4pm Conference RegistrationHyatt Regency Buffalo
12pm – 4pm Pre-Conference Workshops
Pre-Registration required for all half-day workshops. Workshop fees are an additional $40 for members and $55 for nonmembers.

Collection Storage for Small Museums
Buffalo State, Art Conservation Department, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, 320 Rockwell Hall

A hands-on practical workshop where ideas and solutions for a wide-range of artifacts and their storage needs will be demonstrated, with solutions, using a wide range of materials. Handouts will be a part of the workshops.
Presented by Gwen Spicer, Principle Conservator, Spicer Art Conservation, LLC
NOTE: This workshop will run 2-4pm with a post-workshop tour of the  Art Conservation Department facilities.

Collection Storage for Small Museums

Quantitative Assessments for Nonprofits
Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, 25 Nottingham Court, Buffalo
Nonprofit organizations often have difficulty conveying their value and relevance. The Trust developed a quantitative method for assessing our work as a nonprofit. This has been essential in explaining our value to funders, Board and our member organizations.
Presented by Franklin Vagnone, Executive Director and Meredith Sorin, Deputy Director, Historic House Trust of New York City

Stepping Off the Cliff: Making Interpretive Change Happen
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, 641 Delaware Ave., Buffalo

The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site is a historic house museum that recently broke with 30+ years of tradition to introduce a completely new tour. Find out how we did it!
Presented by Lenora Henson, Curator; Mark Lozo, Education Director and Chief of Interpretation and Molly Quackenbush, Executive Director and Superintendent, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
Stepping Off the Cliff: Making Interpretive Change Happen

5pm – 7:30pm Opening Reception and Museumwise Award of Merit Presentation
Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo
Join us at the Burchfield Penney Art Center ask we honor this year’s Museumwise Award of Merit winners.  Awards will be presented at 6pm. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.
8pm – 10pm A Taste of Sagamore Dinner
Pearl Street Grill, 76 Pearl Street, Buffalo
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 2011 Institute.  Housed in an 1841 building in the historical setting of the Old Canal District, Pearl Street is known for its signature beers and tasty local fare. The cost to attend this event is only $45. All proceeds go to support Museumwise’s Museum Institute at Sagamore.

^Top ]

Monday, April 4
All events listed below will take place at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo unless otherwise noted

7:30am – 5:30pm Conference RegistrationHyatt Regency Buffalo
7:30am – 4:15pm 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.

2011 Sponsors & Exhibitors

Archival Methods
Archives Partnership Trust
Corning Foundation
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor
Gaylord Brothers
Great Lakes Art Conservation of NY
Government Technology Solutions
Hadley Exhibits
Joseph Smith – Performing Artist of Living History
Museum Acrylics Company
New York Council for the Humanities
New York Council of Nonprofits
New York State Historical Association
Northeast Document Conservation Center
Oberg Research
Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica
Spicer Art Conservation, LLC
Steel Plant Museum
SUNY Press
The Farmer’s Museum
West Lake Conservators

8am – 4pm 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

Kicking off the 2011 Conference and our conversation on proving the value of museums will be our keynote speaker, IMLS Deputy Director for Museum Services and Director for Strategic Partnerships, Marsha Semmel

“Making a Difference, Making the Case:  Museums and Public Value”

How are museums demonstrating their value within their communities and with different stakeholder groups?  This talk will use recent museum examples as a means of exploring dimensions of value and impact. The December 2010 reauthorization of IMLS, our new Museums Countproject, and other national and local trends will help to frame some new value-creating opportunities.

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

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

Microphilanthropy, Microgiving, Crowdfunding and New Models of Fundraising
Small donations add up fast. Last year donors gave more than $30 million to victims of the earthquake in Haiti, and remarkably, most of those donations were in $10 increments. Now organizations of all kinds are getting involved in microphilanthropy. Could it be the perfect platform for your museum’s fundraising efforts?
Discussion Leaders: Jenny Trucano, Client Ambassador, Small Act; Sarah Handwerger, General Counsel, RightsAssist, LLC; Seth Goldman, Executive Director, Neversink Valley Area Museum

Back from the Brink: One board and executive director’s strategy to bring a 19th century museum into the 21st century
James Parillo and Robert Bullock will discuss the Saratoga Springs History Museum’s recent re-envisioning and open the floor to discuss how they demonstrated the museum’s value to the community.
Discussion Leaders: James Parillo, Executive Director and Robert Bullock, President, Saratoga Springs History Museum

The Next Generation: Museums, College Students and Young Professionals
Explore approaches, challenges and successes in building relationships with young adults.
Discussion Leaders: Alana Ryder, Curator for Public and Academic Programs, Burchfield Penney Art Center; Nancy Richner, Education Director, Hofstra University Museum; Kate Turner, President, Eastman Young Professionals Group

Considerations for Engaging the Next Generation Handout
Considerations for Engaging the Next Generation Presentation

The Role of the Museum Board
This interactive discussion will explore the critical role of the museum board in determining and promulgating the institution’s value to the community and how to maximize that opportunity.
Discussion Leaders: Geoffrey Platt Jr., Independent Consultant to be joined by leading board members from the Buffalo area: Peter Bergmann, Explore and More Children’s Museum; Joan Bukowski, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society and Mary Ann Kresse, Buffalo Museum of Science

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

Designing a Mutually Beneficial Intern Experience
Want to start an internship program at your museum? Or, perhaps fine-tune an existing one? By considering internships from a variety of perspectives, this session will jump-start your thinking.
Discussion Leaders: Lenora Henson, Curator, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site; Kathryn Leacock, Curator of Collections, Buffalo Museum of Science; Spencer Morgan, Curator, Steel Plant Museum; Rebecca Klie, Student, Buffalo State College; Sandra Olsen, Director of University at Buffalo Art Galleries

Mutually Beneficial Intern Experiences Presentation

Experience-ability: Interacting with Visitors through QR Codes, iPhone Apps, Social Media and More…
How can you more effectively interact and “share” with visitors? Learn the solutions and challenges for the limitless ways of engaging visitors through innovative technologies, social media, smartphones and virtual access.
Discussion Leaders: Thomas Dunne, President, OnCell Systems; Susi Kerr, Sr. Educator, Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery; Garet Livermore, Vice President for Education, New York State Historical Association and The Farmers’ Museum; Cayden Mak, MFA Candidate, University of Buffalo, Department of Media Study

Focus on Value: Museums as Contributors to their Communities
Featured Discussion to be lead by Dr. Barbara Soren
What do our communities want? How do we find out?Sometimes we find ourselves preparing programs and exhibits that we think our communities want or should want… But how do we know? In this session we will work together on strategies for finding out about your community’s needs and interests. Participants will think about: What they know about what people want and need today; Innovative exhibits and programs (on-site and online) that will appeal to interests of communities and how they can get community feedback; Issues important to communities today and the role your museum could play in addressing these issues.

Focus on Value Presentation

12:30pm – 2:30pm Luncheon
  • MANY Drawing during Luncheon – Stake your claim on several prizes as we raise funds for advocacy!
  • Screening of the video contest winners! Corning Museum of Glass won "most inspiring" and Historic Cherry Hill won "more creative" and "audience choice" Congratulations!

Between Raw and Cooked: Interactivity as Public Practice in the 21st Century Museum a presentation with Michael Frisch, Professor of History & American Studies/ Senior Research Scholar at the University at Buffalo, SUNY
Sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities

2:30pm – 3:45pm Concurrent Sessions

Focus on Value: Museums as Educational Institutions
Featured Discussion to be lead by Dr. Barbara Soren
What value do museums’ education and education programs provide? A central question this session will address is: How can we embed museum learning right into the NYS curriculum and into the minds of our community members? Roundtable groups will identify big issues and how we overcome them, as well as identify examples of best practices and successes that overcome challenges.

Focus on Value: Museums as Educational Institutions Worksheet

Partners in Response: Forging an Alliance Between the Cultural and Emergency Response Communities
In a post-Katrina world, museum staff and the emergency response community have discovered the need to cross boundaries– to value each other and speak a shared language. Attend this session and learn how a powerful new tool can prepare each “partner in response” to advance disaster pre-planning and effective collaboration in the face of natural and manmade disasters.
Discussion Leader: John Lovell, Director, NYS Bureau of Historic Sites; Lori Foley,Vice President for Emergency Management Programs, Heritage Preservation; Richard Lord, Chief of Mitigation Programs and Agency Preservation Officer, NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services; Michele Phillips, Paper Conservator, NYS OPRHP

Reinventing Membership
Join in conversation with Whitney Museum of American Art’s Membership Director Kristen Denner about the future of museum memberships and how research and creative thinking can help revitalize your membership program. The Whitney’s innovative Curate Your Own Membership program will serve as a case study and jumping off point for a lively discussion about the value of membership to museums and members.

Discussion Leader: Kristen Denner, Membership Director, Whitney Museum of American Art

3:45pm – 4:15pm Break
Take this time to visit our sponsor exhibit booths and the Silent Auction
4pm Museumwise 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.

Considerations for Engaging the Next Generation Handout4:15pm – 5:30pm Concurrent Sessions

Museums are inviting artists and visitors to participate in new ways. Four unique approaches will be presented. The panel and discussion will be participatory encouraging a creative dialogue with the audience.
Discussion Leaders: Kathy Gaye Shiroki, Curator of Museum Learning and Community Engagement, Burchfield Penney Art Center; Lucinda Ingalls, Executive Director, MUSE, Inc.; Ginny O’Brien Lohr, Curator of Education, University at Buffalo Anderson Gallery; Marian Granfield, Curator of Education, Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University

Making the Case: Advocating for Support with Passion
Museum staff, board members and volunteers should spend more time communicating with government officials to obtain funding and other types of support.  This session provides information and tools to guide that effort.
Discussion Leaders: Starlyn D’Angelo, Executive Director, Shaker Heritage Society; Sheila Healy, Government Relations Specialist, Public Strategies, LLC; Eileen McHugh, Executive Director, Cayuga Museum of History and Art; Carol Ghiorsi Hart, Executive Director, Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum; Margaret Walton, Director of Government and Community Affairs, Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Turning Historic House Museums Upside Down
Historic house museums are increasingly thought of as dated institutions– static, boring, irrelevant. This session will address two aspects of the problem: taking charge of your museum’s image and being different at the core.
Discussion Leaders: Deborah Emmons-Andarawis, Curator; Liselle LaFrance, Executive Director and Mary Doehla, Communications Coordinator, Historic Cherry Hill

What do Teachers Value in Field Trips?
Museums are often left to their own devices to plan and anticipate teacher needs. In this session a panel of teachers will answer questions generated by attendees.
Discussion Leader: John Buchinger, Associate Director of Education, New York State Historical Association to be joined by leading educators from the Buffalo area.

6pm – 8pm Networking Reception
Greatbatch Pavilion at the Martin House Complex, 125 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo

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.

8pm — 10pm Museumwise Friend-raiser Dinner– Dine and Discuss
Pre-Registration is required, cost for dinner is $45
Chef’s Restaurant, 291 Seneca Street, Buffalo

Back by popular demand!  Keep the conversation flowing at this unique “Friend-raising” event which will feature four topical discussions facilitated by Museumwise’s board members. Discussion topics will include:
  • Many voices, engaging unsung participants in your museum
  • Penny-pinchers guide to caring for your collection
  • Preparing for brighter days – positioning your organization to make hay when the sun returns
  • Beyond museums – inspiring & effective strategies from outside the field.

Chef’s has been serving great meals for over 85 years their reputation for lovingly preparing the finest and freshest foods is evident in everything they serve.  The cost to attend this event is only $45. All proceeds go to support Museumwise.

8pm — 10pm MANY Fundraiser Dinner– A Taste of Buffalo Buffet
Pre-Registration is required, cost for dinner is $45

Hosted by MANY Board Member Mark Mortenson and his partner, Curt Maranto, at their home.  Relax, socialize and savor some of the best tastes that Buffalo has to offer! Registration is limited to 40 people.  The cost to attend this event is only $45.  All proceeds go to support the Museum Association of New York.

^Top ]

Tuesday, April 5

7:30am – 8:30am Breakfast with the Funders
Sponsored by
Archives Partnership Trust

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.  Funding organizations with available representatives are: Documentary Heritage Program; Greater Hudson Heritage Network; Museumwise; New York Council on the Humanities; New York Folklore Society; Preservation League of New York.

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 and Poster Sessions

Beyond Internships: High Impact Collaborations for Museums and Institutions of Higher Learning
Museums increase their value to the community and draw significant resources to their organizations by expanding their educational missions to include creative and sustainable collaborations with institutions of higher learning.
Discussion Leaders: Dr. Cynthia Conides, Executive Director, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society; Dr. Stephen Gareau, Assistant Professor, SUNY College at Buffalo; Sonia Penaranda Gonzalez, Museum Design Consultant, Fisher-Price; Dr. Ruth Xiaoqing Guo, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Information Systems, Buffalo State College

Beyond Internships Idea Sheet


Investigate Your Community: A Museum Introduction Program for International Refugees and Immigrants Developed by the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society
Museum Introduction Program for refugee and immigrant families is offered at BECHS, recently developed to preserve 21st century experiences of new arrivals in Western New York.
Discussion Leaders: Tara L. Lyons, Museum Educator, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society; Melissa Brown, Executive Director, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society; Kelly Cooper, Refugee School Impact Coordinator, Education Program Assistant and Case Manager, Journey’s End Refugee Services; Nick Pruyn, Adult English Language Instructor, Buffalo Public School System and International Institute

The Audience-Focused Museum
What’s being said about your museum? “You can’t miss it!” OR “Don’t bother” This fast-paced program looks at ways to focus more on your audience and the bottom line gains you’ll see when you do.
Discussion Leaders: Barbara Park Leggett, Director, Explore and More Children’s Museum; Mark Mortenson, CEO, Buffalo Museum of Science

Student Poster Sessions
Check out the latest research and developments being uncovered by the museum field’s emerging leaders.  Poster sessions will include:
Affects of Temperature and Humidity on Historic House Collections
Examination of the effects of temperature and humidity on collections and solutions for meeting both conservation and exhibition needs in a mid-nineteenth century historic house museum in western New York. Presented by Allison Blakeslee, student, Rochester Institute of Technology
New Media Technology
Discuss research detailing New Media Technologies, their free/open source background, and how they lead to visitor exchange and a newly developed understanding of the importance of museums and their collections.  Presented by Sean Conklin, student, Rochester Institute of Technology
Student, Campus-Museum Partnerships
Laura Lemke, art history/anthropology undergraduate at Buffalo State College, discusses the newly formed campus-museum student organization, the BPAC (Burchfield Penney Art Center) Street Team.  She will describe the organization’s mission, goals and benefits for college students as well as how this program can inspire other museums to institute similar programs.

Value of Museum Education
The session will examine the value of museums with particular focus on educational outreach. Distinctions will be made indicating how specific stakeholders benefit from the enriching programs.  Presented by Cori Kidney and Laura Schwenner, students, Arts Management Program, State University of New York at Buffalo

10:15am-11:45am Closing General Session

Focus on Value: Town Hall
Our closing event address this year will be a working session with facilitator Barbara Soren to discuss the question of “How do we prove the value of museums?” Professor Soren’s participation at the 2011 conference and the resulting development and publication of a white paper are being generously underwritten by the Corning Incorporated Foundation.

Groups will discuss how they can communicate their value and report back with one key idea and action to take back to their museum or community.  The outcome will be the creation of an action plan for articulating value to NYS Museums’ stakeholders, their publics and their communities, and what we have to do to make this action plan happen.
Click here for discussion questions from the Town Hall
Click here to download the Closing Town Hall Presentation

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

^Top ]